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- As BJ Blazkowicz, protect your family and friends, forge new alliances and face the demons of your troubled past as you rally pockets of resistance to overthrow the Nazi occupation
- Blast Nazis to bits with high-tech weaponry such as the Laserkraftwerk, the Dieselkraftwerk, or get up close and personal with advanced pistols, submachine guns, and hatchets
- Unleash your inner war hero as you annihilate Nazis in new and hyper-violent ways. Lock and load futuristic guns and discover BJ's new set of abilities as you fight to free America
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Winner of Best Action Game at The Game Awards 2017, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is the highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed first-person shooter, Wolfenstein: The New Order developed by the award-winning studio MachineGames. An exhilarating adventure brought to life by the industry-leading id Tech 6, Wolfenstein II sends players to Nazi-controlled America on a mission to recruit the boldest resistance leaders left. Fight the Nazis in iconic locations such as small-town Roswell, New Mexico, the bayous and boulevards of New Orleans, and a post-nuclear Manhattan. Equip an arsenal of badass guns, and unleash new abilities to blast your way through legions of advanced Nazi soldiers and uber soldiers in this definitive first-person shooter.Battery: no battery used
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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, picks up immediately after the events from the previous game in the series, the 2014 title Wolfenstein: A New Order. As laid out in A New Order, the story takes place in an alternate history wherein the Nazis won World War II and now control the United States. The New Colossus picks up with William shown as battered and broken, being rescued by his comrades and taken back to their stolen Nazi ship, Evas Hammer, to recover. After a few flashbacks, you awaken from your coma to discover that the Nazis have located your position and infiltrated the ship. You then hop into a wheelchair, grab a gun, and roll your way toward killing Nazis and rescuing everyone.
From there you must traverse the broken cities left behind after the Nazi invasion (quote from my fiancé who saw the ruins of New York: “I liked this game better when it was called Fallout.”), killing Nazis and locating Resistance members who will help you to overthrow the Nazi regime. Along the way you will hear ludicrous story exposition and very snarky commentary from everyone who you meet, with strong, diverse personalities. In short, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is less Man in the High Castle and more 70s-era exploitation cinema mixed with the novel The Divide by William Overgard. In short, it is bombastic, over-the-top, and a lot of fun to see play out, even though you know it is insanity. Oh, and Nazi robots with lasers.
Graphics & Sound
The New Colossus looks great, with great light and shadow effects, and great detailing on characters. Each of the supporting cast looks unique and has a great voice actor to go with it, although some of the minor Evas Hammer crew, especially as you recruit more members, start to look more generic over time. Enemy design is colorful, and for the most part varied, though the robot enemies are recycled and there is not a huge variety to them. Nazi Commanders, for instance, almost all wear long black overcoats and Deathshead caps, with minor details swapped out to accommodate the zone in question (such as wearing a gas mask for radiation-infected areas). While this may be a letdown to some, overall it worked for me, with just enough variation to give life to a game that shows a lot of destroyed American cities with few areas that were “whole”.
Sound-wise the game has a heavily rock-infused soundtrack that mixes electronica and Dubstep to keep you ready to kill waves of Nazis. Different mixes happen depending upon the enemies you are about to come across, with a particularly memorable beat happening when the first giant robot is encountered. When you combine the music with the heavy, slow thud of a giant mech making its way for you, it serves to increase tension while also keeping you on your toes as you look around trying to find environmental cover so that you aren’t lasered into a smoking pile of ash. In short, the soundtrack is intense and does a great job of both alerting you to nearby danger while also increasing pressure to not be mowed down by taunting Nazis.
Finally, the voice acting is very well-done in this game, with characters sounding distinct and having their own personalities. Whether complaining about some minor irritation of their own or telling Terror Billy to go to the next place and unleash mayhem, the interaction between the various members of Evas Hammer comes across and both genuine and professionally done. The New Colossus simply nails the sound department and breathes life into this title.
