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June 16, 2017

Wolfenstein 2 The New Colossus gameplay preview: The intense first-person shooter is back and in fine form

by John_A

Wolfenstein: The New Order was more than a little intense. When the classic shooter was relaunched by Bethesda back in 2014, it set hearts racing for not only its first-person action, but its intense Nazi characters and their casual brutality. Some scenes were almost tortorous to watch, but propelled the game forward in giving it a gritty, must-play setting and story.

The follow-up, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, continues in the same stead. You play as William “B.J.” Blazkowicz. But – spolier alert – things aren’t so rosy, given he was left to die at the end of the last game.

But death can’t take ol’ B.J., so for The New Colossus he’s back, albeit in less than fine form. Having been in a coma for five months, his body is broken and the opening section of the game sees him in a wheelchair, which gives a whole different dynamic to first-person play.

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Wheeling around is slower, strafe is tougher and, obviously, climbing ladders and going up stairs isn’t possible. B.J. can roll down stairs at speed and there are various moving platforms in the engine sections of the submarine setting, which is where B.J. has been taken to recover and hide from the Nazis.

However, the sub has been tracked down by Irene Engel, the cruel antogonist from The New Order, whose appearance is less then ship-shape, given that B.J. tore half her face off in the original game. Scars in place, she’s mighty pissed off and the hunt is on.

Bethesda

Engel is a masterclass in acting: cruel and unusual in her ways, flipping between German and English, fat-shaming her plus sized “daughter”, while being fearless in her brutality once B.J. is captured. There’s an axe involved with chants of “do it, do it” before our demo cuts to a close, leaving us to wonder what happened.

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What we love about Wolfenstein is how it plays as a single player first-person shooter. In our minds there aren’t that many in the genre that really nail down the solo campaign. But that’s the lifeblood of Wolfenstein. It’s got a rich story and greater characters, five levels of difficulty, heaps of weapons and enemies that vary in their attacks and methods to dispatch them.

The submarine also has vaporising traps which can be switched on or off to entrap enemies – just make sure you don’t roll B.J. through them once they’re switched on! – and one of the ramps is so steep that B.J. will tumble from his chair, making for an intense crawl back into the hot seat.

Bethesda

Of course, we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. But even from this teaser taster playthrough, we’re already convinced it’s going to be one of 2017’s top shooters. A compelling and different one at that, which is just what gaming needs.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 27, 2017.

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