Preview

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

20 Details We Noticed During Our Hands-On
by Javy Gwaltney on Jul 27, 2017 at 07:01 AM
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: MachineGames
Release:
Rating: Mature
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

BJ Blazkowicz and company are set to return in just a few short months to take on the Nazi regime in America. We recently played through a portion of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (for a full breakdown of my impressions, head here) and noticed a number of details that will likely be of interest to fans of the first game. This includes major spoilers for The New Order and minor spoilers for what we've seen about The New Colossus, so turn away now if you don't want either.

Gameplay

1. The New Order let you upgrade your welding tool, the LaserKraftWerk, into a powerful cannon of death. In The New Colossus, you can upgrade all the weapons in your arsenal by finding weapon kits littered about the levels. I put a silencer on my pistol, attached a scope on my rifle, and turned my machine gun into a flame-bullet spitting machine of death for when things got hairy.

2. During the Roswell segment, BJ's health is maxed out at 50 (probably due to his injuries from the previous game) but his armor went up to 200. This meant that I couldn't storm the enemies head-on but had to think more strategically, diving in and out of cover to blast Nazis.

3. The New Colossus features more combat executions than the previous game, and most of them are exceedingly gruesome. With my handy hatchet, I tore entire limbs off Nazis and chopped through the cores of automated robots. In the prologue, I shoved a machine pistol into the throat of a Nazi and blew him away.

4. The weapons feel more powerful than the first game, largely due to new sound effects, and are satisfying to use. During one section on a train, I tore through an entire line of enemies with my shotgun as I barreled down the hall.

5.  Character models and environments are much more detailed and realistic looking than those of The New Order, with BJ's proportions, in particular, being less cartoony this go round.

6. The New Colossus has more enemy types than The New Order. Besides the standard Nazi grunts and commanders from the first game, there are now various kinds of robots that zip around at light speed to zap you with lasers. The encounters with these particular enemies were the most challenging in my demo.

7. You can now dual wield any kind of weapon together. Wanna go hog wild with your pistol in one hand and your shotgun in the other? Go for it.

8.  Enigma Codes, previously a collectible in The New Order, return. This time they can be looted from the bodies of commanding officers. In the New Order, collecting and solving Enigma Codes unlocked new game modes that offered mutators, like giving BJ 999 health or a permadeath mode. We have not received confirmation codes function the same as they did previously, but it's probably fair to assume that this means The New Colossus will have similar unlockable modes.

9. The amount of time you're given to kill a commander who's spotted you before he calls for reinforcements seems more generous here (I had a whole second to shoot him in the face after he spotted me) but the reinforcements they call in are almost overwhelming. At times it felt like I was fighting a small army of robots and Nazis rather than squadrons.

10. The energy Gatling gun from the last game is replaced by a beam weapon capable of blowing through multiple armored foes, but its energy depletes quickly.

Story

1. BJ was crippled by the events of the first game. During our demo, he wore Caroline's exosuit and it's heavily implied that it's what gives him the ability to walk again.

2. The wheelchair segment ends with Kreisau Circle resistance leader Caroline Becker helplessly stooped beneath the blade of an ax. While the scene cuts away, leaving her fate ambiguous, we saw no sign of Caroline in the later section of the game. This doesn't mean our beloved character is necessarily dead, but it's not a good sign for her either.

3. Sigurn Engel, the abused daughter of the monstrous Frau Engel, appears to join up with BJ and the rest of the resistance later on for reasons that are not explained. Except for BJ and Anya, it becomes immediately clear that the rest of the resistance does not trust her, with her fleeing from the room at one point in tears as one of the resistance members calls her a Nazi.

4. Familiar characters like Max Hass, Bombate, Set Roth, Anya and (depending on your timeline choice from The New Order) Wyatt/Fergus return and are joined by the two unnamed American resistance fighters from the E3 trailer: a rebellious woman who seems to be leading the resistance in America and her conspiracy theory partner.

5. The Roswell level we played included a large exploratory portion where we walked around the town and saw the effects of the Nazi regime on America first hand. Nazis stopped citizens and aggressively encouraged them to take their German lessons while also not-so-subtly threatening a diner owner to have more German cuisine on his menu.

6.  Eva's Hammer, the U-Boat the group stole in The New Order, appears to be the new base of operations for the Kreisau Circle.

7. In The New Colossus, the Nazis are still using the Da'at Yichud technology that helped them build a huge army of robots to take over the world. During our preview, we investigated Area 52 and as part of the briefing for that mission, it was implied that all the strange sights having to do with the extraterrestrial lore of Area 51 are tied to the Da'at Yichud.

8. In this version of America, BJ is considered to be a terrorist and his mugshot is posted everywhere. During the Roswell sequence, people would look at me as I was roaming in-disguise around and say things like, "You look familiar...." before I scurried away.

9. Wyatt seems to be getting drawn into the counterculture of the '60s, reading books on how to figure out his inner self as well as apparently taking LSD. We didn't see that much with Fergus, but trailers for the game have revealed that he has a robotic arm.

10. During cutscenes, it seems that BJ is, once again, remaining laconic, only offering dialogue occasionally while other characters often monologue.

For more on Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, be sure to check out our hands-on preview as well as our interview with MachineGames.