Wolfenstein Youngblood is a spin-off from the Wolfenstein series. Which is basically the series that create First Person Shooter aka FPS games. And that may be a bit too heavy to carry for any game being called Wolfenstein. I waited for that game a lot and in the end, I am not as happy as I wanted. The problem is partly because of my expectation but also because of the game mechanics.
What it is?
This one, developed by MachineGames, is a bit different than the others because it is a co-operative game. This means that you will have to choose to play Jess or Soph Blazkowicz, and one of your friend or someone on the internet can play the second one. You can still play solo but that means that the AI will take control of the second character. And you may already see the problems that it can create.
The game is actually cheap, but the main story will take roughly 10 hours, and at least the same for secondary missions. So on that part, it is a pretty good deal. I honestly have some critics (below) but considering the price, the game is decent.
The gameplay is good. The number of weapons seemed to be low at the beginning of the game, but once you unlock the ability to take and keep weapons from enemies, then the list of weapons become more interesting.
I like the concept of New-Paris. I think that it gives some nice maps. However, the game is supposed to be in the ’80s and except for the first mission, I feel like the developers have not used that too much. You actually forget about it after 15 min of games and some little things may remind you a bit about that.
RPG or FPS?
If we jump directly to the parts that I do not like about Wolfenstein Youngblood, well, there are basically four of them.
– First, and that is a general comment for FPS, I am not a massive fan of enemies with “levels”. Which basically means that you will not be able to kill enemies with higher levels than you, like if that gives them some immunity to your bullets, or even grenades or rocket launcher… It should not. Put more enemies, put bigger enemies if you want to have an area harder but not just higher levels.
Wolfenstein Youngblood also added the not so good idea of having two different “kinds” of weapons, and you have to pick the right one for each enemy. Some weapons are anti “square” and others are anti “line”. Each enemy will have on the side of their life bar the “square” or “line” logo. If you are fighting low-level enemies you may get away with it, but if they are high level and you pick the wrong “kind” of weapons you will basically scratch their back with your bullet. This means that you will have to switch weapons all the time during the game and check your ammo for each type… which is a bit annoying.
- – Second, the AI for the sister can be a bit ridiculous. I did forget to mention that if you die, you can either choose to be resurrected by your sister (come to you and revive you) or use one of your life. If your sister dies, you basically got the same choice. You have only 3 lives in total, but you can be resurrected indefinitely. So as long as the 2 sisters do not die at the same time, it is better to resurrect each other. However, your sister will sometime make the choice to not resurrect you, even if you are literally on her feet, begging for it, and that she is not doing anything. Sometimes she will also decide to charge enemies without any life and stupidly die, giving you the choice to run into the bullets to save her, or let her use one of your life. The final boss is also basically made to be fought with 2 humans co-operating, which makes it a bit hard when you play with the AI. It would have been nice if we could at least tell the AI to go somewhere or shoot or hide, just some basic but useful tasks.
- – Third, there is not any save and if you die you will come back … wherever the game decided you to come back. Which sometimes can be 20 minutes earlier. And you will come back without any life and without the ammo, you had the first time. That can put you in a very bad situation if you die during a boss because you will come back without any lives and with bearly no ammo. I have seen the same situation in Rage 2, where it is getting harder and harder each time you die because you have less and less ammo and now way to replenish them.
- – Finally, the game got something like 8 areas of New-Paris, and all the missions will be in those. So basically you will have to go through the same maps again and again, killing the exact same enemies. Sometimes, just going too far in one map and then coming back will make the enemies respawn. Fast re-spawn also seems to be the new things in FPS to give a higher total playing time … but it can become quite boring, once you already killed the same group of people 5 … or 10 times. You may actually just run after some time and not kill anyone.
I also have not mentioned the story but that’s because it is basically not there. You play the two sisters, trying to find their parents and collecting information on where he is. That’s basically it.
Well, Wolfenstein Youngblood was clearly thought to be played in coop, so my second critic can be contested. The first and fourth one are just choices of game mechanics from the developers that I do not appreciate, but it is easy to get used to it and just deal with it. The third is really a problem, the kind that I am seeing more and more in video games, and sometimes a bit wondering if they have people for quality controls because that should be flagged from the start.
What I would critic the most is more the immersion and that they could have worked a bit more on the story and use the time period a bit more. It looks like the game is on the verge to be fun but also tries to stay serious, like a friend who would think of a joke but keep it for him because of some people in the room.
But in the end, I had a lot of fun with Wolfenstein Youngblood and killing nazis. At full price, I would be more critical but for the price of half-a-game, I do not regret getting it. If you play multiplayer the game is probably even more fun.