Wolfenstein: Youngblood Review – The Next Gen of Nazi Killers

The next generation of Blazkowiczs have been unleashed on the Nazis in 1980’s Paris. Does Wolfenstein: Youngblood live up to the family name, or is better left in the past?

 

Read on to find out

The very first entry into the Wolfenstein series dates back to 1981 and started out as a top down stealth game. One other entry was released in this format but then, in 1992, the first person shooter was born. ID Software’s Castle Wolfenstein introduced to the world a 3D game as seen through the eyes of B.J. Blazkowicz, a U.S. soldier captured by Nazis and being held in an old castle, that also introduced the gaming world to the first person shooter.

The Next Generation

The franchise has been through quite bit since its inception, and even got a reboot a few years ago. BJ has been there through thick and thin, and with Wolfenstein: Youngblood, it’s time for the next generation to step into his combat boots. For those that haven’t played the series in a while, the story can be a bit confusing at first. The game uses an alternate reality setting where the Nazis won WWII and almost took over the U.S. Thanks to B.J. and a band of fighters, a 2nd revolutionary war ousted the Nazis from the U.S. and pushed them back across the pond to Europe.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood picks up 20 years after that revolution and finds BJ and his family living in Texas. He has raised his twin daughters to be tough and self reliant, giving them the mental and physical tools needed to survive in this new world. Unbeknownst to the girls and BJ’s wife, he had been secretly still tracking the war against the Nazis and was determined to defeat them once and for all. After his disappearance, the girls hijack an airplane and head to Europe to track their father down.

Great Story but Odd Choices

For a game in the Wolfenstein franchise, Wolfenstein: Youngblood does a great job of furthering the storyline along, albeit with odd character choices. Using his daughters wasn’t really the problem here, but rather portraying his 19 year old daughters as if they had the mind of 12 year old schoolgirls was. The immaturity of the sisters, and you can play as either one, might have been taking a bit too far in the big picture. There’s one point in the game where you are attacking a multi-story building, slaughtering Nazis by the dozen, and take an elevator ride to the next floor. While in the elevator, the girls are dancing and playing around as if they are in between middle school classes. It makes for an odd disconnect from the situation.

The game didn’t seem to have the same Wolfenstein DNA that has always been with the franchise, either, and it was something we noticed from the very beginning when choosing the difficulty. Had they used the old school levels of definition, this might have helped with that, but instead they went with the standard selections. Not sure whose decision that was, but someone needs to be taken to task for that. ‘Can I Play, Daddy?’ and ‘I am Death, Incarnate are iconic parts of the franchise that shouldn’t have been left behind. They were something unique and original to the franchise itself.

This is a FPS RPG

Wolfenstein: Youngblood is still a first person shooter, and in that aspect of it, still feels like a Wolfenstein game. Weapons and armor are upgradeable, with upgrade points being earned as you level the sisters up. There’s also an in game currency in Silver, which can be found throughout the game levels and can be dropped by Nazis you’ve killed. These give the game an RPG like feel and make it more enjoyable, and you’ll have to level up to take on some of the bigger bad guys.

The weapons for the game range from your standard, bullet fed fare to a more advanced weaponry that utilizes batteries and pulse fire. Shooting Nazis with a machine gun is cool and all, but shooting one with a laser powered weapon and watching them turn to ash is way cooler. These advanced weapons are also key to opening secret areas that hide more silver, weaponry, and armor so always be on the lookout for stuff like that.

Top Notch Graphics

The graphics for the game are definitely top notch. Levels are designed nicely, with open world layouts that allow unlimited trips to any area in the game. Enemy design is also impressive. While Nazi grunts are fun to kill, the tougher bad guys utilizing mech suits are much more satisfying to destroy.Level detail is pretty impressive as well, with small touches like wine bottles and classic cars to fill out the overall picture.

If you work together as a team, either utilizing the A.I. programming which isn’t totally dumb, or even playing in co-op with a friend, you can take down some of these big bad guys easier by finding their weak points, usually on their backs. Co-op is made even better by adding the invite feature for Deluxe editions that allow you to invite gamers that only have the demo of the game to play the full version of the game with you. While they wont be able to earn trophies or achievements, they’ll still be able to enjoy the full version of the game with you.

Developed by MachineGames in collaboration with Arkane Studios, Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a fun and entertaining game that gives gamers a co-op experience that is really hard to find these days. The storyline sets the franchise up for future releases, we just hope the sisters can grow up a little more.

7


Wolfenstein: Youngblood review code provided by publisher and reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read What our review scores really mean.