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Feature Article

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Makes The Most Of Its American Setting

Back in the USA.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

With its Nazis-winning-WWII premise, 2014's Wolfenstein: The New Order manages to be both pulpy and serious. Yes, it has robot Nazi dogs, but it also has a concentration camp scene that's presented with tact, and that balance keeps the fantastical grounded in a brutal reality. The upcoming sequel, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, walks that same line, and it goes one step further: it brings you out of Europe and to alt-1960s America amidst threats that persist in real-life in the present day.

We recently played a few hours of The New Colossus, broken up into two levels. The first is the opening wheelchair mission, which we played at E3, and the second starts out in Roswell, New Mexico during a 4th of July Nazi parade. Blazkowicz arrives in Roswell dressed as a fireman and carrying a nuke in his fire extinguisher, and the first thing you see, just ahead of you on the sidewalk, is a pair of Klansmen in white robes and hoods.

No Caption Provided

It's an uncomfortable feeling, walking toward KKK members in broad daylight in a game and knowing that there's nothing you can do. But this feeling is also compounded by the knowledge that there are KKK rallies happening in real-life America in the year 2017, an America where the Nazis didn't win the war. It's simple fun to blast Nazis to hell in Wolfenstein, but seeing the KKK stroll past a Nazi officer who says he likes their "style" is not so much fun as it is deeply unsettling.

All around Roswell, there is evidence that the language employed by the fictional Reich (and everyone subjugated by it) is not far from sentiments you can still hear today. A newspaper review for a "dystopian" novel about a world where the Allies won, for instance, discusses the moral depravity of different groups, including LGBT people. A newspaper clipping later in the mission features a letter to the editor thanking the Germans for saving America from social ills. A cheekily color-swapped version of the Abbey Road cover in a music shop window reminds you that you are, indeed, in a distorted version of history.

You walk through all of that to a diner you might have seen in the reveal trailer, where a mother practices German with her son, telling him he'll need to learn it. Then a Kommandant walks in and talks about strawberry milkshakes in a comically threatening soliloquy before getting shot in the head. A cutscene directly after involves your Roswell contact going on about aliens and the "weird shit" in Area 52, which is the first extended respite from the discomfort that precedes it.

But it's not the last. You take your nuke underground and proceed to fight hordes of mecha-Nazis on a train using powerful machine guns and hatchets, which is pure, ridiculous fun. You don't have time to think about politics or real-world implications, because all your focus is put toward finding shotgun ammo and not dying. My time with the game concluded at the end of the train ride, but I'm looking forward to seeing if The New Colossus continues to maintain a strong balance between its two opposing tones. The examples we saw kept The New Colossus from feeling heavy-handed in its real-life parallels, which in turn prevented the characters' wisecracks and idiosyncrasies from getting cheesy. Combined with some good old-fashioned Nazi slaying, it's making for a promising sequel.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is set to launch on October 27 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

kallie

Kallie Plagge

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

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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se7en1989

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This game is more accurate than cod wwII...

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JIMDOG4442002

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Edited By JIMDOG4442002

@se7en1989: I hope it bombs too just like IW and AW did.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

This game is hiiigh on my list of games to buy this year.

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Silverline62

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So you play as Trump and have to kill mexicans?

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Foxhound1982

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7:15 drunk drone

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Foxhound1982

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"Nazi's dead...Nazi robots dead...smashed up all your shit...Helicopter secured"- Blazkowicz :)

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Foxhound1982

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This is my most eargerly anticipated game. I loved the first so much i bought and finished it on 360, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. I thought Blazkowicz had been killed at the end in that explosion and a sequel was never going to happen. Glad i was wrong

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bcountry

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Edited By bcountry

It is so funny how people have to be so politically correct that in writing this review that Kallie Plagge had to be sure to put in how distraught she was playing this game and seeing people dressed as Klansman, she was so bothered by it, seriously it's a freaking game nobody cares how what they are dressed as.

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Foxhound1982

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@bcountry She should be forced to play "America's 10 Most Wanted: on PS2 for hours on end as punishment >;)

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Mitchell2211

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Edited By Mitchell2211

Hate when games force you to play as the villains

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RadDad

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Edited By RadDad

@mitchell2211: EDGY

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DudeBroPartyYo

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Edited By DudeBroPartyYo

@mitchell2211: Not every game needs a character creator. Playing as a villain can be part of the story a game wants to tell. Why should we always play as a good guy.

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gdnmt

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Edited By gdnmt

Love me a shooter with a good storyline to match! Even if it is campy. So many of the best shooters combine great level design, an interesting storyline, and solid mechanics. That is the winning recipe in my forty years gaming that I expect (or have since probably HL2) in today's FPS experience. Titles like this I am willing to not only invest money but time with so much more to play and not a lot of free time. Though I am probably not the demographic for this game or most games in particular of the genre. I enjoyed the proceeding Wolfenstein a lot for these reasons, glad to see they are going with the same formula and look forward to this being a preorder. Any word yet as to the intended campaign length?

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WAstEDxLaMA

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"You don't have time to think about politics or real-world implications, because all your focus is put toward finding shotgun ammo and not dying."

Oh, kind of how like you did for the entire first half of the article?... Got it

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Richardthe3rd

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@wastedxlama: EXACTLY.

Everyone and their mother has a fucking agenda today. It's so affected, so tired, so narcissistic.

I imagine the devs programming that shit in the game, with their neckbeards and craft-beer bellies jiggling and giggling over how clever they thought they were for it.

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Richardthe3rd

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@sellingthings: Whoa WHOA. Too far man.

