"While I was gone, they set the world on fire. It wasn't a war anymore: it was a remaking. Some losses are inevitable. Some... unthinkable. Now they've built a new world. Armies of steel and thunder. They're rewriting history. But they forgot about me."
— B.J. Blazkowicz, announcement trailer
Wolfenstein: The New Order is the fourth entrynote fifth if you also include Castle Wolfenstein in the Wolfenstein series, developed by MachineGames, a studio founded by several key members of Starbreeze Studios (developers of The Darkness, Escape from Butcher Bay, and Assault on Dark Athena) who left in 2009.It is 1946 and the Allies are losing World War II thanks to a sudden technological leap made by the Nazi regime. B.J. Blazkowicz is sent on a secret mission to assassinate the man responsible for this: Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse. Unfortunately, the mission goes horribly wrong, B.J. suffers head trauma, and spends the next fourteen years in an insane asylum. Come 1960, Blazkowicz awakens only to find that the worst has happened: the Nazis have won the war and now rule the world with their incredibly advanced technology. Blazkowicz joins a La Résistance group, the Kreisau Circle, in Berlin in an attempt to make things right... but how can he win a war that's already been lost?Check the character sheet. Not to be confused with the seminal British indie band.
Recurring tropes from the series include:
Bag of Spilling: Each level resets your inventory, leaving you just a knife and maybe one or two guns.
Easy-Mode Mockery: Just like in the original, the "Can I play, Daddy?" difficulty is represented by an image of very worried B.J. in a baby bonnet and sucking a pacifier. Its description is "Very easy difficulty setting for the spineless gamer."
To a lesser extent, the "Don't hurt me" difficulty is represented with B.J. having a This Is Gonna Suck look on his face.
Gatling Good: B.J. can use mounted chainguns as portable weaponry, though this slows him down and prevents him from switching to other weapons, until he drops it or puts it back.
Ghostapo: Averted. Unlike other inclusions in the series there are no magical creatures or weaponry; evidently, the Nazis decided that their occult research was a waste of funds and channelled everything to Deathshead and his Super Science experiments instead. It worked.
Hyperactive Metabolism: B.J. can still wolf down a bowl of dog food in under a second flat, and by doing so, heal bullet wounds.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Played to the extreme that you can carry two of almost every weapon, for dual-wielding purposes.
Action Prologue: The first mission starts with Blazkowicz and Fergus taking part in an aerial assault of Deathshead's base, followed by an on-foot assault that includes climbing a tower, using turrets to take down hordes of enemies and having to make a Sadistic Choice at the end of the mission.
All There in the Manual: Various newspaper clippings can tell you about the Nazis' accomplishments in various theaters of the war, such as in Russia where (in a rather ironic parallel of the Bolshevik Revolution) the Russian people revolt against the Soviet government after many casualties and losses, or the London Resistance being annihilated by a new Nazi weapon, the London Monitor.
Ambiguously Gay: Caroline Becker has a pinup girl poster in her room but displays no romantic behavior towards anyone in the Kreisau Circle. If she is homosexual, she certainly counts as Badass Gay as well.
Anachronism Stew: The reveal trailer featured an extended "overture" for Jimi Hendrix's cover of "All Along The Watchtower", which, assuming it would even be written in this alternate history, was not even recorded in the real world until 1967; after the prologue, the game starts in 1960. Given that J could not and would not go the way of Nazification like the Beatles, and outright dies if he appears, it most certainly will never be written.
Blazkowicz spends fourteen years in a catatonic state, aware of his surroundings but unable to do anything as he sees Nazis take away the patients.
The same goes for either Fergus or Wyatt if Deathshead dissects either one in 1946 and puts their brain in his prototype robot in 1960.
...And That Little Girl Was Me: Ramona pops into existence out of the left field. It might feel jarring, until the contents of the diary and Anya's words show that she's actually Anya herself.
Artificial Brilliance: The AI controlling enemies is solid, with occasional moments of brilliance. They understand cover, flanking, use grenades, and shoot fairly accurately. Enemies also act according to their roles, with commanders staying back to spawn enemies, and Ubersoldaten closing distance to turn B.J. into Schweizer Käse.
Artistic License - Biology / Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Blazkowicz winds up spending 14 years in a semi-comatose state, aware of his surroundings but unable to move - realistically, a lot of his muscle mass would have atrophied over that period of time, even if physical therapy were used.
At the beginning of the story, Anya and her family, all very well educated, are still alive by 1960. Part of the real life Nazis' plan for Poland was to kill many of Poland's leading minds and specialists in order to subject the Poles to permanent slavery.
The Guard Robots are very similar to the Riot Guard mech suits from Escape from Butcher Bay. They're virtually immune to small arms fire (although sufficient gunfire to their robot eye does eventually bring them down), but they have a weak point on their back which can be destroyed with a single bullet, causing them to shut down and explode.
The Baltisches Auge (Baltic Eye) and the London Monitor can only be harmed by shooting them in the eye.
Klaus' Nazi tattoo is enough for Blazkowicz to start punching him in the face before Wyatt/Fergus explains to him that Klaus is a defector.
Likewise, Blazkowicz does not take kindly to being called a Nazi, even (or especially) if it's to make a point.
Klaus gets mad whenever B.J. is inconsiderate of Max. Also goes the other way around, when the non-violent Max pounds a few Nazis into paste after Klaus is mortally wounded, even after he's been shot himself.
Big Bad: Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse, the inventor of the Nazi's advanced war winning weapons, serves as the main villain of the game.
Those who know German can discern much from the posters. However, more detailed articles that you can find are subject to Translation Convention, even if they're written in languages that B.J. is unlikely to be familiar with, such as Chinese.
