Wolfenstein II The New Colossus is undoubtedly a great game that tackles some weighty themes. When it was released last year, it didn’t shy away from its message, repeated by Pete Hines at E3; “Fuck Nazis.”
That Wolfenstein II The New Colossus was even released for a Nintendo console is amazing enough. However, the fact that the port of Wolfenstein II The New Colossus on Switch is good is even better.
It’s a minor miracle (detailed in a great Digital Foundry post) that Panic Button! has ported Wolfenstein II to Switch. But it has and the developer has done an incredible job.
Obviously, the Switch version is going to be the least visually impressive and when played in docked mode, it tends to look muddy, washed out and very, very blurry. However, when I played in handheld mode, most of these issues vanished.
Well, not vanished, but were less visible thanks to the Switch’s smaller screen. Honestly, I much prefer Wolfenstein II on Switch in handheld mode, which is a pretty great way to play.
On Switch, Panic Button! has added Motion Controls, but they’re not very good. I fiddled around with the sensitivity for ages and could never find that sweet spot. I wouldn’t advise using motion controls for all of your aiming, but if you can nudge it into the right spot for fine aim, then maybe you’ll like it.
Me, I wouldn’t bother.
The Switch is very rapidly becoming THE go-to console of this generation with a huge range of incredible games available and coming soon.
Wolfenstein II The New Colossus is just the latest. It’s definitely worth it, even if you’ve already played it before.
Our original review follows.
Let me just preface this Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus review. This game does not fuck around.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a direct continuation of the 2014 title Wolfenstein: The New Order.
And what a continuation it is.
Our hero, BJ Blazkowicz continues to kick those Nazis ‘Reich’ up the ass.
Though marketing of the game would have you believe it takes place entirely in an occupied United States.
Players will be surprised to learn of the multiple other locations within The New Colossus.
This is a game that’s not afraid to take the player on a ride. So buckle up and get ready. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a ride like no other.
Better the Devil You Know
It seems in this day and age, people like what is familiar. The New Colossus is no exception. It features a reassuringly similar gameplay style that lends itself to veteran FPS players and new blood alike. Mechanics, like the ability to dual wield tri-barrelled shotguns, are an absolute treat. Not only do they illicit ‘WOW’ moments, but they also help save the player from many a bind where a more cautious approach may have left them high and dry.
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The New Colossus’ high octane style is really welcome. Even after many defeats, from seemingly endless waves of Nazis, the satisfaction of rampaging through, victorious, left me hungry for more.
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Visually, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is what one could expect. Especially with a title like The New Colossus. The imagery paints a clear divide between the scrappy revolutionaries, stealing to survive and the uber science of the Reich. The unstoppable nature of super soldiers and laser guns really brought to the fore the difficulty of the fight ahead.
Despite being set within a universe ruled by the Nazis, there are beautifully rendered locations and just the right amount of kitsch. The New Colossus looks and more importantly feels like a really amazing B-Movie. The combination of the fantasy of the ‘What If?’ mixed with reality resulted in an incredibly intriguing, if horrific prospect.
Reich Here, Reich Now
I had a lot of fun with this title and can see myself doing multiple playthroughs. The challenge of completing The New Colossus on higher difficulty levels and hunting down the many collectables to add to the already rich story is too good to pass on.
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Despite featuring all manner of Nazis, the real villain of the story is Frau Engel. Having risen since her defeat in The New Order to have a very prominent role in The New Colossus.
The cameo from old mate Adolf, resplendent in his piss stained pants and tattered dressing gown, paranoid and insane and safe on a space station on another planet brought to light the real power behind the enemies in The New Colossus. Also, B-Movie! Nazis in space.
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Very early on you will learn to hate Frau Engel. She is a true psychopath. From the mocking and ridicule of her daughter in front of you to the killing a beloved character right off the bat with a laugh. The enemy is abundantly clear.
But she’s not the only figure BJ has to confront. Flashbacks spread throughout show a secondary antagonist; BJ’s own racist father. A bitter and selfish man, this additional story sets The New Colossus up to be a confronting journey for both BJ and the player. The story touches on the myriad social issues confronting us each day, something I found very relieving to see.
One thing I was disappointed in was the lack of combat, not to mention story set in actual occupied America. I was holding out for this, only to find minimal appearances by the KKK apart from a few optional side missions. The Klansmen in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus were portrayed as buffoons, essentially providing comedic value.
When racism is rife in the current world and it’s anything but funny I couldn’t help but wonder if MachineGames could have pushed the envelope a little further. Killing Nazis seems like such a universally accepted thing they may as well be zombies. But killing Americans, even racist ones seems like a step too far. It’s at odds with the design and narrative philosophy found in the rest of The New Colossus.
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Aside from that minor issue, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a joy to play. A diverse cast of characters from many backgrounds is an excellent addition. Although the cast features new and returning characters, I genuinely cared about them and their struggles. Having such relatability and likability in the cast adds depth to the franchise beyond which I thought possible.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a brave title that addresses some of the harshest realities of our time through the skewed lens of satire. It doesn’t take long, to realise that as far-fetched as The New Colossus seems, it might be just around the corner.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was reviewed on PS4 & Switch using a digital codes provided to PowerUp! by Bethesda.
Game Title: Wolfenstein II The New Colossus
Wolfenstein II The New Colossus in full on Switch - 9.5/10
The same great shooting and action - 8/10
Visuals suffer - 6/10
Best handheld shooter available - 9/10