Taking on the Third Reich in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Luckless all-American hero, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, continues his unfortunate misadventures in a terrifying alternative future where the Germans won the Second World War.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus takes the action to an occupied United States as B.J. leads a rebellion to free his motherland.
Having spent most of his life from the end of WWII to the 1960s in a catatonic state, the end of 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order sees our hero near death and about to face nuclear annihilation.
Of course, this sequel, continuing the Wolfenstein legacy that began back in 1992, would be a bit pointless without its leading man.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, continues on directly from the end of The New Order, with a seriously injured B.J. being rescued from the destruction of Deathshead's compound.
Never fearful of pushing boundaries, MachineGames, starts the game with a, wheelchair-bound Blazkowicz, blasting Nazis whilst wheeling himself about. A bit weird, but interesting, never the less. Cementing just what an all-round hero B.J. is.
The inclusion of advanced Nazi technology, pushes the game from being just about an alternative history into the realms of science-fiction. One minute you could be using a bolt-action rifle and the next something akin to a dead ray.
But it’s not all about run and gun tactics. B.J. can be one stealthy mofo and it’s often best to carefully take down your enemy rather than bring the entire Third Reich down on you. Some areas are patrolled by commanders, that will broadcast your assault if you are spotted. You really need to dispatch these guys without being seen.
Wolfenstein II, like its predecessors, doesn't mess about in portraying Nazis as a despicable and sinister enemy. During the game, you get to see the extent that the German will go to in order to perfect their vision of the Übermensch. Then, of course, you also have the return of the sadistic General Engel.
Whilst the setting, the story and all those glorious weapons keep Wolfenstein II on par with its predecessor, it did have a few niggles.
The game’s hub, a huge Nazi submarine that’s been purloined by the resistance, is easy to get lost in. And considering these are usually “just go see X” tasks, a better wayfinding would help make these sections a bit more fun.
The difficulty does seem un-even in places. A couple of time I needed to lower the difficulty to get through a section. These weren’t boss fights, they were just badly designed levels that could only be beaten by a full-on assault, but with little or no cover to help you sneak around.
The visuals look good on Xbox One, and crisp and clear on a 1080P TV. 4K TV owners will want to be playing on an Xbox One X to take full advantage of the native 4K HD and Xbox One X enhancements.
Yet again Bethesda and MachineGames have been able to take the caricature of an all-American hero and subvert him in believable and unnerving real-world situations. The result is a grim, but comedic, action game that has its tongue firmly in cheek and the world’s most deserving bad-guys getting exactly what’s coming to them.
With both Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and now Call of Duty WW2, there’s never been a better time to take out a legion of hateful Nazis.