Although I like racing games a lot, narrative games are also a huge draw for me. Adding a nice and well-constructed narrative with an idea of a dystopian alternative reality in which the Nazis win the Second World War and dominate the world, so it's a pretty solid recipe - and that's what drew my attention to releasing some good hours for Wolfenstein: The New Order.
Now, it's time to get back into the shoes of William Joseph Blaskowicz, aka B.J. Blazkowicz, or "Terror Billy," and kill Nazis on the sidelines. In Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, however, in addition to frenetic moments of action, the usual good narrative gains a considerable pinch of the emotional factor.
This variable, however, also serves to give a brake on the pace of the game. Add that to a few peaks of difficulty - the game was mostly tackled on the "Do or Die" difficulty, with the controls suffering the consequences - and some other details and you have a balance in the least interesting in this second episode of the new Wolfenstein era.
It's time to check, then, if punching Nazis is still good (spoiler: yes).
I'm Billy the Terrible - but I'm kind of like that, I do not know
Although an obvious means - quite obvious, in fact - The New Colossus is a continuation. Yes, stupid though, this statement is not for nothing: Wolfenstein 2 asks, in a way, that you have played The New Order (and The Old Blood) so that it all makes sense.
There is, of course, a recap that is made early in the game, but it does a lousy job of putting potential new players to the story. Although this is a predictable and understandable situation, since it serves very well for MachineGames and Bethesda to encourage the guys to experience the predecessors of The New Colossus, there is that feeling that the welcome to anyone who decides to take the train on foot could be a bit more friendly.
After reviewing the events of The New Order, the new game begins exactly where the previous one ends, with B.J. Blaskowicz struggling to stay alive with the help of his teammates from the Kreisau Circle. From there, it is a mix of memories and new events that will dictate the rhythm of almost half of the game.
This is where you see two very cool things, a new one and an inheritance. The new is the deeper nuance that is added to the excellent narrative of the game: the protagonist finds himself involved in issues that go well beyond the Nazi threat.
Blaskowicz is dying and knows this, but he will also be a father and this, of course, creates an internal conflict with which he has to deal in parallel with the frantic shootings and the reality that the world has become a terrible place at the hands of his enemies.
The second thing The New Colossus gives continuity is the excellent character building, perhaps even more clearly than in The New Order. Anya, Set, Max Haas, Bombate and others participate in a way that helps a lot that you can create a greater bond.
This brilliance, however, does not boil down to its allies. One of the things that goes through the memories of Terror Billy is his relationship with his mother Zofia and the damn anti-Semitic racist who is his father, Rip, who is responsible for 50% of the shock and injection of hate you will feel in the first part about the game.
The lunatic General Engel is responsible for the other sneaky situation that shows that MachineGames can also create iconic antagonists, authentically sick, something in the line of Vaas Montenegro Far Cry 3.
Some events at the beginning have the function of shocking the player and do it very well, citing as examples the scene of the dog and the scene of Caroline for those who played, but somehow it seemed a bit free. Either way, the game forces you to witness the perversities of Rip and Engel, so that you create a real hatred for them - but that comes at a cost.
The big point here is that, as the narrative has gone a little deeper, there are several times when The New Colossus ceases to be a rampant killing and sees its rhythm broken substantially - to the point of becoming rather tiring. The very beginning of the game, although it is understandable that it works to structure much of the story, seems to last forever.
The feeling I had is that the protagonist's more personal moments overlap much more frequently with the frantic action seen in previous games, and instead of serving as moments for the player to breathe, they have passed a little on the point. Anyway, it's nothing that smears the end result.
From wheelchairs or on foot, the killing continues ...
Beauty, all this talk of striking characters and personal conflicts is very beautiful, but I imagine you want to know if killing Nazis is still legal. The immediate answer is that, yes, it is still a very way experience, especially when you are in control of Blaskowicz while he is sitting in a wheelchair.
When you are not telling a story, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus puts you in the dynamic already seen in the predecessor.
This means that the way the levels are created, once again a high point of the game, allow you to take a more stealthy approach, using finishing blows with a hatchet and silenced weapons, or enter two wielding rifles and skirt dismembering soldiers Nazis out there.
Speaking of which, there is a satisfying variety of enemies that helps give a variety during gameplay: they are supersolded armed with laser cannons, puppies, fire-breathing quadrupeds (Panzerhund) robots, wicks, drones and officers requiring a dynamic approach and a sense of attention of the player.
The environments are wide, but intuitive, and greatly stimulate exploration in search of collectibles and other items. New York devastated by an atomic bomb is a great example of this, with several possible ways for you to reach your goals, surprising or simply decimating your enemies along the way. Even Eva's Hammer, the submarine that now serves as its headquarters, contains these cool level level balconies.
Controls continue to run smoothly and, despite offering many different commands, between lowering, jumping, running, tipping, throwing, and stuff like that, everything can be done very simply and without breaking the rhythm of the action: during the combat, The New Colossus is still a Wolfenstein and does his role very well.
... varied ...
