A serious game that never truly takes itself seriously is the best way to describe Wolfenstein II. The game mixes some pretty heavy topics like racism, subjugation, and the cruelty exuded by the Nazi regime with downright silly toilet humour. This never stops the game’s pace, though, making it a thoroughly enjoyable game to play.
Wolfenstein II starts off pretty much right where Wolfenstein: The New Order left off. BJ Blazkowicz is in bad shape after his encounter with Deathshead. You start having multiple flashbacks, some that enforce a choice on the player. These first 10 minutes sets the tone for the whole game. It’s dealing with some serious stuff and it’s not going to let you shy away from it.
Set in an alternative version of 1961 where the Nazi’s won the second world war and have become the technologically advanced race, covering pretty much everywhere. The game has a pace that is not to dissimilar to DOOM, the never-ending hordes of Nazi’s, their Robots and their Panzerhunds, will supply players never ending fun sticking it to the Third Reich.
Starting out, the game sees BJ in a wheelchair with his organs failing, wheeling himself around the Eva’s Hammer, your base of operations and stolen Nazi U-Boat. Laboured breathing and one hand shooting gives the sense that his time is running out. The game is quite unforgiving and generally a little harder than most shooters, again harping back to the DOOM similarities, much so in the “I’m going to die a lot” feeling. One tip is to save often, because the game has a very poor autosaving sections. The health system is based on the modernised first-person shooter feature of regeneration, but if you lose a block of health, players need a med kit to replace it, this means you have to think about your play style a little more and find one that suits you.
The futuristic technology in the game is super fun to use and terrifying to watch. From lasers that disintegrate metal and people to high calibre minigun wielding mechanical men and flame throwing giant robot hounds, there is always something new coming for you. A lot of the weapons are dropped, giving the chance to pick them up and cause carnage. Limited ammo in a selection of guns stops from going all out crazy, causing the need to find refueling/recharging stations to stock up. Wolfenstein II offers an interesting vision of what the world might have been like under Nazi rule.
The story is extremely well written and the cut scenes are presented in a manner that will will have you forgetting these are characters in a video game. All of the characters are memorable, and the emotions shown through the voice acting are great and convey the character well. The main villain in Wolfenstein II is General Engel, who revels in her sadistic nature and is incredible memorable – the gleeful way she stomps around performing some of the most heinous things just goes to show how well fleshed out the character is.
With the totally unthinkable scenes in the first 10 minutes of the game, to the insanity show by General Engel, players do get a feeling of how atrocious a Nazi ruled world would be. A faced paced FPS that is unforgiving in nature and just down right fun to play. It’s a nice break from the norm of games being released at the moment, and the focus for single player in Wolfenstein II only paid off here. With more content to unlock and the initial choices affecting the story as a whole, the replay ability is definitely here, especially with that “Mein leben” difficulty.