In 1946, the greatest war in human history came to a close with the Axis forces being victorious and the German National Socialist Party took control of the world. Wait, that doesn’t sound right?
No, thankfully that didn’t happen at all, but due to this being an alternate history, we get to see what the world ruled by the Führer might have been like. There’s a fair number of works of fiction that explore these themes, but few do it with such style and over-the-top cockiness as the Wolfenstein series. And The New Colossus takes that to a whole new level.
Better strap yourself in, because this is going to be one helluva ride!
The New Colossus takes place right where you left off from The New Order, with protagonist BJ Blazkowicz being a little worse for wear after his adventures. Of course, he doesn’t get a lot of time for R&R before things goes all belly up and the Nazis capture him and his merry band of misfits. Blazkowicz manages to free them and they set off on their way to free the American people and start a revolt against the Nazi regime.
The New Colossus plays exactly like it should, and rampaging through Nazis soldiers has never been as satisfying.
The game doesn’t mess around though, with action and plot twists coming at you so quick and fast that you barely have time to finish the third word in the WTF acronym before more is thrown your way. And this is a good thing. The New Colossus plays exactly like it should, and rampaging through Nazis soldiers has never been as satisfying. The game makes no excuses. It knows exactly why you are there, which is to shoot things in the face, and there’s no other bull where you are forced to play in a certain style, and that is great. If you want to stealth your way through sections, then, by all means, go for it. It works well, and it’s very satisfying chopping an arm off an unsuspecting Nazi, but if you’re like me, and you want to blaze your way through it and send body parts flying all over the furniture, then you are free to do it like that too.
The New Colossus has some incredible action set pieces, and the gameplay and story work incredibly well together. Boss fights are a bit dull and maybe a bit sparse, but for the most part, encounters are truly exciting affairs. The only issue I had was a few seriously brutal spikes in difficulty on a few occasions. There were a few instances where I felt incredibly overwhelmed by the enemies. These were mostly scripted, so they weren’t fights that I could avoid with stealth, and I had to brute force my way through. I’m not sure if I’m the only one that experienced this though. Wolfenstein II is a challenging shooter overall, but these encounters were a bit off balance and didn’t quite fit with the overall feel of progression of the game.
It’s a family of lovable lunatics, and I cherish them all
While Wolfenstein II makes no excuses of what type of game it is, it should be noted that it would be nothing if it wasn’t for the well-written characters. There’s a solid story to it, and you most definitely want to see what’s going to happen next, but it almost takes a back seat to the colourful bunch of misfits that make up your crew members and friends. Each one of them is so stereotypical and over the top that it almost hurts, but because these characters are so expertly written, and acted, you cannot help but fall in love with each and every one of them.
Then there’s the music. It’s not often that the music of game gets you excited for what’s to come. It often starts with these typical heist movie riffs as the mission briefing is explained by one of your teammates, and builds as it gets to a conclusion. During missions, it gets even better as the music blends beautifully with the intensity of the gameplay! It can be a slower riff as you stalk your way through your enemies, but it becomes a full-blown rock anthem when you eventually get spotted, and you’re forced to plough your way through your enemies to get to your eventual goal.
There’s a solid story to it, and you most definitely want to see what’s going to happen next, but it almost takes a back seat to the colourful bunch of misfits that make up your crew members and friends
In terms of gameplay, you should know what to expect. The New Colossus is a linear FPS action game that will take you about 15 hours to complete. What did surprise me is the number of side quests that are part of the game. Throughout your adventure, you somehow end up recruiting new people, and these people can tell you of some intel they have, and give you a quest to do. It gets marked on your map, and you typically go back to an area or location that you previously cleared and go do something else, like kill a specific general, or destroy something to keep it out of Nazi hands.
It also features a whole section of side quests where you decipher enigma codes, which you get off of slain generals, that shows you the location of other generals that you can kill to aid the Resistance cause. I don’t think it has an outcome of the game, but it does add a bit of meat to the overall experience.
Once again, there is a progression system, but it is pretty bareboned. You get rewarded and level up for doing certain actions, such as stealth takedowns or headshots, and you become more efficient at it, the more you do it. You can also upgrade your weapons, by adding upgrade parts that you find scattered around the world.
As smooth as butter!
One thing we know is very important when it comes to FPS games is the framerate, and I’m happy to report that Wolfenstein II didn’t have any kind of noticeable stutters. It runs incredibly smoothly, and I didn’t notice a drop in frame rate once, no matter how busy the action on screen got. The only technical issue I experienced was one or two instances where an enemy would lag a bit on the map. It really didn’t happen often, but it was noticeable enough for me to mention. That said, after the dude’s eventual lag, he promptly stood in place for me to put a bullet in his cranium.
The New Colossus does look very pretty as well, and the visual design of areas that you visit and see looks very good. The way blood of enemies you just slaughtered with your bare hands sits on your weapons, jacket and hands is very well done. The game is pretty gory, and seeing body parts and entrails fly as you obliterate a Nazi while dual-wielding a three barrel auto shotgun is nothing strange. But it’s done very, very well, and it’s clear that this game is not for children.
I’m not sure if Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is better than it’s predecessor or not. However it is faster, bigger and more over the top, and it’s a helluva lot more sure of itself.
I’m not sure if Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is better than it’s predecessor or not. However it is faster, bigger and more over the top, and it’s a helluva lot more sure of itself. It has a few technical blips, but it hardly feels worth mentioning. It’s a damn fine game, and get what you pay for. There’s no added fluff and crap like microtransactions or loot boxes, and it shows that it’s not needed to add to the experience.
The New Colossus is definitely worth looking in to. It’s probably one of the best shooters of the year, so if you’re keen on a wild and crazy action game and you haven’t filled up your yearly quota just yet, then Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus might just be the game for you.