WOLFENSTEIN YOUNGBLOOD REVIEW

The Wolfenstein series was mainly a Single Player experience, with the few odd Multiplayer additions. I cannot speak about the latter, as my Wolfenstein Multiplayer experience is as brief a double fudge choc doughnut’s existence when I have a sugar craving.

Now, it seems they have kind of combined the two and it is an interesting take, to say the least, but not sure what is the reason behind it.

Let us take a closer look, but not too close, don’t want all that 80’s rubbing off you. We survived the Mullet phase, let’s just leave there.

DOUBLE TROUBLE?

It is the 1980’s, BJ Blazkowicz and Anya retreated to a life of raising their twin daughters, Jess and Soph. We meet them as two teenage twins that being taught hard life lessons by their father and mother. Never seeing much background of their upbringing and their experiences, it feels like Jess and Soph is just there, well for now at least. But yes, how about some back-history Bethesda?!

When playing the game as either, there is general dialogue and banter between the sisters, so that gives them some personality, but watching them, you realize they are two rather dorky kids, almost tomboyish, and it adds to their unique charm. Although they are not the most rounded characters, they have a way to grow on you.

Youngblood starts with Jess being coached by dad, and Soph by mom. Crucial lessons in their survival training with life advice, I think. There is a short family moment and it’s done.

“Ok! Cut! Next scene please!”

So what is the current plot? Is there a new impending invasion from the Nazi’s? A new enemy taking on the enemy and the free world?

No, BJ Blazkowicz ran away, with not so much of a sign or a whimper because?…reasons?

Actually, there is a reason near the end and it is all about…

[S P O I L E R – F R E E   Z O N E]

[S P O I L E R – F R E E   Z O N E]

[S P O I L E R – F R E E   Z O N E]

…and that is why you should always pre-heat an oven.

Also, the Nazi is still upto their old tricks trying to establish control by any means necessary. Their shenanigans are limited to Europe alone it seems and somehow the rest of the world, which also seems to be doing just fine, don’t care.

After discovering some information, conveniently in Jess and Soph house’ attic, it leads them to Paris, France, where they met up with the French Resistance against the Nazi’s. After a brief introduction and settling in with the Resistance in the Catacombs, you take on various missions to help the cause that will help aid in finding their father.

Yes, it goes really quick from Life Lessons one minute to fighting hordes of Nazis in power armour in the next. Given the Nazis have Ubersoldiers with heavy weapons, so at the start that power armour is as good as a Toddler Onesie in a paintball match until you start fitting upgrades to yourself and your weapons.

A decent selection with the help of the heavy weapons.

Youngblood lets you play co-op, but it takes very few opportunities if at all, to utilize the extra pair of hands. I wouldn’t call it an “Increase Fire-Power by Adding More Guns” solution, but when playing solo and letting the A.I. take control of either Jess or Soph (I played as Jess) it is not that useless, for most of the time. It is proficient at killing enemies with different weapons, so it is nice to see the A.I. mixing it up appropriate to the situation.

Tagging an enemy for your companion can be considered as Done and Dusted. I have seen it give some fair amount shots against a Pantzerhund and sometimes even finishing it off while my gob is hanging opening thinking “You stole my kill!”

As a pair, you share these, as per the name states, Shared Lives. You lose a life when either of you, A.I. or human player, is not revived in the allotted time. So there is a sense of teamwork needed. Owners of the Deluxe Edition get the Buddy Pass which let you invite a friend to play the game with you, even if they don’t own the game. The invited player can play through the entire game, the drawback? They get no achievements. A small price to pay.

THE APPLES DIDN’T FELL FAR FROM THE TREE

Make no mistake, the Blazkowicz Sisters are fully capable of handling Nazis like dear old dad. Joining you is Abby, daughter of Grace the former Resistance Leader now CIA Director, as tech support and to provide daily challenges to earn cash for buying upgrades, so there is a slight grind to the game, but makes up for it with a good serving of areas to explore.

After getting used to the Wolfenstein formula and style, Youngblood changes is up a bit with a little bit of give and take.

Differences include how you can only dual-wield pistols and machine pistols. Rather obvious this one. However, you can store and upgrade heavy weapons as part of your inventory, given you have the ability unlocked.

The levelling system has some incentive in terms of upgrade points and money, but other than that, it provides no sense of reward for taking on more than you can chew. Once you have added some upgrades to your standard and the Kraftwerk weapons, then you will see your punches give more impact.

It is more satisfying than it looks.

You do get a few upgrades from the start to help, the most helpful one being the double jump, as environments are fun to explore because of all the possible loot in abandoned apartment blocks.

The guns Jess and Soph is practically still the same arsenal from what BJ Blazkowicz used when fighting in the ’60s. As they say, If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix It.

THAT 80’S SHOW

Even in the midst of the Nazi occupation, the city of Paris does have its own personality. The styles of the ’80s are presented in the way you would expect if you were watching a movie of the same era. Music, Fashion, Interior Deco, and just general aesthetics. An odd favourite of mine is the sound of Abby’s computer keyboard.

Retro game in a retro-style game? Retro-ception.

The game is not without some good looking scenery. From gloomy alleys to the glow of dusk on the city, you would want to just admire just for a bit.

Someone can’t park a Zeppelin for S**T!
And here is that gloomy I was talking about.

IT’S THE FINAL VERDICT!

I had fun with Wolfenstein Youngblood, mainly solo with my trusty A.I, companion, and a few online sessions, and I honestly couldn’t tell them apart. Ultimately, your main tactic will always be to flank the enemy, but it combats this tedious method a whole lot more enjoyable by letting you turn Nazis into Ketchup and Sausage Pinatas.

Come on, guys! Pull yourselves together!

I do feel like the base premise of twin sisters taking the lead is a missed opportunity in possibly telling two stories. Regardless, there is still fun to be had, solo, with a friend or a random online match up.

Rating: 7.5/10

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