Review: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Computer)
- Release Date (NA): October 27, 2017
- Release Date (EU): October 27, 2017
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Developer: MachineGames
- Genres: First-person shooter
- ESRB Rating: Mature
- PEGI Rating: Eighteen years and older
- Also For: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus starts where The New Order left off: William "B.J." Blazkowicz is seen, guts out, bleeding out when the Kreisau Circle comes to his aid, retrieving him from Deathshead's fortress before destroying it with a nuclear cannon. He is then operated on aboard the Kreisau Circle-commandeered Eva's Hammer, a Nazi U-boat where he spends 5 months in a coma.
During that time he has some flashbacks, from William’s childhood to some not so-distant past memories. One of these forces you to make a choice: save Fergus or Wyatt (characters who appeared in the previous installment). This decision will determine which special weapon you’ll have access to for the entire game and also each character will influence the tone of the game. Choosing Fergus will reward you with a more experienced and outspoken companion. This playthrough will also equip you with the Laserkraftwerk, a weapon that fires laser beams which is quite useful for taking down those numerous armored enemies. Wyatt is a more easy-going companion and will provide some more comical scenes during your playthrough. The Dieselkraftwerk will also be unlocked via this choice. This weapon blasts sticky explosives that can attach to any surface and is handy in opening certain doors and hatches.
Fast forward 5 months and the Eva’s Hammer is under attack by those damn Nazis under Frau Engel’s order, who is hell-bent on recapturing Terror Billy. The latter just woke up from his coma and is bound to a wheelchair due to his incapacitated lower limbs. But in true Terror Billy fashion, he’s ready to pick up guns, kick some Nazi ass and look for his other comrades.
Incapacitated legs? Nothing a Da'at Yichud Power Suit can’t fix
That’s when the story unfolds, putting the gamer in a high octane ride where you’ll come across the gruesome murder of a key team member, Blazkowicz’s ensuing depressing thoughts, his literal revival, travel to freaking Venus, the merger of Kreisau Circle with fellow rebel factions and their mission to free the United States and use it as a platform to free the world. Phew! That’s a lot for a ~9 hour game! The aesthetics are there to make the experience all the more enjoyable. The game’s environment and characters are highly detailed and animated in typical Bethesda-esque pseudo-cel shading, offering impressive cinematic cutscenes which are supplemented by on point voice acting. There is also a nice balance between serious segments and more humorous ones that breathes life among the crew. Quite an unusual combination that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus masterfully blends together.
A little party never killed nobody
This opus strongly builds on B.J’s character, often going back to his tough childhood to show the hardships he had to endure with an abusive father. You will witness firsthand Blazkowicz’s character progression from depressed thoughts to a revamped bravado. However, the new characters, albeit seemingly interesting, don’t get the same treatment as Billy and are left feeling quite one-dimensional.
Not only is the plot pretty eventful on the stroy perspective but the game pits Blazkowicz (and the player) in varying conditions from cosplaying as a firefighter, going down tunnels, testing William’s swimming abilities, hijacking cargo trains, go back in time when Billy wasn’t such a terror, to attending an audition session! There are some interesting challenges for the player as well, like balancing between the needing to cool your Venus suit down and killing Nazis while infiltrating their Venusian base or knowing when to Solid Snake your way through or just say f*ck it and go in guns blazing.
To remind you once again that it is a Bethesda-published game, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus boasts features similar to other games from the publisher like Prey or Dishonored . As such you’ll find upgradeable weapons, freedom of exploration, some passive storytelling to flesh out the game’s universe and several routes to reach your destination that allow for your favorite playstyle. Oh and lots of gory sequences.
While there are quite the variety of enemies, the boss fights aren’t much memorable, save for a few like the helicopter battle in William’s childhood house hanging perpendicular in mid-air (if that even counts as a boss fight...). The latter proved to have quite an interesting level design and is easily one of my favorites.
The Upside Down
The side missions didn’t entice me much to invest time in them either. The main plot was much more engaging.Another complain that I have is that several of the other levels are left feeling more of the same; mostly rubble of once a majestic megalopolis that thrived. However, they do set the tone for the post-war, Nazi-dominated world of Wolfenstein.
Accompanying William on his Nazi-killing spree will a generous option of weapons, most of which can be dual-wielded for twice the rampage. Some of the enemies' weapons can even be picked up like machine guns or grenade launchers
if you are low on ammo or feeling particularly stingy. Additionally, you can also crank up the difficulty at will from the easy “Can I play daddy?” to the hardcore “I Am Death Incarnate” should you not be "death incarnate" in every situations...
Definitely not having an orgasm
Oh and like it is customary these days with like any cinematographic experience, stay after the end credits ;)
+ Freedom of exploration
+ Choice of playstyle
+ William’s character development
+ Captivating cinematic sequences
+ Post end-credit extras
- Not memorable boss fights
- New characters not so developed upon
- Not so enticing side missions
- Similar-looking levels
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus has the typical Wolfesteinian play and feel with a typical Bethesda-touch. Its cinematic sequences are captivating and professionally executed, like the game as a whole.
Best enjoyed in fast pace action, this opus also gives the player the option to follow a more stealthy route that works with some effort.
The game lasts for a reasonable amount of time and completionists like explorers will find their fair share. Moreover, stay for the end-credits extra ;)
out of 10
(not an average)
Get ready to kick some Nazi ass in a high octane title starring a revamped Terror Billy, for the father of FPS games is back in action.