wolfenstein II : the new colossus
Blaz is back as his war on Nazis takes giant steps forward
PublisheR Bethesda Developer MachineGames Format Xbox One ETA 27 October 2017
MachineGames may very well have cooked up the coolest, most slickly subversive videogame trailer in a decade. The reveal video for its new Nazi-stomping shooter sequel is an absolute humdinger. It starts on a mock 1960s wholesome American TV show – a kind of Lassie piss-take, just replace the loyal Collie with a six tonne Panzerhund – and ends with the returning BJ Blazkowicz murdering Swastika’d soldiers in a robotic suit. Call Of Duty, this ain’t.
If the final game is anything like as electrically imaginative as the E3 trailer, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus is going to be a hell of an FPS. 2014’s New Order was a shooty sleeper hit; a delightfully leftfield, story-driven blaster that showed more character in its seven-hour campaign than every COD since Modern Warfare combined. Yet already the brief gameplay trailer MachineGames has shown off, and various sensational snippets from that trailer, suggest New Colossus is going to take the series’ awesomely offbeat Nazi-bashing to a new level.
Engel of death
Set a year after its predecessor in 1961, the world has been plunged into Third Reich terror. Despite BJ bumping off the dastardly General Deathshead, the Nazis have rallied under the command of Frau Engel, and have all but enslaved America. Not only is New Order’s secondary villain back in delightfully sinister form, this time she’s brought a downtrodden daughter with her, whom she delights in humiliating at every turn.
Though Engel and her democracyhating pals may have taken over the good old US of A, this plot point should actually make Blaz’s shooting galleries pleasingly varied. With Nazi control so far-reaching, BJ has got some serious travel ahead of him, and MachineGames has revealed you travel to a flooded New Orleans, a post-nuclear Manhattan and a creepily cheerful Roswell, New Mexico, over the course of Colossus. A segment of the latter level can be seen in the trailer, with Ku Klux Klan members merrily walking down sunkissed streets as Nazis proudly patrol in the background.
While the last game showcased some of the most canny pacing this side of Half-Life 2, some thought its opening was weak. Thankfully, lessons have clearly been learned. MachineGames demoed the sequel’s opening level at E3, and the resulting hospital escape is effortlessly more interesting than The New Order’s slog to break through the defences of Deathshead’s compound.
The action opens on BJ awakening from a coma, the grenade blast from the end of the last game clearly putting him out of commission for some time. Indeed, his injury is so severe he spends the next 20 minutes first dragging himself around in a wheelchair, before cleverly using an assortment of conveyor belts to transport him around the compound, happily blasting Nazis with a pistol while being ferried along. Perhaps this injury explains the exo-suit Blaz can be seen killing enemies in later on.
Whatever the reasons for our hero’s fancypants gear, it’s great to see Wolfenstein popping up from behind cover. New Order is one of the most underrated games of the generation, and if Colossus can recapture the same punchy combat and personable setpieces of its predecessor, Xbox One will have another brilliant shooter to add to its ever expanding arsenal.
“BJ spends the first 20 minutes dragging himself around in a wheelchair”
right Wolfey’s alternate sci-fi timeline explains how Blaz can rock a kickass exo-suit.