- The Washington Times - Monday, May 11, 2015

A one-man army attempts to stop the Nazis from winning the war in the first-person shooter Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (Bethesda Softworks and MachineGames, rated M, reviewed for PlayStation 4, $19.99).

Yes, my Allied friends, acclaimed American Agent William Joseph “B.J.” Blazkowicz is back to stifle the Third Reich in an action-packed adventure taking place in 1946.

The stand-alone game acts as a prequel to the full-length title from 2014, “Wolfenstein: The New Order,” as well as an homage to the original Wolfenstein legacy.

A player once again becomes B.J. and, in the finest of Rambo traditions, kills Nazis through a pair of story arcs (“Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves” and “The Dark Secrets of Helga Von Schabbs”) that play out through eight chapters in and around the legendary research facility and prison Castle Wolfenstein. Heck, Adolf Hilter once stopped by to get a progress report.

B.J will need to infiltrate the creepy and well-protected fortress to steal the coordinates of mad scientist Gen. Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse’s compound and then travel to the village of Wulfburg to stop a female archeologist, the tragic Miss Von Schabbs, from recovering artifacts that could offer the Third Reich access to some unholy, supernatural powers.

The atmosphere and locations really lend themselves to fantastic horror film sets from the days when Universal Studios ruled the genre. Now add a ghastly amount of bloody violence reaching beyond director Robert Rodriguez (“Machete” and “Planet Terror”) gore levels, and a player is gleefully taking part in a 6- to 8-hour Grindhouse movie.

The enemies are vintage and over-the-top evil. You just have to hate Rudi Jäger, a Dolph Lundgren-looking prison warden who lets his pet German shepherds eat the prisoners. The final confrontation with the guy and his ridiculous German accent is vintage.

As far as the action, our hero occasionally has some paths to stealthily avoid encounters, but come on? Wiping out the Nazi scourge of the earth is the only way to attack this game. Do you think I am going sneak around in air vents with those bums ripe for the slaughter? Fugetaboutit.

Nope, I’m wielding duel pistols; duel machine guns; a massive 12-gauge, double-barreled shotgun; and a grenade launcher-like pistol (thanks you Mr. Hitler) when I can and even diving into a primitive mech suit (called a Laderoboter).

Be it marksman, elite soldiers of the Paranormal Division, mechanized pooches, reanimated corpses and even flaming Nazi zombies, I had plenty of opportunities to confront the Master Race head on.

Take the case early on of the cybernetic super soldiers tethered to electrical cables who are guarding the castle while wielding massive Gatling-style, 1946 machine guns.

I often gave them a taste of their own medicine. Recipe: Power soldier down, disconnect him from the grid and pick up large gun to use against his friends. Now fire liberally at the bad guy until he drops to the ground and explodes into pieces. It is quite revolting but very satisfying.

B.J. also has a few other tricks up his sleeve. The primary addition is the use of a pair of pipes to climb up walls (embed their edges into concrete) or wield the pair as a poor man’s set of sais to mess up a foe.

The game also includes plenty of collectibles to pick up, plenty of information to read to embellish the story and challenge maps to allow a player to go back and revisit the more difficult firefights.

Additionally, those who click on a certain decrepit mattress in the sanitarium will gain access to a twisted version of the classic Wolfenstein in all of its 8-bit glory. The player uses modern weapons but exists in the two-dimensional, pixelated universe, a very cool bonus.

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood” builds upon the fine traditions of B.J. Blazkowicz’ intense war with the Third Reich. Considering the price and nail-biting fun, it’s an interactive double feature that mature gamers shouldn’t dare miss.

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