Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (PC) Review

By Ofisil 29.10.2017 14

Review for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on PC

Let this start with a personal confession. This humble nerd didn't adore Wolfenstein: The New Order and its standalone expansion The Old Blood as much as the rest of the world. However, it's hard not to admit that both were a breath of fresh air for the genre; a genre that, aside from FPS/RPG hybrids like the Dishonored and Deus Ex series, had reached a point where almost every new release was pretty much a generic WWII shooter, or a by-the-numbers Call of Duty lookalike. Good news for those who loved those, though, as Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus offers the same kind of deal, and in an even more over-the-top package. Unfortunately, this doesn't do much to convince those who are not already part of the flock.

Six hours into this and you'll find yourself thinking "When will I get to shoot some Nazis, damn it!?" There's plenty of shooting to do here, just be sure to remember that the 50 gigabytes of this product are mostly filled with cut-scenes. That kind of makes sense, as this was part of The New Order's charm, which had puppy-eyed beefcake B.J Blazkowicz trying to kill Nazi scum in a world where these well-meaning fellows had won. Sadly, what little sense of balance was there to begin with has been lost. Is it silly to criticise the story of something that's all about killing robotic Über Soldaten? Well, that's the thing: this is not all about that.

Once again, this offers plenty of breaks from all the Nazi-shooting business… but what are you supposed to feel in those times? The mood goes straight from 100% ridiculous to extremely violent and "serious" in a matter of milliseconds that it's incredibly hard to make any sort of connection with anything. The original could be like that at times, but, as a whole, it was a fun ride that managed to be genuinely shocking and dramatic at times. This, however, misses the mark. Take the level of violence, for instance. Mortal Kombat X looks like a Saturday morning cartoon compared to the bloodbaths that this will provide, but few will actually care who died and how.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on PC

Looking back at The New Order's 'Deathshead,' what we see is a menacing antagonist who makes you hate him, and without trying too hard to achieve that. The baddies here, while definitely unsettling, rely too much on shock value, as if someone is constantly hitting you with a "Nazis Are Bad" sign. Long story short, this feels as if it goes through a serious identity crisis, when all it should do is this: either be dark with some stupid thrown in , or go full stupid like in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which had you shoot at tesla-powered cyborg monsters; sexy, high-heeled Nazi soldiers; and undead knights from the Dark Ages.

For all the issues at hand, the production values are sky-high, to the point that the cut-scenes actually cast a long shadow over the rest of the experience, especially when it comes to the facial designs and animations, as well as the voice acting. Does the gameplay portion look bad? Certainly not! The idTech 6 does its usual wonders, and everything looks awesome, although, in all honesty, the design is bit more generic than usual, with very few scenes leaving an impact. The music also manages to add plenty of badassery on many an occasion… Too bad the action doesn't follow suit. Calm down, calm down! It's not bad or anything, but it's certainly not fantastic, either.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on PC

For starters, like the first one, this still isn't Doom. That's not a complaint, though; just a word of caution. Doom is all about pushing the action forward, diving right into battle, and never ever caring about things like stealth. The New Colossus is surely not a stealth game, but it's also not an old-school run and gunner, either, as it wants you to do a little bit of everything - a little bit of silent killing, a little bit of finding a good spot for cover, and a little bit of plain ol' shooting. The problem is that this jack of all trades ends up feeling like a master of none, as everything is just decent, when it should simply be awesome.

In many ways, this should be like Doom, especially since those parts where you play in a more tactical fashion pale in comparison to those moments where you just go in with all guns blazing. Unfortunately, even when one chooses to do so, it doesn't feel as good as it could, with the main reason being the fact that Wolfenstein II, unlike Doom is full of soldiers with guns, not demons that spit fireballs. As such, the enemies are lot harder to avoid, and, in some cases, it's easy to die with only a couple of well-placed shots, making those fleeting moments where you felt like superman disappear in an instant.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on PC

Again, this doesn't mean that the gunfights aren't entertaining, it's just that it all feels as if it's more concerned with looking cool than feeling so. There are only a few guns, and while some are awesome (and the ability to dual-wield is still great), most have little differences between them, not to mention that it's hard to tell them apart; most levels are far more linear, narrow and, all in all, uninspiring than before, and the amount of air vents that you'll have to go through rivals Half-Life. Finally, items still require clicking on them to pick them up, which is downright stupid when it comes to things like health and armour.

