After a refreshingly good reboot and the zombie-themed The Old Blood, Wolfenstein is back for a new hack-and-blast adventure with The New Colossus. Here’s our full review of Wolfenstein 2, as played on the Xbox One X.
BJ Blazkowicz is back in action for this brutal FPS, which takes place immediately after events in The New Order. Our hero has been ripped to pieces and just about survives the ordeal thanks to the swift actions of his rebel comrades, yet there’s no time for a spot of R and R. Moments after the game begins, their submarine base is snatched up by the devilish Frau Engel, hell bent on revenge. Blazkowicz can’t even stand, so you’re forced to repel the attack from the confines of your wheelchair, using some craftily laid traps – just one of a few memorable sequences that help to add some spice to the gameplay.
If you’ve played Wolfenstein: The New Order, you’ll be right at home with The New Colossus. Once again you’ll find yourself completing one-man missions, sneaking and blasting your way through all manner of environments in a bid to cripple the Nazi regime in America. The story of this game is mostly superfluous to be honest (think Michael Bay blockbuster and you’re pretty much there), although it’s good to spend stretches of time with the colourful cast, including the tough-as-nails Grace Walker and everyone’s favourite foul-mouthed soldier, Fergus.
In fact, at the beginning of The New Colossus you’ll need to pick who to rescue between Fergus and his American counterpart, Wyatt. Your choice will have a significant impact on the game’s cutscenes, although your missions essentially remain the same. It’s a neat little mechanic which certainly encourages another playthrough once the end credits roll.
In between hanging out at the sub, you’ll find yourself trotting across the US and completing various missions. Occasionally levels can get quite repetitive – for instance, you’ll spend too much time crawling around the confines of your base’s lower levels and other dark, claustrophobic interiors, which can be a bit of a chore. However, Wolfenstein 2 occasionally shakes things up to snatch back your interest, such as a fun little segment where you meet a co-conspirator in Roswell.
The ability to sneak around in the shadows is a nice touch, especially given the often overwhelming forces you’re up against. In fact, whenever a general is detected in the local area (marked with a handy indicator at the top of the screen), you’ll definitely want to take the stealthy approach. If you don’t take them down before they detect your presence, you’ll have masses of reinforcements to blow into gory chunks.
For the most part these stealth elements are quite forgiving and fun, although they only really works on the more open-plan levels. In smaller confines, you’re best off just taking down enemies with your biggest weapons.
Speaking of which, the arsenal available to Blazkowicz is pretty beefy, and satisfying to use. The machine guns kind of blend into one, but most of the weapons can be dual-wielded so you’ll feel like an absolute badass when you let rip. We especially like the overkill of the giant hand cannons which can be gathered from the bodies of bigger foes, although you’ll move at a sluggish pace while carrying it.
A generic plot and inconsistent level design aside, Wolfenstein 2 is a lot of fun, not to mention frequently hilarious. If you’re after a brain-free FPS fix, The New Colossus will certainly do the job.