Wolfenstein: The New Colossus is here which means there is finally a singleplayer shooter to play this year, something that I have been waiting for a while. I was pretty impressed by how The New Order handled the mix of action and storytelling, so I wasn’t going to skip on the sequel. Yet, now that I’m getting closer to the end, I’m not sure it was worth the wait.
The game’s beginning could probably serve as the textbook way on how to set an intrigue in a game that wants to follow a story but doesn’t have all the time in the world to tell it. Things happen, fast, they are unpredictable, violent and filled with all kind of emotions. You are thrown into the action as a crippled man fighting far better equipped enemies to protect your own people. It’s a dramatic start with tragic consequences that paves the way for a story that looks more serious but still maintains its trademarked dark comedy. It’s what I wanted from this game and if it stayed on this track I would have been very content with the result. But when am I allowed to be content? The further I went, the more imbalanced the game’s elements became. The storytelling gradually lost its dark tone and forced itself onto the screen with each occasion, projecting edginess over the earlier established quality. The action lagged behind as a damaged third wheel on a rocky narrative road. The perfect balance between storytelling and gameplay that The New Order achieved was gone, replaced by a derivative mix of nameless elements.
I still liked the setting filled with the animated caricatures of unstable human beings having constant interactions on the bigger and better base. But these were supposed to be a distraction from an action packed shooter and not the other way around. The gameplay is a lackluster of short and limited missions that are nowhere as entertaining as they were supposed to be. Maybe it’s because the shooting feels primitive despite looking spectacular with all the particle effects, gore and physics. Or maybe it’s the failed attempt to take inspiration from DOOM but without properly adjusting to the setting and its dumb enemies that keep coming into your guns. The gameplay derails quickly and never gets its power back, leaving this first person shooter at the whims of its edgy story.
No matter how much The New Colossus tries to look bigger and better, it is not. It’s smaller, more restrictive and kept alive by artificial elements. It’s not a bad game but not a very good shooter and all I felt after tasting that amazing intro was disappointment.