In this 1961 dystopian sci-fi game, Nazis control the world. Developer Machinegames and publisher Bethesda take us back to the dual-wielding, mecha fighting, rebellious world of Wolfenstein in “Wolfenstein II The New Colossus.”
The game is just like it is advertised. “If you’re a Nazi, GTFO.”
Wolfenstein II follows the events of the previous game, Wolfenstein The New Order.
BJ Blazkowicz, series protagonist, awakens from his five month coma to find that the stolen Nazi U-boat he and his group occupy, Kreisau Circle, is under attack. Blazkowicz and his group attempt to enter New York and start a revolution against the Third Reich who have taken over America. Their revolution aims to dismantle global hold of the regime.
Fast, heavy and oh-so-stylish. Wolfenstein’s gameplay is like that of the rebooted game, Doom. Combat is extremely fast and involves mowing through Nazi and Klansmen and sometimes the odd mechanized robots.
“With stealth in Wolfenstein, it’s not about avoiding contact or avoid killing,” said Arcade Berg, Senior Game Designer “It’s about how to kill them silently, how to take them out one by one. If it goes wrong, you can still just bring up two weapons and clear the room.”
With a slick soundtrack, creative game levels, and an impactful story filled with diverse characters, Wolfenstein is a game that is an exhilarating experience to immerse oneself into.
What this adds to gaming
Given most first person shooters have the same wash and repeat Nazi levels or expansions, this gameplay model is one that has gotten a bit played out. The New Colossus comes out at a time where this formula is relevant. With ad campaigns like #NotMyAmerica and #MakeAmericaNaziFreeAgain, the developers take the approach of art imitating life in The New Colossus.
“The fact that there is now a political and social climate, particularly here in the U.S., is something we’ve talked about,” Pete Hines, vice president of marketing and PR at Bethesda Softworks, said in an interview with Glixel. “We weren’t going to hide from the fact our game is about killing Nazis and freeing the US from their rule, and if we can reference current events as part of talking about the game, so be it. Nazis are evil. We aren’t afraid to remind people of that.” Wolfenstein differs from its first person shooter game peers in that this game’s narrative isn’t an expansion. Wolfenstein’s narrative has always been like this since 1981’s Castle Wolfenstein.
One response to Wolfenstein’s ad campaign, published on Twitter, was that their #MakeAmericaNaziFreeAgain promotion was a Trump joke. The subtext for the ad was interpreted as advocating murder of Trump supporters.
“In ‘Wolfenstein’s’ case, it’s pure coincidence that Nazis are marching in the streets of America this year,” Hines told Business Insider. “And it’s disturbing that the game can be considered a controversial political statement at all.”
Regardless of whether one feels that their ad campaign is in poor taste, it’s causing a conversation so it’s working.
“We don’t feel it’s a reach for us to say Nazis are bad and un-American,” Hines told GamesIndustry.biz. “And we’re not worried about being on the right side of history here.”
Wolfenstein provides a bit of catharsis for today’s world in a time where it needs it most. Art replicates life and I think the flip reverse should occur as well. There is only one side. #NoMoreNazis.