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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – William In the High Castle

PREVIEW – The sequel to The New Order has been hinted at by Bethesda, and Machine Games for the past two years. First, the voice actor for Anya gave an interview in which she indicated she is working on a sequel to a highly successful IP, and last year in E3 2016 when there was a boot-up sequence to Bethesda’s conference it listed – New_Colossus.exe. Finally, at this year’s E3, the game was revealed, along with a few other fun in-universe shows, and world events which for some might be disturbing, for some are reminiscent of the hit show Man In the High Castle.

 

While the first game was a hit, there were few issues with it, including the graphics engine. It did not always look the best (ID Tech 5 was not a looker on new generation consoles), and the stealth was also not the best (albeit fun – to stab a Nazi in the neck from behind). In the end, Machine Games seems to be raising the crazy with the sequel.

Make America Free Again!

William ”B.J” Blazkowicz is back, and better than ever? Well, that is truly a question for the ages as the sequel starts off for BJ in a pretty precarious situation. After defeating Deathshead, and taking out his lair by dropping a nuke on it, BJ and his resistance group are on the run from Frau Engel as she is hunting them relentlessly for the past five months. Our brave Nazi hunting hero, however, is (at least in the first level) is bound to a wheel chair, and Frau Engel has finally caught up with them. Only time will tell if BJ can survive the new wave of Nazis, and explores how the USA is doing under the Nazi regime (which status was hinted by J in The New Order).  We will make our way from Roswell to New Orleans to further weaken the Nazi Empire, and reignite the resistance in the USA.

Choices from the previous game carry over, as the trailers, show both Wyatt and Fergus in action, and the developers also stated that a new choice would be available in the sequel further fragmenting the timeline. This time, however, it will determine what type of weapon we receive, and „probably” how BJ’s health system works. Speaking of weapons, we now get to mix up the dual wielding for the game. As rather than just wielding two of the same weapons, we can now use different weapons at the same time. Also instead of the knife, we get a small hatchet for close combat and instant kills, and as one of the developers stated:  ”There’s a lot of things you can do with a hatchet and a Nazi.” – which based on the gameplay trailers is absolutely true!

Still, I am surprised how varied the environment looks, and based on the trailers we will have a lot of interesting environments – rather than just taking place in New York (or any of the familiar locations), they developers decided to take us to a few of the much less often used locations.

The sound of Mick Gordon

Once again ID tech is powering the game, but here it looks much more polished, and stunning compared to the original. It also helps that there is no Cross-Generational porting involved, as the previous game was available for PS3 and Xbox 360  which limited the tech a bit. We’re also getting Mick Gordon back who is once again providing us with pulse pounding beats for us while we kill some Nazis in the USA.  From the looks of it though most of the effects look stunning, and the environment designed to be a mix of brutalism, and 1950s Americana with a hint of Nazis mixed between them.

The game looks great, and based on the previews will be a good looking game, but the Wolfenstein series (especially beginning with The New Order) style over bleeding edge graphics have always triumphed. The whole game oozes the alternative history style, and not in a cheap way, but rather an entire mythos is built up around the fact that the Nazis took over the world. Although at this point flying Nazi-Saucers, and Robo-Mecha Nazis are included for the sequel, and I’m not sure if this is a jump the shark moment, or if this is just a natural evolution of the series regarding tone, and style.

Killing Nazi business

With the release date being October of 2017 we would think that there’s not much time for the developers and the publisher to show the game off. However, they have shown not only gameplay but also in-universe commercials, which I recommend everyone checking out, as it is unbelievable regarding quality. The game itself is also shaping up to be spectacular, and while it does not make drastic changes like we usually expect from a sequel. It does manage to refine itself and expand the on the core gameplay and narrative structure. We hope that the sequel will also be a hit, and soon we can confirm whether it is or not this year of October. Until then players can replay The Old Blood, and The New Order to brush up on their Nazi killing.

Looks to be an amazing sequel even if it does not change its mechanic to be entirely different.

-Dante-

These might make it a success:

+ New weapons and enemies
+ Man In The High Castle Concept
+ Better graphics and sound design

These might make it a disappointment:

– Short game, with mediocre story
– Not enough refinement to advance the gameplay
– Uninteresting NPCs


Publisher: Bethesda

Developer: MachineGames

Genre: First-Person Shooter

Relase date: October 27, 2017

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