Set Roth, being voiced by an Israeli actor, speaks genuine Yiddish and Hebrew. For example, the code rhyme he uses to open the Da'at Yichud vault can be translated as "4-6-3-8, I face the gate". He refers to B.J. as "Shimshon" - which is the Hebrew pronunciation of Samson, a Biblical figure known for his great strength, defender of the Israelis and destroyer of all those who threatened them.
The "...And That Little Girl Was Me" trope is spoiled/essentially confirmed if you know Polish yourself; the cover says "belongs to" and the two letters shown are AN.
The Big Guy: Blazkowicz looks like a heavyweight MMA fighter. Max makes Blazkowicz look small in comparison.
Bittersweet Ending: While Blazkowicz does kill Strasse he is severely wounded and can't walk. He orders his allies to nuke the building anyway, after which he presumably dies
BFG: The Laserkraftwerk◊, the only energy weapon in the game, big, bad, and, when fully upgraded, able reduce Giant Mooks to gibs in one shot.
In the opening level, the first character you explicitly see get shot is an unnamed African American soldier swimming towards you.
Bombate averts this trope by not only surviving the whole game, but also surviving being shot multiple times by Frau Engel during the escape from Camp Belica.
Played straight with J in Wyatt's timeline. He's the first major character in the resistance to get bumped off when Frau Engel and her soldiers find the Kreisau Circle's headquarters.
Bling Bling Bang: Frau Engel has a gold-plated luger which she uses to intimidate you during the card game scene. You can steal it from her safe in the concentration camp, though it's just a collectible and can't actually be used.
Blond Guys Are Evil: Quite common, what with all the Nazi-Aryan ubermensch running amok. However, special consideration must be given to the cowardly, sadistic, boy-toy Bubi, Frau Engel's right hand man and lover. Towards the end, the game takes his cruelty Up to Eleven when he attacks you at Deathshead's compound, drugs you, and prepares to slowly cut you up in front of his mistress for their mutual pleasure.
Body Horror: There are quite a few instances of this, ranging from the horrible facial scars that Deathshead and Frau Engel have, to the merge of flesh and machinery that is the Uber-Soldats and Kampfhunds. The former are actually the least horrifying instances.
Bolivian Army Ending: The game ends with Blazkowicz wounded by Deathshead's grenade and ordering the Resistance to drop the bomb on Deathshead's compound.
Book Ends: The game begins and ends in Deathshead's fortress.
Bond Villain Stupidity: A special mentions goes to Deathshead, who plays this trope surprisingly straight after deciding to kill Blazkowicz by leaving him in a furnace guarded by an Ubersoldat. Granted, he probably didn't expect B.J. and his allies to over-power the Ubersoldat with a single pipe.
But Thou Must: The player has no choice but to be ambushed by Bubi near the end of the game.
When Wyatt lowers you back onto the bridge a second time, staying on the Whisper helicopter for too long will cause a massive Panzerhund to come out of nowhere and destroy your copter. In normal gameplay, the thing's nowhere to be seen when you get off.
Character Development: In the first few games, B.J. was a voiceless, expressionless cipher. In the 2009 Wolfenstein, he's a cocky badass. By the beginning of New Order, B.J. becomes a fatalist wreck with the "thousand yard stare", serious PTSD, and an obsession to kill Deathshead (and Nazis). That's before his squad is wiped out, a comrade dissected, and Nazis take over the world, after which things only get worse for him.
Chekhov's Gun: The shrapnel embedded in B.J's skull, or more specifically the damage to his brain caused by said shrapnel, is implied to be the reason B.J. is able to shake off the massive sedative Bubi shoots him up with.
Clarke's Third Law: Set explains that Da'at Yichud's real technology, not just the Nazi's reverse-engineered imitations, will seem like magic.
The prologue has you infiltrating Deathshead's latest lab with disastrous results. Turns out he's increased security since the destruction of both the X-Lab and his zeppelin.
The Black Guard Elite Mooks from Return to Castle Wolfenstein reappear in The New Order. Just like in RtCW, they can survive twice as much damage as regular soldiers and have better aim and tactical skill. Oddly, unlike the other enemy types they don't get their own entry in the game's database.
Deathshead pilots a giant suit of armor with four chainguns, very reminiscent of the one Hitler had in Wolfenstein 3D. He even uses Hitler's line, "Die, Allied schweinhund!". This boss is listed as Mecha Deathshead, just like the fan nickname Mecha Hitler for the Wolfenstein 3D boss. It's also pitch-black and piloted by a high-ranking Nazi official, just like the Death Knight in Spear of Destiny.
After stealing the stealth helicopters, B.J. asks Caroline how she survived her apparent death in Wolfenstein (2009). She has no idea - all she remembers is Hans Grosse shooting her, an explosion, and apparently being lifted up and out of the Veil.
Crapsack World: This is to be expected since the entire world has been conquered by the Nazis. Let's take a look, shall we?
Africa is slowly, but surely, being conquered by the Nazis. The warfare, terraforming projects, and indiscriminate big game hunting has also caused the extinction of huge swaths of African wildlife.
From what we've heard of the United States, they're not doing so good. The least of which is that New York City is an atomic wasteland and the worst of which are the hints (from J's facial scars and dialogue) that the United States has set up death camps of their own.
Soviet Russia fell and was abandoned by Stalin after he fled and disappeared without a trace. German newspapers/propaganda theorize that he was killed by his subordinates.
The majority of London (Big Ben being one of the few exceptions) has been demolished and replaced with monuments to the Nazi's victory, surrounded by "quarantine blocks": Disease-ridden ghettos that house (imprison) the lower class without power or running water. To top it off, the furious, brutal resistance movement has been destroyed completely by a giant mech, the London Monitor.
A letter from a missionary to the Berlin Church of the Third Reich shows that Nazi soldiers routinely slaughter the indigenous people of South America.
Newspaper clippings apparently made by the French resistance imply they're still fighting, despite twenty years of Nazi-occupied hell.
