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Feature Article

GameSpot's Best Games Of 2017 #7: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

Overcoming the odds.

GameSpot's Best Games of 2017 has finally kicked off, so join us as we unveil what we thought were the 10 best games released this year. At the #7 spot is Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Read on to see why we chose it as one of the best for 2017.

GameSpot's Best Games of 2017

Nothing captures the spirit of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus like its Roswell mission. Roswell is sunny and idyllic; you arrive during an exuberant Fourth of July parade, though the holiday has been co-opted by the occupying Nazis. The first three people you see are a Nazi officer and two fully dressed Klansmen, but as you continue down the street, you start to see the ways even the most everyday interactions have been twisted: a young girl telling an officer "I love you" in German, busybody types looking at propaganda in shop windows, a man flying a Nazi-made drone for fun. Our hero BJ Blazkowicz, armed with nothing but a firefighter disguise and a nuke hidden in an extinguisher, can only walk and look at everything in all its unnerving mundanity.

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Then, in a tense, Inglourious Basterds-style scene punctuated by a single gunshot, the facade is broken. One dead commandant and a comedic alien conspiracy theory later, Blazkowicz is launched into combat with swarms of Nazi machine-men and on a train to Area 52. If you approach the mission stealthily, you can overhear two soldiers complaining that the resistance's violence is not the correct response to their "different" point of view. If you trip an alarm, you're in for an especially punishing fight. By the end of the mission, you don't feel powerful--the quick tonal shifts and brutal difficulty are disorienting, and you end up feeling like you barely scraped by.

It's a testament to the game's narrative direction that the abrupt changes in tone work at all. The New Colossus is set in a version of 1960s America where the Nazis won WWII, picking up five months after 2014's The New Order. The resistance consists of varied and distinct characters, none entirely relegated to comic relief or too-serious roles; they're relatable even at their most extreme because they're treated with care and nuance. Everything in the New Colossus has been affected by the Nazi takeover, most in more obviously horrific ways than in Roswell. From the irradiated remains of Manhattan to the fiery ruins of New Orleans, the game never lets you forget the evil you're fighting against, even as you're chopping off enemies' legs and blowing half-mechanical heads off in a shower of blood and sparks.

It's a testament to the game's narrative direction that the abrupt changes in tone work.

Of course, you do get stronger as the game goes on, and there's an element of perverse satisfaction in that. Successfully performing a certain number of stealth takedowns will unlock a perk that improves your sneaking ability, and you can collect upgrade parts to add silencers and other attachments to make your weapons more effective. You'll learn how to best read a room and decide how to tackle it. But it's an arduous climb that avoids feeling like a power fantasy, a tenuous balancing act that stands out as one of the game's greatest achievements.

Challenging combat combined with a carefully balanced narrative makes for a powerful story of resistance. The New Colossus never questions whether violence is the correct solution to oppression, giving you the tools to fight back without robbing your success of its meaning. And by staying grounded in present-day political roots, The New Colossus rounds out its most off-the-wall, fantastical elements for an experience that's both memorable and impactful.

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Kallie Plagge

Kallie Plagge is GameSpot's Reviews Editor. She loves Pokemon, anime, and Grunt Birthday Party.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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30 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for mikelalala

A game which has progression bugs (hello, Fergus's arm quest) should not be in the top at all.

Avatar image for Sindroid

Game had no proper boss fight in the end.. Kinda let down..

Avatar image for santinegrete

Oh I' really giving myself a treat with this one. Great stories aren't usually paired with great gameplay, and the effort to put 'em togheter is something I welcome with open wallet: I think it's one of the very few games that made me purchase the gold/sesasonpas included version without a shadow of a doubt.

Avatar image for videogameninja

For a game that has been toted as one of the finest examples of single player FPS in recent years the fact that it is coming in at #7 on this list is pretty telling of the competition we've seen this year.

Glad Machine Games stuck to their guns with this one (no pun intended.) and took everything that made the first installment stand out from others in it's genre and cranked up the "wow" factor by 10.

Great game and I'm glad to see it getting the recognition it deserves. Perhaps it's accolades will help show other FPS developers that investing in a great and worth while single player doesn't have to be relegated to an after-thought.


