UNITED STATES—Light the fire of a revolution and burn the Nazi war machine to the ground. Bring freedom back to the American people. That is the endgame in “Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus,” the sequel to 2014’s “Wolfenstein: The New Order.” Return to the horrifying alternate-reality world of the Wolfenstein series where, once again, you play as the ever-vengeful protagonist William “B.J.” Blazkowicz. The goal is different but the means are the same: just as in the first game, your job is to kill every Nazi in sight.
Blazkowicz, now a shattered shell of a man having endured battle after battle, is forced once again into the fray as soon as the game begins. He wakes up aboard the U-boat Eva’s Hammer, his team’s base of operations. The man is so weak, however, that he cannot even stand and is relegated to a wheelchair. This does not, of course, stop him from killing a seemingly-endless onslaught of invading Nazis. From there on he regains his legs and gains a new mission: to return to his home country and start a grassroots revolution. He is constantly hounded by his old nemesis, Frau Engel, a returning character who is now a Nazi general and obsessed with capturing him and televising his gruesome death.
Blazkowicz spends a good portion of the game questioning his own morality and his past; unlike in the last game, players get to see more of how Blazkowicz was raised and where he came from. All of this is done very well, and the man comes across as someone who is struggling to stay alive both physically and emotionally. His devotion to his friends and now-pregnant lover Anya is also strong, and he constantly refers to one as his “wings” that keep him fighting. The side characters are, like Blazkowicz, interesting and well thought-out.
A great deal of the game is completely over-the-top, from the sometimes-ridiculous story to the sheer volume of murdering that the main character must go through. This is more often than not a good thing, however, and only makes the game more interesting and keeps it true to its foundation. The game also spends a little time questioning the morality of what the protagonist does, but still stays true to its kill-all-Nazis attitude. It does a good job defending this ground as well, as it makes the enemies seem even more evil and deserving of little remorse.
The graphics are exceptional and the gameplay is, like the story, sometimes rather over-the-top with its level of mayhem. Each weapon the “Terror-Billy” uses is different and unique, and like the first game, each encounter can be taken on in two ways: by either going at it slow and stealthy or, as is more fitting for such a fast-paced game, charging in guns blazing.
The game is not perfect, of course. The levels can be a little confusing and maze-like at times. There is no open world play at all, just like the first one. The always-running-and-shooting, although fun and always done in different environments, can get a little repetitive after a while too. There are different types of enemies but, by the end, it does not seem like there was very much variation to them, and that most of the game was spent fighting the same ones.
“Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus” makes up for its little errors in being a fun, crazy, fast-paced shooter with a very interesting story. Anyone that was a fan of the first one, or a fan of any shooter-based games, would enjoy it. And anyone that just wants to kill a bunch of German Nazis, well, they’d love it. It is available for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. It is rated M.