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Jacob's DGB 07.2022 Review

Opening

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus was developed by Machinegames and published by Bethesda softworks. It was originally released on October 27th, 2017 for PC, Playstation 4 and XBOX one, and then later released on the Nintendo switch.


Story

William BJ Blaskowicz goes into a coma, time advances from the last game a little, his lover is pregnant (a leftover from the first game). You have to “remember” which of your cohorts (and thus which storyline) you chose from the first game. There’s a long cutscene in the first level of the new mean Nazi beach killing the leader of the rebels (Caroline) right in front of your eyes, clearly establishing her as the villain. The rest of the game, BJ talks to himself in a way it kind of feels like praying to his now dead comrade, how he’ll avenge her death, how he’ll miss her being in charge, etc.


Places you’ll see as you play this game are Manhattan, Roswell, New Orleans, and the planet Venus. Locations are quite large, often cut up into three or four levels.


There’s quite a bit about BJ’s family, how awful his father was to him and his mom, and that does a lot more important story telling/character building than the praying to BJ’s dead friend, Caroline. This game also mostly takes place is the ‘60’s, and plays with a lot of political and social issues in mostly interesting ways.


About halfway or two-thirds of the way through, BJ is publicly beheaded on national TV, only for the rebels to catch his head, rush it to their headquarters and use the same technology to attach his head to a motorized body like robo-hitler from wolfenstein 3D and the final villain from the last game.


The game ends quite memorably, with you finding mean Nazi beach being interviewed on a late night show, graphically killing her, and then inciting a revolution against the Nazi government while a metal cover of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” plays.


Visuals

Much better than the last game, Machinegames clearly had more time, assets or both this time around. The story has a bunch of cinematics that look fantastic.


Sound Design

Some guy called Mick Gordon was the composer for this game, working alongside Martin Stig Anderson, who scored Inside.


Guns are recognizable by just the sound. I knew I had chosen the wrong gun from the weapon wheel without looking at the nondescript black outline, I could tell by just the “boom boom boom” of the weapon.


Movement is noticeable with heavy “boom boom” of boots, especially when BJ is mostly a walking robot.


Gameplay

This game was the practice round for Doom Eternal, where hallway ambushes and killing arenas are obvious, but where DE feels open and easy to traverse quickly, Wolfenstein feels unnecessarily heavy and bogged down by bad design. The ability to have time slow down (or stop) while in the weapon wheel is an unlockable skill MUCH later in the game, and that’s balancing guns in both hands. Faster mobility skills are unlockables. Everytime you change weapons you have a small cinematic (like unfolding the stock or racking a new round in the pistol) which really inhibits the ability to get a quick kill to get yourself out of trouble. This game clearly wants to play like an arena shooter but has tendencies like this that make you want so badly to play strategically. Gun upgrades again are like Doom where you get two firing options, but with so many weapons I left my preferred upgrades and would just switch weapons to suit my needs, because switching weapons or weapon mods both felt like it took too long


There are SO SO many collectibles in this game. Gold pieces, Star Cards (which are like baseball cards with people on the front, but no one recognizable, my research suggests people that worked on the game), Weapon Upgrades, Max’s Toys, Records, and So. Much. Readable. Content. There’s literally a room at the Rebel’s headquarters littered with readable content all over the room. The last time (for me) there was this much stuff collectible reading in a game was probably Witcher 3, and I still cared to at least skim most of those. This game, I didn’t care. It was so much world building, which is nice, but share some of that with TV news reports and radio shows and people I walk by to keep it interesting. I don’t want to read my video game, this isn’t Baldur’s Gate or Pillars of Eternity.


Level design is mostly straightforward, but the Rebel’s headquarters is so confusing to get around, with three levels of many rooms and hallways.


Difficulty is wiggity wack. I had it on the fifth hardest difficulty when I started cuz I’m not a newb, and ended up finishing the game on basically “story mode”, which was admittedly too easy, but the next difficulty (so the second difficulty) would still kick my ass in sections and I just wanted to finish this game.


Closing

I wanted so badly to love this game. It looks and sounds better than the first. It has an engaging story, and fun concepts to play with. But the actual gameplay mentally broke me. I’m so glad I finished it, and I have no interest in going back. I think I got this game on a black friday sale, so I’m going to guess I got it for twenty bucks? It’s difficult to suggest a price point on this one. Spencer kinda hated Doom Eternal, and I love it. This is another modernized boomer shooter. If that sounds interesting, and if you loved the New Order, definitely go for it. Otherwise, play Doom 2016 or Eternal.


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