First Impressions: Wolfenstein Youngblood

Well everyone, today’s the day, when one of my most anticipated games of 2019 is coming out. You all know how much I love the Wolfenstein series, more so after the New Order storyline was released. The first game is without a doubt a masterpiece, a return to the great single player first person shooters of yore that did not need to shoehorn a multiplayer mode to be popular.

Then we had the Old Blood expansion, a simple yet enjoyable romp back to the pre-New Order 1940s and a raid through the titular Castle Wolfenstein. It was a lower priced game but still had the fun and thrills of the New Order.

Then last year we had The New Colossus, a game that took the stranger aspects of the series into a whole new level, especially with the way BJ Blazkowicz ends up almost like a 1960s version of a cyborg, with his head grafted onto a Nazi Supersoldat’s body and made into a new man. It got strange at times and also very hilarious (with a depiction of Hitler that as TV Tropes once said, would make even Mel Brooks proud) and in the end was a very competent shooter. It also eased us into the idea of making Wolfenstein an open world experience similar to what 4A Games did with the excellent Metro Exodus earlier this year.

But now, from what I’ve seen so far, it looks like Bethesda and Machine Games may have fleshed out that experience with Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Now centered on BJ’s twin sisters, Jess and Sophie, we are now thrust into an open world version of a Nazi-Occupied Paris in 1980. Their objective: find out what happened to their legendary father.

I was able to play some of the launch code for an upcoming review, and despite the much talked about Buddy Pass (which allows a friend who does not have the game to jump in for free) not being available until launch day, I was able to play through the first main mission. While it does not show off the open world aspects of the game that will eventually come out, we do see it features many of the elements that make Wolfenstein the series that we all enjoy: heavy guns, stealth or brute force gameplay, and of course, the timeless tradition of killing Nazis.

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Of course my gameplay time was spent playing by myself as Sophie, with an AI partner taking over the role of Jess. Thankfully the AI does seem to be rather competent, although Jess has blocked my way a few times. But it is nowhere near the nightmare level that rivals Sheva’s AI in Resident Evil 5. If I were to compare it to anything, it might be equal to the partner AI I’ve seen with Far Cry 5. I do hope to try the full game out with a human partner before my final review, but so far the experience has been quite good.

Expect a full review of Wolfenstein: Youngblood soon, but in the meantime, check out the first mission from the game, nearly an hour of in-game footage for today’s huge release!

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