Wolfenstein II uses the first-person perspective and a traditional shooter layout for the controller (note: I played the PS4 version). I experienced no input lag, and in general, any deaths that I experienced were due to my own incompetence as opposed to technical limitations of the game. As for any glitches, I only experienced a handful, with the most notable being a giant robot that simply disappeared one time. I had a few instances where enemies died without me attacking them, and I couldn’t be sure if they killed themselves with the environment, or if the game glitched and detected an attack that I didn’t execute. Either way, these issues were minimal, and I am only commenting on them for the sake of posterity.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus follows the scripted Wolfenstein formula: drop B.J. Blazkowicz into a Nazi-infested area, give him an arsenal of weapons to use, and proceed to unleash havoc upon them. Whether you choose to sneak up on a Nazi and axe him to death, use your rifle for long-distance headshots and set off the alarm to cause them to descend upon you, or opt for the more chaotic grenade-chucking method, there are myriad ways to dispatch your foes, and the game works to accommodate your playstyle.
As for missions, they follow the same general path: travel to the location, kill Nazis, try to kill the commanders without setting off the alarms, collect Enigma codes, recover the objective, return to Evas Hammer and rinse/repeat. While this may seem repetitive, there is enough variation in the environments that you travel to that make each mission unique. Whether crawling around in the ruins of a bomb-blasted city or exploring the airship of a Nazi commander, the level design will quickly dispel any tedium from the repetition in the tasks. There are also myriad mini-objectives, such as completing small quests on Evas Hammer or remembering script lines when you infiltrate a Nazi film studio. All of this prevents the player from becoming bored with endlessly slaughtering Nazis.
As for the actual killing of Nazis, the game has a Perks system that adjusts to your playstyle. If you prefer taking headshots, you will gradually earn mastery points in that skill, allowing you to see better through scopes. The same goes for stealth kills, using grenades, and so forth. Each action rewards you with points for that Perk, giving you bonuses for that action and making Terror Billy a more efficient killer. As for the weaponry, you collect upgrade kits that allow you to modify weapons to add things like suppressors and scopes. However, with all this in mind, the game is balanced in such a way as to keep it from becoming too easy.
For example, while the rifle that you can upgrade with armor piercing does have a scope, there is no suppressor. So, sure, you can zoom in from afar and take out a Nazi or two with a headshot, but you will alert everything in the area and trigger the alarm, and they will zerg rush you. Alternatively, if you use the pistol, which does have a suppressor, you can take out enemies silently, but the range is drastically shorter, and you have a small dot for a target sight. This forces you to use a variety of strategies that combine stealth and wanton mayhem. Of course, you could always trigger the alarm, find an advantageous position, and nuke the mobs as they come to you, as well. The choice is yours.
The enemy AI is fairly aggressive, even on lower difficulty levels, and mobs will universally turn on you if you alert the others. They are also uncanny in finding your location and killing you, all while taunting you in German. Oh, and heaven help you if you run into one of the giant mechs without some sort of cover, or a decent charge on your laser weapon. Those things hurt, especially early in the game when you may not have enough weapon upgrades to be super effective. As for ammo, health, and armor packs, The New Colossus is generous in this department, and there were few times that I found myself without any guns to use. In addition, exploration is rewarded by hiding higher value armor and health kits in out-of-the-way areas, so sometimes taking a few moments to sneak around and look in different nooks and crannies will reward you with the coveted item(s) that you need.
While the main story is not terribly long, there are several side missions, though the task of using the Enigma machine to kill the überkommandants involves grinding Nazi commanders for Enigma code cards. Which, of course, means traveling back to previous mission areas (though to the game’s credit, many are redesigned to reflect the actions of the main story), and killing mobs over and over until you have the 70+ that you need (you get around 55 or so from the main story, so it’s not a huge amount, but between the load times and that, it is a bit boring). This is optional though, and if you simply want to plow through the various difficulties to test your mettle against an aggressive Nazi AI, go for it.
I enjoyed Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. It is gratuitous, violent fun, with a lot of graphic cutscenes and bombastic dialogue. The combat is frenetic, and perfecting my technique of killing Nazis was simply a blast. Whether it is listening to the satirical, often hilarious cutscenes or sitting in silence and listening to two Nazi soldiers griping about the financial state of the Nazi army, Wolfenstein II fleshes out a world that is both humorous and very dark, and I think that anyone who enjoys the Wolfenstein franchise, or even if you are simply a fan of shooters, will find this game to be a fun time.
