Game Name: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Date Released: October 27th, 2017
Platforms: XBOX One, Playstation 4, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch (2018)
I have been looking forward to this game since it was announced. I really liked Wolfenstein: The New Order. The premise has been the same throughout its 35 year franchise. However this time there was a twist. What would have happened if the Nazi's would have won World War II?
Let us see what this game is about and how it plays.
As I mentioned above you are playing the character BJ Blazkewicz in a time where the Nazi's have won the Second World War. You and your team of revolutionaries are trying to resist the Third Reich and get back a little bit of the America that they once knew. The goal of this particular game is to kill General Engel. She is a ruthless General, where ethics and morals have taken a backseat. She is very ruthless and is willing to do whatever it takes in order to Kill and Destroy Blazkewisz and his pals.
I like the recap of the New Order at the beginning of the game. I think it is a nice touch for those who have not played the previous game. After that the initial scenes are a little hard to watch. BJ Blazkewisz has been in a coma and the opening scene is part flashback and part reality. In the flashback scenes BJ is going back to when he was a kid and he remembers his gentle mother. While he is in bed, she gives him her heirloom. Then his brash father comes into the house huffing and puffing. During this opening scene there were 2 parts that were hard to watch. There is a part where his dad hits his mom. You feel for the mom and you can feel the rage building in BJ. The second part that is hard to watch is when your dad wants to make a man out of you. In order to do that you are forced to shoot your dog. Now you can choose to avoid the dog and you never see the actual killing, but it is still hard to watch. So if this game wanted to get you going for killing bad guys, then they did a good job. Again, the opening sequence may not be for everyone. I will have the video below in the sample gameplay.
You start off in a wheelchair and you then try to get out of the area that you are kept in. It is an original way to start a game and I did not mind it. Then you start your journey. I will not spoil too much the story as this is where the fun is at.
The part that I found the most intriguing is that you get to meet Hitler. One one part of the game, you are presumed dead and Nazi's want to put on a play or make a movie about the life of BJ Blazkiewisz. So you impersonate yourself. You can see that Hitler is senile and seems to have many health issues. Basically he has come deranged. In the real world, it was suspected that Hitler had gone a little bonkers before he took his own life. This is just increasing the insane dose.
This game looks really good. Some would even say too realistic. However it is a dystopian timeline and it embraces that visually very well. Some parts of the game felt like a mini version of the Fallout series. There is a part where you go to New York City and it has been blown up with a bomb. You have to walk outside. When looking around you see the similarities between both franchises.
The cut scenes were well made. They blended seriousness with some humour. I know, what you are thinking. How can a game so violent have some humour? I know it is hard to understand but they managed it to make it work. For example, there is an important moment when you are talking to your fellow colleagues and a character, Super Spesh I believe, runs out of the washroom all happy that there is a working toilet. There is also a nice moment when the crew celebrates BJ'S birthday. So they managed to blend in serious and not so serious. Even when the times are tough, some fun can be had. It makes the characters relatable.
The sound was awesome. I played the game on surround and it was amazing. Felt like I was part of a movie. The soundtrack is also pretty cool. It sets the tones and levels very well. The voice acting is very well done but there are a few issues with the secondary characters. It seems that some people got more TLC than others with lip syncing. The main characters are fine but the random people that you meet for secondary missions look off. They are talking to you and they look like they are high on something. that part is a little weird.
Pros and Cons
Although this game is good, does not mean that it is perfect. In addition to the animation glitches that I mentioned above, there were a few more things that I observed. In terms of the game itself, there were some parts where the animation was glitchy and you can see some clipping.
In addition, there was a part where I loaded a save and the sound just disappeared. I had to reload a few times before it came back. I know that the PC versions had a lot of glitches. This one however seemed to be unique to XBOX.
Although I am a fan of the plot, I think the game itself was a little too gruesome. I am not talking in terms of gameplay as the gameplay is similar to Doom from last year. I mean in terms of the storyline. I know that I say that a lot but I have to admit it hits you when you see it. Although it does set up the rest of the game very well.
Like any XBOX One game, the load times can be long. There have been other games where it was longer but this an issue that I really hope is resolved with the XBOX One X.
Picking up items has improved a lot. You do not need to point to it in order to pick up the ammo or items. However, sometimes when there is a lot of light, it is easy to miss that there is an item there.
The one thing that confuses me though. You are capped in terms of normal health at 50. However if you pick up more health it seems that it lowers until it hits 50. This was also in The New Blood. If I pick up health, I should be able to keep it. I I never really liked that aspect of the game.
So now let us focus more on the positives of the game. There are many collectibles to collect in this game. You can choose Star cards, death cards and much more. This is really cool as it means that you do not only shoot bad guys. It gives you a reason to explore different area's of a level. That was really cool and I appreciated this aspect.
The story as I mentioned before is very engaging. You feel for these characters and you want them to succeed. This is key in these types of games. A well told story always makes the game that much more enjoyable.
I saved a lot and I appreciated the fact that I can do quick saves all the time. This was missing from the Doom franchise and it was frustrating at the time. Again this was part of the last game but I like the fact that I do not restart a section from the beginning because the game decided this is the way it should be done.
Although I would have liked it to be a little more open world, the game gives enough here to explore. The replay value is bumped up because of this.
Below is some sample gameplay of Wolfenstein II.
Sample Gameplay (Viewer Discretion is Advised)
Wolfenstein II - The New Colossus (Introduction)
Wolfenstein II - The New Colossus
Is this game worth the 80$ (CAD) + tax that it costs? For me the answer is yes. Although there are a few bumps in the road, I truly enjoyed Wolfenstein II. I kept wanting to play the next part or mission and there was one day I ended up playing for about 10 hours. I never do that usually. At least it has been years since I have done that. The fact that this is published by Bathesda, players have grown to accept that there will be bugs in the game. The good news is that the bugs do not take away from the overall enjoyment of the experience.
Where Wolfenstein: The New Order was new and people did not expect it to be good, this one had big shoes to fill. It did a very good job and is a worthy entry to this franchise. In fact, I find this game to be slightly better than The New Order.
Hopefully Wolfenstein III will live up to this version. Like a movie fan, I cannot wait to see the sequel. This could potentially one of the better modern franchises out there once it is said and done.
I get that this may not be everyone's cup of tea. For those willing to try it, it is well worth the money and the story itself would make a great mini series. I am sure that they will make a movie at some point, but it will never be as good as experiencing and playing the game itself.
Rating: 8.5 Colossus's out of 10
What did you guys think? Was this game worth it? Let me know below.
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