What if Hitler had been successful in his twisted plot for world domination? Imagine a world where the USA and other world powers fell under the oppressive weight of Nazi rule and the concepts of equality and freedom have been replaced by fascism and elitism? Racism and Anti-Semitism are not only rampant but are treasured ideals of the ruling class, who have asserted military rule over the greater part of the world’s population. Society praises the Fuhrer and his Third Reich as their saviour and those who question or challenge their rule are removed in the most lethal and grisly ways imaginable. Fortunately, we will never have to experience such a grim reality, but for the characters in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, it is the world in which they live.
After months of waiting, Wolfenstein II has finally arrived on the Nintendo Switch. The port was handled by Panic Button, the company responsible for the ports of Doom and Rocket league. Many have wondered if Panic Button would be able to get Wolfenstein II running well on the switch, considering the console’s limited processing power, but, considering the company’s success with previous ports, expectations have been high. Thankfully, Wolfenstein II delivers on these expectations and delivers an enjoyable experience for Switch enthusiasts.
It’s a mad world
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus takes place in an alternative history where Nazi Germany has developed advanced robotics and weaponry and used it to conquer most of the known world. The game follows four months after the events of the first game, Wolfenstein: The New Order, as the player assumes the role of B.J. Blazkowicz, his body broken after the ending of the first game. You rejoin your rag-tag group of rebels from the first game and set out to recruit more groups to your cause, laying low hundreds of Nazi Troops as you go. This brief summary does not, however, do the story of the game any real justice. Unlike most games of this sort, the story does more than provide a thinly veiled excuse for reducing Nazis to small chunks of bloodied meat. The plot is mature and complex; it makes you care about the characters, provides a number of twists and deals with many harrowing and thought-provoking themes.
Those who did not play the first game may feel a bit lost in the beginning. While Wolfenstein II does make an attempt to explain events from the previous game, many events and characters are not properly covered and may initially cause a few moments of players scratching their heads wondering what exactly is going on or who a certain character is. This should not put off new players from playing the game as things become clearer as one progresses through the story. Knowledge of the events from the first game, while helpful for fleshing-out the beginning, is not necessary to enjoy Wolfenstein II.
Unfortunately, some of the main characters in the game are portrayed in a very stereotypical fashion and come across as parodies of certain ethnic groups, which some may find mildly offensive.
One of the biggest concerns many had about porting Wolfenstein II to the Switch was the graphical downgrades that would have to be made to the game to get it running smoothly. Unfortunately, sacrifices had to be made on the graphical side of things. The game runs smoothly at around 30 frames per second in both hand-held and docked mode and generally looks quite impressive. However, there is a noticeable drop in texture quality compared to other versions, and the resolution can drop quite low during particularly demanding sequences. Additionally, there is noticeable motion blur when running and dodging down narrow corridors and pathways. While most of these downgrades are easily forgiven and hardly noticed during gameplay, they will no doubt disappoint those expecting the same graphical performance one would see on other platforms.
One of the best features found in the Switch version of Wolfenstein II is the addition of motion control aiming. Used in conjunction with the analogue controls, it adds a useful feature to the game and makes me wish more games would use this unique feature of the Switch’s hardware.
One of the best features found in the Switch version of Wolfenstein II is the addition of motion control aiming. Used in conjunction with the analogue controls, it adds a useful feature to the game and makes me wish more games would use this unique feature of the Switch’s hardware. As one would expect, sound and music are well handled, and the soundtrack provides a subtle, non-intrusive background to your Nazi-slaying antics.
All of this would mean nothing if Wolfenstein II did not provide wonderful gameplay and a rich, enjoyable experience. This it does, and it does by the blood-soaked and gory bucketful. There are different ways to achieve the map objectives; either using stealth or going in “guns a blazing”. Combat is fast, fluid and satisfying, and keeps battles exciting, avoiding any sense of repetition.
Don’t expect Wolfenstein II to reveal all its secrets to you in one go. Like a skilled and experienced lover, Wolfenstein II constantly provides the player with new surprises and experiences to keep them coming back for more. The amount of content in the game is absolutely jaw-dropping for an FPS and will keep most gamers entertained for a good, long while.
Don’t expect Wolfenstein II to reveal all its secrets to you in one go. Like a skilled and experienced lover, Wolfenstein II constantly provides the player with new surprises and experiences to keep them coming back for more.
Despite a few minor flaws, and the unfortunate graphical downgrades, Wollfenstein II: The new Colossus for the Nintendo Switch is an excellent game Those looking for graphics equivalent to the PS4, Xbox or PC version may be left with a sour taste in their mouth, but for those who have been eagerly awaiting the release of this title on the Switch, I recommend you pick it up and put some evil freedom-hating Nazis to rest.