BJ Blazkowhaaat? – Wolfenstein Won’t Have Multiplayer

By Nathan Grayson on May 9th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

I might be a Nazi, but even I'm shocked at this development! Also, what's a videogame?

I may sound somewhat incredulous in the headline, but in the 0.2 seconds it took me to hop down here, I had quite a change of heart. Sure, Wolfenstein’s had multiplayer since Return To Castle Wolfenstein in 2001, but only in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory did it ever really shine. 2009′s Wolfenstein, meanwhile, didn’t do anything particularly well – multiplayer included. So maybe it’s best left on the cutting room floor in favor of single-player’s, er, Xbox red ring robots, I guess? The recent trailer did a spectacularly bad job of telling us what it’s actually about, so that’s all I’ve got. But yes, multiplayer’s officially out of Wolfenstein: The New Order.

MachineGames confirmed any and all sorts of deathmatch’s absence to GameSpot. It makes sense, too, given that the developer’s made up of ex-Starbreeze folks. They’ve proven time and time again that they know their way around yarns and characters and Vin Diesel’s magic lightbulb eyes, but splattering brains in a friendly, sportsmanlike fashion? Not so much.

Frankly, I can’t complain. If I started playing playing every already released shooters’ multiplayer right now and didn’t stop until I’d unlocked everything in all of them, I’d get bored really fast and go do something else. Which is to say: there’s already plenty of options, and most of them are pretty much interchangeable. So bravo to Machine for foregoing a tacked-on swing at a ball that got knocked out of the park and into space years ago.

Wolfenstein: The New Order will be out at the end of this year.

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67 Comments »

  1. nothingfaced says:

    Works for me – I rarely play MP and the majority feel tacked on and are pretty piss poor.

    • Susan_Funk says:

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    • riverman says:

      the only MP games I hav eever enjoyed have been community mods like TF or CS, or games that are solely MP but with included CPU bots like TFC or tribes or UT.

      if I wanted to play games with other people, I wouldn’t be sitting alone in my livingroom

  2. ghost55 says:

    Ex-Starbreeze? You now have my attention. Escape from Butcher Bay was fantastic.

    • Incision says:

      Syndicate was not. Frankly, I’m leaning toward the “it’ll be complete shit” probability.

      • N'Al says:

        Except MachineGames is made up of the guys that left Starbreeze BEFORE Syndicate, probably one reason why Syndicate itself turned out so dull.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          Exactly, this game has a lot of the Butcher Bay talent that was missing from Syndicate.

          If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t look twice at this.

      • baltasaronmeth says:

        I never understood the problem with the Syndicate FPS. While it does not come close to be a real sequel to the old game, it is a pretty average, story-driven shooter. The story is not overly stupid, the game looked nice and the overall atmosphere was exactly, what I would have expected: Cyberpunk, rich corporate scenario and a lot of explosions.

        Indeed, it is not better, than most story-FPS, but why is this one so heavily picked on? Another butthurt gamer meme?

        • N'Al says:

          To me, the main problem was that all of the ideas that made Starbreeze’s previous FPS so special to me (hub-based non-linear gameplay, ‘adventure segments’ where you could ‘talk to the monsters’) were completely stripped out in favour of a restrictively linear campaign that was mostly unmemorable – seriously, do you really remember what happened during the campaign? There was Brian Cox, there was a long train, there’s a section where you lose your powers… uh, that’s it, I’m out.

          Syndicate’s biggest fault was that it was exactly as you said: average (a.k.a. competent).

        • sockdemon says:

          Isn’t it the fact that it IS just a medicore shooter that’s the problem? I mean sure there’s a million grey/brown generic shooters in the world, but why tie this into an oldschool RTS game? I mean obvs brand recognition, but in this case it created a backlash among fans of the original.

          To give a hyperbolic example: imagine if the remade Citizen Kane (not that I’m comparing the original Syndicate to it ofc) and in this re-make it fell to all the troupes we’re used to in modern Micheal Bay summer flicks. Right down to the token black sidekick who says “Aw Hell Naw!” at some point.

          We’d be fucking outraged.

