Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
OVER 3,000 NAZIS DIE IN THIS SECOND REBOOTED INSTALLMENT. $99.95 | PC, PS4, XO | www.wolfenstein.com
THE SECOND PART in a proposed trilogy, The New Colossus is — yet again — about longtime series protagonist BJ Blazkowicz kicking Nazi arse... with guns. Set in the aftermath of the first game, which saw the Nazi regime regrettably win World War 2, The New Colossus spends the bulk of its time traversing a Nazi-occupied United States. Think Philip K Dick’s Man in the High Castle, except starring a cast of underground revolutionaries hell bent on toppling the sadistic fascists... with guns.
As you’d expect, the bulk of your time spent in The New Colossus is shooting at baddies, and that’s fine, because MachineGames’ weapons are explosive, packing a punch that few other modern FPS games can. But much like the first game, The New Colossus doesn’t coddle the player, and most will find this instalment a huge challenge compared to contemporaries like Call of Duty or Battlefront 2’ s campaign. While the marketing posits the game as an unrelenting, cathartic Nazi killing simulator, you’ll actually need to resort to stealth a fair bit unless you’re supernaturally dextrous. But its challenging nature isn’t a negative: it makes the game more engaging and impactful, while foregrounding the urgency of both Blazkowicz and his entourage’s efforts. Also, the environments are much more richly detailed and impressive when compared to the first game, so spending a lot of time in a single level isn’t as draining as it used to be.
MachineGames is a master of game cinematography... and guns, so the studio has not seen fit to ‘innovate’ much with this sequel — it’s about as bread and butter as a modern blockbuster game can be. There are new weapon upgrades which help the player customise their approach marginally, but all in all, The New Colossus will appeal to anyone who likes straightforward single-player campaigns: a true rarity in this era of multiplayer loot box nickel and diming.
There’s a lot to process here, but the helicopter should probably go first.
Yes, there are Nazi robots and, yes, you ought to throw grenades at them. Preferably from a distance, though.