Wolfenstein The New Order was an awesome experience for anyone who is a fan of the Wolfenstein series and while the campaign did fall off halfway through and become more of a mission to mission slog, it was still one of the must-play titles of the year. This review does contain some spoilers for The New Order so minimize this tab and finish that campaign before you read any more.
I mention New Order because the start to Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is very similar to a part in The New Order. You’re shown a weaker BJ who needs a wheelchair to move around, and it makes you wonder if this will hamper you from killing Nazis but all that doubt is erased in seconds as BJ is handed a gun and in spite of being in a wheelchair, does what he does best, kill Nazis.
The game doesn’t hold back on the visceral aspect at all, now let me explain, I don’t mean the visceral aspect in the sense of your enemies exploding right in front of you as you shoot an explosive shot inches away from them, no. This visceral is more uncomfortable, makes you wince and look away from the screen.
A perfect example of that is the start of the game which plunges you into a cutscene that shows how they were able to save BJ from the ending of The New Order after his battle with Deathshead. The surgery is quite graphic and can make most people uncomfortable. I was and you can see my reaction in my First Impressions video.
It’s not just the visceral side that will shock you a bit. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus pulls no punches when casually using racial slurs and stereotypes that would have you gasping in the modern world, but it’s done in an effort to make the game, the era and the story it’s telling more ‘real’ to the player.
N-words are common as BJ remembers his childhood, which tells a very dark storyline that will make you wonder if you’re in fact playing a Wolfenstein game after all. An abusive father who berates his wife show’s a side of BJ’s life that was left untold till now. The flashback sequences are very little but they are as impactful as they come.
Throughout the game, BJ talks to Caroline and it provides the player with an insight into BJ’s mind. His fears and worries that shows that this man in spite of being a Nazi killing machine has vulnerable and fragile moments just like the rest of us. It’s a nice way to introduce a multi-layered character which most action games lack.
Engel, in my opinion, is the vilest Wolfenstein villain yet, and I say this knowing that Adolf Hitler is one of the villains too.
It’s immersive, it makes no apologies for making you feel uncomfortable and it even throws in one of the best villains in gaming in Frau Engel. She makes you despise her from the start and that hate only builds towards the end, my only complaint is that there isn’t more of her in the game. But it’s a double-edged complaint because with the lack of constant presence, she’s able to cultivate a sense of importance and drama when she does make an appearance. It’s easy to hate a Nazi character but Engel truly shines and her writing is an exceptional bit of the game. Deathshead had hateful moments, but Engel, in my opinion, is the vilest Wolfenstein villain yet, and I say this knowing that Adolf Hitler is one of the villains too.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus has extremely fluid combat, beautiful visuals and runs flawlessly thanks to Vulcan API. I was never convinced about Vulcan, but then I played Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The game showed no signs of slowing down even when supersampled to 4k and on the highest settings available. It wasn’t just running well, it was buttery smooth and made me an absolute fan of the API. All I need now is OBS to work with it in game capture, but that’s beside the point.
The game has side missions called assassinations where you hunt down several Oberkommandos of the Third Reich, each Oberkommando lives in a district you’ve already been in, providing you with a chance to visit several districts over and over again and lengthening the game even after the campaign is finished.
As for the campaign, I’d suggest you play on Easy difficulty, the game mocks you for it (not a fan of that to be frankly honest) but the moniker terror billy really comes alive when you play it on the easiest difficulty and it lets you take on groups of enemies without breaking a sweat. That’s badass. Crouching and sneaking around – not so badass.
“What Homefront The Revolution Hoped To Be”
In a lot of ways, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is the game that Homefront The Revolution hoped to be, Americans in America fighting an oppressive force with guerilla warfare. But while Homefront The Revolution will remain a game you should only consider at a massive discount, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is truly the best FPS of 2017. You would even be forgiven for thinking it’s Game of The Year. In fact, it IS my game of 2017.