Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a spin-off co-op shooter based in the current Wolfenstein world. The game has been developed by MachineGames and Arkane Studios. So, what is Wolfenstein: Youngblood and should you play it? Well, this look at the game will hopefully help you make that decision.
What Is: Wolfenstein: Youngblood
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a first-person, co-op shooter set in an alternate universe where the Nazis won and occupy most parts of the world. The story starts off 20 years after the events of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and you play as Jess and Soph, twin daughters of B.J. Blazkowicz who are trying to find him in Paris after he went missing.
The game features Paris as the main locations as you now have a hub with a semi-open world game where you can complete missions in a non-linear manner. The game also allows you to do all this with an AI or co-op partner, more on this in a bit.
The game is visually gorgeous and has really interesting designs and textures that do a good job to pull you into this dystopian world that’s fueled with fear. And to add to the that, the sound design for weapons and enemies just add to that scary, anxious world.
The shooting is tight, reflexive and fast. It’s not too different from the main-line Wolfenstein games and is the best part of the game and sadly, felt like the only good part.
Where It Falls Short
The game’s core gameplay loop is much different compared to the other games as the game now has a level-gated progression system. Areas have enemies that have different levels and if you’re under-leveled then may heaven bless you because you’re going to have a bad time.
Not only do you die and get sent to the start of that region but you also lose valuable ammo which in my opinion acts as a crutch in this game. Ammo in this game has variants and enemies are affected differently by these various type of ammo.
Let’s say you’re in an intense gunfight. Enemy 1 will require you to use “Type A”, you kill him and turn around to shoot at Enemy 2. But he requires you to use “Type B” so you switch weapons and finish him off. You get shot so you turn around and shoot at Enemy 3 but he needs “Type A” ammo. You quickly switch your weapon only to realize you need to reload and then you might get downed and die.
It’s a very weird way to get you to use all the weapons in your arsenal because it’s essentially forcing you to do so. The Machine Pistol can do more damage to enemies than a freaking Shotgun and that to me makes no sense. But then again, the game has power suits and more crazy contraptions. However, it is a departure from the more classic FPS system of the main games and I’m not a fan of this RPG-esque approach.
Also, your quirky sister isn’t the brightest. There are moments where she will literally stand right in front of the enemy or a boss and shoot at them, which leads to her being downed. And you can’t just let her stay down, you have to get her back up otherwise you fail.
Oh and if you fail or die during a boss fight then good luck because you have to run through the whole level. But the game doesn’t reload your ammo from before the fight so you will most likely be low on ammo which means you’ll have to spend time killing the enemies in that area to farm ammo.
It’s time-consuming, feels redundant and is not in any way fun or rewarding. And sadly, the game seems to be built around this. Missions are repetitive, you have to grind for unlocks, and dying feels annoying because it makes you play less aggressively and in a more safe way which isn’t fun.
While the gameplay leaves much to be desired, the writing and story also don’t do a good enough job to make you want to play more. The main plot point was given away in the launch trailer for the game. Even if you haven’t watched it, the game doesn’t hold onto you or grip you in a way that makes you play just so you can get more story.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood starts off well with its amazing gunplay but starts to fall apart as you progress a bit into the game with its grindy gameplay loop that is probably an experiment, it’s bland writing and an overall boring and repetitive experience that makes this game hard to recommend even if you’re a fan of Wolfenstein. However, it can be a bit of fun when playing in co-op but it still doesn’t change most of the aspects that bog this game down.
Final Score: 6/10
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is available Worldwide for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
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