Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (XB1) Review

Yep. It’s still fun to kill Nazis after all this time.

I actually didn’t play Wolfenstein: The New Order until a few years after it had released. When I did, I was glad to have experienced it. It was a fun ride full of carnage, blood, and some pretty great set pieces. Now, B.J. is back for another round in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, and with it tons more carnage, blood, and great set pieces.

Taking place a few months after the ending to The New Order, B.J. Blazkowitz is a broken torn up shell of a man after his attack on Deathshead’s compound. He is now wheelchair bound and on the run from the main loose end from the first game, Frau Engel. She is now searching high and low for B.J., and has finally caught up to him and his resistance crew. B.J. and his ragtag group of freedom fighters make their way to the United States to attempt to liberate America from the Nazi regime. It’s not going to be easy, especially with the Nazis getting help from the KKK in the deep Southern states of America. Luckily, B.J. runs into some resistance fighters in New York and come up with a plan to disrupt the Nazis.

Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1, Switch
MSRP: $59.99
Price I’d pay: $59.99

I don’t want to dive too deep into the story of The New Colossus because this is most certainly a story-driven game, and the story is what makes Wolfenstein 2 stand out and add great flavor to the overall experience. Every time a cutscene would begin, I had a smile on my face knowing that whatever came next would be filled with fun characters and great dialog.

The gameplay itself hasn’t actually changed much from The New Order. It’s still a fast paced first-person shooter that feels fluid and fun. The gunplay is relatively tight for the most part, with a few exceptions to some loose feeling look controls. Of course, it all depends on how players wish to tackle the levels, but for me, I was running and gunning most of my time so it didn’t really matter much. The guns themselves really make the carnage fun. There are many fully automatic weapons here along with shotguns, grenades, and some of the wonderful “retro futuristic” laser and diesel powered heavy weapons that will blow Nazis to giblets in the blink of an eye.

On top of the great weaponry, B.J. can upgrade his arsenal using upgrade kits found throughout the levels. This can greatly increase the effectiveness of weapons both for the loud run and gun approach or the stealthier gameplay style by adding silencers to the weapons. Of course, B.J. also carries hatchets with him, so a nice hatchet throw can take out a Nazi about to spot him. Or if I got the drop on an enemy, I could get a nice visceral kill up close and personal.

One final upgrade for B.J. are the perks he can get from completing challeneges. They’re not really challenges as more of just playing through the game. Stealth killing enemies, headshot kills, dual wield kills and the like will eventually level up perks that can help B.J. out in combat. Like faster crouching speed or more ammo reserves when dual wielding. They all come rather naturally while playing the game and makes progression feel smother and can change the way players play the game.

There’s one other ability B.J. will get about six hours into the game that really kicks up the action a good amount, but I don’t want to spoil it. Let’s just say, if you want to be a wrecking ball of a Nazi killer, you’re in for a nice treat.

Visually, the game is amazing. The look of the Nazi occupied US is both bleak and colorful at times. I’m sure many have seen the walk around the 1960’s neighborhood as Nazis and KKK members walk the streets and it really does look and sound great.

The story’s not afraid to go to some pretty controversial places either. Racism, oppression, and some pretty hardcore traumatizing events take place that really paints a horror picture for the players. It’s a tough thing to see and even tougher to see it play out as a character in the game. It does not shy away from the shock value, both in violence and in tone.

Now, while I enjoyed my time with The New Colossus, there are some pretty glaring issues I can’t not bring up. The first one being, this is not an easy game by any means. I played on the “Normal” difficulty and died countless times. There’s seven difficulties that offer up different challenges, but just be warned – this is not a cake walk. I feel that some of the reasons why is because of both how the AI can see and hit B.J. from what feels like a mile away, and the game not doing a very good job of telling me where I’m getting shot from. I can’t count the amount of times I was killed and had really no idea who was shooting me or where they were. Then, after dying, I had to sit at a loading screen for a good 15-20 seconds before trying again. It was just long enough to get on my nerves, and since I died a lot, I was looking at this loading screen way too much. It’s like a circle of annoyances. I die a lot because I can’t tell where I’m getting attacked, I then have to stare at a loading screen for too long, rinse, repeat.

Along with this, I can’t help but feel that while the gameplay is great and the story and characters are stellar, The New Colossus still feels like “more of the same” from The New Order. It’s not to say that’s a bad thing, but ultimately I feel like I had experienced a lot of this before. I enjoyed The New Order, and I enjoyed The New Colossus as well.

In the end, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is a fun first person shooter with some issues here and there that was just enough to get on my nerves. It doesn’t shy away from the hard subjects, in both the story and the gameplay, and I think that anyone who enjoys a good FPS should pick this one up. It’s well worth the time and money even with the issues it has.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Written by
Drew is the Community Manager here at ZTGD and his accent simply woos the ladies. His rage is only surpassed by the great one himself and no one should stand between him and his Twizzlers.