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Wolfenstein: Youngblood

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Wolfenstein: Youngblood
Wolfenstein Youngblood PS4 cover.jpg
The old blood is much preferred.
Protagonist(s): Jessie Blazkowicz
Zofia Blazkowicz
Genre(s): First-person shooter
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Stadia
Release: Microsoft Windows
July 25, 2019
Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
July 26, 2019
Stadia
November 19, 2019
Engine: id Tech 6
Developer(s): MachineGames
Arkane Studios
Panic Button (Switch)
Publisher(s): Bethesda Softworks
Country: Sweden
France
United States
Series: Wolfenstein
Predecessor: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (by release date)
Successor: Wolfenstein III (by release date; upcoming)


Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a first-person shooter video game co-developed by MachineGames and Arkane Studios, and published by Bethesda Softworks. A spin-off of the Wolfenstein series, the game was released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on July 26, 2019, and Stadia on November 19, 2019, as a launch title for the latter.

Plot

Taking place 20 years (1980) after Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, B.J. Blazkowicz has since gotten married and had two daughters, Jessica and Sophia, who he taught how to defend for themselves. Blazkowicz goes missing, Jessica, Sophia, and their friend Abby investigate his disappearance. They find a hidden room, where they discover that Blazkowicz travelled to France to help in forcing Nazis out of the county. The three girls then travel to France to find Blazkowicz.

Bad Qualities

  1. Since this game is an FPS and RPG mixed game, it has a level system, and while it sounds good at first, it makes the game unfairly hard as some enemies are flat out impossible to beat, especially towards the beginning of the game where certain side quests takes you through an area populated with Nazis that drastically out-level you. Missions are level gated, and since earning levels is painfully slow, you're forced to do an excessive amount of grinding to get EXP.
  2. The gunplay is a lot clunkier than in previous MachineGames' Wolfenstein games, with enemies having different types of armor, resulting in players having to constantly switch to weapons that are strong against a certain type of armor. This quickly becomes frustrating. Even worse, the health bars that indicate the different armor type are extremely similar, which can result in a lot of confusion for new players.
    • You can now only dual wield pistols and machine pistols.
  3. After about an hour or two, the game becomes repetitive thanks to the grinding as mentioned above. Many side missions take place in the same area as other side missions and have the same objectives, which results in a lot of backtracking.
  4. The protagonists of the game, BJ's twin daughters, are extremely annoying and never stop giving out cringey one-liners.
    • Although this may have been intentional since they're supposed to be nerdy.
  5. The story is not only badly-written, but also very cringe-inducing:
    • The fact that almost all of the well-written characters from the previous games are absent in favor of forgettable new characters isn't helping matters at all.
      • Since this is a spin-off game, B.J. Blazkowicz has been reduced to the role of an "important" minor character, by making him being trapped where the Da'at Yichud artifact resides, which is near the end of the game. His reason as to why he can't escape sounds like he simply doesn't want to leave, rather than implying that the Nazis are trapping him there.
    • The main antagonist is very bland and forgettable, especially when compared to Irene Engel, the main antagonist of the previous game.
    • Bad plot twist in the third act, where the French Resistance is revealed to be the main group of antagonists all along. This plot twist is fairly obvious due to the writers doing a poor job at hiding the Resistance's true nature.
    • The ending is extremely disappointing and is essentially sequel bait.
    • Despite being the greater scope villain of the rebooted Wolfenstein games, Hitler is killed between this game and New Colossus without even a flashback to show it, dashing long-time fans' hopes of B.J fighting Hitler in a mecha.
  6. The companion and enemy AI is bad, enemies will sometimes ignore you even when you're crouching just in front of them.
    • If you take cover behind something, the enemies will stop moving and will do absolutely nothing, even with the player shooting them.
    • The companion will rarely revive you, even if you get shot down right in front of her.
  7. Playing on higher difficulties doesn't give you better EXP, making them somewhat pointless to play on.
  8. All of the bosses are the same, which adds to the repetitiveness.
  9. The game is co-op mode only, even if you want to strike out on your own, the AI still finds the need to join the fray. And since both of the twins are required to survive the battle, all you'll need is some classic artificial stupidity for your partner to waste all three of your shared lives to get a game over.
    • Most actions that can be done with one person require both protagonists to do them, such as opening doors or using terminals.
    • Overall, there is no actual single-player gameplay, in the game's "single-player mode", whatsoever. If you ever try to do a certain action on your own, the game will automatically pause to require you to connect another Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con or Xbox One controller, or PS4's DualShock 4 to do the certain action together, resulting in single player-bait.
  10. As with any game published by Bethesda, glitches are common.
    • One of the most notable graphical glitches features a large black box appearing when certain enemies are killed.
    • When playing with another player, the animations from the other player are glitchy.
  11. There are no checkpoints in the game, if you fail the mission, then it's back to square one.
  12. As most recent Bethesda games have, it has microtransactions in a story-based game. The only use for these microtransactions is to get skins for your weapons, which is not worth spending money on at all.
    • The description states that you can use them to get new equipment such as power armor, despite being only able to get weapon skins. This is a case of false advertising.
  13. Asset flipping:
    • The graphics and sounds are almost identical to the graphics and sounds in The New Colossus.
    • There are only two new weapons, the rest of the weapons are basically returning ones from The New Colossus with new names.
  14. There is no map you can pull up, there's only a minimap.
  15. All of the weapons have the same upgrades, which is increasing general damage, headshot damage and ammo capacity.
  16. Despite the game stating that the twins have different abilities, they're pretty much the same.
  17. The physical release of the Nintendo Switch version is just a download code, which makes this release a waste of money.

