While in high school I took a Computers and Computing course, which was basically Microsoft Office for beginners. This meant inputting formulas into Excel and figuring out how to change margins in Word. Thankfully the work was simple enough that I finished early each day, which meant that I had time to enjoy the one video game installed on the PC back in 1994, Wolfenstein 3D.
Oh, what a game! Id Software’s thrilling first-person shooter was unlike anything that I had seen on my NES, and with all the blood, guts and Nazi propaganda on display, it was so much different than the likes of Super Mario Bros. and TMNT The Arcade Game. Most importantly it was and still is one heck of a game, simple to pick up, fast and satisfying.
These memories came back the moment I played Bethesda’s reboot, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and so far, the series’ thrills are intact with the upcoming Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, due out for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 27. Although I only played for a couple of hours, it was enough to convince me that when the game officially releases, I’ll want to finish it asap.
At this point, Bethesda refuses to talk much about the plot, but the game takes place within this alternate universe where the Nazis win World War 2 and then take over the United States. You resume control of Wolfenstein’s enemy butt kicker, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, with a mission to sneak into this Nazi-occupied U.S. and do what B.J. does best, cause trouble.
Bethesda let me check out two missions from the game. First up, The Reunion, which is unique in the world of gaming if for nothing else than the ability to roll through a large ship in a wheelchair, gunning down Nazis and riding conveyor belts to new platforms.
B.J. doesn’t ride the wheelchair for fun. At the outset, the game made me aware that he’s on the brink of death and much weaker than usual, and while there are plenty of automatic weapons, ammo and grenades lying around, there’s a bit of stealth in this mission. The developers at MachineGames put contraptions throughout the boat that, when switched on, vaporize enemies; B.J. is not immune to this, a fact that I learned the hard way. This let me creep around, monitor enemy patrols and strike at the most opportune times, but how these Nazis die was my choice. Sometimes I switched on the machines, while most times I wheeled in like a madman, guns spitting bullets.
With The Reunion in my rearview, now it was time for the second Wolfenstein 2 mission, Roswell. I don’t know exactly where this mission is in comparison to The Reunion, but this stage felt more like the Wolfenstein I grew up with and most recently experienced with The New Order; full bore first-person shooting madness!
The level begins with a cut scene that gave me a look at B.J.’s crew and the mission at hand, a trip through Nazi occupied Roswell, New Mexico, where he must sneak into an enemy-controlled town disguised as a fireman. Oh, and he carries a portable nuclear bomb! The objective? Gain access to the tunnels beneath the streets and blow up the Oberkommando, where high level Nazis converge to work on something top secret and perhaps alien in nature.
While in the town, I was advised to not break cover, but it didn’t seem like anything I did would result in a hostile response. Instead, this moment gave me the chance to immerse myself in this alternate reality. From conversations between characters to stylish artwork that drags me further into the world (definitely reminds me of the love that went into Alien Isolation), the game’s developers did an outstanding job crafting this bleak universe.
Following a chance encounter with a Nazi commander in Papa Joe’s All American Diner, B.J. descends into those aforementioned tunnels and the plot gives way to intense firefights. Now the game hits its stride, with soldiers, dogs and even fast-moving robots lining up to get slaughtered. I had access to wider array of weapons at this point, and I also got to experiment with the weapon upgrade and perks systems, both of which add depth to the game.
First, weapon upgrades. With a few upgrade kits to spare, I brought up the weapons that I had access to in order to beef them up a bit. What’s interesting is the fact that adding an upgrade in some cases has an advantage and a drawback. For example, the automatic Nazi rifle, the Sturmgewehr, let me add a marksman scope for increased accuracy and damage, but at the expense of transforming the gun into a single shot weapon. There’s a similar thing with the handgun, the Pistole, where tacking on the Magnum perk results in higher damage output, but now the gun is louder and has increased recoil; not ideal if you prefer to sneak around.
Each weapon in the Roswell mission comes with three of those perks. With that in mind, below are the weapons I used and the upgrades for each.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Weapons
Nazi issue handgun. Effective, but I use this when the other weapons run dry, which is rare.
- Magnum - Higher damage output but increased recoil and much louder.
- Extended Magazine – Double the bullets.
- Suppressor – Kill enemies silently.
Automatic rifle for maximum stopping power.
- Marksman scope - Increased accuracy and damage, single shot instead of full auto.
- Armor Piercing - Pierce armor and thin pieces of metal, great for killing enemies behind cover.
- Jungle magazine - 2 magazines taped together for quick access between reloads.
Wolfenstein’s machine gun.
- Nailgun - Heats up the bullets. They travel slower but cause more damage.
- Drum Magazine – Double the ammo.
- Integral suppressor – Lets you kill enemies without attracting too much attention.
Fires small sticky canisters that you detonate remotely.
- Ignition Muzzle - Ignites the diesel immediately upon leaving the barrel.
- Supercharge - Hold the trigger to charge up to 5 canisters at once.
- Extended tank - Double canister capacity.
The grenade! Throw with confidence.
- Fragmentation – Produces bits of metal to better kill Nazis.
- Diesel - Wider radius of fire.
- Electromagnetic - Disables electronic devices like alarms.
Now, on to Perks! There are a variety of in-game achievements to go after that provide B.J. with an advantage over his adversaries. Kill enough Nazis with the Stealth Takedown maneuver, for instance, and you’ll receive increased movement speed while crouched. Gathering Enigma Codes from dead commanders, though, will let you jam alarm signals.
Other perks simply increase B.J.’s ammo or weapon capacity. If you kill enough enemies with one of the new weapons, the hatchet, then you boost his total hatchet capacity. Similarly, taking down a set number of bad guys while dual-wielding will increase his ammo count.
These are some of the things you can do in order to boost B.J.’s effectiveness, and I found that perks expanded the game a bit beyond the mindless shooting. Nice touch.
Here’s another thing I like about The New Colossus… collectibles! Wander through the game’s environments, specifically soldier quarters on a speeding train or a command center and you will find all sorts of cool things to stuff into B.J.’s pockets. Specifically, gold bars, memos, toys, concept art and records that let you listen to music. It definitely brings me back to playing Wolfenstein 3D in high school and picking up as much Nazi treasure as my virtual arms could carry.
Unfortunately, the Roswell mission, while lots of fun, concludes without revealing much. Things like alien technology and exactly what’s going on inside of the Oberkommando remain unconfirmed. Of course, that only makes me want to play through Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus even more. And similar to those days in high school, I’ll make sure to finish work ahead of time.
Editor’s Note: This article was produced independently, with no affiliation or help from Prima’s book publishing department.