One of the trailers shows a German referee executing a Brazilian football player - because he made a play that ended in one of the German players having a scraped knee.
Even Berlin, the heart of Germany, isn't a nice place to live. During the quest to retrieve the welder for Set Roth, you can overhear a woman reporting her neighbor's son's odd behavior. His heinous crime... trying on his mother's lipstick. So if you're a sexual minority you can count yourself among those targeted by the omnipresent Nazi regime.
Disability Immunity: The shrapnel embedded in Blazkowicz's head ends up saving his life near the end of the game when Bubi injects him with a tranquilizer. The reason he wasn't paralyzed was because the connections in his nervous stem were screwed up and the poison wasn't able to block the signals in his brain, hence why Bubi blurts out, "There must be something very wrong with your cerebral cortex!"
Dolled-Up Installment: To an extent. As noted in the Rooster Teeth video in the trivia section, the game was originally supposed to be a separate game all on its own. But when MachineGames couldn't get it off the ground, they settled on taking the Wolfenstein brand instead, taking most of the ideas from the original project and transplanting more or less of those into the game we see today.
The Dragon: While they are never shown together, a set of photos in the Kreisau Circle's base implies that Frau Engel is this to Deathshead. B.J. even refers to her as "Death's Apostle" when viewing her portrait in the concentration camp.
Dragon-in-Chief: While a Führer is mentioned several times (who is implied to still be Hitler after a German soldier says, "Heil Hitler"), all indications point to Deathshead being the one who's truly in charge of everything.
Dramatic Thunder: The final battle against Deathshead is this. Deathshead even says that he gets his shield from the storm.
Deathshead: You attempt to weaken me. But my shield draws its power from the storm itself. I channel from Asgard!
In Fergus' timeline, Tekla manages to kill thirteen Nazi soldiers with nothing but pistols before they get her — and that's not counting the seven she got before this, which actually upsets her because it throws off her "model". It would have been a regular Moment of Awesome if she'd escaped with B.J., but she insists this is supposed to be her last day.
In Wyatt's timeline, J, fed up with all of the running and silence he's had to deal with his life, cranks his music to its loudest and blares "The Star Bangled Banner" for all of Berlin to hear, enough to make the (solid concrete) ceiling shake.
In both timelines, the resistance portion of the game starts off with Bobby driving a Car Bomb directly into one of the most fortified buildings in London to give B.J. an opening to enter, and near the end Klaus rams his car off the bridge to squish a pair of Nazi soldiers before being shot to death in the passenger seat, triggering Max Haas' Berserk Button.
A minor one, but in the asylum, one dead nurse in the background lies in a pool of her blood with a shotgun at her side. A few feet from her lies the Nazi kommando with his head blown off.
Elite Mooks: The black-armored Deathshead Commandos are tracked separately from regular Nazi soldiers in the game's statistics page, but actually aren't any tougher than the regular Mooks. In contrast, the heavily-armored Riot Guards and Black Guards encountered later in the game can survive twice as much damage as regular soldiers, and have better aim and tactical skill.
The End... Or Is It?: During the end credits, the music fades out as the sound of an approaching helicopter starts fading in. Whether or not it is a Sequel Hook remains to be seen, though.
Frau Engel and Bubi. This is really highlighted at the end, when you kill Bubi in front of Frau Engel, who is watching over a video phone, screams and storms out of view.
Bubi: This woman is my life, you understand? My everything. Warm blood. The smell. It sickens me. But I would do anything to see her smile.
Deathshead will taunt you during the final battle as you blow up zeppelins providing him with a force field by remarking that they were full of men who had wives and children. His tone is, however, more mocking than condemning.
One of the Nazis you can come across complains about his kid getting a respiratory illness from the mold that's starting to show up in the concrete.
When you assault the bridge, you can see a Nazi drag a comrade up from over a ledge, and another desperately trying to perform CPR on a squadmate.
Even Evil Has Standards: In the intro, the soldiers protest their commander from killing the staff, saying they're not supposed to purge them. By then, it's too late to stop them.
Evil Old Folks: Both Frau Engel and Deathshead are well past their best years. The latter was already pretty old when introduced in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, a game taking place in 1943. The game site lists his age (presumably ca. 1960) as 100.
Excuse Plot: Averted, unlike previous games in the franchise. The fact that trope was averted was something that caught critics off guard and its storytelling chops wound up being one of the most praised aspects of the game.
Fetch Quest: The interlude missions that occur at the Kreisau Circle HQ are these. Get this folder from the archives, get a sample of some uber-concrete, find a welder etc. These are used to drop little tidbits about life under Nazi rule.
After B.J. returns the welder, he's told to deliver a note to Anya... three feet away from where he's standing. At least he gets some surprise Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex as a result.
Foreshadowing: Newspaper clippings in the Kreisau HQ mention a new type of limestone discovered in Croatia that's perfect for making super concrete. B.J. eventually heads to a concentration camp there to free Set Roth, who's sabotaging the concrete.
Newspaper clippings in Anya's house, as well as a wicked-looking chainsaw (in an area with no trees) and in the Kreisau Circle HQ talk about a serial killer who targeted Nazis. Anya turns out to actually be the hardcore Nazi-slayer serial killer in her "cousin's" diaries she supposedly found.
Gameplay and Story Integration: Some of the concrete barriers scattered throughout the game get destroyed more easily than you'd expect, particularly since it's a super-concrete the Nazis developed. This could just be in the name of destructibility, but not only is it justified (mold is growing inside the concrete, weakening it), the justification becomes a plot point. After analyzing a moldy sample of concrete and comparing it to the Da'at Yichud's original plans, Anya determines that someone in the know is sabotaging the concrete, providing a potential ally. Since only the Da'at Yichud would know how to make the concrete, that someone must be a member, and would be a great help against the Nazis, since all of their super-science is reversed-engineered from the Da'at Yichud's even-more-super-science.
