The sequel to the fantastic Wolfenstein: The New Order is here, with BJ Blazkowicz leading the charge to reclaim the world taken over by the Nazi’s in an alternative history setting in which Hitler had won World War II.  The events in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus pretty much take place immediately following the conclusion of The New Order, where Blazkowicz had put a huge dent in the Nazi regime, but his work is far from done.  Hiding beneath the sea’s in a submarine, Blazkowicz and his rebellion are plotting their next move to bring down the Nazi’s and reclaim our home, beginning in the United States, where the likes of the KKK have also fallen into power in some US regions.  In such regions, the manipulative and powerful have thrived in some states, but iconic cities such as New York are a baron nuclear wasteland, neglected by the Nazi forces.

However, to avoid their latest objective turning into a suicide mission for all, and to make a better world for his unborn children, Blazkowicz enlists the aid of an influential, empowering and quite frankly badass Grace Walker to spark their rebellion to the next level.  Just like The New Order, in terms of storyline and art direction, The New Colossus is every bit as gripping, from its cinematic art design, superbly voiced cast of characters and well written story, not to mention crisp, beautiful and brutal visuals, as I’ve said before, if Quentin Tarantino was to ever create a video game, this Wolfenstein rebooted series would have his stamp all over it.  Also, for all its fast and frantic, all-out action sequences, The New Colossus does have some calmer (yet cruel) back-story segments detailing some of the origins of Blazkowicz, which offer some intriguing takes of his harsh upbringing as a child.

One of the beauties of the last game is how simplistic it was from a gameplay perspective.  There was nothing overly complicated with its approach, you go into a mission, you have some objectives, but the main principle is go from A-B while blasting your way through hordes of Nazi’s, and The New Colossus is no exception to that rule.  One of the other aspects of the previous game was its difficulty, where even on Normal, it could easily be considered a Hard setting elsewhere and in this case, the sequel certainly feels more of a challenge in comparison to even its predecessor.  I understand the need for a challenge, but I do think at times, it does feel a little too unforgiving, especially when the game has some unfriendly auto-save checkpoints.  Thankfully, you can now manual save whenever you want via the pause menu, so I urge you to take full advantage of this feature and save a lot, because it will make things a little less frustrating.

Aside from the thankful manual save, the way in which you upgrade your weapons has now changed a little, in my opinion, for the better.  To level-up BJ, you still need to perform in game actions such as stealth kills, overcharge kills (when you pick up more health packs to surpass your standard health bar) and kills with certain weapons.  Performing many of these actions, will upgrade many of BJ’s perks.  But to upgrade his weapons, among the many, many collectibles found in the game, you must also find and acquire upgrade kits to power-up your weapons as you see fit.  For me personally, I always enhance weapons that favour stealth, because while the game claims to encourage an all-out action or stealth approach, you’d often find yourself making things more difficult for yourself if you choose the John Rambo approach.  Plus, much of the enemy AI is as dumb as shit and if in the right place; they will walk around a corner in an orderly fashion to investigate a suspicion as you pick them off one by one with your silenced weapon.

Despite apparently being a tough year in terms of sales for Bethesda, they’ve arguably had their best year in terms of quality releases with Dishonored 2, Prey, The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.  Much like many of their titles, they’ve quite quickly appeared at a discount, which is fantastic news for the consumer.  It’s going to be tough deciding which games to get, with so much to choose from leading up to Christmas, but Wolfenstein II should not be a title overlooked.  It may not break boundaries with its gameplay, but if you’re after a challenging, rewarding, visually stunning shooter that is driven by a fantastically gripping story, then you should look no further.

Yes, some may be put off by this game having no multiplayer, but as we’ve learned so often in the past, having a multiplayer mode tapped on for the sake of it, at the cost of singleplayer development time, in my opinion, it simply is not worth the sacrifice.  With that said, in what is a packed year for quality titles across the board, despite the competition, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is among the best and if you shop around, it’s going to be one of the best value too, with or without a multiplayer component.



Author

Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake