We got our first glimpse of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus during Bethesda’s E3 showcase in June. Not much has been revealed since then, but last week, we were invited to try out the titlefirsthand.
The first mission we played was The Reunion, which appears to be the first mission in The New Colossus’s campaign. We were given control of BJ Blazkowicz yet again. Blazkowicz, better known by his Nazi adversaries as “Terror-Billy,” wakes from a coma several months after his battle with General Deathshead at the end of Wolfenstein: The New Order. Blazko finds himself on a stolen German U-boat that’s being stormed by Nazi soldiers led by Frau Engel. Armed with nothing but a wheelchair and a German Maschinenpistole (submachine gun), Blazko must fight his way out of the U-boat and rendezvous with his friends.
The New Colossus’s health and armor mechanics are the same as The New Order’s; Blazko’s health is divided into portions of 10, with his maximum health capped at 50 at the start of the campaign. He’ll regenerate health so long as he doesn’t lose an entire portion of it. For example, if he has 50 health and receives 6 damage, his health will regenerate from 44 back up to 50. However, if he receives 12 damage, his health will only regenerate back to 40.
This can be remedied by picking up health packs, which are scattered around the map. Picking up more health packs than needed will overheal Blazko, but his health will slowly decay to the maximum value. On the other hand, you can pick up armor to complement Blazko’s health. Armor will reduce the amount of damage received, but it won’t regenerate. Armor pieces such as helmets or vests can be looted from enemy soldiers or found around the map.
The Reunion’s level design is ingenious. Blazko is confined to a wheelchair, so he won’t be able to scale stairs or ladders. Instead, you have to find elevators or conveyor belts to climb over obstacles. The U-boat is also riddled with electric traps that will instantly kill enemy soldiers, and will prove useful in higher difficulties.
The second mission we played was Roswell. Here, Blazko is up and running again (literally), and he gets sent to Roswell, New Mexico to plant an atomic bomb in a secret underground Nazi facility. The city has been overrun by Nazi propaganda–posters plastered along the walls, Nazi officers teaching American citizens how to speak German. There are also wanted posters for Blazkowicz on nearly every screen and street corner.
Blazko makes his way into Joe’s All American Diner, where Speshie has set up shop as an undercover diner owner. The restaurant has a secret tunnel that leads to the underground facility, but before Blazko can leave, his cover is nearly blown by a Nazi officer who recognizes him. Speshie kills the Nazi and sends Blazko on his way.
Once in the facility, Blazko is given full access to his arsenal: the Pistole is a basic pistol, the Sturmgewehr is an automatic rifle, the Dieselkraftwerk launches explodable sticky canisters, and the Handgranates are hand grenades. Blazko also has the aforementioned Machinenpistole. As you make your way deeper into the facility, you’ll come across the Schockhammer, which is a shotgun. You can also dual-wield weapons, which increases your overall damage but increases your reload time.
The enemy soldiers are initially unaware of your arrival, so you can take advantage by sneaking behind them and performing stealth kills. Pressing mouse button 3 (the mouse wheel) will activate the animation and kill an enemy instantly and quietly. Alternatively, you can press the wheel from a distance to throw a machete at an enemy; this also results in an instant kill, but if you miss, the enemy will hear the machete.
MachineGames also plans on releasing three DLC packs as part of The New Colossus’s season pass, titled Wolfenstein II: The Freedom Chronicles. Not much information has been given besides their titles and a brief, one-sentence description of each DLC. The Diaries of Agent Silent Death will feature Jessica Valiant, an ex-OSS agent tasked with uncovering details behind Operation San Andreas in California. The Amazing Deeds of Captain Wilkins sends Army Captain Gerald to Alaska to stop Nazis from carrying out Operation Black Sun. The most outrageous of the three DLCs appears to be The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe, which will take former football quarterback Joseph Stallion all the way to outer space. The Freedom Chronicles season pass will set you back $25.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus will be available On October 27. Those who preorder will be givenThe Freedom Chronicles: Episode Zero as a preorder bonus. Episode Zero will introduce players to Gunslinger Joe, Agent Silent Death, and Captain Wilkins as a prelude to the DLCs. Alternatively,Episode Zero will be included in The Freedom Chronicles season pass if you do not wish to preorderThe New Colossus.