When I was given the opportunity to write a review of Bethesda’s Wolfenstein: Youngblood, I was pretty excited. Who doesn’t want to run around shooting Nazis? Thats exactly what I did. A shit ton of blowing up, disintegrating, and shooting limbs off of Nazi soldiers, robots, suicide bomber dogs, and super annoying drones.
You start the game with a pretty lengthy cutscene (get used to those) introducing the two main characters you eventually get to choose from. The Blazkowicz sisters. Daughters of the legendary Nazi
slayer himself, BJ Blazkowicz. You soon find out BJ has gone missing and you and your sister are determined to find dear old Dad.
After picking one of the sisters, Jes or Soph (Zofia), and customizing your outfit, you finally get into a tutorial mission where you get accustomed to basic controls and combat. Right away you find out the game is constant co-op, whether the AI is controlling the other player, or someone jumps in your party. You can play the game stealthy, using the cloak ability, or my favorite, loud, fast, and a bloody mess.
As you play on a little you’ll come to realize theres a leveling system. You get new skills, upgraded health, armor, and are able to upgrade your suit, guns, and attachments. As you level up and progress through the game, your missions will have suggested level requirements, like Borderlands or Destiny, the enemies will be harder or impossible to kill if you’re not strong enough. Theres a slew of side quests on top of the main story missions, so leveling isn’t a problem.
Visually the game looks great. Movement and combat is really fast, and fun. Jumping up to places can get a little wonky, but thats not really a big issue. Throughout the game you get around 8 weapons that you’ll have at your disposal, and you’re gonna need them all. The stronger enemies are absolutely insane bullet sponges. Taking 10 clips of ammo to kill an enemy that isn’t a boss is a little much, but also makes the game more challenging. Boss battles are fun and long, but getting there takes 15 to 20 mins in some missions.
The co-op part of the game is great if you have a friend or even a stranger jump in with you, otherwise you’re left with a pretty useless AI. My one gripe with the co-op is that its really forced on you to
do certain things. Almost 90% of the doors you open need to have both players present to perform the action, so it gets a little annoying.
The game also tries really hard to get you to like Jes and Soph by
having some comical dialogue throughout the game and random short cutscenes on elevators of them trying to scare each other or flipping each other the bird in creative ways like an 80’s movie montage clip. It worked for me. As I mentioned before the cutscenes are pretty lengthy, but also enjoyable enough that I didn’t mind them.
The Good: Jes and Soph are likable temporary replacements for everyone’s favorite Nazi killer. Cutscenes are very well done (if a little lengthy), and the gameplay is familiar enough for longtime Bethesda shooter fans with a number of additions and twists that – while they may not work for everyone – are a breath of fresh air for an often stale genre.
The Bad: I could do without the leveling aspect of the game, but still didn’t hate it. It was pretty simple with a small set of skills to upgrade, but you’ll have to grind a bit to max everything out.
The Verdict: 3/5. All in all, if you’re looking for a game that you can jump in with a friend and fuck shit up while working together to destroy semi-difficult scumbag bullet sponge Nazis, then I suggest picking up a copy.
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