Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Is Ridiculous In All The Right Ways

  • Playstation 4
  • Windows
  • Xbox One
  • Shooter
NOTE: This article is a contribution and do not necessarily represent the views of Player One.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus releases for PS4, Xbox One and PC on Oct. 27, 2017
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus releases for PS4, Xbox One and PC on Oct. 27, 2017 Amazon

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is insane. Whatever you do, don’t ask anyone about the plot or what happens until you get the opportunity to play it. The story takes some twists and turns that, in any other game, would be outright laughable. However, Wolfenstein 2 somehow manages to ground the story with enough emotion to make it all work.

Dressed up as an alternate history shooter, Wolfenstein 2 picks up immediately after the events of the first game. Players once again take on the role of “Terror-Billy” Blazcowicz, joined by your gang of resistance fighters in an alternate-history 1961 in an effort to rebel against the now world-dominating Nazi regime. Blazcowicz is now taking the fight home to America, and crazy shit happens.

Joining Blazcowicz are friends both new and old. Your pregnant girlfriend, Anya, remains by your side along with the hilarious Set, kind-hearted Max Hass and your choice between Fergus or Wyatt. That choice determines the timeline you play in, which has a few minor effects on the gameplay and story. New this time are Grace, Super Spesh and the eloquent madman Horton, among many other memorable characters. Thanks to Wolfenstein 2’s hub level, the massive submarine Eva’s Hammer, you have the opportunity to talk more with each character and get to know them better. While the events going on around you (and happening to you) are nothing you could expect, these interactions between characters help ground the story and make you care about what’s going to happen next.

Wolfenstein 2 has two speeds. When in combat, you go as fast as you can and blow up everything that moves into your path of destruction. However, when you don’t have a gun in your hands, the game makes you take your time. Listening to conversations between two friends on Eva’s Hammer, or eavesdropping in on Nazi soldiers spreading rumors about your exploits provides some great worldbuilding, and these moments are often darkly comic.

Gameplay-wise, if you played Wolfenstein: The New Order, there’s nothing terribly new going on here. Players still have the option to go stealth or run right in and start blasting away. Killing Commanders before you are noticed will keep the alarms in that area from sounding, meaning there will be fewer enemies to fight. You can still dual-wield guns if you want, and collectibles, health and armor pickups are everywhere you look.

The guns all feel great to shoot, and there are upgrade kits available to add scopes, extended clips or other improvements to each weapon. However, I found myself favoring a few guns over others, especially once I started adding the improvements to them. Pro-tip: get the armor piercing rounds to make downing bigger enemies much easier.

One major addition is the introduction of contraptions. One constricts your body, allowing you to crawl under smaller gaps than you’d normally fit through. This can be used for stealthy surprises on enemies. Another allows you to jump higher than normal, reaching new areas and gaining vertical positioning on enemies. The last lets you run through weak walls and stun enemies by ramming into them. Each contraption complements a different playstyle, so pick the device you think will best help you in combat. One contraption is given out for free, and the others can be gained by completing side missions.

The downside to the gameplay is that it can get a little repetitive at times. There aren’t really any new mechanics rolled out while you’re playing, or even that many new enemy types, so what you’re doing on the first level largely is what you’re doing on the last. The variety of levels does add some spice to the mix, but expect plenty of shooting and little of anything else.

Wolfenstein 2, like the first one, can be a very hard game. However, if you aren’t as skilled at first-person shooters or just want to enjoy the story without having to work too hard for it, there are a number of difficulty settings to match what you want. Playing on the easiest setting means there is so much extra health you never really are concerned. My only wish is that the names of the difficulty settings didn’t have to ridicule gamers by calling them children for playing on the easier side.

From a technical perspective, Wolfenstein 2 runs perfectly except for one minor hiccup. The game looked beautiful on Xbox One and the framerate never seemed to chug, even when things started getting hectic. My only issue was the in-game audio would occasionally not return if I had the pause menu open for too long. This wouldn’t get fixed by loading a previous save, and the audio would only return by resetting my console and starting back up again. It’s certainly frustrating, but nothing as severe as a game-crashing bug or a save gone missing.

It took me around 13 hours to complete Wolfenstein 2 on the easier difficulty settings, so expect a little longer if you want to really challenge yourself. However, once the main campaign is done, there are a bunch of extra bonus missions. Assassination missions, unlocked via the Enigma machine, bring players back to the same locations as the campaign, but in different areas. For example, the level in Texas in the campaign is your house you lived in growing up, while the assassination mission in Texas is on a movie set. These missions are short, but fun little extras to keep you going into what will almost definitely be a third entry to the series.

If you lament the downward spiral of single-player story-driven games, get Wolfenstein 2. If you love great first-person shooters, get Wolfenstein 2. If you’re looking for a crazy story filled with tons and tons of Nazis being brutally murdered, get Wolfenstein 2. Basically, everyone looking for a good time should get Wolfenstein 2. It’s wonderful.

So what do you think? Did you play Wolfenstein: The New Order? Are you ready to rid the world of Nazi scum? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Is Ridiculous In All The Right Ways
Wolfenstein 2 is an insane ride that starts strong and never lets go.
  • Great story
  • Fun, if repetitive, gameplay
  • Memorable characters
  • Minor bugs
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