Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus preview – Badass Blazkowicz

B.J. Blazkowicz is back, and he’s going to be doing one thing and one thing only: killin’ Nazis. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is technically not the second entry in the long-running franchise, but it is a continuation of 2014’s critically acclaimed Wolfenstein: The New Order. The latter turned a series about mindlessly killing Nazis into the same thing but with an incredible story filled with unforgettable characters. Now developer MachineGames is almost finished with its sequel, and we got a chance to play two missions.

Starting with the beginning of the game dubbed “Reunion,” B.J. wakes up from a coma in June 1961, seven months after the events of The New Order‘s conclusion. Unable to walk, he props himself up on a wheelchair to discover that the submarine he’s on is being overrun by (you guessed it) Nazis. This is where playtime began. I picked up a sub-machine gun and started shooting the Nazis that came in. This is all done while being confined to the wheelchair. And this is how the rest of the level plays out. At first, my ego got the best of me and I decided to play on the fourth highest difficulty “Do or Die.” I regretted this almost instantly as threat level-0 enemies were mercilessly hammering me down. So I lowered it to the recommended average difficulty “Bring ’em on,” which still provided an acceptable challenge.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

I was soon introduced to the microwave traps that would blow Nazis to smithereens. These were placed all around the map and I could turn them on and off with the flick of a switch nearby. It added some tact while traversing this dangerous submarine. Whenever I could, I would use stealth as a means to progress, much like I did in The New Order. Since this is purely optional, it doesn’t deviate from the classic shoot ’em up formula that Wolfenstein fans love. Matter of fact, you’re more than likely going to fail and have to resort back to going in guns blazing.

The Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus level concluded with a cutscene featuring comrades Fergus Reid and Caroline Becker, to the infamous rival from the last game Frau Irene Engel, who serves as this game’s main antagonist. This scene where B.J. is being held against his will facing his fellow comrades is very reminiscent of when he had to choose between Fergus and Wyatt from The New Order. And it looks as if Fergus being alive is the canon decision. Either that or it will depend on who you saved in the previous game. Regardless, it looks like we’ll have to make another decision on who to save or kill. But before I could choose, the level ended and I had to start on the next one: “Roswell.”

Beginning with a cutscene starring B.J. and his new team, they devise a plan to sneak in a portable nuke into a Nazi base in Roswell, New Mexico, to give the American people hope that the fight against the Nazis can be won. B.J. takes on the disguise of a fireman and strolls around the city. You can run into Klan members having a humorous conversation with a Nazi about touching up their German.

What’s interesting is Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus‘ take on a fictional Nazi-occupied America. Even though it’s been 15 years since Germany won WWII, the Nazis didn’t just come to America and say, “This is how we run things.” Well, they did, but in more of a patronizing way than violent, as seen by the exchange with the Klan members and patrol officer. Same with a very tense scene in a diner where a German officer kindly asks for a milkshake while snobbishly suggesting they make their menu more German. It goes about as well as you imagine.

After we kill the officer in the diner, the owner Spesh brings B.J. down to the basement. He delivers some crazy monologue that is extremely well-acted. Much like the last game, every actor nails their performance in these two levels alone. And the cutscenes are shot masterfully. If the rest of the game holds up just as well, we could be in for some award-winning performances.

Once B.J. sneaks into the train station to get to the Roswell base, that’s when the real fun happens. I started by sneaking to the objective. But as soon as I got caught by the commander’s guard dog, I was immediately surprised by new, mechanical soldiers. In conclusion, I got a beatdown before I had the chance to defend myself. Which brings me to my next point: this level was hard. Like, REALLY hard. A big part of this has to do with being thrown into a later mission without playing from the very beginning, but it’s tough nonetheless.

Cover is degradable meaning that it will eventually wear down, and enemies come at you from all angles. It’s not like DOOM where you can just run around all willy-nilly. You always have to be on your feet, know when it’s the right time to cover and keep looking for those armor pieces and medkits because you’re going to need them!

I got on the train, and a beautiful, automatic shotgun graced me with its presence. And I used it to gather some impressive kill shots down a hallway. Thanks to the high difficulty, it took me a few hours to beat this level. This was the case in the final area where a giant robot is set on taking me down. It was at this point that I lost my patience and decided to just run past it. Though I did miss out on some extra armor and ammunition.

Final Reaction

As a big fan of Wolfenstein: The New Order I am very much looking forward to its sequel. And after playing the demo, I can’t wait! Even though the difficulty was a bit harsh during some sections, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is shaping up to be a worthy successor. So far it contains all that I love about the last game: action, guns, and great performances by talented actors. All I hope for right now is that they nail the difficulty curb because jumping from the first mission to a few missions later was not ideal. But such is the nature of previewing games.

So far, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus kicks some serious Nazi ass. The game will release on October 27 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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Joey Ferris
Joey Ferris 260 posts

l love to play games and write stuff about them. I can't play something and not tell anyone how I feel about it. Call it a sickness, because it is.