Wolfenstein: The New Order marks the return of one of the oldest first-person shooter franchises, Wolfenstein 3D, and once again puts player in the role of Polish-American soldier William "B.J." Blazkowicz. The game begins in 1946 with Blazkowicz chasing down his arch-enemy General Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse knowing that if he can kill Deathshead the Nazi war machine will be crippled. His plans backfire however and Blazkowicz is mortally wounded and put into a partial coma. He is rescued by a Polish fishing vessel and taken to an asylum in Poland where 14 years pass as he is cared for by a nurse named Anya. When he finally awakens and saves Anya from the Nazi purge of the asylum, he soon learns that the war has ended and the Nazis won, thus placing the entire world under their rule. Deathshead was instrumental to this victory as he designed vicious bio-mechanical beasts and massive robots to gain superiority in the battlefield while also bombarding the United States with atomic bombs until their eventual surrender. Blazkowicz arms up once again and sets out to reignite the flames of rebellion by freeing his friends from the Kreisau Circle and toppling the Nazi regime!
As with previous entries in the series the game is a fast-paced and violent first-person shooter with some minor stealth and exploration elements. Players can hold several weapons at a time and said weapons can even be dual wielded. The weapons range from traditional weapons such as knives, pistols, and shotguns but later in game there is more exotic gear such as electricity spewing grenades, lasers, bladed weapons etc. You are also given a useful tool called the Laser Cutter, which allows you to cut through chains, fences, etc. to access alternate paths and secret items and areas.
Players fight plenty of Nazi soldiers of varying strength, some wearing power armour and some are even bio-mechanical and blend flesh with technology. There are also bio-mechanical German Shepherds that act as guard dogs and can sneak up on the player to attempt to tear out his throat. In addition there are bigger fully robotic dogs that are extremely fast, lithe, and dangerous. Players have the option of taking a stealthy route and killing enemies silently with silenced weapons and knives that can be used for brutal backstabbing takedowns or can be thrown at enemies in the distance.
At times you will be notified of a Nazi officer in the area. Hunting him down and killing him quietly will reveal areas on the player's map. The game features a perk tree, which will level up based on certain challenges in the game such as killing 10 enemies silently with throwing knives to earn extra knife slots or killing several enemies while your health is overcharged (above 100%) to gain a perk where killing enemies grants small health boosts. These perks come in different categories (assault, demolition, stealth and tactical) and are based around the player's chosen play style.
Also in line with previous games in the series, there are secrets to be collected. These include items that can give you a full map of the area, notes and letters that provide backstory, Enigma Codes which unlock special game modes, and Nazi gold and treasure.