Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Review

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is an fps action game made by Machine Games in which you put back on the boots of B.J. Blazkowicz and go on a little road trip across Nazi-occupied America. What are you doing in this land? You're doing what B.J. does best: shooting, stabbing, maiming, chopping, disintegrating, exploding, and burning Nazis. And while this is something Blazkowicz has been doing for decades now, The New Colossus is the first game to shed light on the man you have been controlling for all of these years, and for the first time in its history for me I believe that its story and characters are better than killing Nazis.

Going deeper into the story, you begin the game some time after the events of the first new game. B.J. somehow managed to stay alive after the last game and is just waking up from a coma to find that the submarine they are on is being attacked by the Nazis. Soon you are up and running around killi...well, actually in a wheelchair scooting around shooting Nazis until you are eventually stuck with surrendering to another person who is miraculously alive: Irene Engel. She kills Caroline, but you manage to escape with either Fergus or Wyatt (you will be given the option as a flashback on which character you want) and Irene's daughter. The death of Caroline puts you on a war path across Nazi-occupied America to kill any and all Nazis in sight and take down Irene.

For a game that started the FPS genre and is mainly about killing Nazis, The New Colossus shocked me with the fact that the story, characters, and locations were the highlight of the game. The characters were really interesting and diverse from each other. These characters had arcs and chemistry between each other, and everything they did and say felt authentic.Add onto that the excellent voice acting and you have these characters that feel more like people than characters. The story is also great, as you and your increasingly large army go across the U.S. trying to take back the land and inject the American way back into America. But what was really shocking yet amazing were these flashbacks to Blazkowicz's troubled upbringing with his racist and harsh father. Watching how his father made B.J. grow up tough while B.J. still rejects a lot of the cruel things he did to B.J. made the little pixelated face that used to be at the bottom of the screen a lot more human and now knowing why he fights so passionately gives more reason to your actions. Who knew a story this good could be injected into a shooter like Wolfenstein. And while this story plays out and as you meet these new characters you eventually recruit, you got to go to amazing locations that really feel like this is exactly what this alternate America would be like if the Nazis won. You go to such places as a bombed New York City where the last bit of people left living there have to live on the top floors of the Empire State Building due to radiation to New Orleans that has been turned into ghetto or even to Venus. The locations both look and feel amazing and do a great job in selling a believable Nazi America.

Ah yes, the infamous milkshake Nazi.

Ah yes, the infamous milkshake Nazi.

Despite a fantastic story, one thing that didn't sit so well with me was how abrupt the ending was. I was just fighting Nazis like normal when all of a sudden I was splitting the head of Irene. Despite that, I still believe that the story was amazing and I can't wait to see what they do in the third game.

While the gameplay to me isn't as good as the story, I still believe that it is still good and their is fun to be had. I had a good deal of fun finding all of the different ways I can get through a level. Anything from stealth to combat and anything in between is available in this game, and they make that even more apparent when you are given an upgrade that enhances one version of play. You can easily see how to get through a level in different way, but the issue with this is that their is only one practical way of going through each level: full-on action without stopping. I had issues with the other ways of play because I would always tell myself that I could stealth in every new area, but in the end I was pulling out a second weapon to use because of how the game is really built; a fast-paced action games to the likes of Doom.

Going on with the theme of a second weapon, I really enjoyed dual-wielding. It was the perfect way of fighting. trust me, nothing beats dual-wielding shotguns. But I had some issues with this as well. The game allows you to dual-wield any weapon combination, but the weapon wheels were terrible to use and the very small amount of weapons kept making me use the same weapons on both hands. I would try to spend so much time trying to pick the weapon I want from the weapon wheel that I eventually became frustrated with it and found just choosing the next/previous weapon was more viable for me. But even with these issues, I had fun killing Nazis.

Usually in FPS campaigns, I hate when an alternate level came up. Tanks, car rides, airplanes, underwater levels, or anything else are a pain to go through. But the alternate levels in this game were surprisingly fun. Wheelchair combat in the first level was goofy but surprisingly fun, adding in traps while subtracting all the areas where you could normally move. And riding on a big metal dog that can breath fire and chomp people was also a blast. And speaking of alternate gameplay, The New Colossus has the entirety of Wolfenstein 3d in it with a re-skin to make the game in the perspective of a Nazi killing Americans. These recent iterations have been teasing us with little bits of their previous game, so its nice to see that the entirety of the classic is in the game.

As the game was reaching its abrupt end, I felt that the game was starting to get repetitive. Add onto this a mediocre boss fight and I felt that from both a gameplay and story perspective the ending was meh. But by the time I put my hatchet into Irene's head I felt that I had an overall good experience. Then the next part came and made things worse.

After the game, you are given the task of going back to the areas you visited in the campaign and liberating them. I initially liked the fact that their is more to do after going through the story, as for I wanted to see what it would be like to actually start liberating the states. By the end, I wish it wasn't there.

What I thought this would be is a fight between the states to push back the Nazis with your fellow comrades as you push back with new missions on old ground. What it turned out to be was a dumb grind through each area. Each area had a normal captain and a special captain. Throughout the main game and this post-game, the normal captains give you enigma codes, which are spent playing a mini-game and unlocking new areas to go to. The special captains will drop a death card which will consider the area complete. Each death card will turn a couple of states on a map blank, which is the way it tells you that you liberated said states. And that is all it is for all sixteen areas. Even with the addition of two or three total side missions that are very minor, this game turned into a really bad repetitive grind to get all of these death cards. And the worst part came when I ran out of enigma codes, leaving a few places locked until I could get more. Then I had to go back to the places I previously completed and farm enigma codes from then. By the end of those sixteen areas, I went from being done and feeling good about the game to being done and feeling bad about it. Their was something really cool that could've been done with liberating the states, but they turn it into you doing the same thing over and over and watching the states being liberated for you. I know that this is post-game content and that it shouldn't be considered as part of the main game, but I still think that this is new content and is something offered to you as something new to play. Because of that I think that this post-game content still is a large part of the game, as for it did occupy at least twenty to twenty-five percent of my time with the game. Luckily, their is a combat simulator mode, which is just a replay of a level with an arcade score. Sadly, my negativity towards this other post-game content is larger than my positivity for the combat simulation.

The map after completing all of the areas.

The map after completing all of the areas.

Here is my final verdict: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is a really good game. It has a surprisingly great story filled with awesome characters and put in great locations that make this world feel believable. The gameplay on the other hand is the thing that is surprisingly worse than the story in this game, with some weapon issues, repetitive gameplay, and horrible post-game content. I think that this is one of the better shooter games this year, and any shooter fan will find enjoyment out of this. Just skip the last part.