Good Qualities

  1. Despite the graphics and visuals looking almost exactly like The New Colossus, they are still beautiful.
  2. The soundtrack, while not as great as New Colossus, is pretty decent.
  3. While Jessica & Sophie's voices are annoying, the other voice acting is good, with Brian Bloom thankfully reprising his role as B.J.
  4. The playable Wolfenstein 3D arcade machine from New Colossus makes an appearance.
  5. Despite the clunkiness, the gunplay can be decent at times, as long as your level is on-par with the enemies.
  6. Even if you die, the game at least has the courtesy to save your EXP and item progression.
  7. The 1.05 update fixed some irritating issues, including ammo restock, and you finally can pause the game in campaign mode.
  8. As this is a spin-off that is shorter than any game in the series by MachineGames, the publishers did not ask for the full price for the game, but only $40 on release (currently $20).
  9. The Deluxe version, which is 10 dollars more, includes a "buddy pass", which allows a player who doesn't own the game to be able to play it, although they will only be able to play it if the player who gives them the pass plays with them.

Reception

Wolfenstein: Youngblood was met with mixed reviews from critics but was panned by gamers and fans of the franchise alike and was widely considered by many as the worst installment of the franchise, next to the SNES port of Wolfenstein 3D and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot.

On Metacritic, the game has a critic score of 63/100 for the PS4, a 69/100 on PC, and a 68/100 on the Xbox One, and a 66/100 for the Nintendo Switch. The user scores were more negative, with a score of 2.6/10 for the PS4, a 2.3/10 on PC, a 2.4/10 on the Xbox One, and a 3.4/10 on the Nintendo Switch.[1][2][3][4] On GameFAQs, the PS4 version has a rating of 2.45/5.[5]

Angry Joe's friend, Delrith, gave the game a 3/10 because since he was not a fan of the direction Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus went, he wanted the game to go back to what made the previous games great. Instead, he was disappointed and angry that it didn't do that and only went into an even worse direction. He also called the game a "garbage fire" and believed that this game would likely kill the Wolfenstein franchise. It was later listed as the fourth worst game on Angry Joe's Top 16 Worse Games of 2019 list, along with other Bethesda titles such as RAGE 2 and Fallout 76 First.

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