          In short, why give it that name? Just call it something else. Ditto XCOM shooter… It doesn’t work like films, if people liked an RTS game and you’re going to remake it, keep it an RTS game. Sometimes I really think that the people at the top of the games industry have no fucking clue what they’re doing or who their market is… Case in point: the new Simcity.

          (Also don’t use the phrase “Butthurt” it makes you look like an idiot and that’s all it does)

          • 2helix4u says:

            Butthurt is a great word, one of the few decent additions to the Queen’s from across the pond.
            Butthurt perfectly describes half the internet at any one time.

      • mseifullah says:

        I just recently finished Syndicate (within the last week) and I don’t understand what all the hate is about (excluding the nonsense of rebooting a beloved RTS as an FPS). It is an absolutely fantastic game.

        The gun play is great, the atmosphere and amoral cast of characters is great, and the “breach” mechanics in conjunction with the enemy and level designs are outstanding.

        Also, the multi-player is good enough to be an entirely separate game on its own; it’s like a cross between Pay Day: The Heist and the best parts of The Matrix films. No, it wasn’t a perfect game (the UI, lore presentation,co-op communication, and bloom could have used a little refinement), but it was challenging, engaging, and fun throughout. I’m actually quite sad that there won’t be more Syndicate in the future.

        Seriously, someone needs to take Syndicate’s co-op component and make it a new game.

        Based on Riddick, The Darkness, and Syndicate games, I believe that Starbreeze’s talent and ex-talent know how to make exceptionally good first-person shooters. I’ve got high-hopes for this new Wolfenstein.

        • soundofvictory says:

          My sentiments exactly. It’s like no one actually played the game.

          The gun play is great, the atmosphere and amoral cast of characters is great, and the “breach” mechanics in conjunction with the enemy and level designs are outstanding.

          Especially this.

  3. Erinduck says:

    Good! If something isn’t important enough to be the primary focus of design, maybe don’t include it!

    • plugmonkey says:

      Well said. My sentimonies exactly.

    • Trent Hawkins says:

      Indeed. I hate game companies that water down the gameplay so that they could shove a multiplayer mode in to the game.

  4. Rollin says:

    PvP multiplayer is a very different thing from single player and co-op modes and usually has very different demands. Even if it’s the same game, I wish they’d sell them separately since I usually don’t touch multiplayer at all.

  5. Strutter says:

    We’re never getting another Enemy Territory are we? :(

  6. DudeBro says:

    That’s too bad. I spent countless hours playing the original RTCW and RTCW:ET, was in a bunch of clans, played OGL, TWL, etc. The MP of the 2009 version was atrocious and I literally fired it up once. A part of me was hoping they’d redeem themselves with this one, but alas…

  7. Incision says:

    Thank fuck for that. Jesus Christ people, there’s more to life than fucking deathmatch.

    Honestly, the creativity exhibited in the average multiplayer game is nil. Counterstrike was the last big advance in cooperative multiplayer and the infinite variations of deathmatch are mindbogglingly fucking boring to anyone with an IQ above 40.

    • Grey Poupon says:

      While I’m no fan of deathmatching either, my view isn’t quite that saturated. Games like Project Reality, the ArmA series and even Pirates, Vikings and Knights appeal to me quite a lot and more than Counterstrike ever did and feel more unique. All CS did that was new was adding objectives. It just did everything it was out to do exceptionally well.

      I wouldn’t consider twitch shooters an inferior game though, they’re just aimed at different folks than me.

      • Premium User Badge

        slerbal says:

        Well put, sir.

        I agree and hugely enjoy thoightful non-twitch games like Arma etc. Twitchy games like Chivalry are excellent games, but they are just not my cup of tea.

      • Premium User Badge

        Cinek says:

        Project Reality, Pirates, Vikings and Knight, what?!

      • sockdemon says:

        I think the point they’re making is: good multiplayer games are designed with multiplayer as the core focus. Single player games that have a multiplayer mode generally suck, as it’s lazily tacked on to add a feature on the back of the box.

      • elmo.dudd says:

        CS didn’t add objectives, it just had them as well. CS popularized contemporary weapons and elimination gameplay in an arcade style. Kind of a slowed down Action Quake 2.

