After the successful reboot of Wolfenstein with the release of Wolfenstein: The New Order in 2014, developer MachineGames and publisher Bethesda Softworks teamed up and released the sequel “Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus in 2017 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. B.J. Blazkowicz is back and surrounded by an…interesting cast of comrades. Would the second installment find success again? Get ready for Wolfenstein “PC” in this Wolfenstein II the New Colossus Review.
Wolfenstein II The New Colossus Plot:
Wolfenstein II falls short in putting together a believable and likable cast of characters to help our hero B.J. along the way. Once again, B.J. is in a coma, this time for five months instead of 16 years like he was in the first game. Anya, his naughty nurse from the first game is now pregnant with twins and is about to pop. After recovering from his near-death encounter with Doctor Deathshead from the final fight of the previous game, B.J. and his crew is laying low in the ocean on a U-Boat. The Nazis find the U-Boat and B.J. decides to purposely get captured and is sent to an airship that is holding his crew hostage. It works and B.J. confronts Nazi Commander Frau Engel with the help of Caroline who was a paraplegic whose body was restored with futuristic hidden armor in an underground water cache. Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but are you still following?
Anyway, Caroline is killed by Commander Engel but B.J. and the others escape in the U-Boat. They make their way to Manhattan which is in ruins from an atomic bomb. They meet the leader of the small resistance army, named Grace Walker, and her cuck boyfriend Norman. This is where I started to get turned off from the characters. Grace is super aggressive and ALWAYS angry. She doesn’t listen and demands total control. Meanwhile, Norman is your apologetic white liberal friend who wishes he was black. The resistance army that Grace runs joins up with B.J. and his crew but Grace is the commander of EVERYTHING. I highly disagreed with this decision. You’re telling me that Grace who was a normal citizen before the war is a better commander than B.J. who has killed thousands of Nazis, has expert knowledge of war tactics, and has executed countless suicidal missions throughout the years against the toughest of Nazis? Grace is not a likable character at all. It’s her way or the highway but fortunately for her, she has B.J. who agrees to carry out her missions.
They decide to blow up a Nazi base in Roswell, New Mexico and are successful. B.J. then takes a trip to his hometown of Mesquite, Texas. This trip reveals memories and flashbacks to B.J.’s childhood. This entire sequence is cringe-worthy as it depicts B.J. as a little boy befriending an African-American girl. You can only guess what happens next as B.J.’s abusive drunk father forbids them to be friends in a racist rant. I don’t know what this added to the story, we can all agree that racism is bad and we get a clear picture of that from Grace. Further going down the PC rabbit hole in this game was not needed and it was so cringy at times. B.J. finds his deadbeat dad still in their abandoned home and blasts him as the Nazis storm the house because his father sold B.J. out to them.
B.J. doesn’t escape the Nazis and is captured. He is brought to Washington D.C. and is set to be beheaded in front of millions on television by Commander Engel. Here is a ridiculous plot twist that is so unbelievable it actually turns out to be hilarious. Commander Engel indeed cuts B.J.’s head off! His head falls off the balcony and drops hundreds of feet BUT is caught by a flying robot that is piloted by the resistance! They quickly stick his head in a jar and their scientists use technology to keep his brain alive while he is in the jar. They plant his head onto another body and BOOM! B.J. is reborn again! Haha, only in video games!
Oh, I forgot about Commander Engel’s daughter Sigrun who is a super fat girl and is always chastised by her mother to lose weight. She betrays her mother and at some point joins the resistance denouncing racism. To me, it just seems like Bethesda tried to think of all minorities and types of people who get made fun of and stuck them together to create an army where they kill Nazis. Don’t get me wrong, killing Nazis is always fun as they were/are the single most evil humans on Earth, but Bethesda certainly didn’t hide their political agenda in this game as far as inclusion and PC characters go.
Anyway, B.J. then travels to Venus, yes the planet to audition for a role in a propaganda movie for Hitler. I really can’t make this up. But, this was my favorite part of the game where you see and interact with Hitler. He is nothing but a puking, piss-pants, who is so sick he can barely stand up. He’s insane as he shoots and kills whoever he wants whether they are a Nazi or not. It’s clear the war has gotten to him, but it was fun to watch him up close and piss himself. The real reason B.J. is on Venus is because the Nazis keep their defense codes there to protect Earth so he needs to steal them. B.J. returns to Earth and kills Commander Engel during a press conference and declares that America is to be liberated soon.
Wolfenstein II The New Colossus Gameplay:
While the characters and story suck, the gameplay for Wolfenstein II is just as good as the first game in the rebooted series. You’ll have tons of weapons at your disposal to burn, shoot, and massacre the Nazi army. I’ve always appreciated the health and armor function in Wolfenstein as you can pick up bits of armor from dead soldiers to restore yours. This is a huge concept to use as you will be destroyed as soon as your armor is gone.
I tried not to let the characters ruin the missions for me during my Wolfenstein II The New Colossus review as the environments were well-detailed with tons of secrets to discover. The difficulty of the second game ramps up from the first and I remember having quite a difficult time near the end in the press conference room. I probably died close to 20 times before being able to beat that section of the level but thankfully the gameplay is fair enough that if you die, you don’t feel cheated. You’ll just have to practice and memorize where the Nazis are coming from and what weapons are most effective against them.
Like the first game, my favorite part of my Wolfenstein II The New Colossus review was finding the Nazi commanders and stealth killing them. They have the ability to call for back up so you need to take them out first or else you’ll be fighting tons and tons of Nazis. The game plays and feels very similar to Wolfenstein The New Order, so it’s more or less the same with all the combat.
I remember playing this game and rolling my eyes through most of it. There’s only so many times you can pound one idea into a game. I like to play video games to escape from the terrible things that are happening in the world including racism, pandemics, and everyday struggles. Unfortunately, Wolfenstein II wanted to remind the player of the things that suck in the world at every corner.
Wolfenstein II The New Colossus Review
Bethesda certainly didn’t hide what they were trying to do with this game. Most of their marketing was geared toward making a “resistance” right in the heat of President Trump’s presidency. With terms like “Make America Nazi Free Again” and “Not My America” in their marketing, it’s clear what they wanted to stir up. I would prefer in Bethesda made a Nazi killing game instead of a political commentary game next time. There’s already enough of that in all of our lives. The gameplay is terrific, but the cast of characters are so unlikable and cringy that it brings down Wolfenstein II quite a bit. It’s too bad because they’ve done a great job of creating two villains you love to kill in Doctor Deathshead and Commander Engel.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus scores a 6.5 out of 10.
What would you write in your Wolfenstein II The New Colossus review? Do you remember when Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus first came out? Did you like the cast of characters? What was your favorite mission? What did you think of the ridiculous mission of sending B.J. to Venus to audition for a role? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!