wolfen­stein II : the new colos­sus

Blaz is back as his war on Nazis takes giant steps for­ward

XBox: The Official Magazine - - START - Dave Meik­le­ham

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.

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