The game shows a remarkable degree of this. In Wyatt's timeline, when escaping from Eisenwald Prison in game, Wyatt knocks over a Nazi loudspeaker with a brick. He takes the loudspeaker with him, which can be seen in his hands throughout the rest of this levels cutscenes and gameplay. When you reach the Kreisau base, you learn Wyatt was keeping the loudspeaker with him to give to J. It's quite impressive continuity.
Genre Throwback: For old school FPSs, with things ranging from big levels to health packs to multiple weapon pick-ups, though there is a bit of new school thrown in, like semi-regenerating health and a "cinematic" focus on the story. You can collect heart containers and complete side-objectives to earn perks, but these won't do much good without scrounging up weapons and tactical thinking against the giant robots.
Giant Mook/Heavily Armored Mook: Heavy soldiers and Ubersoldats. Heavy soldiers are your standard FPS heavy armor/juggernaut type enemy, while the Ubersoldats are outright mini-bosses. The 1960 versions of the Ubersoldats have titanium armor that renders small arms fire almost useless against them (although energy weapons and explosives still work fairly well).
Glasgow Grin: Part of Deathshead's scarring from the zeppelin crash.
Gorn: A staple of the series. Using the Automatic Shotgun almost always send limbs flying, and the Laserkraftwerk always explodes regular mooks into fleshy gobbets of meat.
Gory Discretion Shot: Whatever B.J. did to the Nazi, Keller, in Anya's basement involved a chainsaw and was too gory even for this game. Whatever was left of him, it was definitely headless, according to a news report.
After choosing the fate of either Fergus or Private Wyatt, it's not shown what happens. Averted at the end, where B.J. has a flashback to the character's fate.
Guns Akimbo: Exaggerated. There are a couple of laser weapons which double as cutting tools; you only come across one of them each in the campaign. You can dual wield everything else, including massive shotguns, assault rifles, and scoped DMR rifles. However, you can't mix-and-match. Also, it takes twice as long to reload dual-wielded weapons, as B.J. reloads them one at a time. You can cancel the second gun's reload by opening fire, but you'll do so with only the one.
Handicapped Badass: Back in the 2009 installment, Caroline Becker got her pelvis shattered along with six vertebrae, paralyzing her below the waist. She's wheelchair-bound by 1960. This hasn't stopped her from kicking ass. She pilots helicopters, hang glides into a heavily guarded Nazi airbase, and towards the end, she gets whats essentially a Da'at Yichud Iron Man suit and starts throwing down.
Harder Than Hard: Uber difficulty. Enemies deal 2.5 times as much damage, and have better situational awareness in stealth segments. For additional challenge, there are the unlockable game modes which are Uber with additional handicaps, such as having no HUD or an iron man mode where you have to restart the entire game if you die at any point.
He's Back: After spending fourteen years in a loony bin, all it took to bring B.J. back was the kind care of Anya and a Nazi pointing a gun in his face.
Heel-Face Turn: Klaus Kreutz was once a proud Nazi, tattoos and all. But when his child was born with a club foot, both his wife and the child were murdered by the secret police. After that, he joined the Resistance and became a father figure to Max Hass.
Every stealth kill's also accompanied by strange, eerie noises that almost resemble a drawn-out Scare Chord.
The Mecha-Mooks talk in extremely distorted, deep, and near incomprehensible German.
The Hero Dies: They fudge it enough to leave the possibility of a sequel, but the ending definitely makes it look like B.J. goes out in a nuclear blaze of glory. Anya's Take Up My Sword moment in the ending indicates that she could be the protagonist of the next Wolfenstein game instead of B.J., although (as the example set by the Thief series shows), this is far from a given.
Historical In-Joke: The Russians lost to the Nazis when the Russian people revolted against the Soviet government after a large number of casualties and military defeats in a rather ironic parallel of the Bolshevik Revolution back in World War I, complete with the "disappearance" of the leader.
The United States was defeated when the Nazis dropped a nuclear weapon on one of their largest cities and forced a surrender from the government, with Hitler stating it was necessary to avoid a protracted land invasion that would supposedly save millions of civilians and soldiers alike from the horrors of war. Sound familiar?
Britain is defeated after a protracted air war, a nod to the Battle of Britain. Except this time, it didn't go so well for the Brits.
Mass surveillance, police informants, and spying on your neighbors is encouraged in Berlin. The same thing happened in East Germany until the fall of the wall.
B.J. is already Made of Iron considering all the many crashes he survives, but he seems to have a bizarre immunity to knife wounds in particular. Such as when The Knife tortures him or when Bubi injects him with a tranquilizer and stabs him in the chest, he is barely affected and keeps on trucking.
One of the enemy melee moves is to stab B.J. multiple times in the shoulder. Although it looks like it should be fatal, it often only results in a negligible loss in health.
The move for blocking enemy melee attacks is getting their knife, jaw, or baton impaled on B.J.'s wrist so they can't move. The look of shock on the enemy says it all.
Deathshead rants about how non-Germans thrive on evil and destruction and how empathy and compassion are all lies. Yet, he tries to guilt-trip B.J. when he takes out the zeppelins by saying there were hard-working men with families on them. Riiiight...
Industrialized Evil: Prisons have big automated machines for tattooing serial numbers on prisoners and sewing a block patch on their shoulder in an instant, and overall the Nazi architecture is overwhelming you with nasty concrete and steel structures.
Informed Ability: The Deathshead Commandos are referred to several times as the absolute best soldiers in the Third Reich, yet in-game they're among the very first enemies you fight, and aren't any tougher than any other Nazi soldier. Later in the game you fight Black Guards, who also dress in black but are equipped with heavier armor and actually are tougher and more skilled than regular enemies. Oddly, they receive no mention in the game's story or background material.
