I am one of the few people I know who’d never played a Wolfenstein game before Wolfenstein: The New Order. I missed Return to Castle Wolfenstein and many other iterations of the Wolfenstein games before that, so when I went in to The New Order fresh faced, I really had no expectations in mind. HOWEVER, to this day I stand by the fact that Wolfenstein: The New Order is one of the best FPS games I have ever played followed very, VERY closely by Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – So Wolfenstein 2 had a lot to live up to, even for me.
First, let’s back up a little bit. In the Wolfenstein series, you play as famous protagonist and war hero: William Joseph Blazkowicz or “B.J Blazko” as he is also known. Essentially, the game tasks you with killing Nazis and literally makes it as fun as possible, but just like in The New Order, Wolfenstein 2 not only makes it really, REALLY fucking fun to go Nazi killing but it also has what is possibly the best war story I’ve ever played through in a video game.
I won’t dive into it too much as I know how butthurt we can all get about spoilers in this industry, but I will give a brief synopsis: The Nazis have won World War 2 with the help of Hitler and a bunch of new technology they were working on and it is your job to ignite a revolution against Hitler’s generals with the following objective, which I quote directly from all 3 games: Kill Everything.
The way that the Wolfenstein series makes such a heavy storyline, which is full of hard hitting moments that suck to play through, such fun is by not taking itself too seriously – whilst there are moments where beloved characters get killed in horrible ways or you end up stuck in a concentration camp, there are also moments where you’re burying an axe into a Nazis face or just using microwaves to make them explode into a million pieces (seriously this was my first kill).
Whilst this could be done in any game, what makes Wolfenstein so unique in its execution is that the gunplay is the best shooting I have ever experienced in a video game, with Wolfenstein 2 improving on that by letting you change up a few things – such as dual wielding two different guns, which makes you unstoppable – seriously the laser and the shotgun combo makes you unstoppable. Fuck stealth.
So yes, Wolfenstein 2 is the best FPS gameplay I have ever played and yes – I have played Doom 2016.
Another thing that I LOVED about Wolfenstein 2 is that the game is so fucking relentlessly hard in places – I can’t help feeling like this is a hark back to the old style of arcadey video games, where the challenge was all that existed and that sense of accomplishment returns with The Old Colossus but is backed up with a FANTASTIC story and absolutely stellar voice acting.
If you ask any of the other Respawning staff, I’m the last person to bother asking about sound design when it comes to video games. HOWEVER, Wolfenstein 2 is possibly the first game that made me truly ONLY want to play it with the TV turned up to full volume. Everything about it just sounded incredible – the guns, for example, all sound meaty as hell with each bang of the bullets making you actually feel like you’re shooting a real gun.
All of this is backed up by an amazing soundtrack that is perfect throughout – the deep silence as you sneak through a heavily populated Nazi zone right through to the pounding metal soundtrack that kicks in during the games hyper sections that rely purely on killing as many Nazis as possible.
To me, Wolfenstein 2 had a hell of a lot to live up to following my experiences with The New Order and The Old Blood and to me this perfectly delivers on all fronts. Wolfenstein 2 has an even better storyline backed up by absolutely perfect gameplay and fantastic sound design. The game never outstays its welcome and the only thing that I feel that could possibly have let it down is that I NEEDED more after my 11 hour playthrough.
Seriously, I beg both MachineGames & Bethesda – NEVER stop making games like this.
I give Wolfenstein 2 a very well deserved 10/10 – now, let me get back in and enjoy the other timeline.