Unrelenting pace makes up for some flaws in Wolfenstein spin off
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood stands in stark contrast to its predecessor.
Fast-paced and bombastic, it is nowhere near as thoughtful as 2014's Wolfenstein: The New Order, yet its unrelenting pace makes it a lot of fun in its own right - although it does carry its fair share of flaws.
Taking place during the late 1940's, The Old Blood sees you cast - once again - as B.J. Blazkowicz, back before you saved the world from Deathshead's alternate-history evil.
This time round, you will be infiltrating mountain fortresses, escaping Nazi prisons, and fighting waves of zombies. The Old Blood is set up as a prequel to The New Order, but nothing in the storyline truly feels as memorable as last year's instalment to the series.
Despite the poor storyline, there are more than a few elements of the gameplay that still save this title from the realms of unplayability. B.J's dual-wielded pipes, for instance, are a fun addition.
With one in each hand, they not only allow for some spectacularly nasty stealth executions, with blood gushing out of one end as the other is buried in some hapless soldier's skull or throat, but they open up traversal opportunities, allowing you to use them to scale walls or - by combining them into a single crowbar-style configuration - prise open doors and grates.
Which, of course, makes it even more of a crying shame that The Old Blood doesn't give the player far more license to roam.
Some areas will widen out to offer a larger area in which to skulk and flank your enemy, but the way ahead is - by and large - always rigidly enforced, with only a smattering of secret areas throughout the game to reward the curious adventurer.
There's clearly lots of love and care poured into this release, with plenty of easter eggs and references to past titles to lap up.
It may lack the character and general epic scope of last year's blockbuster title, but as a spin-off it goes above and beyond what many would have expected of it.
wolfenstein: the old blood
PC / Xbox One / Playstation 4