It's all relative. B.J. is a veteran of the horrors of World War II, far outclassing Deathshead's men. The Commandos are the best, yes, just not against B.J..
In-Series Nickname: At this point, Deathshead's real name barely gets referenced, and even his underlings call him that when he can't hear them.
Deathshead: You call me "Deathshead"... I don't like it. I'm a happy man. You see?
In Spite of a Nail: "Die Käfer" is a popular band that consists of, "four Englishmen from Liverpool in Nazi-controlled Great Britain," who were faced with the choice of either singing in German or getting banned by the Nazi regime. They chose to continue their career, but they are rumored to lace their lyrics with subtle anti-Nazi sentiment. Oh, and their latest album is named Das blaue U-boot (The Blue Submarine). Think can you guess the band's English name without translating it?
Other bands, like The Animals, survived under the Nazi rule - at the very least, they've been covered by some sort of German propaganda company that makes German folk versions of popular hits.
The first man to walk on the moon has the surname "Armstark". Try to guess what that translates to. Give up? It's Armstrong.
Instant Seduction: On the train to Berlin, the scene cuts from Blazkowicz and Anya (who previously didn't do much beyond look at each other in the previous mission) talking about possibly sharing a bunk, to them mid-coitus. However, it was foreshadowed that Anya had already taken a liking to Blazkowicz when he was in a comatose state. There's also some dialogue indicating it's Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex after all the insanity the two of them have been through in the past couple of days.
Instant Waking Skills: When B.J. regains his wits after fourteen years of catatonia at the mental health facility, he realizes his legs feel "like jelly" and he has a massive headache. But within 90 seconds, he can still run, jump, and shoot at the top of his game like it's 1946, and is strong enough to cut a Nazi's throat wide open.
There's also Deathshead's speech to B.J. at the end of the game. He claims that he built a civilization (no mention of using the Da'at Yichud technology) and that B.J. and the resistance are just mindless apes trying to tear it down for the sake of being destructive, and even has the nerve to ask you why "your kind thrives on cowardice and evil."
Jerkass Has a Point: While J isn't normally a jerk, his rant to B.J. about how back home, before World War II even started, white Americans were the Nazis, just not as bad. B.J. doesn't appreciate the comparison, but even if the war had gone the way it was supposed to, J would still be right.
Deathshead's first appearance, appearing through a window and grinning in a room that you had just been in.
The Panzerhunds do this several times through the game, usually by suddenly blocking off exits or chasing after the player as they gnash their fangs.
The Knife ambushes you after you sneak into Camp Belica's guard barracks.
Near the end of the game, Bubi ambushes and stabs you with a tranquilizer as you climb up a short ladder.
Karma Houdini: Frau Engel is in Berlin when the resistance attacks Deathshead's compound, and thus survives. She's clearly traumatized by Bubi's death, however.
Karma Houdini Warranty: After seventeen years in-universe and thirteen years in real life, B.J. finally gets to kill Deathshead, although he may or may not have sacrificed his life to do it and technically Deathshead commits suicide rather than B.J. actually finishing him off.
Made of Iron: Over the course of the game, B.J. survives several explosions and crashes and gets stabbed multiple times by the likes of The Knife and Bubi; all of this only slightly inconveniences him. Even at the end he's largely intact after a point-blank grenade explosion that was enough to reduce Deathshead to gibs. Max also gets an honorable mention for continuing to fight on like nothing happened ever after being shot several times by Nazi stormtroopers.
Max Hass survives several machine gun barrages during the assault on the Kreisau Circle HQ, a burst of heavy caliber fire to his chest, and still manages to make his way, unarmed, to the helicopter bay, looking no worse for the wear.
Moral Myopia: Deathshead berates Blazkowicz for causing wanton death and destruction, completely oblivious to the far more horrific death and destruction he's responsible for himself. At one point, he belittles the resistance for being sub-humans unable to comprehend that he has created a great civilization as they scramble to tear it down, ignoring the civilizations subjugated to make room for it. Even going as far to say he, the knight, cannot lose to the murderous villain, B.J. And all his posturing of Nazis being a superior race and culture is utterly debunked by the fact that all of the technology used to win the war comes from Da'at Yichud, a sect of Jewish scientists. Talk about the ultimate hypocrisy.
More Dakka: Dual wielding Assault Rifles or Shotguns can provide a nice stream of gunfire, but if you want more bullets to waste on Nazis, use the detachable turrets.
One of the perks requires you to get three kills with dual assault rifles without releasing the triggers.
Morton's Fork: Regardless of whether you choose Fergus or Wyatt to be dissected, the survivor chews you out for it later on - you can't win either way.
Mushroom Samba: In the timeline where Wyatt is alive, Blazkowicz has a brief one after dropping acid courtesy of J.
My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Compared to Wyatt or B.J., J doesn't have much patriotism for America, given his rather bitter if valid gripes about how blacks were treated by whites. On the other hand, he goes out playing ''The Star Spangled Banner" loud enough for all of Berlin to hear.
In the prologue mission, Fergus Reid hopes there aren't "Nazi mutant fuckin' frankensteins" - likely referencing a certain enemy from Wolfenstein 3D or Return to Castle Wolfenstein, where Deathshead built the horrifying and mutated Lopers and proto-Ubersoldaten. Although given that they do run into Deathshead's latest experiments in the same level, this might be closer to foreshadowing...
The first four difficulty levels are the same from the original, and the Uber difficulty has B.J. making the same Slasher Smile face that he made for "I am Death Incarnate" in Wolfenstein 3D.
The all-white uniform worn by Deathshead's chief scientist is identical to those worn by the Officers/Lightning Guards from Wolfenstein 3D. Alternatively, it may be based on the very similar uniform worn by Mission 4 boss Otto Giftmacher, due to both being high-ranking Nazi scientists.
