One of my personal highlights this E3 was getting to sit down with Bethesda’s Wolfenstein II- The New Colossus.
Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around my first computer; touting windows 3.1, and customized to all known ends – most notably my red brick wallpaper. To this day, I still remember my first set of commands – d:/ cd *space* wolf3d. Fast forward to 2017, and I’m sitting in front of a wicked-fast gaming rig, about to realize a dream.
You are BJ Blazkowicz, aka “Terror-Billy,” member of the Resistance, scourge of the Nazi empire, and humanity’s last hope for liberty. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus sends you on a mission to recruit the boldest Resistance leaders left. You’ll fight back against the Nazis in iconic locations such as small-town Roswell, New Mexico, the flooded streets of New Orleans, and a post-nuclear Manhattan. With an arsenal of weapons at your disposal, you can unleash new abilities to blast your way through legions of advanced Nazi soldiers, cyborgs, and über soldiers.
My demo started as BJ awoke in a haze. Unaware of the time that passed, he scrambled to get his bearings, falling to the floor. It hurt. Not literally – I wasn’t part of an advanced haptic demo, but New Colossus has taken the classic FPS viewpoint and given it a sense of realism not easily rivaled. Camera shake and the sound of belabored breathing caused by unknown injuries made the short crawl to a nearby wheelchair excruciating. It was then that gameplay truly began. I was tossed an automatic rifle from a frantic…person, being urged to follow him to safety. Within moments of his exit into the nearest corridor, he was eviscerated by what seemed like a wall of bullets. Moored to a wheelchair, my options became shockingly limited – and so I was forced to push myself through the only opening accommodating my means of locomotion. Luckily I caught the previous Nazi guard off-balance, and pushed my way through the next with relative ease.
Next to the finding myself in the line of fire, the biggest threat to safety was the environment itself. Ducking and strafing weren’t much of an option, but luckily I was in an oddly “handicap-accessible” U-Boat. I was thrust to higher decks atop pistons, and whisked through large section via conveyor belt, eventually finding myself in the presence of a deafening hum. I followed the hum to what looked like an abandoned lab, being told to “STOP!” via intercom by a panicked scientist. I was forced to hold position as he flipped switches and turned knobs behind a glass wall. The buzz slowed and faded, and I was beckoned behind the glass, with the trap reset as I joined the scientist in his barricaded control center. As the scientist explained my predicament, I was reminded of why I love the Wolfenstein franchise. Having missed its many releases over the years, I was pleased to see the difficulty levels intact – but that cheekiness has now crossed over into dialogue. I was stunned by the flow and delivery of each line – all the while, Nazi soldiers were exploding inside of what was described as a “microwave trap”. Every member of the press present in Bethesda’s demo room found themselves slave to fits of giggling as the background of a very serious conversation was essentially a loop of Nazi soldiers bursting into showers of blood after charging towards the lab.
My demo ended with BJ fighting his way onto the top deck of the distressed U-Boat, being captured in the process. A dramatic cutscene with more incredible dialogue introduced the story’s jumping-off point in this Nazi-ruled alternate timeline.
Overall – being “sold” isn’t enough of a sentiment. I contemplated peaceful protest to simply have another go. This game was an absolute treat as a re-introduction to the Wolfenstein series, and I’m ecstatic to pick up my own copy of The New Colossus. It hits shelves this October 27th for PC, PS4, and XBox One.
Make sure to check out our footage from E3, and take a look the official site for more info on Wolfenstein II – The New Colossus