Avatar image for lorddaggeroff

The winner is CBS deciding to pai legit.

Avatar image for cashx002

This game is A-mazing bros and bro-ettes. Total video game goodness in every sense. If you're like me and in your 30s, it echoes what video games were about in the first place. Artistic expression in every sense. This game is a masterpiece to me and it is stress relief in these odd times we are in. Take that however you want to take it, to each his or her own. ENJOY!!!!

Avatar image for santinegrete

@cashx002: I'm kinda there: I'm in my 30s and I want to enjoy gunning down evil dudes while also enjoying a good story. And it works as a stress relief too: just pushing trough a campaign, side missions if I want when I want; don't have to deal with fearing a pawywall for anything, not being forced to any extent of multiplayer. I can relax with this great modern game like in good old times.

Avatar image for cashx002

@santinegrete: This is my favorite game of 2017 and probably going down as one of my faves of all time. It's on that list. So well done. I'm obsessed lately with every part of this game. I LOVE the devs on this one.

Avatar image for zer0day

Missed this one, hope to play eventually :/

Avatar image for santinegrete

@zer0day: get it if you can in a xmas deal. Such quality for a good price it's a steal. But please read the warnings of the menu before choosing a difficulty. Game is hard.

Avatar image for cashx002

@zer0day: DUDE, it's soooo good. Total video game goodness in every sense. It echoes what videos games have always been about in the good ole days. Unique worlds and free artistic expression for me. Very political and RAW, the way a game should be.

Avatar image for homerpyle

I would have like to have played it,wanted to play it,pre-ordered it,kept getting the crash dump error on my pc like tons of others were getting,even after the driver patches and updates.All I saw after trying to get the game going was very poor reviews from users/players,having the same issues and or commenting on the game-play,but all of the gaming sites praised the game.

Sold the game back .

Then,,,downloaded the "Free" demo a bit later,,,and,,,same,,,crash dump error.

Still,I would like to play but I am not going just to purchase a PlayStation or Xbox and then the game to play.

I guess this was not taken into account when rating the game.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b2c8e0382c99

@homerpyle: PC master race...

Avatar image for MessiahKnot

It's a good game, competently made and worth playing. Comparatively though The New Order and The Old Blood were much more interesting, succinct, impactful and fun. I don't know. I wasn't disappoint, but coming from those two games it seemed underbaked in a way.

Avatar image for Mogan

Number 7 out of 10 sounds about right for Wolf 2. I enjoyed that game a lot.

Avatar image for jonath1984

This game was awesome i loved it. even though i started playing The New order on my ps4 i wanted a game to really try out my 1X. So i got me this when it was on sale, loved every minute of it

Avatar image for puckpuck85

my list (updated)

10. Destiny 2

9. Evil Within 2

8. Nier: Automata

7. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

6. Nioh

5. Prey (2017)

4. Persona 5

3. Cuphead

2. Super Mario Odyssey

1. Resident Evil 7 (VR)

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@puckpuck85: You lost credibility as soon as you put Destiny 2 on the list.

Avatar image for puckpuck85

@gotrekfabian: cool bro. lets see your top 10, you elitist scum bag

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@puckpuck85: Elitist? Scumbag? Seriously, stop defending Destiny, you'll feel better once you stop with your addiction to games which promote bad practices. Ask anyone who knows gaming and they'll tell you the same: Activision and Bungie have done nothing but try to deceive their user base.

As for my list, scroll around this topic and you'll see that I have given my opinion on the top 5. Now reign that anger in.

EDIT: My bad, it is in the Horizon: Zero Dawn (GS number 6 GOTY) that I left my list.

Avatar image for Utnayan

Lol what. Out of all the games launched this year in no way shape or form should this even be close to the top ten.

Avatar image for xantufrog

why did this get a "7" this should be an 8 all day long hurdurp ;-)

Avatar image for cashx002

@xantufrog: 1 for me man. It was THAT good. Art is also subjective, ratings/lists/categories are dumb. It's just like our presidency, a few dummies are telling us what is good.