The Da'at Yichud fills the same role as the Golden Dawn from Wolfenstein (2009): An ages-old secret order that hides itself from society and uses magic (in the Da'at Yichud's case, tech that might as well be magic), who (at first reluctantly) serve as the Kreisau Circle's allies.
Ubersoldaten armor pieces fall off the same way they did in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, except now, you can pick them up.
Neglectful Precursors: It seems like the Nazis got their war-winning tech on account of this at first, but it turns out Da'at Yichud were perfectly willing to break their vow of secrecy and were in the process of giving their technology to the Allies so they could catch up once the Nazis stole it, but the Nazis were too fast for it to be of any help.
Frau Engel proves to be a lot tougher than she looks. Even having her jaw crushed and being tossed off a cliff by a robot does not stop her from gunning down escaping prisoners while dual-wielding assault rifles.
No Ending: The game ends with a heavily wounded Blazkowicz giving the order to nuke Deathshead's compound... then it cuts to black.
New Game+: Upon completing the game, you can import all of the perks and weapon upgrades you've gained over the course of the game. In order to do this, you must select from the chapter listing rather than selecting New Game. If you do that latter, then you restart with all of your goodies gone.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Bubi inadvertently saves your bacon at least twice; at the train his come-ons distract Engel long enough for B.J. to make his exit (if you wait around, her guards will warn you to flee while she's preoccupied before she comes up with another "game" to play), and in the concentration camp he has B.J. pulled aside for work detail because he looks familiar (Engel wanted to just liquidate him, reasoning that his large size meant he'd use up too much food).
Nonstandard Game Over: If you fail to choose either Fergus or Wyatt when you're captured by Deathshead in the prologue, the Supersoldaten holding you all down kill everyone, B.J. included.
Not in This for Your Revolution: Subverted. Set Roth blows off B.J. when he's tracked down, saying the Da'at Yichud want nothing to do with outsiders, but he changes his mind quickly.
Not So Different: J explains that he has little sympathy for the fall of America as an institution because of the racism of the time period, noting that from his point of view, the white American government and its enforcers were essentially Nazis before the actual Nazis came into power. Blazkowicz does not appreciate the comparison.
Obvious Beta: Came out with a massive Day One patch, and the PC version still had a lot of problems running on AMD graphic cards. Has the same texture pop-in problems Rage had (though not quite as glaringly obvious as Rage was), an issue with the Tech 5 engine that's never been solved by Id almost three years after the earlier game came out, and framerate is often uneven. A little tinkering with the graphical options (a few effects do not improve the visuals much while being resource hogs, and texture problems are reduced by setting an higher FOV) makes things good even on mid-range systems, although it's still evident the PC version wasn't tested enough before release.
Older than They Look: B.J. doesn't seem to have aged much if at all in the fourteen years between the prologue and the main game, which is kind of silly when you notice that he didn't experience any atrophy for his (considerable) muscles. In contrast, Caroline Becker clearly looks much older than when we last saw her.
One-Hit Polykill: One of the upgrades to the Laserkraftwerk allows any regular German soldiers in the scope's sights to be killed in one (multi)blast.
Optional Stealth: There are a few segments of the game where, rather than gunning down every Nazi you see, you have the option of sneaking around and backstabbing them one-by-one. Killing commanders this way, for example, will keep them from summoning reinforcements. You have a number of unlockable tools to help, such as pistol silencers and throwing knives, as well as a full perk tree. However, the game doesn't penalize you if you forgo this route.
Orcus on His Throne: The game is heavy with Deathshead's presence; his image appears on the loading screen for every single level, and pre-recorded speeches by him are being broadcast throughout the game in Nazi facilities. However, he only personally appears in the game's first and last levels, and isn't directly involved in the game's plot at all until the finale. Justified in that the war is long over and he's busy creating weaponry to help subjugate the world; by the time the resurgent Resistance's actions become public enough to get his attention, they're already knocking on his front door with a nuclear submarine.
Pet the Dog: An optional sidequest has B.J. finding some of Max's lost toys and leaving them on his nightstand. Later, he can find one of the concentration camp survivor's lost wedding ring.
Pseudo Crisis: While posing as a scientist and infiltrating the Nazi moon base, B.J. goes through a scanner, which suddenly beeps in a manner similar to an alarm. The Nazi manning the scanner notices that B.J. has some shrapnel in him... and assumes B.J.'s a war vet, congratulates him on his service, and sends him on through.
Pokémon Speak: Max Hass, the mentally-disabled man under the resistance's care, only ever says his own name.
Politically Incorrect Villain: In contrast to Wolfenstein (2009), where the most inflammatory comment is a remark about the swastika flying "proudly" over the White House from Deathshead, all of the villains in The New Order have embraced this trope completely. Just take a look at this line:
Deathshead: I am a liberator! No longer must we serve the filthy parasite. No longer need we gaze upon his waddling gait polluting the purity of our bloodline. No longer will we tolerate his primitive brain and violent impulses. Oh, terrorists. Do you not see that my cause is just? Do you not see that there is no place for you in this world?
Press X to Die: Picking up the gun during Frau Engel's test results in, unsurprisingly, you being gunned down by her giant robot bodyguard. A rare example where Taking A Third Option is the one wrong option.
Of course, she outright tells you before the test that if you try to grab the pistol, you'll be dead before you can use it (and reinforces this statement afterwards). So if you ignore her warnings and try it anyway, there's really only one way to describe you...
Punch Clock Villain: Though major antagonists like Deathshead and Frau Engel are gleefully vile, most of the ambient chatter of the Nazi mooks you come across show them as ordinary soldiers with everyday concerns and loved ones. One of Engel's guards even warns you to leave quickly before she drags B.J. into another "game".
