Is Wolfenstein II's The Adventures Of Gunslinger Joe Worth Playing?

by Javy Gwaltney on Dec 14, 2017 at 11:43 AM

The first real piece of DLC, the opening episode in the so-called Freedom Chronicles, dropped for Wolfenstein II today. The Adventures Of Gunslinger Joe is a mini-campaign that follows a former football player Joseph Stallion as he seeks revenge against a Nazi officer who's tormented him. As our resident Wolfenstein fanatic, I played through the DLC last night and found it to be an engaging trek. But is it worth your time? Let's find out together.

Here's the good and the bad of The Adventures Of Gunslinger Joe

Good: The Story Is Unexpectedly Good
Marketing materials for the Freedom Chronicles suggested that the entire DLC package would be a campfest, filled with homages to pulp fiction rather than the heavy storytelling of The New Colossus. While the Adventures Of Gunslinger Joe is certainly more light-hearted and adventure-focused than the somber storytelling the marks The New Colossus, there are still unexpectedly bleak moments.

You are, after all, playing a black man who's escaped nazi enslavement and is fighting back. The way that Nazis react to Joe outside of combat is markedly different than how they interact with BJ, who is white, and there are several sequences that center around Joe's character as a black man living in a Nazi-world that make the story feel different enough from the base game to check out.

Bad: It's Short
While there's a lot that happens in Gunslinger Joe, the adventure is pretty short. It took me two hours to get through the entire DLC. I wasn't unsatisfied, but it could have had a few more combat encounters.

Good: Joe's Abilities Are Fun
For the most part, Gunslinger Joe's combat is essentially Wolfenstein II with some new moves thrown in. However, those new moves are really fun, like Joe's ability to pitch tin cans into the heads of Nazis at whirlwind speed, killing them instantly.

Bad: Only One Way To Play
One of Wolfenstein II's strongest features is that it lets you play how you want to play: sneaking through levels and slitting throats, or going in guns blazing. Joe isn't that sneaky, and there isn't much opportunity to stealth your way through levels, so you're only really going to be able to play the loud, messy offensive through this DLC.

Good: The Setting Is Cool
The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe is set in Chicago and, outside of some obviously reskinned objects and buildings from Roswell, uses the setting well with colorful environments and entertaining combat encounters.

Bad: Some Repetition In Level Design
For the most part, Gunslinger Joe features new environments, but one chapter is essentially just a level from the base game.

For more on Wolfenstein II, be sure to check out our review.