Wolfenstein: Youngblood

So this is Machine Games latest entry into the Wolfenstein series, a co-op focused game (you can play solo by hosting a local instance and not letting anyone else in) where you play as the previous protagonists twin daughters and get to see their journey from going from naive teenagers who’ve never seen the enemy before into becoming a massive menace to the Nazi powers in Paris as they search for their father (he’s gone off on his own secret anti-Nazi mission).

You know it’s a good Nazi killing game because the alt-right and the alt-light are currently losing their shit and scrambling to try to convince the world it’s bad actually:

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(For context, it’s been out for three days so calling it a “flop” when it’s consistently in the top 100 games being played is less than sincere or honest - particularly since it’s partnered with Nvidia and there’ll be copies going out with premium video cards.)

Now that we’ve covered why you probably don’t want to pay attention to a lot of reviews people that randos will push at you (especially if they mention Borderlands, RPGs, etc) I’d like to talk about why I think this game will have particular appeal to Hitman players (you guys). I’ll also address some of the key fake criticisms at the bottom of the post.

While it doesn’t provide the same sort of variety in killing options, it does provide the satisfying option to kill off all the Nazis in an area through stealth kills. You accomplish that through finding opportunities, manipulating enemies and communicating with your partner if you’re playing co-op. If you fuck up, it’s time to break out the big guns and blow shit up.

The level design is excellent for this, I’m about six hours into it and I think I’ve spent four of those on a single map where the side missions are generated to direct you to areas where enemies have respawned. Coming at them from a different angle and with a different goal encourages you to consider different approaches and different tricks. The enemies also “level up” as you do so the experience stays fresh and challenging as you get more and more options.

It also has a fun character dynamic where when the game starts, the twins have no experience with combat and killing - but are determined to find their father and prove themselves as the Nazi killers that you’d expect them to be. Their banter throughout the game is hilarious and a great way to put in comic relief at the right pacing.

The combat is fast paced but surprisingly tactical, with success usually dependent upon you manipulating the enemy into situations where you can exploit them (tight alleyways so you can grenade them, in front of an emplacement weapon so your buddy can laser them, etc). The different weapons are customizeable to let you tailor your approach, and there’s enough weapons you can build a toolkit. None of the weapons are “real” so, sorry for both you guys who worry about that.

If, like me, you’re the sort of person who enjoys playing Hitman with a stealthy approach and then doing as much destruction as necessary to restore order if you fuck up - this is a game with a lot of potential for you if you’d like something a little more high energy and high impact in terms of gore (there’s a lot of gore).

So is anyone else playing it? Particularly anyone else in the Australia/New Zealand time zones?

Now, the misconceptions people are willingly spreading:

It's an RPG/Borderlands type loot n shoot

The game contains simple progression trees that allow you to unlock various abilities in the order you want to and manages this through “silver coins” that you find along the way and are also granted for missions - how much or how little time you spend chasing the coins is up for your but there is no way you build a particular type of character (ala RPGs) and no inventory management of looted gear (ala Borderlands). It’s just a basic progression system.

It’s also very similar to the progression system in The New Colossus so if you see people saying they loved the other games but not this one because of it - they are a liar.

Your AI partner is useless and sabotages single player

In my experience my AI Partner is more reliable than a real person and even somewhat exploitable since if you’re crouching she will opt to enter stealth mode whenever there are Nazis about and I can choose her “pep” ability for her. She also immediately goes to help with items requiring both sisters and immediately comes to help me when I hit zero hp. There are some bugs in the AI but overall randos in quick match up are much more prone to fucking up, ignoring requests for assistance and employing useless strategies.

Microtransactions are there to bleed out money from you

There microtransactions are literally only there for the skins that are unlockable in the game, so for people who are cash rich, time poor and want their character to look a certain way for the entire game rather than buy it as convenient or do a little grinding. The marketing on the gold bars is a little misleading about this, but there’s no pain points that compel you to buy anything.

Enemies are bullet sponges and there's no tactics.

