Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (XBOX Series X) Review
Updated: Apr 27, 2021
Game Name: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Developer: Machine Games
Publisher: Bathesda Softworks
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4 and XBOX One, XBOX Series X/S
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
I never had the chance to play this release from the Wolfenstein reboot. However, that all changed when the Bathesda / Microsoft deal was finalized. Bathesda released all of the Wolfenstein games on GamePass. This allowed me to finally play this game.
At the time, I remember people being on the fence about it. The one thing that I remember is that people said that it was a standalone release but it felt like a DLC.
Let us see if this statement still rings true today.
This game is a prequel to the Wolfenstein reboot game. It takes place in 1946. You once again play as B.J. Blazkowicz. You are an O.S.A agent along with Richard Wesley, aka Agent One. Your mission is to infiltrate Castle Wolfenstein and try to find what mystery it holds.
If you are familiar with the first Wolfenstein game, you will feel at ease here. The gameplay is pretty much the same. The vantage point is from the first person perspective. The game is an action, adventure game.
Every chapter has various sections where you will need to defeat enemies in order to advance.
Once again you can dual wield weapons. This is still cool to do even today. In addition to this, you can also complete perks. Perks are the in game advancing system. By completing perks, you can gain certain edge in health or armour for example.
The biggest change to the weapons and tools is the steel pipe. This was not in the previous game. This is a multi-functional weapon and tool. It could allow you to climb certain dedicated walls, similar to Darksiders. You can also use it to open certain doors. In addition it can also double as a melee weapon. I do have mixed feelings about the pipe, but I will go through it a little later on.
There are a few different modes such as Challenge Arenas and Nightmare levels. Challenge Arenas unlock as you progress in the game. Nightmare Levels apparently unlock if you find a hidden bed in each chapter. I did not unlock any of these, so I guess I might have to play it again.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood - Sample Gameplay
Does this entry in the series still holds up? Yes it does, if you know what you are expecting. Let me elaborate.
This entry is I believe a nod to the Castle Wolfenstein game that was released on Playstation 2 and OG XBOX. Those players that have not played the older games might be confused about the story and why there are zombies and paranormal things here. If you come in and let the game just unfold, it will be fine. However, if you are a person that nitpicks and complains when things do not make sense, then it will not be for you.
I said this on my streams numerous times, this is a game equivalent of an Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie from the 80's. The action is at the forefront and the story takes a backseat. However, it does not mean that the story is not good. It is just not as front and center as other games.
The visuals for the most part still hold up, but it is starting to show its age. This is especially true when you compare it to the newer games like Wolfenstein II and Wolfenstein Youngblood. There are times where the game looks spectacular and other times, the rocks and rubble look washed out. I did not remember that from Wolfenstein: The New Order but I would have to go back to check.
The music is still very good and is good to crank up when there is an action sequence. On my playthrough, as I normally do, I turned it down as I did not want to be DMCA'd.
The only really new thing that I noticed was the pipe and like I mentioned above, I had missed feelings about it. I played the game on the XBOX Series X. When you use the pipes to go up walls you need to press on the Left and Right back buttons on the controller. You need to alternate between both. However, if your timing is off, you will fall off the wall and need to start up again. This happened to me numerous times. It got quite frustrating at times. Let me know if you guys had the same issue with the pipes as I did.
The rest of the gameplay though, played as I expected it. It is heavily focused on gun play. There were cutscenes but they did not break the momentum as much as the main entries in the series.
All in all, I had a blast with The Old Blood. It was just what I needed after I finished playing Mass Effect. It was a game that I did not need to think too much and it was only about 9 hours. May be you can stretch that to 10 or 11 if you are a completionist.
I do agree though, it did feel a little light as a standalone release and I can see why people said that it felt more like a DLC than a main entry to the series. Having said that though, I still had a blast, as I always do with this series and I would recommend everyone to try it at least once. It is on XBOX GamePass right now, along with all the other games in the series.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Video Review
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