Wolfenstein: The New Order

Common Sense Media says

Bloody but unexpectedly thoughtful shooter revisits WWII.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game aims to entertain via bloody, graphic, sensational violence, but it also taps into some surprisingly meaty subjects. Characters discuss the evils of absolutism and discrimination, take time to reflect on their reasons for fighting, and even bring up some fascinating religious and metaphysical ideas. 

Positive role models

The burly but unexpectedly soft-spoken and reflective B.J. Blaskowicz is a proficient warrior who clearly enjoys killing Nazis. That said, he's also duty-bound, courageous, loyal, and willing to sacrifice himself for those he loves. He may not be a great behavioral model, but he has some admirable characteristics.

Ease of play

Standard first-person shooter controls should make it easy for most players to jump in without wasting time learning a new interface. Five levels of difficulty help ensure players of all experience levels are appropriately challenged.

Violence

Players spend most of their time engaged in gunfights using both traditional and sci-fi weapons including pistols, rifles, shotguns, and lasers. Wounds gush dark red blood and enemies shriek in pain when hurt. Some weapons are capable of blasting off heads and limbs and even making entire bodies disappear in showers of crimson. Quick, visceral knife stabs to the neck and chest areas are depicted in close-quarters combat, along with over-the-top blood effects. Some narrative sequences -- including one set in a concentration camp -- include scenes of torture, such as a knife carving into a man's back along his spine.

Sex

Two scenes depict the act of sex between consenting partners -- including rhythmic movements and moaning -- but stop short of nudity. Posters in the environment show women dressed in revealing garments.

Language

Very strong language can be heard throughout, including the words "f--k," "s--t," and "c--t."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The player's character is forcibly injected with an unnamed drug that makes screen grow blurry. 

Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Wolfenstein: The New Order is an extraordinarily violent first-person shooter intended for mature audiences. Its weapon-based combat depicts human enemies being violently torn apart by a variety of guns, leaving mutilated corpses on blood-stained ground. Strong language can be heard throughout the game and a pair of non-playable narrative sequences depict the act of sex, though without showing any nudity. The game's hero is perhaps more thoughtful than one might expect of such a game, and the story dives into some surprisingly philosophical ideas concerning discrimination and free thought, but this is unquestionably an interactive entertainment designed with adults in mind.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

The franchise that invented first-person shooters more than two decades ago returns with another Nazi-slaying adventure in WOLFENSTEIN: THE NEW ORDER. After kicking things off with a grueling mission set near the end of the Second World War, the game jumps forward to a dystopian, alternate-history 1960 in which the Germans have long since conquered the globe, subjugating "impure" people with their advanced military might. Counting himself among the world's final fragments of resistance is series hero B.J. Blaskowicz, a tank-like Polish American soldier determined to bring down this new Nazi empire. Embarking on a journey that takes him from the heart of Berlin to the streets of occupied London, "Blazko" works tirelessly to bring down the mastermind behind the Nazis' power: The villainous Aryan scientist Deathshead.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a curious and unexpected mix of old-school shooter action and some surprisingly big philosophical ideas. Combat proudly and stubbornly embraces classic shooter ideals, with firefights generally eschewing sneakier tactics in favor of gory full-frontal assaults. There are occasional stealth sequences and infrequent nods to modern gaming in the form of weapon and ability perk systems, but make no mistake: This is a game intended for players who harbor a soft spot for mid-1990s first-person shooters.

And yet lurking within this obstinately retro game is a surprisingly progressive narrative unafraid of tackling some difficult concepts. From a scene in which a Jewish engineer digs into the differences between Nazi absolutism and religious faith to a lengthy metaphysical tirade in which a woman suggests all actions are determined and that our lives are composed of a series of segmented, disconnected consciousnesses, gamers may be surprised to find themselves still thinking about some of The New Order's concepts long after they've finished playing. It's not without its problems -- the story offers far more questions than answers, for starters -- but it certainly makes for an unusual and memorable stew of a game.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. In your mind does it matter whether bloody, brutal violence is directed at humans, zombies, aliens, or fantasy creatures? Would you be any less affected seeing a goblin slain with a sword, for example, than a person killed with a gun?

  • Families can also talk about the Second World War. Do you think the sort of discrimination fostered by the Nazi party could take root in a modern culture? What might be done to prevent this?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Price:$59.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Bethesda Softworks
Release date:May 20, 2014
Genre:First Person Shooter
Topics:Robots
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

This review of Wolfenstein: The New Order was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bybrucen1 February 7, 2015
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Cool but violent

wolfenstein is a good game but very violent. It has a lot of blood and gore and swearing but you can skip the innapropriet scenes. I got this for my 13 year old son and he loves it. Sometimes I play it or I'll just watch home play. The swearing is very strong but if your kid is like 12 or older he should know not to reappear these words.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byTADP0LE January 27, 2015
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Interesting... but definitely not for children

A fun first person shooter, it is interesting and creative. As well as highly controversial as it is set in an alternate 1960s where Nazi Germany won WWII... Many Nazi war crimes are shown in the game... Including intense human experiments and torture... During gameplay the player can kill thousands of Nazis with all sorts of weapons, often resulting in gruesome results... Enemies can be blown apart and a lot of blood as well as more gruesome things will be shown... There is also a sex scene, though no nudity is shown...This game is really not meant for children, don't even consider it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old January 21, 2015
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Amazing game

I've played about 75% of this game and it's not too bad. The weapons feel AMAZING, the enemies just explode EVERYWHERE. You use a variety of weapons to shoot your way through from sci-fi weapons to regular 20th century weapons. This game is about shooting, shooting, and shooting. There is also two minor sex scenes, but no nudity is shown. I would say that if your child is mature enough he can play this game. You kill old Nazis, new Nazis, ugly Nazis, robot Nazis, crazy Nazis, moon Nazis, big Nazis, and small Nazis. This game is about killing Nazis.
What other families should know
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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