Fewer shooters in the past couple years have captivated me more than Wolfenstein: The New Order. It was filled with shocking and gruesome moments that made the world feel like a hopeless and terrible Nazi ruled cesspool. And seeing my allies suicide bomb an enemy research facility or watching the brutal murder of the family that had taken care of me when I was restrained to a chair only made that notion stronger.
With that, I'm happy to report that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus has plenty more of those earth-shattering moments.
Wolfenstein: The New Order did a great job of doing the opposite of what I expected. It made me comfortable in a scene, leading me to believe that a familiar narrative was unraveling when that wasn't the case at all. MachineGames has done that again with The New Colossus, as I experienced when I played it in Los Angeles last week.
The first of two sections had me controlling a wheelchair bound Blazkowicz, fending off invading nazis with one hand- the same build we played at E3. Even with only half of my body working properly, the controls still felt tight and responsive, just like the first game.
The level was somewhat short and not too challenging as it was an early scene from the sequel. The real challenge was delivering a portable atom bomb to the heart of the Nazi's occupation in America, what we know now as Area 51.
The mission began on the streets of Dallas as a parade celebrating Germany was marching down main street. I got to wander around the peaceful scene, eavesdropping on broken German and nervous chuckles from a few conversations between the Americans and occupying fascists. It was a really jarring sight, especially when compared to most other levels in the franchise. The colorful shops and cars were a huge change of pace from the dark and dreary scenery of most Wolfenstein levels, especially since I knew the carnage was coming.
It felt every bit as bloody and satisfying as the first game, engrossing me immediately.
After exploring a bit I headed to meet up with the contact who was going to get me from Dallas to Nevada. After entering his diner, the friendly Christoph Waltz-esque Nazi character came in for a strawberry milkshake, only to become suspicious of my firefighter disguise (with an atom bomb fire extinguisher to boot). It’s the same scene that was showcased in the recent trailer.
Once we got through that sticky situation, I was sent down a deep tunnel that lead to the underground train that would take me across the country. This is where the action started, since the station was lined with robot dogs and Nazi soldiers. I tried taking every enemy out in different ways, from a knife to the jugular to a shotgun to the tummy. It felt every bit as bloody and satisfying as the first game, engrossing me immediately.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get much further due to a game-breaking bug, which had me wandering around an empty map after finally clearing the room of enemy combatants. A train was supposed to lower down onto the track after I hit a switch, but it didn't so I had nowhere to go. But right before that train was supposed to lower, two robotic soldiers burst through the window right in front of me. As I fought them more soldiers came up the staircase to flank me—it was an adrenaline filled moment that claimed my life a dozen times. And even though I died constantly, I never got tired of trying it again, focusing on new strategies and taking different routes.
That experience, along with a few other bugs, leads me to believe that MachineGames is on a tight schedule to make this work. So, the game could end up being delayed—especially given how packed October 2017 is—, or be a bit rough around the edges when released. But regardless of that, I still had a blast. The same feeling that it hit me while playing The New Order hit me again while playing The New Colossus, and I can't wait to experience it again