Wolfenstein: The New Order revitalized the series with breathtaking graphics, a fantastic story, and fast, fun first person shooting. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus delivers an explosive sequel that pulls you in and drenches you in Arian blood.
Taking place three years after the events of the New Order, this one picks up with a withering BJ Blazkowicz as he tries to deal with the injuries he suffered from the final moments of the first game. In case you didn’t play that one (shame on you) his insides were on his outsides. Of course, the game wastes no time getting you into the action. Moments after you come out of your comatose state Nazis storm the submarine you’re on. You’re forced to shoot’em dead from the confines of your wheel chair, tha’ts right, sadly Blazkowicz has lost the use of his legs.
These opening moments do a good job giving players a taste of what they can expect from combat. Enemies are ruthless and even on normal difficulty you can absolutely expect to die a few times. Combat is fast paced and requires a quick eye and steady trigger finger. After some high octane fun you’re bitch slapped with the harsh hand of reality and simultaneously introduced to one incredible villain, General Engel. To avoid spoilers, all you need to know is shit goes down and BJ loses a comrade but gains the use of his legs.
The story, as far fetched as it may be, is fantastic. It’s surprising really, and a testament to the team behind it for how well it was executed. The characters are instantly likeable, flawed individuals, with their own insecurities and quirks. It’s almost immediately obvious these characters have seen some shit. They survived a war, over 10 years of occupation, and countless rebellions within that time, and yet they find a way to push on. It helps everything even more that every character is so full of life and superbly acted and voiced, it’s beautifully cinematic.
This alternate 1961, German ruled reality you’re placed in oozes with life in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. It fully embraces it’s over the top sci-fi story and makes you want to see and experience everything it has to offer. To put it simply, it’s one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride. One moment you’re laughing out loud, the next you’re sucker punched with seething racism, then you watch BJ try to deal with his own mortality as he recognises that his time is coming sooner rather than later. You fall in love with these characters and when something happens on screen, it feels like it’s happening to you as well.
However, it’s the General that demands your attention when she’s on screen. This woman’s sadistic personality makes you want to drive your hatchet into her skull the moment you hear her voice. At the same time, the very sight of her, or sound of her shrill voice makes your stomach drop into your shoes. Nothing good ever comes from her presence. She is without a doubt one of the most memorable villains in a video game within the last decade; rivaled only by villains like Vaas from Far Cry 3, or Albert Wesker from Resident Evil. To be fair, BJ’s father is a piece of shit as well. He deserves recognition for the “villain” in the flashback scenes. If you don’t instantly hate this man, theres something wrong with you.
The environments around you immerse you in this alternate reality and leave lasting impressions. Some of it catches you off guard. There was an instance where I was walking down a main street in Roswell, New Mexico, a couple KKK members were outside just casually talking to a couple SS lackeys. Subtle moments like this deliver a genuine feeling of unease and remind you just how twisted this world has become.
The game runs incredibly smooth on my PC and has some of the best fps shooting I’ve seen in awhile. The tight shooting and fast paced action gets your blood pumping and is accompanied by a soundtrack that I can’t wait to own on vinyl. Seriously, the soundtrack is fantastic. But I digress. Sadly, the fun shooting is accompanied by your basic, obvious weapons that pretty much come standard in any FPS now a days. You have your, pistol, shotgun, SMG, Assualt Rifles, and Grenade Launchers. That’s not to say that they aren’t fun to use.
Machine Games puts their own spin on things by giving each weapon three upgrade options that make them a bit more unique. Your SMG can be customised with heated nails which do more damage but slow the rate of fire. Your pistol can be enhanced with a silencer for the more stealthy sections. Upgrade packs are few and far between though, finding one is like striking oil, and by the end of my 15 hour play through, only half of my arsenal was upgraded. The perk system is back as well. Perks instantly get applied after completing certain criteria.
So you might cause more damage with your Hatchet after getting 10 stealth kills, or your pistol might do 10% more damage after getting 15 headshots. The perks can be increased as well, making Blazcowicz one unstoppable force by the end of the game. It’s also a great way to make players change up their play style in order to unlock different perks. Going back to the Hatchet for a moment, I don’t think I have ever used a better melee weapon in a game. The variety of kills with this thing make using it a never ending joy. There were times I would risk the damage just so I could cut through a group of SS Soldiers for the thrill of watching them be dismembered.
Just like it’s predecessor pretty much anything can be dual wielded. There is a trade off however. Duel Wielding drastically increases your damage but makes aiming an absolute bitch. I generally saved my ammo and other hand for the bosses and bigger, harder enemies.
The game deserves at LEAST two playthroughs. The very start of the game makes you choose between Wyatt and Fergus in a flashback to the first game. So I’m curious to see how Fergus handles situations throughout the game. That choice aside, there are a number of difficulty settings for the die hard completionists and a huge amount of collectables to find.
The jaw dropping twists, the stunning environments, and instantly memorable characters make Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus one the of BEST single player, first person shooters I’ve ever played. It’s a game I will come back to for quite some time and it’s incredible story is one I will not soon forget.