Leave girl scout cookies out of this, Thin Mints are like little slices of world peace!!

;)

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Richardthe3rd

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@sellingthings: if I ever see a Save A Lot assure yourself this is something I'll remember!

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gruoch1

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@wastedxlama: That was the point...

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WAstEDxLaMA

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@gruoch1: Don't mind me, I'm just terribly exhausted by this industry's incessant need to politicize everything these days. From the publishers and game creators themselves, right on down to the video game journalists

Just give me my damn games, dude. Not everything has to be a statement against the evil, white male patriarchy. That's all I'm saying

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patriotplayer90

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@wastedxlama: The first game in the series was hardly political, and I'm sure this one won't be any moreso. They breathe enough life into the enemies and the setting to make killing them all the more satisfying. That's really all it's about. Nazis are bad, the KKK is bad. It's not political, it's factual.

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WAstEDxLaMA

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Edited By WAstEDxLaMA

@sellingthings: it's crazy, yo. In COD WWII, they're removing the swastikas because it's a trigger symbol! Umm, it's history dood

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Foxhound1982

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@wastedxlama wish i could give that more than one thumbs up, especially as it's always a cringy, left wing agenda being pushed

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WAstEDxLaMA

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@Foxhound1982: damn, it's nice to see some like-minded individuals are still out there! keep strong fellow brothers (and sisters, and gender neutral individuals, lololol)

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CraigTL

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@wastedxlama: don't just say it my man scream it. I totally agree.

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gruoch1

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@wastedxlama: Fair enough.

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CraigTL

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Soooooo we cannot pop a few rounds at the KKK? Whyyyyyyyy even put them in there? Just to stress the drama?

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Richardthe3rd

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@craigtl: feigned edgy social commentary. Aka; pandering to people desperate for enlightenment.

People who want to convince themselves they're edgy or hip will work overtime to convince themselves it's actually interesting.

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Itzsfo0

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last title was good, this looks good cant wait

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Ghosts4ever

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New order was terrible. forced stealth segments, terrible shooting, terrible story, bad level design. it has everything wrong with modern shooters. Doom was much better.

this one look more of same. Crap!

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ronaldmcreagan

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@ghosts4ever: I have to agree with you, New Order was terrible. The whole game had a very Call of Duty-esque feel to it. You could pretty much play the whole game on auto-pilot.

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Richardthe3rd

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@ghosts4ever: 100% agree with you.

Unchartedstein; the New Order was an easy, boring game with the equivalent of what can only be described as a cringeworthy lifetime sci-fi movie written into it.

I take that back; Lifetime movies usually have better dialog than the playground crap that was in TNO.

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KhanWasHere

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Edited By KhanWasHere

The longer things continue the way they are in the new America, the more likely the world of Wolfenstein will become closer to a new reality.

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stm1185

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@khanwashere: Yeah this progressive insanity has to be stopped or the next generation of adults will rebel against the PC indoctrination of their public schools and university by going full fascist.

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Richardthe3rd

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The more I hear about this game, the less interested I become.

Wolfenstein should be an action game with stealth elements, not social commentary and walking simulator with giant cutscenes taken from C-films. The amount of time TNO spent ripping control from the players hands for a what was, quite frankly, the most stupidly convoluted story was insulting, boring and maddening. Looks like more of the same here.

I'd hoped Machine gun Games would make this more like an actual Wolfenstein game. I'm starting to dread what Wolfenstein has become, and I have little hope for Unchartedstein and the direction it's going.

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Itzsfo0

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@Richardthe3rd: boo hoo play other games then. cry less

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Richardthe3rd

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Edited By Richardthe3rd

@Itzsfo0: absolutely. I'll take my higher standards elsewhere, you can count on that.

Enjoy traumatizing your brain with this immature bro-dude shit they're passing as a Wolfenstein game.

Although, Sometimes I envy easily amused people with dumpster standards for games; at least they have a larger library to choose from.

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gruoch1

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@Richardthe3rd: Could you take your higher standards to another forum? Everyone here understands you don't like the game now. No reason to keep trolling the entire forum in a rather pathetic attempt to make others feel stupid for liking something that you don't.

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Richardthe3rd

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@gruoch1: are you asking me to take it to another forum because I'm successfully making you feel stupid?

If not, then why do you care? Does my opinion make you think?

Having the opinion that TNO was pure shit and that this game looks no different isn't trolling. It's called having taste and not letting some blatant pandering compensate for an otherwise medicare game.

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gruoch1

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@Richardthe3rd: There's nothing wrong with your opinion. If you didn't like the game, that's fine. Your opinion is just as valid as everyone else's.

The problem is that you have already stated your opinion, numerous times. Comments like "Enjoy traumatizing your brain" and "Sometimes I envy easily amused people with dumpster standards for games." Doesn't help anyone. It seems as though your only reason for being here is to put down, and demean others who don't share your opinion. I don't mind if you don't like the game; I do mind you attacking others that do.

You have a right to your opinion, but so does everyone else. You've made your voice heard, now let others speak their minds.

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santinegrete

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I didn't want to read this, I knew there could be spoilers, but I just gave up and went with it. I can't wait to play this game. E3 2017 made the rest of the year worth something when this came to light.

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JoshRMeyer

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Edited By JoshRMeyer

Reminds me of that Man in the High Castle show.

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Richardthe3rd

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@joshrmeyer: the writing in TMItHC is much, much better than the derivative crap in these Wolfenstein games.

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JoshRMeyer

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@Richardthe3rd: I haven't played these games, but love that show! Very good writing indeed.

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deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

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This game looks awesome running on ID Tech 6.

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