I knew there was something different about playing Wolfenstein: Youngblood when my co-op partner gave me a “pep talk.” That gave me some extra armor and I returned the favor, getting a thumbs up from my partner.
In this version of the Nazi-shooting series, you play Sophia and Jessica, the twin daughters of BJ Blazkowicz, the hero of many previous Wolfenstein games. The story takes place 19 years after The New Colossus. BJ is missing, and he was last tracked to Paris, where he disappeared from the grid. The daughters take it upon themselves to defy their mother Anya and the authorities and hunt BJ down.
But in contrast to the previous Wolfenstein alternate history games, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, this game has a decidedly lighter tone. As the daughters go rogue in the cinematic trailer and get ready to take off for France, their tech-savvy sidekick Abby says, “You guys are weird.” They tell themselves “We got this shit” and “We were born to kill Nazis.”
I played a couple of levels of the game at a Bethesda preview event, and the company will show the title at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) game trade show in Los Angeles this week.
I played a single-player level and then engaged in a two-player co-op mission. I am always impressed with the power of the weaponry in Wolfenstein games, and this was no different. The game has shotguns that can dismember an unarmored enemy or severely damage the armor of a beefy soldier. I also saw assault weapons that fire a lot of lead and laser weapons that can melt anything in thier path.
But in the frenetic fighting of Wolfenstein, you are always under siege. If you don’t kill the Kommandant right away, he will sound the alarm. That will bring more soldiers to the scene and you will have a lot of Nazis to kill. That’s where two-player co-op becomes valuable, as you can watch each other’s backs in a tough fight.
When I started the first mission, I was happy to be well armed at the outset. I had a choice of shotgun or assault rifle. We were in a very tight fighting space, with lots of corridors. And there were some mech-like characters that were almost like bosses. They were heavily armored, and supported by robots and dogs.
I had the stealth feature in my armored suit, while my partner had some heavy weaponry. I tried to sneak up on the enemies and slit as many throats as I could. But then I inevitably ran into multiple enemies who were close together or a robot that couldn’t be killed by stealth. Then we opened up with everything we had.
In some cases, we were lucky to chase down the Kommandant and reduce the reinforcements, but sometimes that only stopped the high-level enemies from arriving.
We really had our work cut out when we came upon a boss, General Winkler, who was a leader among the Nazis. He was hard to kill, and he could easily overwhelm one of us if caught alone. He wears a heavily armored power suit. The whole point was to not get caught alone. So I had to constantly talk to my partner, who was right next to me in this case, to make sure we stayed together and could cover for the other while one healed or moved.
But the general was hard to fool with stealth, so we just had to attack from two directions at once. We died a lot, even though we were sending each other pep talks. Those are little presents that benefit the other player, like ammo or health. The pep talks are funny and they add that levity to the tense fighting.
Eventually, we were able to take down the general, and that was as much of the game as we got to see. I’m looking forward to playing this one, but I hope I can find partners who will stick with the fighting for the duration. The game will take about 25 hours to 30 hours to complete.