Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Forgoes Multiplayer Because It Would 'Dilute' Storytelling
Wolfenstein's upcoming entry, The New Colossus, is releasing in just a couple days. The series has always put emphasis on narrative, and developer MachineGames recently explained that The New Colossus omits multiplayer completely to better focus on storytelling.
In an interview with Gameindustry.biz, MachineGames' narrative designer Tommy Tordsson Björk praises games that offer solo narrative experiences and further explains why The New Colossus, unlike many of its competitors in the genre, has no multiplayer component at all.
"The only way we can create these super immersive narrative experiences is if we can solely focus on the single-player," he says. "Having a multiplayer component in this work process would just dilute it all. That's the danger if you try to do two things at once."
Björk says that MachineGames doesn't even view itself as a first-person shooter developer, and considers the Wolfenstein series more as action adventure. "We call them action adventures rather than shooters," he says. "Because we feel there's so much more to them than just shooting."
He also quickly touches upon the timeliness of the game's themes, but how that was more coincidental than an actual response to real-world events, especially since the writing for The New Colossus' story began three years ago. "It's horrible seeing Nazis in America, but we started writing this story back in 2014. We couldn't possibly know what was going to happen by 2017. What we want to do when we write the story is to make something more timeless, and not a specific commentary on our time."
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 27. A Switch version is also planned for next year. Bethesda recently unveiled the full PC specs, which you can read about here.
Keep an eye out for our review, which will be posted later this week.
It's becoming less common to see strictly single-player experiences, since most developers strive to add loot boxes or online components to their titles. Even the recent Middle-earth: Shadow of War sees multiplayer seep into the single-player experience, such as the ability to battle other player fortresses along with a frustrating amount of microtransactions. Seeing MachineGames go against the norm is inspiring, and gives the impression that the team is dedicated to telling the story it wants to tell.