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- America, 1961. Your assassination of Nazi General Deathshead was a short-lived victory. Despite the setback, the Nazis maintain their stranglehold on the world. You are BJ Blazkowicz, aka “Terror-Billy,” member of the Resistance, scourge of the Nazi empire, and humanity’s last hope for liberty. Only you have the guts, guns, and gumption to return stateside, kill every Nazi in sight, and spark the second American Revolution.
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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.
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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.
Good Solid Visceral Shooter
I wouldnt go as far to call this best shooter of all time like some people have but its a fun overall experience, one where i feel is somewhat being held back by neglected certain elements such as A.I.
Its down right terrible tbh, Unfortunately Innovation when it comes to AI in videos games is almost non existent in FPS games and probably because they need the AI to be dumb so more people can play and feel smart :)
The Levels are either splendid or kinda meh, one moment i cant get enough of a level they feel dynamic & worth exploring every inch, while others im just getting through them with hopes to getting to another one of the more "grande" finely hand crafted levels.
A few Lows
Game runs amazing on Console but at the expense of looking a bit dated visually BUT thats an exchange i will gladly take, EVERY time.
These devs have their priorities in order. I was one of the few who thought the story was actually decent in the original and once again i feel its one of the games strengths with an amazing display of voice acting talent to compliment it.
Sure its far fetched nonsense BUT who cares, its interesting and fun, *NEWS FLASH stories dont need to be realistic to be enjoyable or worth praising!
I feel like we need more innovation in AI for games to become more immersive, especially shooters, something AAA devs wont do because of fear of being to hard for "casuals"
Fear 2 gave me an awesome feeling of the possibility of AI in the future being endless YET feels like we are taking steps back and sideways every since.