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'Wolfenstein II' has inadvertently become 2017's most political game

03 November 2017 - 14:10 By Sylvia McKeown
'Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus': the graphics are vivid and play is fast, with the fight scenes playing out almost like a strategic puzzle.
'Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus': the graphics are vivid and play is fast, with the fight scenes playing out almost like a strategic puzzle.
Image: Supplied

A curious thing is happening in the gaming world: people are angry that there is a game where you get to kill Nazis.

Yes really, we have entered an alternative universe where people are sad and angry and think life is "targeting them unfairly" because there are good people "on both sides". Let's break it down.

The Wolfenstien series was originally created in 1992 as a breakthrough in the first-person shooting genre. You play a US soldier who has to get out of prison.

Fast forward to May 2014, when the game was rebooted with The New Order, which presented an alternative reality in which Nazis won the war and you - BJ "Terror-Billy" Blazkowicz - an Aryan-looking, half-Jewish US soldier - wake up in a world that is not at all how it used to be.

You kill a lot of Nazis in both Berlin and Paris before you get to the main boss and elect to sacrifice yourself for the good of the cause.

2017 comes around with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and guess what? You get saved! And then after a whole incident involving a wheelchair and a U-boat you and your ragtag gang head on over to meet up with the resistance in America.

Here the game gives the land of the free its own history of racism and antisemitism thanks to the inclusion of a badass Black Panther leader.

But in the end they come together to make a dent in the American Nazi Scum, who are running amok with help from their friends in the KKK. Sound familiar?

WATCH | The trailer for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus 

To be fair to Machine Games, they have stated that when they wrote the story for The New Colossus in 2014, they had no idea what the political climate would be in America, but as one would expect it is really striking a nerve.

It has haphazardly become the most political game of the year.

So a lot of Nazis in America die, sometimes in very gruesome ways, and it's great, especially gameplay wise.

The graphics are vivid and play is fast, with the fight scenes playing out almost like a strategic puzzle.

The mood continues to be a tense one but balances out in scenes which sometimes involve a cat monkey or a hallucinogenic chameleon.

They also continued Blasko's ridiculously camp voice from the previous game, which is not my favourite, but Debra Wilson as Grace Walker is a masterstroke, so it's fine.

The first level where you play from the perspective of the wheelchair is groundbreaking enough to make this an important game, but it continues to delight and surprise and push the medium forward with each level with some ridiculous "head- rolling" plot twists along the way.

People will look back on this and come to appreciate a game that didn't shy away from proclaiming: "Make America Nazi-Free Again.''

• Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, with the Nintendo Switch version to release in 2018.

• This article was originally published in The Times.


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