by Joseph Leray
I have, in all likelihood, straight-up merked untold thousands of humanoid enemies over the course of my digital career, but I've never really felt comfortable blasting away at animals. Even as a kid, shooting "Wolfenstein 3D"'s pixelated German Shepherds was more problematic for me than gruesomely dispatching mecha-Hitler
Appealing to the dormant PETA protestor in all of us, MachineGames have kindly replaced flesh-and-blood attack dogs with the snarling, mechanical monstrosity pictured above for the upcoming "Wolfenstein: the New Order."
My own dog-related quibbles aside, I kind of like the way MachineGames took the old mech idea and ran with it: one creepy old lady notwithstanding, it seems like most of the enemies B. J. Blazkowicz will fight over the course of the game are cyborgs, if not full-scale robots. It gives the game a futuristic, alternate-history feel reminiscent of, say, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow while maintaining whatever thin patina of thematic unity the "Wolfenstein" series can still lay claim to.
If a retro-futuristic "Wolfenstein" game published in 2014 seems a little anachronistic, find faith in the fact that MachineGames is mostly staffed by ex-Starbreeze types -- specifically, the guys responsible for "The Darkness" and the two "Riddick" games. Last and least, we also know that "Wolftenstein"'s nifty new id Tech 5 engine is good at rendering the way light bounces off sleek, metallic exo-skeletons.
"Wolfenstein: the New Order" will be available on Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and "next generation consoles" later this year.