Some enemies are indeed bullet sponges, because they’re giant robots or super heavily armored troops but generally speaking in any encounter there’s a variety of enemies with different weights of health, armor and resilience to flinching. The tactics comes form assessing this and working out the best way to engage the enemies collectively that maximises your strengths and exploits their weaknesses - after all you’re supposed to be guerilla resistance fighters.

Game sucks playing solo/can't pause in solo

Yes unsurprisingly the game that is built entirely around the idea of playing cooperatively is not as much fun to play Solo - largely the solo mod is in there for when you just want to kill Nazis or hunt collectibles and don’t want to deal with someone else or subject them to you painfully picking through every area of the stage looking for a pair of 3D glasses (or you playing the parody of the original Wolfenstein 3D on the arcade machines in your base).

Pausing is largely a non-issue issue since once you’ve cleared an area it’s safe to stand around without a pause - so basically this would only effect you if you wanted to use pause midway through action for whatever reason.

It's pseudo open world/repetitive

By which they mean… not open world but has big maps you can explore like many games, and like most of those games reuses those maps for missions, side quests, etc. The maps are specifically designed to play different from different angles and they do feel different as you run about them so they’re less open world and more like Hitman maps but big enough that enemies respawn in areas on most of the maps.

It forces feminism/SJW/wokeness down your throat constantly so the writing sucks

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Generally the only ways it comments on this are having the main protagonists be female (the main support character is a black nerd woman) and the Nazis being… Nazis. It also depicts are world where the liberated USA can have a black woman as the director of the FBI. So far on what I’ve played and there’s more commentary on climate change than modern equality issues:

As a side note - anyone still confused why I don’t allow people to try to edge in fascist propaganda or opinions on to the forum under “respecting their right to an opinion” may want to check out the Steam Discussion section for Wolfenstein: Youngblood - it’s um… really something over there.

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Not sure I agree with the point on microtransactions. Once upon a time, a game released on day one would have skins be in-game unlockables, not being real world purchases on release day. It isn’t terrible, but I don’t think it is harmless purely for the fact that I think if game publishers believe day one cosmetic microtransactions are accepted, they can get away with more egregious day one microtransactions in future.

I probably won’t get this for a while. Played New Order, really liked it. Plan to get New Collosus, have heard elements about that game’s plot and gameplay and it sounds like the game equivelent of second album syndrome. Youngblood looks fine, but doesn’t seem that interesting, and certainly from other reviews I’ve read, the game just sounds like rewarding if not in co-op. Also no idea why you can’t pause the game while playing solo. In all three Borderlands games, you could pause the game in solo there, what’s Youngblood’s excuse?

Plot sounds extremely lazy as well honestly. I find it ironic that the Nazis have been ruling Europe for 40 years, but I guess nothing has really changed apparently in terms of aesthetic. I find even the idea of liberating Paris from the Nazis fascinating too, because by that point, wouldn’t of France basically be soaked in Nazi ideology? A massive point of New Order and New Collosus was the Nazis forcing the German language and phasing out local culture, not to mention the genocide. I guess it just bothers me because I did like New Order’s alternate future, but it seems like Youngblood just wants to jump on the 80s nostalgia train currently running through.

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I’ll do the same I did with the previous entries: watch someone else play it and the cutscenes on YT. From the few I saw, it seems pretty fun. Specially the starting cutscenes with the sisters killing their first Nazi and then going “Girls just wanna have fun” from there but the gameplay hasn’t catch my eye at all.

In general, I stopped playing Wolfenstein since trying the one from 2008 wich came across as dull for me. Oh well, I’ll always have my heart in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, of my favourite videogames from last decade and part of my childhood, along with the original Wolfenstein 3D.

Besides, I’m saving money for Doom Eternal wich looks amazing!

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For what it’s worth, I do recommend New Order, especially nowadays when you can pick it up pretty cheap. I don’t think it is the greatest game in the world, at times it can feel a bit too linear, but it can be a fun ride.

New Order and Old Blood seem beary cool, specially Old Blood because it actually has that distinctive trait of Wolfenstein where it mixes the advanced technology of the Nazis with supernatural elements. That was of my favourite parts from RTCW. About being linear, that’s a plus. Don’t want more open world or sandbox games in a good while.

