Wolfenstein, New Orders and Re-imaginings
Bethesda’s second big tease of the year after last months reveal of Shinji Mikami’s The Evil Within has just been revealed to be Wolfenstein : New Order and was met with a mixed response.
Many Wolfenstein fans seem over joyed with this recent unexpected nostalgic nod in the form of a game. Warren Spector though has come out against the game saying ‘Did we really need another Wolfenstein game?’ and other things alluding to the idea that a remake of this particular old old school shooter is a step backwards instead of forwards.
I’m not going to go to deep into Spector’s point as others i feel already have (here and here) but what i would like to address is that general fear of slipping back instead of striding forward when it comes to video game culture and why I’m not too worried. I am also going to do it in 3 points starting with…
The phrase ‘another shooter’ is almost synonymous with video game genre fatigue and i can already see that label being thrown around in regard to this game but to those people people I say ‘Steadfast good sirs!’. This isnt ‘a shooter’ this is one of ‘The shooters’ one of the most cherish and iconic games of the past 30 years and while sequel after sequel of Call of Duty, Battlefield and countless others may droop yours eyes like lullabies the fact that this is a game in the shooter says nothing to the impact it had and how a re-imagining of this game with fresh eyes could be genuinely interesting, which brings me neatly to my next point…
If you haven’t already (which seems strange as you’ve gotten this far through the article) go watch the trailer its an amazing piece of Grind-house inspired nostalgia that ISN’T taking itself to seriously. The main reason I am genuinely excited for this game is that new tones, themes, art styles, and re-imaginings are good for the industry being able to reflect on yourself is good for a medium and whether this is a satire of the old through a fun lens or a fun game through a new lens it can still be inventive and creative. Looking back is still important to looking forward; Tarantino, Rodriguez, Miyamoto and Suda51 have made careers out of it.
… And My Last Point
Robot Nazis, Nazi Robots, Robots who be Nazis, Nazi who be Robotic.