|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch|
|Initial Release: October 27, 2017|
|Switch Release: 2018|
|Players: 1 Player|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs|
Speaking of levels, the best part of playing Wolfenstein II is how much control you have over any given section. Levels, even enclosed rooms, are full of winding paths, nooks, and crannies. The options for navigating and fighting in a given space are many, with speed, verticality, and dexterity all being important factors. New to this entry are contraptions, devices BJ can use that grant him even more physical options. The gameplay loop of Wolfenstein II isn’t even a loop, really; BJ will tear across the screen, bash down doors, go in and out of vents, circle around to flank enemies by himself and even ram into things. All of this will happen while he is firing thousands of bullets, swinging hatchets around, and searching for enemy captains.
The enemy captains are back, and so too are the sometimes-annoying stealth sections. In most cases, tracking down and killing the enemy captains quickly means avoiding unnecessary combat. BJ has limited tools for stealth, and tripping an alarm means a huge firefight. These sections can feel like they either slow down Wolfenstein II too much or make it more difficult than it should be, but do serve to shake things up a bit. Other nitpicks include the occasional visual glitch and a waypoint/guidance system that you often have to squint to see. These are minor complaints at best; Wolfenstein II builds on an already solid, established core and rather than make a ton of changes, adds new stuff on top instead. Everything feels in service of either connecting to the game’s story or enhancing MachineGames’ thesis of experimenting with space in the first-person shooter.
By the end of Wolfenstein II; The New Colossus, I felt overwhelmed. It was a lot to take in, so much so that 15 hours felt like so much less. It was like going to a rock concert, riding a roller coaster, and reading a thinkpiece condemning the alt-right all at once. When I jumped in, I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially with so much of the marketing playing up the comedic elements. What I got was more of what I liked in The New Order, but on a much larger scale, with ambitions that cared little for AAA conventions and comforts. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a project that wears its heart on its sleeve, and that sleeve is on a bright yellow motorcycle jacket with a red devil on the back that is being worn by a Texan Terminator who finds great joy in hacking away at Nazi soldiers with a hatchet.