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I actually really want to get Old Blood, but keep forgetting about it. It feels like a game purposelly designed to appeal to old school Wolfenstein, a grittiness that doesn’t have a realistic edge to it.

I never took the series as semblance of realistic in any way further than the themes of the time period it takes place. Anyway, maybe I’ll get all these entries once they come out in a collection, just like with the MCC with Halo. Still, those skill trees and perks are something I’m not digging too much. I know my way around them but seeing them too constantly, specially in FPS, is starting to annoy me.

Is this game good? The PC I’m looking to buy has an RTX and NVIDIA’s stated that RTX graphic cards come with this game along with another one called Control, but for a limited time.

I’m not sure why when I come back people felt the best course was to derail with generic statements about other Wolfenstein games but oh well.

They are in-game unlockables, you just have the option to buy them early if it’s worth the money to wear the skins from the start rather than unlock them as you go.

Playing Solo is running a private instance and not inviting anyone to join you - so it follows all the usual rules of co-op play. This is good because it means 1. you can invite people at any time 2. you don’t get used to features in single and then fuck up in co-op because they’re not there.

Also the main reason to “pause” is the upgrades tree etc so it avoids you having the awkward experience of freezing mid fight to upgrade a weapon or gain a skill etc, thus maintaining the rhythms of the game and the pacing it’s designed for. As someone who found single player Borderlands to be only mildly preferable to torture in a medieval dungeon - I am all for avoiding Borderland design decisions, particularly since it’s entirely different type of co-op game.

In comparison to what? The plot of New Order is BJ wakes up from a coma just in time to start a revolution against the Nazis and then goes and kills everyone because he’s able to discover everyone who can give him the stuff he needs to be an effective resistance. They’re games about killing Nazis, not complex plots.

Well since a lot has changed in terms of aesthetic and the game makes a huge deal out of this… I suggest not taking your sources for that information very seriously.

It is, which has impacted the aesthetic and everything going on around it. The idea is that at the end of the New Colossus they killed off a major Nazi commander and began a massive revolution in the USA, once the USA reestablished itself - Europe started rebelling too so Paris is going through it’s second resistance against the Nazis at this point.

This remains consistent in Youngbloods from the very start.

I’m not sure how that’s a distinctive trait of Wolfenstein since they only did that in a few games in an attempt to pick up on some of the popularity of Hellboy… which is basically the distinctive “Nazis have supernatural powers” period.

The supernatural element was in the expansion packs way back in 3D, with the demons and zombie like minions who gunned you down in the blink of an eye, RTCW had all the spectres and undead with the power of an ancient evil and then even the 2008 version had the weird medallion with reality altering powers and Old Blood has it’s own version of supernatural aswell.

So yes, I consider it’s an important aspect of Wolfenstein as a whole.

The expansion packs were made by third parties, with diminishing quality over time, so really can’t be considered to be a “distinct part” of the Wolfenstein series - the zombies in Wolf 3D were the mad scientist type of zombies, not the supernatural type.

Wolfenstein 3D was an adaptation of the earlier Castle Wolfenstein games where your primary mechanics included stealing uniforms to disguise as SS officers (so basically the original Hitman). The key to it has always been killing Nazis.

The attempt to make it supernatural took away the core twist and instead made it about some sort of ancient German supernatural evil rather than… Nazis. It’s really baffling to me that there was someone out there who went “Nazis… not really evil… what the game needs is REAL evil”

Well then I expect you’ll be disappointed by the majority of the property.

I consider it important but not something that has to be everlasting present, specially since the new entries already delivered their take on that. And really? Where I said that killing Nazis was lesser important, since that’s exactly the first thing you do when the game starts? For me the supernatural aspect was furter reinforcement on how fucked up the Nazis were to bring all sorts of evils just to make reality their sick delusions and generally a nice twist, specially the one in the catacombs from RTCW because that was unexpected.

And don’t assume I’ll be disappointed as a whole in a franchise for the lack of a single element that for me was one of the many aspects for what I remember this franchise.

