Last week, Bethesda Softworks released a trailer for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, highlighting its brutal combat, plentiful explosions, and risqué humor. (NOTE: the trailer contains 10 seconds of sexually explicit content, specifically at 1:43 to 1:53.) With Wolfenstein II just over a month away, we were invited for yet another hands-on preview. You can check out our previous hands-on piece here.
Players take control of William J. Blazkowicz, a seasoned World War II veteran better known by the American resistance and the Nazi war machine alike as “Terror Billy.” This time, Blazko makes his way to New Orleans to meet Horton, a local leader running a resistance against the Nazi occupation. Meanwhile, Anya, Blazko's lover and an expecting mother, is tasked with disabling mines and evacuating survivors from New Orleans while Blazko creates a distraction.
Upgraded Weapons And New Abilities
As Blazko blasts his way through the streets of New Orleans, he’s given access to an explosive armory. The Pistole (pistol), Maschinenpistole (submachine gun), Sturmgewehr (automatic rifle), and Schockhammer (shotgun) make a return from the previous demo. However, the New Orleans mission takes place well after the previous demo, and Blasko's weapons received notable upgrades since then. Now the Pistole has a silencer, the Maschinenpistole has extended magazines, the Sturmgewehr has a scope, and the Schockhammer has ricocheting rounds. This demo also introduces us to heavy weaponry; the Lasergewehr or Dieselgewehr are a two-handed laser and an explosive launcher that Blazko can grab from dead super soldiers. Blazko also uses the Laserkraftwerk and Dieselkraftwerk, compact versions of the aforementioned weapons.
(SPOILER: you’re given the Laserkraftwerk if Fergus survived in Wolfenstein: The New Order, while the Dieselkraftwerk is available if Wyatt survived. Our playthrough takes place during the Wyatt timeline, and you can see him accompanying Anya at the beginning of the mission.)
War-torn New Orleans isn’t a level playing field; there are a number of obstacles impeding Blasko's progression. To overcome these obstacles (literally), Blazko is given the Battle Walker, a pair of tactical stilts that allow him to climb over high walls and inaccessible platforms. The Battle Walker also allows Blazko to rain fire down on Nazi infantry, and anyone who has seen the Star Wars prequels knows how valuable the “high ground” is. Additionally, Blazko can cause mayhem with his Ram Shackles, which allow him to deal devastating blows while sprinting. The Ram Shackles can be used to break down weak walls and heavy doors, or even mow down enemies. Finally, Blazko can squeeze into hidden vantage points with his Constrictor Harness to take out enemies stealthily. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the Constrictor Harness in action; during the demo, we jumped straight into the fray.
Fight Fire With Fire!
Blazko finally meets up with Horton after a bloody firefight, but the two come into conflict over their ideals. Horton and Blazko are both freedom fighters, but their ideas of revolution differ. Blazko is a soldier who laid his life on the line fighting the Nazis in Europe and saw many of his friends fall victim to the horrors of war. Meanwhile, Horton is a communist sympathizer heavily influenced by the works of Karl Marx. He opposed the draft, feeling that corporate America used the war to line its own pockets. However, both come to agree that they face a greater threat.
At the end of the cutscene, Blazko agrees to distract the remaining Nazis while Horton and his allies flee to safety. Horton gives Blazko a stolen Nazi Panzerhund, a dog-like mecha that spews fire from its mouth. While riding the Panzerhund, players are granted additional armor, and the flamethrower makes short, sweet work out of any enemy thrown at you.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is scheduled to debut on October 27 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.