One of the novelties was by some special powers that allow you to reach higher places, pass through narrower holes or simply destroy walls out there - mechanics that are incorporated into existing ones and work quite efficiently.
In addition, improvements that naturally run through normal gameplay actions, such as head-on or sneak rebates, for example, that result in some aspect of the gameplay being progressively optimized, continue to function and give RPG game - plus the character's sense of progression and reward tailored to the way you play.
The variety of weapons is good and you can wield two different ones in each hand if you decide to go for a more hallucinating break. Apart from the special weaponry that you usually get by defeating one of the Nazi supersoldiers, you can make improvements in your arsenal with the kits that are found throughout the game - a help both on the journey.
One of the things that caught my attention is that, just like in The New Order, Wolfenstein 2 offers comprehensive options for difficulty. Starting with "Can I play, Daddy?" Which shows a photo of Blaskowicz wearing a baby hat and a pacifier to "Mein Leben", both those who want to focus on the story and those who seek a torturous challenge can be sure that they will find what they are looking for.
The only problem in this story is that, in at least three distinct moments, The New Colossus presents a peak of difficulty even at levels considered normal (such as "Check It Out" or "Do or Die") - which can be a little frustrating after you feel quite capable as you navigate through much of the game on a level of challenge compatible with what you expect.
and beautiful too
Visually speaking, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is really beautiful: the scenarios are all very well detailed and the character modeling is quite satisfactory. Ambient lighting and occlusion effects greatly help to compose the visual experience in a meaningful way.
The effects, such as explosions and metals melting when using Lasergewehr, for example, are sensational. In the heaviest part of the thing, it's quite satisfying to bump into several Nazi soldiers in a tight corridor when you have a revolving shotgun in your hand and see limbs and heads exploding - a little sadistic, that's true, but it's part of the madness that the parties are of Wolfenstein.
Here's another little detail that bothered me a little bit: Unlike most FPS games, The New Colossus does not have a very efficient code that you're taking damage from enemies: it's a pretty subtle red spot, there's nothing that really tells you that you better run or hide to not die. The vibration of the control even ends up being lost since, most of the time, you are shooting and this also makes everything vibrate.
At the end of the day, there is a learning curve, and it takes some time for you to assimilate the mechanics of all the enemies and jump and slide while shooting with two machine guns and pulling out your hatchet to rip someone's arms out - but it's VERY cool when happens.
Walking alone (but walking a lot)
With all that focus on the narrative, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus does not have a multiplayer mode. This means that what you have in hand is a product extremely focused on giving the player an individual experience - and there is nothing wrong with that.
Would it be cool to have a multiplayer? No doubt, but it is not something that makes real lack since the campaign, if you focus only on the main activities, is between 12 and 14 hours in duration.
You have a number of secondary activities and, after all, you still have the uber-commander hunting quests, which can be sadly difficult at times and will keep you entertained for a few more hours after completing the main story.
Finally, the collectibles are always there for the most enthusiastic, which guarantees a lot of fun time, even if alone.
What a strange voice you have, B.J. Blaskowicz
In the soundtrack, it has to be said that the Wolfenstein 2 track is simply animal and it helps a lot in the ambiance of the game and also to dictate the rhythm of the most frenetic hours. The sound effects of shots, bullets bouncing, soldiers talking or giving commands, something that helps the player a lot to position himself in order to avoid being surprised or flanked, accompany the level of quality and almost nothing to the ears ... Almost nothing .
Billy has lines of dialogue that are intoned completely out of context, at one point he calls Eva's Hammer (an allusion to Eva Braun, Hitler's companion) of "EVA Hammer" - which brings to mind the ridiculous image of a hammer made of foam -, the indecisions about the pronunciation of the name of the character Caroline, rough translations, anyway ...
In some moments you laugh and feel bought by what is being talked about, while in others it simply gives a shame to others. The suggestion is that if you do not have problems with English, play the game in the original language: it is the guarantee that you will be able to take full advantage of everything The New Colossus has to offer.
Without a doubt, a great second episode
The summary of the opera is that Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is a solid second episode that, although not having had the same impact as its predecessor, is extremely competent to follow up on what The New Order started - even though it is not the friendliest for those who decide to take the story in the middle of the road, which is perfectly understandable.
With a new mechanic here and one or another addendum in the narrative there, the end result is quite satisfactory and you end the story with an obvious taste of want more.
Since the prediction is that this new phase of Wolfenstein will be a trilogy, it may take some time before the last chapter of this story arrives - a certainty, however, is that The New Colossus does very well in fans eager and entertained until he arrives.
"The New Colossus plays its part in continuing the excellent work of The New Order and setting the stage for the next game"
-Narrative remains brilliant and arrives with a special seasoning in The New Colossus
-Continuous playability with new power mechanics
-Even focusing solely on the single player, there is a lot of content available
-Thanks very well thought out and with excellent graphics help in the setting
-The sounds, especially the soundtrack, are a great complement to the experience
-Nazi-fighting is always cool as hell.
-The dog scene at the beginning of the game
-The story, especially in the first half, trails more than necessary
Difficulties can be quite frustrating, even at moderate levels.