Bigger and badder, this Wolfenstein sequel expands on its predecessor
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus picks up right where Wolfenstein: The New Order left off. Like a good sequel should, The New Colossus seeks to keep building on the Nazi-controlled world established in its predecessor while also polishing the gameplay.
In The New Colossus, the resistance fighters of Kreisau Circle keep fighting the Nazis, who won WWII 20 years prior to the game’s events. Their focus shifts now to the USA, where several separate resistance groups struggle against their oppressors. United, they could improve their chances of toppling the Nazi rule.
When it comes to the gameplay of The New Colossus, it’s instantly recognizable as a The New Order sequel, with all major mechanics remaining intact: the choice to either sneak through areas or running through them with guns blazing. Gunplay is smooth and enjoyable, but regrettably it felt like taking the stealthy approach is a lot more challenging in the sequel: the enemies notice the player more easily now, and the Nazi Commanders, able to summon unlimited waves of reinforcements when the player is detected, are often placed in very annoying places: In isolated rooms behind every enemy in the area. Often I found it nigh impossible to get to them unnoticed.
The focus on the narrative side of the game remains strong in The New Colossus. We get to see the childhood of the game’s protagonist, B.J. Blazkowicz, at the mercy of his abusive father: This helps us understand the man B.J. came to be. We can hear his inner monologue during gameplay, as he struggles to keep himself together after the wounds he has suffered from the constant fighting. The cast of characters that survived The New Order return, including General Engel, who is now the main antagonist, succeeding in the job admirably. The New Colossus also introduces a bunch of new acquaintances, each packed with character.
The entire style of The New Colossus is really over the top, even more so than in its predecessor. All of the crazy events that transpire I can’t disclose without spoiling, but included in these is B.J decimating Nazi companies while in a wheelchair and his partner Anya performing combat rolls in the front lines while in the last stages of pregnancy. This gives The New Colossus a very cartoony feel, which makes it a harder game to take seriously while it clearly tries to deal with darker themes.
In a nutshell, The New Colossus improves on many aspects of the gameplay that I found lacking in The New Order, while perhaps not succeeding as well on the narrative side. Those who loved its predecessor will love this game as well, while those who seek something majorly different will undoubtedly be disappointed. It is a quality shooter, but those new to the series might be a little lost if they were to jump in without experiencing the first part of the series.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: 27 October 2017
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch