Terror Billy is back!
B.J. Blazkowicz makes a return in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus and while the game itself was expected with very high ambitions how and where the already well known series can go next, this game does not only deliver on the pre-established promise of punching Nazis in the face, no it also delivers more character to our beloved protagonist. Let’s have a look at what makes Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus so great and what I personally think about it.
Special comment from the write, Florian: “While Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus has in the international market the imagery of Nazi and Hitler, I as a German citizen played the special modified for the German and Austrian market release of the game. While I was having no emotion problem with the change from Nazi to the more commong term the regime, I clearly can see how other people still have a problem with not having actual Nazis as their opponents. I quite enjoyed the game after all, no matter if my enemies are a real world threat or a fictional, yet very clearly reminiscent of real world groups they are standing in for.”
More Story, more Nazis to punch
After the end of Wolfenstein: The New Order, BJ Blaskowiz was about to blow to pieces, from which he, of course, was saved, just to continue an existence as a punished and sick man, that the regime is still considering a large threat. Right from the start of the game you are rolling around in a wheelchair inside of a submarine to fight back the ongoing attack from your enemies. The Ausmerzer, a flying fortress build by the Nazi to control possible uprising groups that want to fight against the regime, has been tracking you ever since you blew up Dr. Deathskull. Frau Engel is our new main threat and she is a fantastic character… to hate. Over the story of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus we not only lose former friends and allies, we will also reform with new friends from the other side of the atlantic ocean.
Over the top and beyond
One astounding setting is set in the mission where we will find a resistance group which is holding their residency in the Empire State Building in the ruins of Manhattan, New York, which was struck by an atomic bomb prior to the events of the game. Our journey will have us visit many places in the US. Not only the apocalyptic ruins of Manhattan, but also Roswell is one of our many stops. Something that struck me with awe is also the appearance of our protagonist’s home and birthplace in Mesquite, where BJ will face his father after years of abuse. The story continues on in a more sad turn of events which can be described as over the top writing mixed with unbelievable consequences, leading to a mere lacking ending of our journey. Something that I will not spoiler in this review for you, as I hope you’ll experience it for the first time without being spoiled, making the following scenes as surprising and shocking, as they have been for me.
Feels better than ever
The ID game engine does fantastic work on the PC, giving the classic grim looks of characters in an also grim world a partially realistic and over the top aestethic, which is fitting considering the theme at hand. Performance was excellent and my Pc never struggled to run Wolfenstein 2: the New Colossus on 3840 x 2160 resolution with 60fps on the highest settings, while also having support for non 16 by 9 formats. The gameplay features both amazing possiblities to fight back with all the variety in gunfire we can have, giving us the ability to not only dual wield weapons like in the predecessor, this time we can also freely mix the weapons we can hold in each of our hands. Keeping the most important aspects of the action fights, we can also still use our sneak abilities to travel around enemies and get rid of commanders that alert nearby enemies if spotted. This time we see more robotic enemies in the mix, with not only the fully mechanic dogs that have been a very surprising threat in the previous title, this time we also Nazi android enemies, making our journey more exciting and surprising when being spotted from those types of enemies. The whole game gets another great soundtrack from Mick Gordon, who we also know from the previous game’s soundtrack and of course the fantastic DOOM (2016) game soundtrack.
While overall Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is a fantastic experience, the game sure has a problem with creating real threats. Our normal encounters with enemies are making you feel superior even as the wounded and demolished BJ and after the over the top events in the highlight of the game, it isn’t even a question anymore if there is any real threat to our character other than a nuke to the face. This leads me to what I feel is the most important thing Wolfenstein 3 needs to do: develop more heroic moments and important boss fights like in Wolfestein: The New Order, rather than making the humans of the regime our only interesting encounters. At least to me, the game can only get bigger, so why not use the momentum the series has for now and take the game to the least repeating beats this and the previous game have seen for now?