Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Developer MachineGames
Publisher Bethesda Softworks
Official site wolfenstein.bethesda.net
Localizer Bethesda Softworks
release date October 2017
Genre Shooter

Bethesda Softworks has been frankly pleased with great games lately, because each project from this publisher offers an interesting adventure in an unusual world. After the magnificent Prey and The Evil Within 2 at the end of 2017, we saw a new part about the adventures of the muscular blockhead Blaskowitz, crushing the German Nazis.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a full-fledged continuation of The New Order and sends us to 1961 of an alternative reality, where the Third Reich successfully integrated the United States into Europe and became the world hegemon. At the end of the last game, the indestructible hero found himself in a hopeless situation. However, Blaskowitz is not so simple as to surrender to the embrace of death. He survives the explosion, but once again assumes the state of a vegetable while his comrades nurse him.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

The resistance forces themselves are located on a stolen submarine, which is a good shelter, but at some point the enemy finds them here too. Fortunately, the hero comes to his senses right during the assault. Overcoming the pain, Blaskowitz places his wounded carcass in a wheelchair and in this form begins the usual hunt for the Nazis. Winding along the corridors of the submarine, we sneak up on the soldiers from behind or immediately go ahead, firing with two hands.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

The return of the hero makes a rustle, but he is not yet cool enough to defeat everyone at once. As a result, we find ourselves in captivity with our comrades, and an old acquaintance Frau Engel appears, who arranges a demonstration of unbridled cruelty and skill with an ax. The ranks of partners are thinning, and only at the last minute it is possible to intervene. The hero puts on a miracle suit, regains strength and begins to crush enemies with redoubled zeal.

Wolfenstein II: The New ColossusWolfenstein II: The New Colossus

After rescuing the rest and returning to the submarine, the question arises of organizing further actions. Blaskowitz feels that the physical body has exhausted its resources and death is just around the corner. As long as the exoskeleton maintains his strength, he seeks revenge and inflicts maximum damage. To do this, you need to organize with other resistance forces that are still hiding in America. Therefore, ahead of visiting different cities and other adventures.

The New Colossus expands the view of the new world. We see destroyed radioactive cities and ghettos behind high walls. Scenes from peaceful everyday life contrast with them, where society calmly exists in the entourage of pretentious fascist symbols to the sound of a parade of endless military columns. The world is different, and Blaskowitz, against the backdrop of a settled life, looks alien. And he himself feels a certain hopelessness. The premonition of death weighs on him. This is superimposed with sadness because of the murdered comrades, anxiety for the pregnant friend Anya and a number of childhood memories.

Wolfenstein II: The New ColossusWolfenstein II: The New Colossus

If the last part tried to be an unbridled fun action movie with dramatic moments, then the new game tries to play a full-fledged drama. Instead of a brutal fighter against evil, from whom the screen oozes with testosterone, a more emotional image is formed through a series of childhood memories and dramatic scenes. And sometimes it’s just weird. Moreover, in terms of other characters, the game is true to itself. There are funny eccentrics around who go to extremes and periodically arrange sparring in foul language. And, of course, an African-American activist demonstrates the largest steel balls.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

A certain absurdity is inherent in everything that happens. It is clear that this is kitsch with uber-soldiers and robots in the spirit of the movie «Iron Sky». But The New Colossus sometimes loses logic even within the framework of its narrative. The plot often jumps from one moment to another, not puzzled by the harmony of the picture. And some characters and scenes look really stupid. Either secret compartments are suddenly discovered on a submarine, then the Germans settled on Venus, and the pregnant Anya easily runs around with a machine gun at the ready.

But there are some great scenes too. The execution looks bright, emotional and will clearly be remembered by the players. There is a meeting with Hitler, which at first is played cool, but then rolls into a toilet comedy, where the only thing missing from the frame is the process of defecation.

Wolfenstein II: The New ColossusWolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Runs through the ruined cities look very atmospheric. Although it lacks scope, large locations or battles with giant machines or walking robots. There are situations in the story that would perfectly complement the overall adventure. For example, motorcycle rides. The game often leads to something like this, but then shows a video and moves us to another location.

The gameplay balances between the possibility of stealth passing and a dynamic shooter. Many levels give a certain freedom in choosing the style of passage. You can sit behind boxes, bide your time and strike with an ax from behind without attracting too much attention. And you can, without preludes, uncover a machine gun and rush ahead, pouring a hail of bullets on everyone around.