Puzzle Boss: The London Monitor, Prototype Robot, and the first phase of the final boss fight against Mecha Deathshead are all about figuring out how to harm the boss. In contrast, all mini-boss fights and the final half of the final boss fight are straightforward slug-fests.
Removable Turret Gun: B.J. is able to detach minigun and laser turrets from gun emplacements. He moves slightly slower while carrying one and switching weapons would cause him to drop the heavy weapon, but otherwise it can be used as long as it has ammo. Being energy weapons, laser turrets can be recharged at the same stations that power up the Laserkraftwerk.
Repressive But Efficient: The Nazis have built vast super-cities, a giant bridge between Europe and Africa, and even established a base on the moon. By 1960. Even the widespread sickness from super-concrete mold, which you'd expect to be the sort of quality control issue that would occur in a totalitarian system where you can be executed for demanding accountability from those who control the means of production, turns out to be the work of external sabotage rather than incompetence. Granted, much of the technology that makes their civilization so advanced was stolen from a hidden sect of Jewish scientist-monks whose scientific knowledge was several generations ahead of everyone else.
Ridiculously Fast Construction: The Nazis have used their "super concrete" to build megalopolises all across Europe and most of their dominion. Unfortunately for them, the guy who provided them with the formula has been sabotaging it so that over time it becomes porous and moldy and cracks apart like stale cookies. In a few decades everything the Nazis have built will be rubble.
Robot Dog: The Panzerhund and the Kampfhund enemies.
Sadistic Choice: Blazkowicz is forced by Deathshead to choose either Private Wyatt or Fergus to be put to the scalpel, lest he decides to kill both of them (and then B.J.). The one that survives becomes his Lancer in the story while the one who doesn't has his brain put into a robot at the end.
Say My Name: Wilhelm Strasse delivers a unique version of this after he expresses his disdain for the English version of his nickname (Deathshead).
Deathshead: It doesn't sound right in English. Say it... correctly. Toten... kopf.
Schizo Tech: A minor and possibly justified version of this occurs, since all Nazi technology is reverse-engineered from Da'at Yichud, meaning it doesn't have to follow a logical progression.
The Nazis have single-stage-to-Moon shuttles, but instead of using ICBMs to launch their nuclear missiles, they arm a submarine with a nuclear cannon.
A letter found in 1946 mentions the Germans have a nuclear-powered tank. Later in-game info says it took them until 1948 to build a nuclear bomb, and any more refined applications of nuclear energy came later.
Schrödinger's Player Character: The Sadistic Choice described above impacts the game quite a fair bit, and you'll receive different character bonuses depending on whether you choose Fergus or Wyatt. In addition, both timelines have a mutually exclusive character as part of the Kreisau Circle, either J for Wyatt or Tekla for Fergus.
Self-Destruct Mechanism: at least one of the 1960 nazi robots can be dealt with by climbing into the armored transport from which he was released and pressing a Big Red Button. Which results in an explosive self destruction.
Sequel Hook: At the end of the credits, a helicopter's rotors can be heard, suggesting that Set, Anya, Bombate, and the rest of the escaping prisoners may have picked up B.J. before the base got nuked.
Serial Killer: "Ramona"/ Anya, who was responsible for murdering dozens of Nazi soldiers in Poland during and after the war in increasingly violent and grotesque ways.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: B.J. Blazkowicz has elements of this throughout the game. The Wolfenstein 3D flashback level, for example, at first seems like a fun little shout-out but B.J.'s narration about how he's done so much killing and how he'll keeping killing until he dies shows it's a sign of his mental trauma.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Nazis inflict this on the world at large, even turning on the other Axis Powers. By 1960, they've pretty much taken direct and indirect control over much of the world and are in the process of taking care of the rest of it.
The Nazi Lunar Base has a section where B.J. approaches a machine in a giant dome that resembles the Space Jockey telescope and familiar theme music from the film even begins to play.
Many of the cutscenes are reminiscent of the works of Quentin Tarantino, which makes sense considering it is close in tone to Inglourious Basterds. Specifically, the train scene with Frau Engel parallels the mounting tension and dialogue-based suspense of the infamous milk scene from the previously mentioned film. Also, when B.J. first discovers the Da'at Yichud technology at the London Nautica, the cutscene goes to split screen and features over-the-top typography as B.J. spells out the words on a piece of parchment. Finally, the game also has the tendency to cut abruptly to flashbacks (think Hugo Stiglitz or the whipping scene from Django Unchained).
As with Quake, getting your health past 100 will have it slowly degrade back to normal. In addition, Bobby Bram's keychain has the rocket launcher from Quake III: Arena hanging off of it, and the Laserkraftwerk◊ looks almost exactly like Quake 4's railgun◊.
In Tekla's room (you need to play Fergus's timeline), among the countless papers and scribbles on the walls, five spray-painted letters stand out: IDKFA, one of the most known cheat codes in Doom.
If a ringing telephone in one of the buildings near Eisenwald Prison is answered, the caller will ask to speak with Mueller, possibly referencing a similar scene in Fatherland wherein the caller asks for 'Bühler'.
A literary allusion occurs in the last mission when a wounded Blazkowicz partially quotes Emma Lazarus' poem "The New Colossus" in his possibly final inner monologue. The poem was famously inscribed on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty, and coupled with the image of Anya holding up a light to guide the prisoners escaping from Deathshead's compound serves as a rather touching homage to the concept of freedom in an otherwise overwhelmingly oppressive world.
A mentally-disabled giant who possesses immense strength, but dislikes violence, and can only say his own name. Max Hass or Hodor?
