The last time we saw Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was at E3 this year. Last week, PlayStation LifeStyle was invited to make a stop at iam8bit’s Los Angeles office to check out a brand-new build of the upcoming shooter. We managed to make it through the demo intact, and have our preview ready for you below.
Familiar Rolling…At First
The demo played during this session had me playing through the exact same submarine level mentioned previously. Remembering where enemies were from the last time I played this section made it quite a bit easier to make quick progress. Before long, this level was completed, and it was time to travel to Roswell.
Liberated from the wheelchair, I could finally take in the traditional Wolfenstein experience. Playing as BJ Blazkowicz, the resistance tasked me with smuggling in a miniature nuclear weapon, which was dressed up as a fire extinguisher. I took on the role of a fake firefighter, and was thus able to walk amongst the enemy. It was here that a new glimpse of life in Nazi-occupied America was shown.
I found myself in middle America, circa 1961. The town was small and relatively quiet, save for the occasional drone – a reminder of Germany’s technological prowess in this alternate timeline. As I walked up to a gas station, I saw two people in startling costumes – KKK members dressed in those traditional stupid white sheets. They are stopped by a Nazi soldier, who grills them on their German. Apparently, citizens who were deemed worthy were kept alive in their newly-conquered country, but were given mandatory language and culture lessons. One of the KKK members fumbled through a basic German phrase, and was then admonished by the soldier for not taking his lessons as seriously as he should be. The whole sequence was a peculiar form of dark humor that made me wonder just how plausible it might be if Germany had won the war.
A Different Country
After making it to a specific diner, a boy was attempting to order something. His mother reluctantly asked him to practice saying what he wanted in German, as she lamented the removal of “the help.” While the two of them stayed in the diner when I was around, they fled after a Nazi officer showed up. After a short bit of questioning by the officer, my cover was blown – but he was quickly taken out before the word could get out. After a briefing by the diner worker who was secretly working for the resistance, I crawled through a tunnel which was conveniently dug through to a Nazi base, where I was to detonate my nuke.
Traditional combat then took place for a while, including a few opportunities to use stealth, by either throwing axes or stabbing up close and personal. Combat is pretty standard first-person shooting, with limited ammunition. I found myself constantly changing weapons as I ran through clip after clip, eventually dual-wielding two mixed weapons for a time. Futuristic German energy weapons are found later in the level, and while powerful, are much more limited in ammo than traditional guns.
Even playing on Wolfenstein II’s “easy” mode (not the very easy mode that comes with a pacifier in BJ’s mouth), enemies take plenty of hits, and dealt out high amounts of damage. Once again, Wolfenstein is set out to be a challenge for most gamers. Checkpoints felt sparse, but were placed at key points just before lengthier battles or boss sequences. One such boss character was a massive mechanized killing machine, which required pinpoint shooting in order to take down with any sort of efficiency. Without giving much away, the ending of the second demo level was badass, and featured a confident BJ not looking back as he wreaked havoc on an entire Nazi base, leaving radioactive dust in his wake. If you want to take a look at how everything went down in this level, take a look at the video above.
If what we’ve seen so far is any indication, MachineGames is gearing up for a non-stop action tour of alternate history America. This tour will no doubt include more glimpses of the United States as it might have ended up had history turned out differently, in a harrowing, yet fascinating, alternate reality that feels fleshed out. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is currently set for release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows platforms on October 27, 2017.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus preview build played on PC.