Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Review
After the Wolfenstein reboot in 2014, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus attempts to bring the series forward again. Does Wolfenstein II do enough to make it a solid game in 2017, or is it a franchise best left in the past? Check out our review and find out.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Honest Review
Wolfenstein II starts with a quick recap from the last game, where our hero awakes in rough shape. You are BJ Blazkowicz, the Nazi killing hero who attempted to save the world from the Nazi invasion once before. After some flashbacks of you getting fixed up and your dark childhood, you awaken under Nazi attack, again. Sadly you have barely recovered, and your legs don’t work so well. You have to fight your way out in a wheelchair until you get some power armor that restores the use of your legs. Before you get your power armor though, you run into your old nemesis Frau Engel. She is still mad about the events of the last game and intends to end BJ and his crew once again.
When you encounter her, she has yo up against the ropes. She has your base under siege and has you captive. After you break free and release your boat, you escape her for the time being. Your focus is now on taking the fight to the Nazis and liberating America. Freeing America is no easy task, but thankfully you have some allies on the boat who are willing to aid you. Overall, the campaign will run you from 8-10 hours, depending on the difficulty you play on.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a first-person shooter, and outside of story cutscenes, that is almost all you will do. Go over here and clear out Nazis, go over there and clear out Nazis, defend X point from Nazis…it is a relatively linear shooter that has a repetitive structure. Clear a section, followed by a story segment, followed by another section that needs to be cleared. That’s not to say there isn’t exploration; it’s just a pretty linear experience overall.
One of the things I like most about the game is the upgrade system. You have a few different trees you can upgrade, but there are no skill points. Instead, you level them up by doing certain things like stealth kills, headshots or dual wield kills. The game makes you stronger in the way you want to play. You don’t have to stealth if you don’t want to, you can focus on dual wield. You can also just focus on stealth; it is up to you. You aren’t shoehorned down one tree either; you can easily play a hybrid of stealth and action and still get plenty of skills and perks. Just be sure to check out the trees beforehand to get an idea of what you can do to get upgrades.
After 2016’s Doom, I expected more out of secrets in first-person shooters. Wolfenstein II has plenty of secrets and collectibles to get, but for the most part they are lackluster. There’s concept art, records, and toys to find, but they don’t change the game. On the other hand, there are weapon upgrade parts which are almost mandatory if you are playing on a higher difficulty. The health and armor upgrades are gone in this one, and that was one of the biggest factors to finding the secrets in the first Wolfenstein. Diehard fans will enjoy the extras, but the average player is just going to ignore them as they progress.
There aren’t a ton of weapons to be found in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, but you can upgrade all of them, even the ones you only find on heavy enemies. The upgrades don’t just come in the form of damage upgrade either. You can get scopes, extended magazines, make bullets ricochet, or even change what type of ammo a gun has all together. One of my favorite upgrades was turning the machine pistol ammo into nail shots. They went slower, but did more damage, and with the dual wield you could mow down enemies quickly. There are a limited amount of upgrades you can find in a playthrough, so be sure to upgrade what you think you will use the most.
We didn’t run into any technical hiccups or anything of that nature, but there was one weird that that happened at the end of a level or right before a cutscene. It would be like the game almost froze and then it loaded into the cutscene. I legit thought the game froze a couple of times when this happened, but you just have to wait it out, and it goes fine. I used a PlayStation 4 Pro for this review, so I cannot say if this is a problem on other platforms. Something else that should be mentioned is that there is no multiplayer. You get the story mode, and that’s it.
Wolfenstein Fans will enjoy Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, but it is hard to justify the $60 price point for what is in the package. If you aren’t a fan, wait for a price drop or give it the Redbox treatment.