Wolfenstein The New Order surprised everyone when it dropped onto the scene back in 2014. Not only did it control brilliantly, but it looked amazing, had great characters and had one of the best single player campaigns that year. Perhaps the lack of hype around the title increased its positive reception. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus does not have this luxury.
Wolfenstein II picks up immediately after the prior game, you, William Joseph Blazkowicz are in very bad shape. Your party are scrambling to put you back together and get you back to full health. You have been in a coma for quite some time, and almost as soon as you wake up, the U-boat you are hiding out on is attacked by Nazis and you have to traverse the hallways in a wheelchair and blast your way to freedom. This is possibly the greatest opening to any game ever, and controls better than you would expect. The feeling of the weapons is glorious, each one truly packs a punch.
After this first scene you are reintroduced to Irene Engel, the main antagonist of the game, who you will find very easy to hate. Her blasé attitude to violence and torture help compound the hatred towards her and you eagerly await the inevitable final rendezvous.
The visuals are even better than last time, but this time the environments take the biggest leap. Not only in looks, but also in the design and layout. It seems Machine Games took a page out of Naughty Dog’s handbook and designed their levels to be “wide-linear”. You may feel as though you are exploring and going into weird nooks and crannies, but in fact have managed to make it to the checkpoint. It feels very natural without feeling as though you were channelled there. There are occasions where you get lost, but hitting down on the d-pad will show you the objective marker and you can find your way. I did find the marker a little difficult to see. In an attempt to make you explore, the developers decided to make this quite subtle, but all it left me doing was mashing the d-pad and spinning around until I saw it.
Another oddity that caused me some issues was the cover system. Or more, it’s lack of consistency. The best FPS cover system I have experienced is in the modern Killzone games, whereby you press a button and you will stick to cover. However, Wolfenstein seems to have this, but sometimes it doesn’t work, so you then get used to not using it, and what happens is you will randomly stick to certain pieces of geometry in the game and it is annoying. It isn’t anything game breaking, more of a frustration.
This game isn’t easy either, there are approximately 6 or 7 difficulty modes, and I played on the third one, however it was taking away from the enjoyment of the story. I just wanted to see what happens next and where the story takes me. Thankfully you are able to change the difficulty in game at any time and playing on easy was much more enjoyable and less frustrating.