Back in 2014, MachineGames captured the core aspects of FPS genre during its early days for a modern audience with Wolfenstein: The New OrderWolfenstein II: The New Colossus is everything the first game dialed up significantly with more action and an excellently written story that mixes together comedy and drama to such a fine tune that you’ll find yourself laughing hysterically in one scene and cringing in another with unsettling moments of trauma brought on by the Nazi regime. While it has its issues with navigation and gathering resources, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is an outstanding single-player adventure full of high-action moments.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus takes place after the events of The Old Blood with BJ Blazkowicz on the brink of death and the Nazi forces on the Resistance’s doorsteps. Held together by a highly advanced armor left behind by a friend BJ tries to do his part in trying to set the flames of revolution against the Nazi regime in America. It’s a dark and gritty tale full of well-written and animated characters.

Each scene in The New Colossus is remarkably choreographed with detailed animations in each character’s model. What sells the story is the mixture of comedy and dread. At one moment BJ is asking if the new weapon provided to him kills Nazis efficiently and in another begging for the strength just lift his feet. This combination helped amplify each scene, especially during the more profound situations, where characters felt exposed trying to express their frustrations.

General Engel easily steals the show in The New Colossus. From the moment you see her you know something is wrong with her. Sadistic and gleeful she takes pleasure in tormenting her victims and prefers to see them suffer than simply kill them. If Vaas from Far Cry 3 ever wanted a soulmate it would be this woman.

The New Colossus‘ gameplay mimics that of classic FPS games such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D. Enemies come at you in droves unless you take out the commanders, which include a combination of either 1 or 2 in any given area. This pattern repeats for most of the game with new areas providing different environmental layouts. You can use stealth or rush in, but if alerted the Commanders will call on an unlimited amount of soldiers until killed or getting to the next area.

Enemies come in a variety of styles such as weak grunts to heavily armored juggernauts. Since the commanders summon soldiers are a random rate using stealth is highly advised. The enemy AI isn’t particularly smart and will ignore dead bodies on the floor. When alerted they’ll mostly rely on charging your position with large numbers while practicing basic self-preservation.

What becomes frustrating is how frequently you’ll die. The New Colossus is hard but at times it can be unfair. Enemies can take an obscene amount of bullets to kill and I noticed while I could pick up ammo, armor, and health it was never consistent. At times I would have to manually pick up essential items. This lead to situations where I was dangerously under-equipped forcing me to start the entire level over just to get a fighting chance.

BJ, while shown nimble in the cutscenes, isn’t very mobile or strong. He can run fast and reload quickly but picks and chooses when he can climb over and grab. This extends the game’s lack of awarenesses. Since you’re given no minimap enemies can shoot you from anywhere without you knowing.

Weapons are varied and plentiful. Nothing major truly stood out with BJ having access to standard a submachine gun, assault rifle, and an automatic shotgun. Heavy weapons cannot be put away and must be obtained from enemies on the field, after of which they’re discarded. Players can quickly equip any weapon on the fly thanks to the responsive controls but since you cannot pause the action everything is done in real time.

You can upgrade your weapons using upgrade kits. Each weapon has up to 3 modifications that increase damage, handling, and sometimes bullet variations. You can dual wield weapons at the cost of ammo and reloading time for extra punch. It doesn’t matter how you play since The New Colossus provides a constant stream of upgrades base on your performance to ensure that your playstyle is rewarded.

What The New Colossus excels at is the atmosphere. The alternate reality of The New Colossus is wonderfully decorated and highlights what exactly happened when the Nazi Regime took over America. The people are scared to talk, crumbling buildings remain untouched from World War 2, and the entire world has become an industrial mess where soldiers have been subjected to inhumane augmentations.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a classic FPS game that adheres to the genre’s purest roots. It doesn’t attempt to cater to modern advances and captures the basics of what makes a good FPS. The story is fantastic due to strong performances from distinct characters and beautifully animated cutscenes. However, the minors issues that plague the game such as the lack of navigation, mobility issues, and unfair deaths can become frustrating over time. Regardless, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus excels at delivering a high-paced action adventure game full of laugh out loud moments, periods of dread, and intense action.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Review
The Pros
  • Excellent Story
  • Fantastic Characters
  • High-Pace Action
The Cons
  • Lack of Navigation
  • Deaths Can Feel Cheap
  • Health and Ammo Pickups Aren't Consistent
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)