New Wolfenstein game coming May 20, pre-orders to get into Doom beta

A release date has been set for the next chapter in the Wolfenstein series. According to Bethesda, Wolfenstein: The New Order will hit stores on May 20 in North America and on May 23 in Europe. More exciting still, the company says folks who pre-order will be allowed into the beta for "the next DOOM game."

Bethesda has also released a fresh trailer for The New Order to mark the occasion. The three-minute clip introduces the game's main characters, including a love interest, a Scottish person, an ugly Nazi, and an ugly Nazi with an eyepatch. Oh, and B.J. Blazkowicz, perpetual hero of the Wolfenstein series, who looks and sounds an awful lot like Brad Pitt's Aldo Raine from Inglourious Basterds this time around.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is based on the same id Tech 5 engine as Rage, and it takes place in an alternate, The Man in the High Castle-style version of the 1960s following an Axis victory in World War II. The game is being developed not by id Software, but by Swedish studio MachineGames.

Now, what about that Doom beta? There's a FAQ about it on this page, but it says nothing yet about when the beta will begin, what platforms it will target, or what content it will include. Bethesda merely promises to provide that information "at a later time."

Previously known as Doom 4, the new Doom game was announced almost six years ago, and it's been in development at id Software ever since. Last year, Kotaku revealed that development was rebooted in late 2011, following the completion of Rage. "When Id's management finally did look at the game," the site said, "they decided that it didn't live up to their expectations." id Software's Tim Willits later told IGN, "[Doom] did not have the soul, it didn't have a personality." id has now had more than two years to work on the rebooted project, so I hope it turns out well.

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