Several songs are a take-off on various fifties, sixties and seventies bands: Die Kafer is a mishmash of The Beatles at the height of the British Invasion (with the opening riff being that of Twist and Shout), Karl and Karla references the sixties pop duo of Paul and Paula and is a take-off on "lover far from home" songs of the fifties and sixties, The Bunkers reference The Kinks, The Comet Trailers evokes 50s surf rock (the Beach Boys, especially), and "Zug nach Hamburg" is a reference to "Last Train to Clarksville".
Space Base: B.J. ends up going there, likely becoming the first American in space in the process.
Space Is Noisy: Averted. The exterior sections at the Nazi lunar base are completely silent, aside from impacts on B.J.'s suit or decompressions.
Stay in the Kitchen: The Nazi regime in New Order has elements of this, as indicated by various background conversations and documents. Truth in Television, the real Nazis were highly socially reactionary. Frau Engel is an exception, but her high ranking position was cemented through her ability to effectively run a concentration camp and the fact that she's the only person to survive B.J.'s wrath, and eavesdropping on a conversation she has with Bubi states she thinks women should stay feminine, and boasts of having done her mother's duty for Germany. This is in contrast to the previous Wolfenstein games, which had an entire organization of high-ranking females known as the Elite Guard ordering the lower ranking Nazis around. This trope may account for the lack of Nazi dominatrix officers running around in black latex (in addition to possibly clashing with the game's darker, less sensationalist tone).
This response to a classified ad from a high-ranking Nazi space marine is dripping with this trope:
Ad: "Are you a cute, young girl who likes to cook and clean? Do you have hips suited for bearing many children? Four, five, six, maybe twelve? Are you tired of pursuing your own goals and the pressure of success and you want to settle down as a homemaker?"
Straight for the Commander: German commanders can call for reinforcements if they're alerted to your presence; taking them out unseen is the best tactic.
Stupidity Is the Only Option: During the labor camp stage, B.J. has to retrieve a battery that's crucial to his escape plan. Said battery is housed in a device that periodically throws off sparks and generally looks extremely unsafe. Your only option is to grab the thing with your bare hands, which electrocutes you, knocks you out, and allows the Nazis to find you. Making it even stranger is the fact that earlier in the game, B.J. would not conduct his Jack Bauer interrogation until you found goggles and an apron as "splatter protection".
B.J. doesn't move at all when Deathshead reveals and primes his grenade.
Suddenly Voiced: While Wolfenstein 2009 had B.J. narrate during cutscenes and intel, here, he's fully talkative in gameplay, too.
Suicide Attack: At the London Nautica, Bobby Bram does this with a car bomb to blow a path open for B.J..
Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: So far it's one of the best, if not the best Polish in video games made by non-Poles. Someone even made an effort with properly Americanized accent for Blazkowicz.
B.J.: "Count to four, inhale. Count to four, exhale."
Take Cover: Played with: B.J. can fire around corners, and even lean from one side to another on any turrets he's commanding (rather than stand up straight), but it's not snap-into-cover, and being able to maneuver quickly is a key part in staying alive.
Taking You with Me: Just as B.J.'s about to finish off Deathshead, the latter pulls out a grenade so that they go out together. He succeeds in putting B.J. in critical condition.
B.J. also has a somewhat downplayed case of this when he shakes off the effects of his fourteen-year long coma in a minute. Admittedly, that doesn't qualify as a disability, but after a coma there's usually lots of physical therapy needed to get the person acclimated to using their muscles again. B.J. decides to skip that.
Tragic Monster: Depending on who you spared, either Wyatt or Fergus become a Nazi mecha made by Deathshead himself to hunt you down before the final fight with Deathshead.
The aircraft attacking the Allied bombers in the prologue were quite real, though they were never mass-produced in real life.
The Nazis also had some very lofty aspirations towards space flight and space exploration, including developing a concept for a space plane / suborbital bomber. Like the above example, this didn't get very far before being shelved in real life.
That huge dome you see in that shot of Berlin? That's the Volkshalle, which was an actual plan by Hitler to create an enormous dome to put the Pantheon to shame. It's likely that the 'Superconcrete' was invented by the developers as a way to justify its existence, as the Volkshalle was found to be so ridiculously, stupidly, impractically big that it would have its own weather system.
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Bobby Bram's Suicide Attack is never directly mentioned in the build up to "Project Whisper", although the behavior of some of the Kreisau Circle does hint at it. In true form, the plan goes off (relatively) smoothly.
Unique Enemy: Even though Panzerhunds have their own kill count tracked in the game's statistics page, you only ever fight one in a straight fight, towards the end of the game. All other Panzerhund encounters consist of shooting them from a turret, or trying to run away from them.
Utility Weapon: The Laserkraftwerk starts out only really good for cutting through metal sheets, but if you get enough upgrades for it it becomes a BFG. It also becomes Blazkowicz's signature weapon, and the one gun he always has in later chapters.
Villain with Good Publicity: Due to his key role in winning the war, Deathshead is consistently painted by Nazi propaganda as a war hero and a philanthropist. In actuality, he is a sadistic mass murderer whose charity is a cover to find a stable supply of human beings to dissect.
Warm-Up Boss: The mecha created by Deathshead which is partly controlled by either the brain of Fergus or Wyatt, before you face the man himself.
What Happened to the Mouse?: The O.S.A. (Office of Secret Actions) — the Allied organization from the previous two Wolfenstein games responsible for assigning B.J. Blazkowicz's missions — is mentioned in the first level, but disappears for the rest of the game. However, it's a pretty safe bet that they were destroyed when the Nazis won the war.
We never find out what happens to Anya's grandparents after they successfully smuggle B.J. and Anya into Berlin.
Caroline's radio personnel from the operation in Isenstadt are nowhere to be seen.
Prendergast, the other soldier who escaped with B.J. and Fergus/Wyatt in the prologue doesn't show up again. It's mentioned by Wyatt/Fergus that he initially joined the Kreisau Circle alongside him, only to have died later on a mission.