But here's the thing - I'm so glad I bought this! The combat was even tighter than the first, great graphics, and it had the element the first one was missing - variety. The upgrade system for weapons and abilities and the stealth vs. run and gun mechanic made every level feel fresh. I even enjoyed replaying it (which I'm not usually in to). The story was as over the top as you'd expect from a series the introduced battling a robo-Hitler. The axe throwing was a nice touch. Also - the scored simulator system and the district system added more value. And frankly - bonus points for making a straightforward single player game.
I loved it. If you're on the fence - buy it, the train level alone is worth it.
Now Wolfenstein 2 wasn’t a complete disaster there were various factors that I enjoyed from the game such as the 1960’s Nazi dieselpunk aesthetic. Machine Games put a lot of effort in to the premise of this Nazi Alternative history. The graphics are improved from the last game too with it using the new ID Tech 6 all while running at a solid 60 Frames. I did enjoy the gameplay few games have such satisfying gameplay where you dual wield two assault rifles and slaughter an entire nazi army and the finishing the commander off by bludgeoning him with you axe in a gruesome gory mess. That is Wolfenstein II at it best a fun single player shooter a rarity in this online deriven game era. Unfortunately, that’s when things start to go wrong.
Wolfenstein II starts to fall behind the New Order and the Old Blood especially in higher difficulties. While the game’s gameplay is fun on normal difficulty the moment you try to play in the higher difficulties you start to notice the flaws. Such as stealth being completely nerfed in the last game stealth was a viable and necessary option in higher difficulties. Where if they discover the body you still have wiggle room to still stealth on by but in New Colossus when the body is discovered the enemies pretty much discover you seconds later, Again in regular difficulties that’s fine as you can defeat the oncoming enemies in higher difficulties your swiss chess and have to restart to hiding cover, juxtaposition that to new order where you can get into firefights in higher difficulties with the same fast paced movement. Bullet traction is gone so you can’t see the the direction they’re firing from. You begin seeing the changes and just question the judgement and it gets worse. The campaign is laughably short. The first one was longer and offered replay value with the Fergus and Wyatt timelines. In this your looking at 6 hours 12 if you complete side missions the timelines doesn’t matter at all it all depends who you like more Wyatt or Fergus. The story is a joke full of hamfisted left wing politics that felt preachy at times with commentary on White America and overthrowing the bourgeoisie. Which again wasn’t in the previous titles, I am not offended at the political messaging but a little nuance would have been nice. There is a scene where BJ pregnant wife is fighting in the frontlines and she strips down and shots nazis and gets drenched in blood and I’m wondering what was the point of this scene it makes no sense and is down right cringey. New characters are not as good as old ones. There are fewer weapon than the previous game and some of the more fun upgrades are gone like the rocket launcher attachments to the assault rifles, now it’s replaced by an extended barrel. There are no Boss Battles in the game another noticeable downgrade from previous titles. The final boss was replaced with you pressing a button now and the game being over. Lastly the level design is just awful. After finishing a fight and going to the next area there are too many times where I was just wandering around the level trying to find the next area. This is especially egregious in the Venus level where I had to look up how to processed to the next area and I discovered that I wasn’t the only one having difficulty navigating these levels. That’s where Wolfenstein 2 starts to fall apart when you compare it to its predecessors from the same reboot. You notice it took one step forward and many steps back.
In conclusion, Wolfenstein II isn’t a bad game per say I did have enjoyment out of it, but it’s clear that the New Order and the expansion Old Blood were better games. My biggest hope is in the upcoming expansion the Youngblood, machine games address the issues and makes Wolfenstein a better game. As for recommending New Colossus? That’s difficult to say. I recommend getting it on a sale or just borrowing it from a friend. The game is short doesn’t have that much replay value and the previous games are better, You could do worse but you could also do so much better.