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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Yesterday Bethesda revealed a trailer for the upcoming sequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. It was a whopper of a trailer too, offering nearly 10 minutes of footage. There's obviously a lot to unpack here in terms of what this means for characters from the original story and the new territory that MachineGames is taking BJ and company into in this nazi-infested alternate future.
As someone who adores both the original game and the series, I've watched the trailer a few times and have broken down what I think are the most noteworthy takeaways. Some of this is pure speculation based on footage while other details have been confirmed by the marketing materials Bethesda has put out for the game. Also, since I'm talking about details from the first game in here, I'm assuming you've played The New Order and The Old Blood to completion. Please do not read this if you're trying to avoid SPOILERS.
Ok, with all that in mind: Let's get to it.
You Are Playing BJ Again
At the end of The New Order many speculated whether we'd see another Wolfenstein again and if we would, if BJ Blazkowickz (the man who's been the star of the franchise since 1992) would return. The ending of the New Order found him critically wounded and telling his comrades to nuke the evil Deathshead's base. A quick scene showing headstrong Anya leading resistance fighters onto a helicopter also implied that she could take over BJ's role as protagonist of the series if it were to go forward.
However, it's clear from both the trailer and marketing materials that we're once again in BJ's shoes, though he looks more than a little worse for wear with scars all over his body and limited mobility.
The New Colossus Is Set In America And Takes Place Around A Year After The New Order
Both The New Order and The Old Blood were set in various places in Europe, under the sea, and in space. However, in the New Colossus, we're heading to America. The trailer showcases nazi-occupied American streets, diners, and even alligator farms, suggesting the game may have a road trip vibe to it. Also, marketing materials say that The New Colossus takes place in 1961. Considering that the original game takes place in 1960, we can safely assume that the sequel takes place less than a year after the first game.
The Timeline-Altering Choice From The First Game Will Probably Carry Over...Somehow
In The New Order, you make a critical choice early on that results in one of your two comrades, Fergus or Wyatt, being killed and the other character living through the rest of the game and basically being your wingman. The choice also introduces other minor changes, like how a prison breakout plays out, how you access certain characters, and even determines whether minor (but cool!) characters show up during the storyline. During the trailer, both Fergus and Wyatt show up. Barring some introduction of time travel or cloning, they cannot be in the same game because your choice absolutely results in one of them dying. This means it's likely there is a mechanic that will take that choice from the first game into effect. Whether that's an actual carry over of a save file or an answer before the game begins proper that lets you pick what your choice was in The New Order is anyone's guess at this point.
Fergus has a malfunctioning prosthetic in the trailer, while Wyatt appears to have had surgery for his facial burn...and is apparently tripping balls.
That @$@WF# Laser Gun Is Back
The laser-welder/cannon weapon from the first game, LaserKraftWerk, is returning in some form according to the the's official website. Hopefully that means purely for combat and not frustrating, dull puzzles.
Caroline Becker And Set Roth Return
It makes sense, given that both characters survived the events of the original game. We get to see Set talk a bit and glimpse Becker on the floor unconscious but safe. Who knows how long that will be the case for her though, given that she's surrounded by nazis in that particular scene. Max Hass and Bombate are back as well!
Frau Engel Appears To Be The Big Bad This Time Around
No surprises here. In the original game, you ripped off this nazi's face, killed her boytoy, and were stupid enough to leave her alive. Of course, she's coming back and she's out for blood. The trailer does a good job of presenting Engel as the antagonist this time around but that could also be a fakeout. MachineGames loves throwing in little narrative tricks, so maybe we'll actually go head to head with MechaHitler in this one with Engel being a fakeout villain.
You Get To Use That Cool Looking Exo Suit From The First Game
During The New Order, you come across an exo suit that gives the paraplegic Caroline Becker the ability to walk around and basically be Iron (Wo)Man, turning nazis into bloody goo. Several scenes from the trailer show BJ wearing the suit (possibly because, like Caroline, he might be disabled given his injuries and needs it) and using it in and out of combat.
Tense, Tarantino-Inspired Scenes Are Back
There's a scene early on in a train in The New Order where you encounter Frau Engel for the first time. She plays a sadistic confidence game with you trying to bluff you into proving you're not a nazi. It's a very tense conversation clearly inspired by the conversation standoffs in Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. In the trailer, there's a whole minute dedicated to BJ being approached by a nazi in a diner who after casually ordering a milkshake, politely but firmly demands the protagonist (ostensibly BJ but it could be Anya or someone else in this scene) to show him their identification papers.
The Stakes Are Higher
Despite having killed Deathshead at the end of the game, it appears the Nazi war machine has only gathered strength since then. A brief, tense conversation between BJ and an unnamed resistance fighter reveals the latter's doubts in the resistance's abilities to take back America from the nazi menace. Our hero and his gang have their work cut out for them.
BJ Is Probably Disabled In Some Way
Several sequences near the end of the trailer showcase BJ rolling around in a wheelchair, blasting nazis away, implying that he has been crippled by his standoff with Deathshead at the end of the original game. There's also another sequence where you see his shadow showing him off on some mechanical stilts. Several scenes show metal spikes sticking out of his arm, suggesting he has Da'at Yichud technology helping with him with his injuries. I'm curious to see how this affects his role in the story.
For more on Wolfenstein, be sure to check out my Virtual Life column on The New Order.