World War II is over, history has been rewritten and times are very bleak indeed, my friend.
The Nazis have won the war and they're ruling the world using laser guns, armies of soldiers in metal suits and giant mechs the size of skyscrapers.
They also have robot dogs. Yes, these Nazis have huge mechanical canines at their disposal.
If you've just woken from a 15-year coma, this is not the first piece of news you want to hear.
But it's good news for gamers who've been hanging out for a new instalment of Wolfenstein, the ground-breaking PC game that has a chequered past but hopes to change all that with its first foray onto next-gen consoles.
Advance buzz for Wolfenstein: The New Order - the ninth instalment of the ultra-violent franchise since its debut in 1981 - has been good.
A new studio, Sweden's MachineGames, is on board, they've dropped the supernatural elements that haunted 2009's forgettable PS3 and Xbox 360 instalment, and with no online or co-op options they've focused on expanding Wolfenstein's story lore and core characters.
Plus, Pete Hines, Bethesda's Global VP of Marketing & PR, says Wolfenstein's main drawcard remains intact: "Shooting Nazis is fun."
"We always joke that shooting Nazis never gets old," Hines says during a hands-on demonstration for media in Sydney.
"They're the quintessential bad guys. You don't have to provide a lot of additional explanation for why they're the bad guys. They're Nazis - of course they're bad."
There's also a nostalgic influence this time around. Many of the latest instalment's developers grew up playing 1992's Wolfenstein 3D, a game-changing PC release credited for sparking the first-person shooter craze, and they wanted to pay tribute to it.
"They wanted to take the game that they loved, but do it slightly differently - a bit of a reboot," Hines says.
"It's not just a one-note shooter - it's got action and adventure elements. They do a lot with character and story, which is not something Wolfenstein has ever really been known for."
The main character, as in all Wolfenstein games, is William "BJ" Blazkowicz, a hardened American soldier who wakes up from a coma in 1960 to find all is not right with the world. Hines says rewriting history was part of the enjoyment for developers.
"It was a lot of fun for them to play with this idea of the cultural revolution of the 60s, viewed through the lens of Nazi oppression. What would have happened to music and pop culture?
"They've put their own touches and vision on it."
Despite the 60s setting, there are futuristic elements to gameplay, with BJ taking on giant Nazi robots and soldiers in mech suits - something that might appeal to those who are still enjoying Xbox One release Titanfall.
"You start the game with a basic pistol or shotgun or assault rifle, but then you start acquiring this Nazi tech.
"That's how they won the war, they uncovered this really advanced technology that allowed them to build all these crazy weapons - and you get to use it against them. Wolfenstein is always known for violent aspects [and] it gets really insane," Hines says.
"Shooting Nazis is even more fun when they die badly."
Five ways this Wolfenstein differs from its predecessors
Fast Forward: The bulk of New Order is set in an alternate rendition of the 1960s where the Nazis rule. After taking some shrapnel to the head during a secret mission, Blazkowitz spends 14 years in a coma in a Polish hospital. He awakens to find himself in a world completely controlled by the Nazis.
Truth And Consequences: During the first chapter, Blazkowitz is forced to choose who will live among a pair of his squad mates. It's unclear what impact that will have on the rest of the game, but the question gives New Order a sense of morality, unlike previous editions of Wolfenstein, where choices consisted of deciding which body parts to shoot.
Rise Of The Machines: New Order forgoes the wacky supernatural elements from prior Wolfenstein games in favor of heavy metal. The brutal Nazi regime depicted here employs all manner of robotic technology, from swarms of deadly soldiers equipped with mechanized suits to massive laser-wielding behemoths that patrol the battlefields. There's even a pack of vicious robo-dogs.
Love And War: Anya Oliwa, Blazkowitz's nurse while he was recuperating in the hospital, is also serving as his love interest in New Order. After rescuing her from drone-equipped Nazi forces, one early mission finds the pair sneaking behind enemy lines with the aid of her gun-toting grandparents.
Regeneration: In a nod to old-school shooters, New Order requires players to scour the landscape and loot victims to replenish health and armor instead of relying on regeneration. If a player's health is maxed out, Blazkowitz temporarily becomes overpowered. The boost lends itself to frenetically running into skirmishes in order to take advantage of the fleeting vigor.
What: Wolfenstein: The New Order
Platforms: PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date: May 20
For Fans Of: Doom, Killzone, Battlefield, Wolfenstein 3D
- TimeOut, with AP