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Killing Nazis is Satisfying as Ever in WOLFENSTEIN II (E3 Preview)

Killing Nazis is Satisfying as Ever in WOLFENSTEIN II (E3 Preview)

Perhaps you’ve heard this story before: years after the Nazis successfully won World War II, a U.S. soldier wakes up to discover this hellish new world. It’s how 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order kicked off, revitalizing the classic shooter series, and the follow-up Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus circles similar territory as it begins.

Okay, it’s not exactly the same. BJ Blazkowicz does wake up from a coma about ten minutes into the sequel, which was where our hands-on demo began, but this time he’s only been out a few months, not years. This directly follows the ending of New Order, which left BJ’s fate ambiguous; now we know that he survived and was eventually rescued.

Unfortunately, Nazis have found the resistance forces and taken over the U-boat, hampering a clean escape. Against doctor’s orders, the wheelchair-bound BJ grabs a gun and starts shooting, despite failing kidneys and rapidly draining health. The player’s health won’t stay above 50% during this time, so caution is necessary, as are the health packs scattered around the boat. When bullets alone can’t get the job done, the electrical traps set up throughout the level are ideal for turning clueless enemies into a fine red mist. If you thought shooting Nazis in the face was satisfying, just wait until you basically disintegrate them with the flip of a switch.

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After wheeling his chair down stairwells and up conveyor belts, BJ is finally reunited with his lady love Anya (queue the awkward kissing animation), who’s now pregnant with twins. The happiness is short-lived, however, because outside they discover that the Germans have them trapped. The propaganda line from the enemy is that “Terror Billy” is a murdering terrorist, which is just a slight distortion of reality (not to mention ironic coming from a literal Nazi). In order to save his soldiers, BJ presents himself to the German leader Frau Engel, back from The New Order with a scarred jaw and even more contempt for people who don’t meet her distorted standards for humanity.

Engel is thrilled to have BJ in her possession, gleeful over his weakened condition and ready to broadcast it to the world. She viciously berates her own daughter for the terrible sin of being overweight and tries to force the younger woman to behead a resistance member. The demo ends there, a bit ambiguously; personally, we hope the younger Engel turns the axe on her mother, but I guess we won’t find out until October 27 when Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is released on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

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As interesting as it was to decimate bad guys from the confines of a wheelchair, the demo didn’t give us a great sense of the overall story. It would’ve been nice to see some of the new characters shown off in the most recent trailer, but their absence didn’t make the gameplay during our 30-minute session any less fun. We’re eager to spend even more time with Wolfenstein II later this year.

How do you feel about Wolfenstein II based on what you’ve seen and heard so far? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

Images: Bethesda

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