In 1961, BJ Blazkowicz and his ragtag team of allies arrive in Nazi-controlled America on a mission to recruit the boldest resistance leaders left and restart the American Revolution.In 1961, BJ Blazkowicz and his ragtag team of allies arrive in Nazi-controlled America on a mission to recruit the boldest resistance leaders left and restart the American Revolution.In 1961, BJ Blazkowicz and his ragtag team of allies arrive in Nazi-controlled America on a mission to recruit the boldest resistance leaders left and restart the American Revolution.
The gameplay builds upon and polishes that found in The New Order. It's pretty Doom-like in its fast pace, satisfyingly huge guns, and heaps of ammo, yet still contains stealth and cover mechanics that work well. You're almost always given the option on how to approach an encounter, and on the higher difficulties, skillful cover and memorization of level design are rewarded. The gunplay feels slick and AAA, with variety between combat sections, a few vehicle-ish moments, and a steady trickle of new guns and perks to unlock based on your playstyle.
But the plot is where Wolfenstein shines. There are a few places where the pacing feels fast or off (flashback sequences especially), but everything else is dripping with style. Some may not enjoy how quickly it shifts from serious to comedic, but the way in which it does so, with movie-level camerawork, acting, and music, was like candy to me. The situations characters find themselves in push the bar of insanity, with invariably brutal payoffs.
The heart of Wolfenstein is still BJ & Anya's story, though, with Anya now a kickass pregnant resistance leader whose lover is still dealing with the events at the end of The New Order. You ache to see BJ survive not only because he's just an endearing character, but a soon-to-be-dad and great partner who has overcome a tragic upbringing. He won't have his kids growing up in a Nazi world, so every stab, headshot, and mindless kill feels personal and righteous.
An example of how the plot gets variety right is BJ's birthday party. After several levels of desperate fighting, tensions get relieved via a drunken submaritime bash that leaves Fergus with a missing arm and everyone with hilarious regrets.
The characters, although a bit heavy handed at times, offer more variety and fresh takes than I've seen in any game short of, say, GTA5. All nationalities, mental capacities, and body types are celebrated, but not in a preachy sjw way. You're the last bastion of beautiful humanity that the nazis want to crush, so it makes sense that so many types of people would wind up in one place. Watching them form a family is gratifying.
The score is fantastic as well, and seamlessly switches from grindy electric battle music (again similar to Doom) to period-appropriate rock and roll with a grungy futuristic twist. Throughout the levels are tons of collectibles, including funny records that imagine what bands like The Beatles would have made under an oppressive fascist regime.
So if you're a fan of great single player stories and polished FPS gameplay, Wolfenstein 2 might be just what you're looking for.
- Sep 14, 2018