Wolfenstein II: The New ColossusWolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Officers play an important role in this balance. As soon as the shooting starts, the alarm will immediately be raised, and the officers can call for reinforcements. If you are careful, hunt down the officers and take them out first, then it will be easier to deal with the rest. The game is dominated by ornate corridors, but they always have branches and different floors. Therefore, it is difficult to adhere to covert tactics, it requires care, and the banal save / load combination also comes to the rescue.

Wolfenstein II: The New ColossusWolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Skirmishes quickly deplete health, you need to constantly change position and rush around the level in search of supplies. The shooting itself looks bright thanks to the abundance of explosions and sparks. There are a lot of exploding barrels or armored soldiers who are ready to turn into a torch with a well-aimed hit on the fuel tank on their backs. You can pick up heavy machine guns and laser guns. Jumping up to the enemy, you can cut off his arm or leg. After a certain upgrade, the hero will learn how to ram opponents while running.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

In addition to armored soldiers and super soldiers with machine guns, we will be opposed by drones, cyborgs and fire-breathing dog robots. In a couple of places, a meeting with larger robots awaits, pouring rockets all around. It’s funny, but you can corny go around them and not even get involved in a fight.

Wolfenstein II: The New ColossusWolfenstein II: The New Colossus

There is drive, but there is monotony in game situations. Most of the game stages come down to the fact that there is a certain arena with enemies, where we are stimulated to search for and neutralize officers, so that at some point everything breaks into a wild shootout. In the second half of the game, the hero will learn some new tricks, but this does not change the essence. There are also too many cramped corridor locations, although in spacious areas the game requires more tension and thoughtfulness of actions.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

There is a direct pumping of the hero. Depending on who and how you kill with different weapons, there are some bonuses to the characteristics. This allows you to more confidently handle different barrels and be more effective in combat. But this is offset by an increase in complexity, because there will gradually be more super-soldiers and various robots, and fewer ordinary enemies.

Somewhere even the environment will be a threat to us. In radioactive New York, a hero without a suit is constantly losing health, and at the Venusian base we have to periodically look for machines to cool the spacesuit.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

The game has side missions. In addition to minor assignments at the headquarters on the boat, you will have to collect punched cards from the killed officers, decipher them and look for data on commanders in different parts of occupied America. Then we return to the old locations and hunt for our targets. Such a repeated raid on the old places is justified by the fact that as a result an independent mission will begin at a completely new location.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is full of collectibles. Those who like to collect all the objects for achievements will have to work hard to get the corresponding achievements.

The graphics are ambiguous. She hasn’t gone far ahead of the last game. Slightly better detail, more juicy effects. Along the way, the picture became more blurred. Some scenes with rich volumetric light effects are drowned in fog. Plus strong blurring and anti-aliasing TSAA 8x also play a minus.

We would recommend turning off the blur effect and at the same time using some of the simple anti-aliasing algorithms. Simple SMAA gives the sharpest image, but in this mode, pixelation of reflections and sharp stepped contours are noticeable. The best intermediate option would be TAA 1x or SMAA 1x. Although it is better to try it yourself and choose the best option for yourself.

Wolfenstein II: The New ColossusWolfenstein II: The New Colossus

The game is based on the id Tech 6 engine and only supports the Vulkan API. Learn more about performance in dedicated graphics card testing.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

There is something strange with the sound. There are constant fluctuations in the volume of different effects and the overall sound is too muffled. It seems that in 5.1 mode this problem is more pronounced. The impression is that all effects from distant objects are muffled. The farther away from us the shooter — the muffled his shooting. In stereo, the sound is more balanced, but not much better.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a peppy stealth shooter and a colorful, absurd Iron Sky-esque story. An attempt to inflate the drama lubricates the image of a brutal avenger. There is no need to make Hamlet out of Blaskowitz, it does not suit him. The narrative suffers from a certain infantilism and gaps. The authors tried to lump together different moments, ignoring the gaps in the narrative. There were scenes that could be played interactively, but they were left behind the scenes. The general feeling of the «corridor» still dominates the game, there are very few large locations. However, all this does not make the game bad. There is a drive in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, it’s just that this topic has somewhat exhausted itself in the third full-fledged game, and the authors from MachineGames do not try to go beyond the initial framework. Fans of story shooters should definitely familiarize themselves, but if you have The New Order and The Old Blood behind you, get ready for a feeling of secondary and similar moments. Cool graphics could correct the situation and add a wow effect. But the picture is not so beautiful, and at the default settings it is too blurry. Good game, but not the best project from Bethesda Softworks last year.

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