So recently we received a copy of Bethesda Softworks and MachineGames’ Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus through the post, and with all the recent controversy surrounding the game I was eager to get the game loaded up and start playing through. So in went the disc replacing my copy of Dying Light and as per usual, a day one patch was required.
Eventually after it had finished downloading and the proverbial mice had run in their wheel for long enough, I started the game up. What came next was a mixture of joyous applause as well as hiding behind a cushion cringiness. Want to know why? Of course you do!
Loading up Wolfenstein II and deciding which difficulty setting to play the game on was the first hurdle that I came against. Do I opt for the harder than granite option to test my gaming skills to the maximum, or do I go for the “You can’t kill me, I’m William J Blazkowicz” option. For the sake of enjoying the story and this review I went for the easier option.
Don’t worry I will go back through the story on a harder setting, if not for the trophies.
Starting the game you get a good 10-15 minutes catch up session on what has happened so far from The New Order to now. Now this was helpful as I previously didn’t get a chance to play the predecessor to Wolfenstein II.
We now have control of BJ and unfortunately all is not well. He is in a wheel chair and seemingly dying. No worries you trundle off down corridors in the wheel chair. Traditional shooting mechanics apply to the majority of guns, but with the additions of extra upgrades later on.
Without giving up too many spoilers, you are tasked with killing as many Nazi soldiers as you possibly can, overthrowing them from power in the process. This standard aim goes on through the whole game, with a myriad of different enemies to try and take you down, from giant robots, to robotic dogs, all the way down to scientists that can wield a gun with the rest of us.
Later on in the game you gain a special ability or two, which can see you either ramming through walls, squeezing into tight spaces, or being able to double jump. Although there was at no point any section where I was scratching my head where to go. Thanks in part to the ability to hold down on the d-pad and see an indicator as to your next objective location. All of this allowed me to concentrate on the killing and not worry about what was going to happen next.
The enemies themselves were a mixed bag, in some instances they would try and flank you and hide behind cover. Other times they would seemingly just stand there allowing you to rush them and carry out a brutal melee kill. Although in most places if you weren’t careful you could find your self surrounded where the only option would be to run in one direction far enough away to allow you to take five and recover some all important health and armour.
Pickups are scattered all over Wolfenstein II, including Star Cards, Concept Art, Gold, Enigma Cards as well as Toys for one of the games more lovable characters, Max Hass. There are the guns, ammo, and armour all scattered around as well. All of which mean you generally don’t find yourself out of bullets or armour as long as you are careful.
Wolfenstein II is wunderbar when it comes to the graphics, all the colours are well shown off and the blood splatter is a glorious red colour. Textures are good as are the character models and in general you wont have an issue. There was the odd graphical hitch now and again, but this was kept to lighting issues, where the lighting would appear to flicker. Move to the side and the glitch was gone. Nothing bad enough to pull you out of the game. Although in one instance I killed one of the officers, and they drop Enigma Cards. Once they had dropped it, it seemed to get stuck in a railing, which prevented me from picking it up.
Gunshots, Check, German accent, Check, squelchy sound when you shoot someones head off, Check.
All the good sounds that you would need to create this game are all well within the game. The soundtrack is perfect, ramping up in intensity as the game gears up and silencing once you have killed everyone in an area. Its a great audible queue for you to take a breather from the action you just witnessed. The voice acting is brilliant and Brian Bloom (The A-Team and a whole Myriad of game voice overs, seriously go and check out his IMDB page here) does a great job voicing the gravelly notes of the notorious Terror-Billy. Obviously there a number of recognisable actors voicing the game, Christopher Heyerdahl and Mark Ivanir to name two of them.
The main story you could possibly complete in around 8-10 hours depending on how many of the collectables you want to hunt down and find. Once you have finished the main story you are thrown back into your submarine head quarters and given the option to decode some of the Enigma Codes you received through the game to find other members of the German High Command to eliminate. This could possibly extend your gameplay by a good few hours. Then you have the mysterious Vault option that has a timer next to it on the main menu (at the time of writing this review the timer was down to 5 days) and inside this vault is meant to be a number of surprises. Who knows what that might be? On top of that you also have DLC coming to the game which will give you an alternative viewpoint of the war to fight through.
I can only go off what I have played so far, and that has been glorious, yes there are a few controversies surrounding Wolfenstein II, but what game doesn’t seem to have controversy following it. The story line is fun and engaging, especially with the often mutterings of BJ to a dead friend. The audio and graphics all both give great compliment to the game and shooting heads off has never been so much fun!
This game is a great addition to the Wolfenstein name and I am sure that the coming DLC will only expand on what is already a great game to play through.
William J Blazkowicz blasts his way to a Thumb Culture Gold Award (8/10)
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Disclaimer: Please note we received a physical copy of this game to complete this review.