Wolfenstein is an old series of first-person shooters that had a reboot a few years back. This title, The New Order, takes place in a scenario where the nazis have access to strangely advanced technology. In a few words, you travel through levels killing everyone in your path, having to use stealth sometimes and performing tasks like deactivating enemy cannons, finding bombs… It’s a fun game but is it accessible?
I played for about 4 hours on PC using mouse and keyboard and these are my thoughts.
The game options related to mobility are in the Controls tab.
In the main screen of this menu you can disable the controller, invert the vertical mouse look and adjust Mouse Sensitivity. This sensitivity affects both in-game gameplay as well as menu navigation. Mouse Smoothing works to make the movement smoother but can add input lag. This game doesn’t like VSync so I found no real use for it. On the bright side we have toggle options for Aim, Sprint and Crouch. These are always welcome and should be a standard.
Key Bindings allows to remap all the keys with the exception of the mandatory Escape key for menus and Enter to proceed. The key binding is pretty good, you can bind up to three different inputs per action, including extra mouse buttons and even mouse wheel up and down. Unbinding certain keys can be problematic, though, such as J or E and if you mess up you might need a reset or even editing config files or using console commands. The number of keys is 33 although many of them aren’t necessary at all.
Controller Options allow to turn vibration on / off, invert vertical look and adjust the sensitivity of both axis separately for looking around.
Controller Layout let’s you choose from four different presets: right handed, left handed Guzman, alt right handed and alt left handed Guzman. Button remapping isn’t available which is a shame.
How to Play
The game mechanics are a very decisive aspect in any game. In this case, the gameplay is simple but has some unfriendly features. Running around shooting enemies is no problem, although I played in the lowest difficulty mode. Stealth sequences are worse, as you need to crouch and lean which isn’t really friendly.
- To move you use the usual WASD keys or whatever you change them to. You control turning, aiming and the camera using the mouse. There keys to look left, right, up and down but they aren’t needed. To sprint you can hold down the direction you want to go and press the sprint key once. Some movements require pressing down multiple keys, like running and jumping, leaning sideways and shooting under doors.
- To aim you can either hold down a mouse button/key or simply tap it and toggle between aiming or normal view. To switch weapons you can press a designated key for each one or cycle through them using the next and previous key buttons. Grenades are thrown by tapping the proper key. Reloading and performing a takedown also use their own keys although you can just empty your magazine and let it reload automatically. When dual-wielding guns you’ll need to press a separate input for each of them.
- To interact with NPCs and the world (opening doors, gathering items, picking up weapons…) you press a key. Some weapons require to hold it for a short time. You also can unlock perks by completing certain objectives like perform a specific number of kills with a weapon. Picking ammo, health and armor need just a tap.
Conclusions and Issues
In most terms the accessibility is okay but I wanna show you a simple but important issue.
The first thing the game does is ask you to press Enter to proceed to the main menu. Let’s say you can’t physically press that key. Maybe you can press it using your on-screen keyboard but since the game boots up in fullscreen mode you can’t do it. And you can’t change the display mode until you pass this title screen. Other games have this type of title screen but allow you to press any key/button to proceed. To put it simply, the main door to the game is a barrier.
Moving on, all menus can be interacted with via mouse. Rebinding is good but a bit buggy with certain keys. Gamepad remapping is only possible by manually editing the config files. Funny enough the game feels like it was designed for consoles and playing with a gamepad but it lacks options. Toggles for aiming, running and crouching are a lifesaver.
Most gameplay is simple but some actions are not easy to perform even for able players. The first occurrence of this is during the run and jump scene in the plane. I fell 18 times until I managed to do it and trust me, it was pure luck. The next comes when needing to slide under enemies or pressing two keys (lean + down) to shoot under a door. These instances feel more like a QTE experience rather than regular gameplay mechanics and can be frustrating. The other major complaint I have is with picking up ammo. You have to tap the interact key for every single bullet and clip. I can understand health can be overcharged and is a more micro manageable resource, like armor, but adding an option to auto pick up ammo is very necessary. You always want as much of it as possible and having to press 20 times the key after a shootout is very exhausting.