The big new announcement from Bethesda this year was the reboot of the classic Wolfenstien franchise. Working with Machine Games (the team behind Chronicles of Riddick) Bethesda are looking to do a root and branches rebuild of the series and reinvent it for the next generation of gamers.
This time around, the game is set in an alternate reality - where the Nazis won World War Two. Taking place in the 1960s, it again features BJ Blazkowicz, and it again lets you rampage around dealing out death to Nazi scum.
I recently got a chance to get some hands-on with the title and play through one of its mid game missions at E3. In it, BJ is looking for some secret documents that shed light on a mysterious project the Nazis are working on.
It was pretty clear from the get go that the style of the game has changed - not significantly - but enough to give you pause for thought. Machine Games have decided to make Wolfenstien more action adventure orientated, so now there are more puzzles and challenges to work through.
To help you along, they have also introduced a new weapon to BJ's arsenal - a prototype laser cutter that BJ can use to break through thin aluminum walls. Its not necessarily a bad change, but it does create a different experience to the meat grinder shoot 'em ups the series has been known for before.
But aside from this new action adventure approach, the core gameplay mechanic is still much as it was. There are Nazis and its your job to make 'em dead. BJ rampages through fairly linear levels, all the while blasting baddies into paste.
My first impression was that Machine Games need to do a little bit more to refine Wolfenstein's combat. The new setting and chance to relive the Wolfenstien experience will get them some of the way, but more might be needed to really push the game's core combat forward.
The gameplay I had a chance to play through did appear fairly rote - it was just a series of linear rooms filled with Nazis that I had to blow away. Granted, some of them were large spaces where there were several options to choose from, but overall the experience was fairly similar the whole way through.
That's a little disappointing, but Machine Games and Bethesda aren't done quite yet; we will need to wait and see what the final version of the game offers up. That should be sometime near the end of the year. Machine games are hoping for a Christmas 2013 release.
The Good: Blasting Nazis
The Bad: Blasted Nazis
The Ugly: Nazis that have been blasted