Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Engine: id Tech 6
Platforms: PC, PS4 (review platform), XB1
Release Date: October 27, 2017
The Wolfenstein franchise has been around since the '80s and is renowned for its unique blend of gore and alternate history. 2014's The New Order took things up a few notches by packaging all of that in a more cinematic and emotional bundle and that's why the game is still easily in my Top 3. So, quite naturally, I was excited for the next chapter in the franchise, The New Colossus.
The New Colossus picks up right where The New Order left off. BJ is critically injured from the final boss fight against Deathshead in the previous game. Unable to cure BJ completely, the scientist Set Roth gives him a power armour that puts him back in the battlefield. The rest of the game deals with BJ and the Kreisau Circle joining forces with various rebel groups across a Nazi-dominated America and fighting against General Engel's army.
The New Colossus plays quite differently from The New Order. In the previous game, the levels would have fewer number of enemies but they were very powerful and needed to be taken down strategically. The New Colossus' gameplay, however, feels more like DOOM than The New Order. The shooting galleries are overflowing with enemies and if you are not constantly moving around, you are eventually going to get outnumbered and die. This huge shift in gameplay style might be questionable but I personally enjoyed it since it helped me relieve a lot of stress.
The visuals of Wolfenstein II, even though a step up from the previous game, feel quite dated for 2017. The optimisation is not all that great either since I faced frequent stutters and frame rate drops on the PS4. The game freezes for a few seconds before every cutscene which hurts the immersion of the game quite a bit. The soundtrack feels eerily similar to that of DOOM which has the same composer and ultimately is not very fresh or memorable.
My biggest and the only major gripe with the game is its plot. Initially the plot is very slow and feels like an excuse to set up the shooting galleries. However, the story does pick up during the second act. There are some very emotional scenes such as the ones regarding BJ's childhood. There are some mind-bending plot twists that will make you get off the seat and scream at the screen. The portrayal of Hitler, who makes a cameo appearance, is very creative and completely different from how the controversial leader is usually portrayed. However, in the final act, the game loses steam once more and feels like one shooting gallery after another. The final nail in the coffin for The New Colossus is the anti-climactic ending. The ending is not satisfying at all and it infuriates me even further when I compare it with the emotional ending of The New Order.
Overall, Wolfenstein II is a great shooter with an excellent second act. Get this game if you are looking for a fast-paced shooter that will help you relieve stress but don't go into it expecting the emotional and cinematic excellence of The New Order.
Nony Khondaker is an introvert who complements his non-existent social life with video games, Netflix and a whole lot of ice-cream. Send him memes and cat videos to cheer him up at fb.com/NonyKhondaker