1946. B.J. Blazkowicz enters Castle Wolfenstein to find the location of General Deathshead’s secret compound where he is building armored machines. The details of the location are hidden within a folder belonging to Helga von Schabbs, the head of the S.S.’s archaeological division. Luckily, Helga has her own business to attend to : excavating the lost treasures from King Otto’s secret vault buried deep beneath the “Defiled Church” ruins. What Helga uncovers is that there’s a reason the “secret treasure” was left buried down there.
I love how The Old Blood starts literally right before The New Order. At the end of the game, we see B.J. heading to the air-field to board the plane that attacks Deathshead’s compound at the start of The New Order. It’s the perfect prequel story.
The Old Blood does have some new gameplay mechanics, such as using a pipe to climb up softened walls. There’s great sound design here as well; hearing the “crunching” sounds of the decrepit walls against the metal clinging of the pipes. The new pipe can also be used as a melee weapon, in one or two pieces. The pipe plays a bit more of a role later in the game when things take a supernatural twist. Yes; burning Nazi zombies fall from the sky. I don’t think anyone was expecting that.
The Old Blood is a six-hour standalone prequel to The New Order, but I found that it took me much longer than that. Just as with The New Order, there’s always something to see or hear, like an old drunk telling tales, a mental patient confusing B.J. for a long lost friend, or a group of Nazi soldiers drinking and singing in a pub. These are just some of the many scenes in The Old Blood. Uber mode seemed a bit more challenging this time around, but I think it’s just because I was rusty. Needless to say, I died a lot. The final boss fight is definitely very challenging, much like The New Order.
Along with the story-related trophies, there are Nightmare levels and Challenges. The Nightmare levels take the player back to the original Wolfenstein 3D. One of these levels existed in The New Order, but now there’s one hidden in each level of The Old Blood. The Nightmare levels are much easier when done on Easy mode through Chapter Select when cleaning up for collectables. Challenges are the hardest part of The Old Blood. Each challenge-related trophy requires earning the gold medal high score. This can only be done on I Am Death Incarnate! or Uber mode. The difficulty isn’t necessarily the problem with getting gold medals on the challenges; it’s the score levels. Some score levels are set so high that combos, explosive bonuses, and headshots are a must. I’m talking about 90% accuracy on headshots here. All-in-all, The Old Blood is a pretty easy Plat if you’ve already got the one for The New Order. Again, I think I just had some trouble because I was rusty.
MachineGames has done it again. B.J. Blazkowicz returns in this action-packed prequel to The New Order. As soon as The Old Blood released, I instantly dropped what I was playing (which happened to be Dying Light at the moment), and put all my attention into it instead. As long as MachineGames continues to support this series, whether it’s by standalone content or a full release, I’ll look forward to playing them. There’s just something about this world that Machine has built that I’m not ready to leave just yet; and I know they aren’t, either.
Okay; so now I’m going back to Dying Light. I hate to say this, but I’ve just barely scratched the surface of that game. I’ve mainly been doing side missions, so I’m only about 15-17% completed. I think it’s going to be a while before I finish this one. Hopefully, I’ll manage to get through it before the end of the month. Here’s hoping!