Other than that, Wolfenstein II is a pretty solid shooter that fans of the genre will definitely enjoy, as long as they don't expect something revolutionary. In fact, even those who loved the original won't really find something about this to write home about. You go from A to B, shoot Nazis, search for collectibles (if you want), and level-up agent "Blazko" through a simple, casual-friendly perk system that improves your skills the more you use them. Generally, this is not as old-school as most people claim it to be, meaning that, for all intents and purposes, it's a typical "modern" FPS, both in terms of pros and cons. Is it one of the good ones? Yes… but 'good' isn't enough anymore.

Screenshot for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus takes The New Order and multiplies everything tenfold (especially the silliness and the amount of cut-scenes) when it should just take the original and carefully build upon its foundation, smoothing its rough edges and offering the very best Wolfenstein game ever. The result is a FPS that's fun, but also one that doesn't really know what it wants to be.

Developer

MachineGames

Publisher

Bethesda Softworks

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

i heard this has 3 hours worth of cutscenes and 5 hour long campaign.

( Edited 30.10.2017 01:37 by Guest )

3 and half hours of cut-scenes, and not evenly spaced, as there are some points were I forgot I was playing a game. As for the actual campaign it depends in how you play it. 5-7 hours if you rush it, and up to 12 if you want to gather collectibles.

( Edited 30.10.2017 01:37 by Guest )

A lot of quotes in the Internet are attributed to the wrong person
                                -Georgios Karaiskakis

ill wait till bargain bin.

Interesting, there seems to be mixed opinion about this game. Having not played the first Wolfenstein nor Doom I was hoping to pick up one of these on the Switch. Although now I am starting to re-consider this. 

Sounds good enough for me. Sure, I'll pick it up cheap as I normally do, but I enjoyed New Order, so if it's more or less the same, it'll do.

Flynnie said:
Interesting, there seems to be mixed opinion about this game. Having not played the first Wolfenstein nor Doom I was hoping to pick up one of these on the Switch. Although now I am starting to re-consider this. 

get doom

you wont be disappointed.

I heard there was a lot of SJW-type themes in this game.

Dragon0085 said:
I heard there was a lot of SJW-type themes in this game.

i heard that SJW type reviewers werent happy with this game because of its pro-patriotism message.

Weeeeeeell... it's a big convoluted mess!

It tries to touch themes of racism, totalitarianism, feminism, BLM, patriotism, parenthood, child abuse, etc, but none of this are handled very good, especially patriotism.

The way I see it, Wolfenstein should be just like Doom: Enemies, guns, you shoot them...
Leave the sociopolitical commentary to those who can do it better

A lot of quotes in the Internet are attributed to the wrong person
                                -Georgios Karaiskakis

Ofisil said:

Leave the sociopolitical commentary to those who can do it better

agreed

Insanoflex said:

Flynnie said:
Interesting, there seems to be mixed opinion about this game. Having not played the first Wolfenstein nor Doom I was hoping to pick up one of these on the Switch. Although now I am starting to re-consider this. 

get doom

you wont be disappointed.


Thanks! It's also coming out sooner as well so that helps!

Frankly they should have just stuck with the existing characters, its what made the first game story compelling. Grace is a horrible replacement for Caroline Becker...she's like a female blaxploitation lead taken to idiotic extremes, she just ends up being annoying. And someone above wrote they were tackling just too many themes or issues unlike the first that had focus.

antsect said:
Frankly they should have just stuck with the existing characters, its what made the first game story compelling. Grace is a horrible replacement for Caroline Becker...she's like a female blaxploitation lead taken to idiotic extremes, she just ends up being annoying. And someone above wrote they were tackling just too many themes or issues unlike the first that had focus.

I don't mind silly, I don't mine stupid, I don't mind exploitation and fanservice... as long as its just that. When u try being serious and you have characters like Grace, then you've failed.

Not to mention that, like you said, this lacks focus - it's all over the place.

A lot of quotes in the Internet are attributed to the wrong person
                                -Georgios Karaiskakis
Keith (guest) 18.11.2017#14

One of the few fair bit firm reviews, the game definitely does struggle with making people relate to them and I honestly think the violence/gore is a bit too much it just seems distasteful and I mean this regardless of who is on the end of it.
The game clearly is trying to play hard on that shock value, but for me when playing it just seemed forced and the only other negative I have for the game is the pacing I felt like it was too quick and in this day and age you might think that is the norm, but it doesn't need to be.

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