        For good objective gameplay in multiplayer, look no further than rock2 for Team Fortress. Really just the original Team Fortress community.

    • DudeBro says:

      I agree, but you’re barking up the wrong tree as RTCW never had a deathmatch mode. It was one of the first games to be objective based, especially RTCW:ET.

  8. povu says:

    I’ve been told that Wolfenstein 3D was the first Person Shooter.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      You’ve been told wrong then, haven’t you.

      • povu says:

        First Popular Shooter?

        • GallonOfAlan says:

          The first popular one with a lot of the elements that are now standard in shooters.

          • kalirion says:

            Ok, what elements which had not been in the previous & less popular FPS games has Wolf 3D passed on to current first person shooters?

          • povu says:

            Ah, the First Pioneering Shooter.

  9. 1Life0Continues says:

    Good.

    No. Seriously. Good.

  10. Premium User Badge

    DrScuttles says:

    We all remember Bioshock 2′s multiplayer with great fondness.

  11. Premium User Badge

    slerbal says:

    I guess this will be a Blue Monday for the Nazis?

    (I’ll get my coat…)

  12. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    I take exception to Wolfenstein’s multiplayer only shining with Enemy Territory.
    RtCW’s multiplayer paved the way for it and was arguably a purer, more balanced game, more conducive to professional clan play.

    The introduction of an experience system to Enemy Territory created an environment where proper refereed competitive play was harder to govern and inherently unbalanced.
    It also set a worrying precedent, arguably being the prototype of the horrible experience-based systems all modern shooters feel the need to include.

    And on top of that, Splash Damage crow-barred in an extra class where one wasn’t needed.
    Spec ops really had no place in the game.
    Original RtCW’s multiplayer wanted a class-based system like Team Fortress, but also wanted to reduce the number of classes to a minimum so each one had a clearly defined role. So we ended up with a fantastic set of four core classes each with clearly defined roles, all of which were essential to completing the tightly orchestrated team objectives.

    Spec ops in ET stole roles unnecessarily from the soldier and engineer and added “stealth” to the mix, something which arguably always ends up unbalancing games it’s added to.
    I’m not talking about stealth as we know it from Thief, Deus Ex, Hitman et al; I’m talking about that horrible multiplayer implementation where it becomes a superpower, something you can turn on and off with the press of a button.

    Don’t get me wrong; I really did enjoy Enemy Territory. But it didn’t fire the imagination anywhere near as much as RtCW. RtCW was the multiplayer I’d been looking for all my life.
    And unlike certain people who shall go un-named, I was an AWESOME healer.

    Edit: Of course, you can be forgiven for thinking that ET outshined vanilla RtCW MP; it was after all, a completely free download. It’s not really surprising it achieved greater market penetration than its predecessor.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      Totally. That beach assault level was awesome fun. Lots of time I should have been studying in my shared student house spent on that.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Thisity this.

      • Dapper Dan says:

        Agreed. That beach invasion map was brilliant fun. Also the fact there were teams and classes and objectives blew my mind at the time, as my only previous MP FPS experience prior to that was Quake 3 arena. Which imho was shit.

  13. baltasaronmeth says:

    Oh great, every once in a while, they actually leave the parts I care about in a game.

  14. Ajsman says:

    I really wish devs and publishers would leave the old classic games at peace.

    Something like RTCW’s catacombs just can’t be done in this “modern” age where even tanks have regenerative health.

  15. RakeShark says:

    I’m getting a “The Saboteur” feeling from this game’s press roundup. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Good because I liked The Saboteur, bad because I don’t think the style would be matched or improved upon in a game like this.

    • Erinduck says:

      Are we really sure what the game will be like yet, though? I mean, all the Wolfenstein name carries with it is “first person shooter”, “nazis”, and “a bit of the occult.” I can think of a lot of REALLY interesting ideas not entirely dissimilar to The Saboteur’s gameplay style that could fit in there.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      An open-world Wolfenstein similar to what The Saboteur managed to pull off would be amazing.

