Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a game which has taken me some time to review and put online due to a number of technical problems with it, which I’ll detail later on. Some of these are still ongoing, but I can find a way round from time to time.
It has a plotline which puts me at a bit of a disadvantage as since 2014’s The New Blood, I didn’t get to play the follow-up, The Old Blood, but I’ve played Wolfy aplenty over the years, starting with the original Wolfenstein 3D, to know and enjoy a run-and-gun game.
However, you, as war veteran William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, and not for the first time in this series, you’re waking up after being in a coma, experiencing visions of some family strife, but this trauma is nothing compared to what the Nazis will deliver, but that’s something for you to discover for yourself. Meanwhile, Set has created a device which splats the bad guys into next week, separating each atom in their bodies from all the others, which is quite delicious. Again, like Lt. Aldo Raine, in Inglorious Basterds, you’re in the Nazi-killin’ business and, cousin, business is a boomin’!
I understand a moral choice you have to make early on will affect events throughout the game. Personally, I’ve not played through it twice so won’t be able to spot the difference, but even with that, I can’t remember the choice I made the first time.
– Gamer’s Little Playground
Now for the things I enjoyed about this game:
- As well as being an engaging shooter for most of the time, I do like it when an explosion knocks you to your feet and you’re lying on your back as a result. You can still reload your gun at this time, but once you start moving again, BJ stands up. That’s a realistic touch I don’t recall seeing in any other first-person-shooter before now… unless it was also in The New Blood and I’ve since forgotten, but I have had a sleep since then.
- Of the collectables, these inclung 10 vinyl records and I loved the first one I came across – “Meiner Kleiner VW” by Hans. In addition, there’s gold, starcards, and other elements, plus many tutorials on how to run, shoot and throw grenades, etc.
- Plus, in your base, you can play an arcade machine showing the original Wolfenstein 3D!
- You can save at any point from the pause menu, although there are fairly frequent auto-save points, anyway.
Now onto Wolfenstein II‘s problems…
When I first started playing this game, it was broken back then and it’s still broken. I encountered three ‘breakages’.
- 1. Crash dump error
- Huh? The game just would not start. After some Googling and going onto the Steam forums, I found this was solved with by unchecking “Steam Overlay”.
- 2. “Failed to allocate memory” error
- Pardon? Check my spec below to see that I am running this on a very beefy PC. Regardless of that, I have to close down other programs, which is something I’ve never had to do with other big games.
- 3. My Logitech F70 controller wouldn’t work.
- I know it does, and I tried it on other games and it was fine. Again, after Googling, I found I should hunt down the option marked “use as Steam controller” and uncheck that. But… it’s not in the general options, I found it in the game’s own options.
You know that The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy first episode where the bypass plans are locked away, and it eventually turns out they’re behind a door marked “Beware of the Leopard”? It was like that.
I love games and I want them always to come with any problems ironed out, but… come on, Bethesda – do you actually play-test these games? Like a lot of game companies these days, the games aren’t available for review until release date or just before, so you presume they have been. However, it’s not feeling like it! RGT85 has a great rant about broken games on release, and Day 1 Patches, so I’ll embed that below as it says everything I have to. It also touches on Loot Boxes in games, but that doesn’t apply to Wolfy 2.
Now about the other issues:
- Stupidly, this game only offers 2.0 stereo sound for my speakers via Sound Blaster Z, even though I have a DTS 5.1 setup! I can’t seem to change this.
- There are baddies that can kill you in a split second, so you die a lot.
- I wasn’t so keen on the Laserkraftwerk, as it just shoots lasers. I prefer conventional WW2 weaponry
- I also found the game was stupidly picky about whether I can crouch or not, which is often the difference between life and death when someone’s after you!
- Like a lot of games – even today in the 4K era – there’s poor detail on wall panels when close-up.
Given all the problems with this game, and how it’s far from a ‘WOW!’ entry in the franchise, I’m staggered at the 90+% reviews in certain other publications. I’m reminded of all those movie critics who ALL praise certain films to the skies, while ALL ganging up on others, as I mentioned in my Justice League review.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – No More Nazis Gameplay Trailer – Bethesda Softworks UK
- Developer: MachineGames
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Players: Single player campaign, multiplayer
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.