Published on August 5th, 2019 | by Zorbz

REVIEW – Wolfenstein: Youngblood

REVIEWED BY SNRUB!

Summary: Wolfenstein: Youngblood takes a lot longer than expected to enjoy, it’s neither the best, nor worst Wolfenstein game to date but it’s lacking what we know and love about this franchise.

Concept: Promising “a brand new co-op adventure” with “the most open-ended Wolfenstein experience to date” you play as one of BJ Blazkowicz’s slightly annoying/weird daughters, in 1980 Paris looking for your father while fighting hundreds of Nazis along the way.

Expecting both you and a friend to buy the game would be a bit rude, so your friend can join with the deluxe version for about $69AUD assuming you both play on the same console. And assuming Australian internet isn’t terrible. Severely lacking in friends, I tried the ‘quickmatch’ option which would pair me with a random player across the world, until I was kicked. Thankfully the computer controlled AI co-op is pretty well balanced to not steal kills or be a useless chore to look after either.

The game opens up pretty quickly with the daughters sneaking off from their mother to go look for their daddy while giggling about how many Nazi scum they’re going to kill. The story itself doesn’t matter so much, but to serve an excuse for the gameplay, which includes super suits with double-jump and cloaking abilities for some reason.

Graphics: (Played on Xbox One X) The Wolfenstein series looked amazing when it first rebooted with Wolfenstein: New Order in 2014, but doesn’t look to have changed much since. There are a lot less screenshot-worthy moments in Youngblood as most of the game takes place inside Nazi headquarters which each look almost identical to each other.

There’s a heavy amount of motion blur when certain weapons are fired, and the screen washes out in sunlight, but it’s all consistent with the specific look and feel of the Wolfenstein franchise so far.

Surprisingly it feels like the violence has been turned up a notch, with blood-splatter and dismemberment being more detailed than other games – at least when facing non-robotic enemies.

Gameplay: What isn’t consistent with the series is the gameplay. Headshots will almost never score you a one-hit-kill, and the gameplay now relies on trial-and-error to pick the best weapon and weak point to disable larger enemies quickly. This means that you can empty all your bullets into a big tough bad guy, but weirdly running right up to them and spamming the melee button at their face was more effective if I decided to participate in combat at all.

When fighting enemies becomes tedious, in most cases (other than a few select boss fights), it’s easier to just run past the Nazis directly toward your objective. Sure it feels like cheating, but so does ineffective head-shots so we’ll call it even. The game makes it difficult to be stealthy and doesn’t punish too severely for taking the guns-blazing approach… as long as you’re flanking enemies from the side while you (and your sister) take turns keeping them distracted.

There’s also a weapon and skill-tree upgrade system in the menu, padded slightly with optional micro-transactions. Thankfully most of the micro-transactions seem to only be useful for aesthetic upgrades like changing the colour of your guns or suits which are briefly visible during cutscenes or load screens. Woo.

Oh, and one more thing. Because this is an online co-op game (?) you cannot pause the action even when playing in offline mode. There is no pause button at all. If you bring up the menu, your sister will keep chatting away about finding daddy and there’s still a chance your tits will get blown off by some Nazis. It’s a bizarre design choice, so be warned.

Sound: The sound mix is pretty solid, with dialogue being loud enough if you’re close to the characters while they talk. Luckily (?) the characters never say anything overly important or interesting that you can’t get from the mission objective menu.

The music has the most attention to detail, with an 80’s style synth that matches the likes of Stranger Things or Farcry: Blood Dragon, without ever feeling too in-your-face. It helps the action pump with a little more adrenaline and is the main stand-out of the sound design.

Voice acting is… not great. The sisters are difficult to like already due to some writing issues, I think they’re supposed to be teenagers, but their accent and their language all seems a bit broken. In the middle of shooting Nazis, they’ll frequently say unnecessary things like “HEE HAW I SURE LURVE KILLIN’ NAZI SCURM” – sure sis, we all do, that’s why we’re here playing Wolfenstein, but maybe wait until you’ve got a witty one-liner instead of just saying the first thing that comes into your dim child-brain.

Awesomeness: With no real difficulty curve (you can pick whichever levels you want pretty much from the get-go) there’s no real room for jaw-dropping moments. This game assumes you’re playing online, indefinitely. Setting “challenge of the day/week” type goals outside of the main story missions which might last you from 10-20 hours depending on what difficulty you set, and how inclined you are to look for collectables or try side-missions. It’s also needlessly difficult, where I couldn’t tell if I was playing each level properly – often finding overpowered weapons AFTER clearing a level. Thanks, game.

Final Word: Wolfenstein: Youngblood might not be truly awesome, and it might not feel like Wolfenstein, but it’s entertaining enough… just maybe not for the full $69 asking price if you plan on playing by yourself. Although keep in mind that is basically two copies of the game, so go halvsies with a friend, if you have more friends than me.

REVIEW – Wolfenstein: Youngblood Zorbz

Out of 5 Bugs!

Concept
Graphics
Gameplay
Sound
Awesomeness

Summary: Wolfenstein: Youngblood takes a lot longer than expected to enjoy, it’s neither the best, nor worst Wolfenstein game to date but it’s lacking what we know and love about this franchise.

3.4


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