  16. Iskariot says:

    No Multiplayer?
    So they are dedicated to delivering a good single player experience?
    Now they’ve got me really interested!

  17. Casimir's Blake says:

    Starbreeze: Just make another FPS like Return To Castle Wolfenstein. No really, the same again would be just fine because unlike the banal, mediocre waste of time that was Wolf2009, RTCW had almost no faults at all. It was one of the last decent FPSs IMHO, save for Half Life 2 and its episodes.

    • Dominare says:

      THANK you. I’ve never understood why nobody I knew raved nearly as much as me about the RtCW single player, it was fantastic. Wolfenstein 3D was one of the first PC games I ever played, back on my trusty 286 AX/2, and after 2009′s offering I’ll do my nut if they come out with another dodgy sequel.

      • Premium User Badge

        Mungrul says:

        Almost, but not quite perfect. It has one of the worst examples of an instant failure forced stealth section in gaming :D

        • Dominare says:

          The original Wolf3D had actual honest-to-god mario-style lives. Lose ‘em all and it was game over.

    • Andrew says:

      Hear hear! I loved RTCW!

  18. dmoe says:

    Even more reason to wait for that 5 dollar Steam sale.

  19. cunningmunki says:

    I’m equally disappointed and relieved.

    The multiplayer part of Return to Castle Wolfenstein was my first proper, broadband-fuelled, experience of online, team-based, multiplayer. It was released as a beta/demo to begin with, and developed into a work of pure joy. I played it for years, and then Enemy Territory after that.

    Ah, the memories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTRoWJQS3LM

  20. Monkeh says:

    I cried a little when I read this. RTCW and ET will always remain the best multiplayer games I’ve ever played.

    Here’s hoping Dirty Bomb (new f2p game by Splash Damage, creators of ET) will satisfy my online needs. Though after Brink, I haven’t got much faith in them either (have already thrown 30 bucks at Dirty Bomb though).

  21. engion3 says:

    God damnit. I want a shooter on the idtech5 engine that has multiplayer. I think it would be amazing, that engine feels so goood.

    Not to mention you make a stand alone enemy territory 2, put it on steam at $15 and it will sell like hot cakes for months and months. I just don’t understand why it’s so complicated.

    • dgz says:

      You’re just going to have to wait for Doom 4, then.

      Though I am not much into team games, especially objective-based stuff, a new, stand alone, properly made Enemy Territory for 10-15 euro is going to make money. Who knows, they might do it.

  22. Michael Fogg says:

    Is that a concept graphic from the upcoming game? With stormtroopers murdering the patient of a psychiatric hospital. That suggest a seriosly dark theme to the game, as opposed to the usually comic-book style tone of the Wolf series. Might be interesting.

  23. FreshwaterAU says:

    to each his own I guess, I really enjoyed RTCW multiplayer. that beach invasion, have some good memories on that map.

    I do think though given the current CoD and BF multiplayer machines though it’d probably be a waste of effort unless it was somehow incredibly original.

  24. Lagwolf says:

    I am pleased to read this. Lame tacked-on MP have been the bane of games for quite a while. The single player fan and the multi-player fan are not necessarily the same person.

  25. psyman says:

    Which games are people talking about here with “tacked-on” multiplayer?. I hope it’s not Mass Effect 3 because that has a wonderfully engaging 4-way co-op mode that could have been released as its own separate game. I’ve put more hours into it than even the recent Battlefield games.

    Bioshock 2′s multiplayer is actually quite underrated too and definitely worth a go. Same with Singularity back in 2010. In fact, I struggle to think of a supposedly tacked-on multiplayer in recent times that I HAVEN’T enjoyed, but then again I’ve mostly only played Xbox FPS and TPS games.

    The thing is I don’t enjoy CoD or Halo multiplayer, I find them too focused on just racking up as many kills as possible. There’s not enough depth for me in terms of dispatching foes compared to Battlefield with all it’s gadgets and vehicles, for example. I’d take something like Air Buccaneers over CoD/Halo any day.

    I reckon a lot of this backlash has to do with achievements. I couldn’t care less about them, but some people seem to be driven mad by a compulsion to get every single achievement, which multiplayer would get in the way of.