I personally think every single one of their games are mediocre at best and only hyped by the nazi symbol. Btw, id tech engine is horrible, despite vulkan

Well when I got RTCW - I was briefly concerned I’d bought the wrong game since the opening cutscenes about bizzare World of Warcraft style magic made me worry I’d bought the wrong game since it has literally nothing to do with anything vaguely related to national socialism.

Again, why would you need that to show why Nazis were evil? Nazis were basically the incarnation of evil in that they killed and tortured millions simply in the pursuit of an unsustainable ideology and lifestyle. They were evil for very real, tangible reasons.

The idea that they’re evil because they’re dabbling with the supernatural basically eliminates the Nazi aspect and makes them a generic, interchangeable evil - hence why the weird sexy SS officers and weird cultists in bikinis.

That’s particularly worrying in a society where people who aren’t buying the games are in the discussion boards to tell people that fascism was good actually.

Ok. Don’t know how why your intake in the supernatural inmediatly makes you assume that everyone forgets that the Nazis were degenerates in their own right. Old Blood managed to bring it and still remind you that this was the icing of the cake with the Reich for doing wicked and inhumane things. As for the female SS and the single female cultist in leather underwear, they weren’t in all the levels. Just in the supernatural themed.

And I understand the concern with the actual white nationalism, racism, hate speech and nonsense going on in the games forums, video reviews and other media, but this is something that is bound to happen because we are in harsh time where obviously most people haven’t learned a goddamn thing from the past and are willing to keep going on with their bullshit out of evil, arrogance, hubris or whatever twisted reason their minds allow.

Because it’s actually what happens - if you don’t believe it go check out the Steam discussions and see how many Nazis wish the games would go back to showing Nazis as regal, powerful figures who are evil because of supernatural and not as selfish brats who hate everyone different to them.

If you are still struggling with the concept I suggest watching this educational video by Lindsay Ellis in which she covers how anything that can show Nazis in any sort of positive light gets co-opted by them regardless of how bad the rest of it is:

That’s a pretty good argument not to have the supernatural elements.

Now do you actually have anything to say about Youngblood or can I cull all your posts into a new thread?

I already said that Youngblood looks fun with protagonists that match the bill of being a fun pair, who clearly follow the steps of their father and at the same time have their own personalities and traits going on wich they develope from zero, specially with their first kill being on screen and they acting accordignly.

Now, Steam and many other platforms struggle with these people doing their bullshit and it’s something that should fix ASAP but isn’t happening for whatever reason the platform has and I’m sure that comments sections has the charming manchild tone mixed with degeneraroty terms and xenophobia you can expect from YT aswell.

And before you assume about me “struggling” with the ordeal on how the Nazis are potrayed or if developers tried in the past to make them look less evil by bringing the supernatural in the table, these recent entries show you that as nasty and miserable the Nazi dipshits were, they still were competent to build military power to take over almost the entire world, up to the point that almost every single piece of equipment and weaponry you use against them is made by themselves.

They were not, they did not come close to conquering the world - they conquered a bunch of Europe and ran out of steam because their had no longer term plan and their most complicated military strategy was Blitzkrieg. They prioritized asthetics over functionality and many of them frozen to death when Winter hit Russia because they had not been issued coats (the assumption was they would conquer all of Russia in a matter of weeks).

The myth they were competent is Nazi propaganda, and it’s Nazi propaganda that modern day Nazis LOVE because it is used to justify concentration camps, tax breaks to billionaires who under pay their workers, suppressions of regulations protecting regular people, due process etc.

And no, in the current games the equipment is manufactured by them but was stolen technology from a Jewish secret society. Once they run out of technology to steal they hit a brick wall while the resistance is able to build and innovate new technology because they have actual geniuses in it.

I was refering the in-game ones. The real ones weren’t close to global conquest.

Now about the equipment, that’s great to know. I’m reading the wikia right now and actually was a suggested page the link you provided.

I was just playing some of this and I thought I’d share some of the aesthetic changes the Nazis have made, and the general changes:


There’s a bunch of other changes that get explained as you play - such as the loud speaker towers so they can constantly promote propaganda and that cars are scarce because only Nazi officers are allowed to own and driver cars.