I dove in head first into the Nazi slaughtering action that is Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. I took the dive expecting tons of gory over the top action, tons of badass weapons and… well, lots of Nazi killin’. And while that is exactly what is waiting to greet you, there is also an unexpected one-two punch of some extremely emotionally unsettling stuff.
The action picks up right where Wolfenstein: The New Order left off. William “B.J.” Blazkowicz is left severely injured and in a 5-month coma following his explosive interaction with Deathshead. During his time in the coma, B.J.’s consciousness drifts on the cusp of waking, memories and nightmares.
During this portion of the game, there are plenty of hellish things to see. Things like, seeing firsthand as portions of your intestine are removed, or having to relive tough choices from the first game. What is most interesting here though is an unexpected flashback to Blazkowicz’s traumatic childhood.
This flashback takes you all the way back to little Blazkowicz’s and his black-eye wearing mom, who is feeding the sick child soup at his bedside. When his abusive father comes home, his mom rushes to hide the petrified kiddo in a nearby dresser with along with his trusty pup. Blazkowicz watches and listens to his mom attempt to shield him from his hulking bully of a father. Eventually, and tired of waiting, his father gives his mom a haymaker knocking her out of the way and to the ground. All the tension causes the pup to come to his mother’s defense. The hulking bully, tosses the pup across the room and continues to boots the poor dog in its side before coming after young Blazkowicz. As he strangles him, he tells him that the world is tough and that the weak don’t make it. He chokes him into blackout before dragging him downstairs and strapping his wrists down to a board. All of this is already extremely difficult to watch but what came next really took the cake.
His abusive father comes in and ties the pup in a dark corner of the room nearby. He then loads a shotgun and places the double barrel in your hands. The way that young Blazkowicz wrists are strapped down doesn’t allow for much in the way of aiming. His father screams at young Blazkowicz ordering him to pull the trigger in the direction of the unsuspecting pup.
The game hands control off to you and gives you the tough job of shooting the poor dog. Nice, right? I waited for a while to see if the choice would somehow be made for me, or if I could maybe shoot that asshole instead. The game is patient it waits with you. After a while, I chose to aim off to the side and pull the trigger, I’m a dog lover and was totally unable to kill a dog even in game. You are only given a split-second before the asshole takes the shotgun from your hands and blows the dogs brains out himself.
This is severe. It’s intense. It made my stomach turn. Making you spectate is one thing, but this game goes straight for the throat in terms of getting you emotionally invested early on. I mean all this is within the first few moments of gameplay.Watching his mother beaten, hearing a combo loco of racial slurs and watching his poor dog blasted to bits puts a fire in your belly, blasting Nazi’s feels like therapy afterwards. From that point on you become one with ole’ Psycho Billy, and it feels great.
We will have our full review up soon, but wanted to share that chilling and grounded moment. It shook us up a bit. This game doesn’t seem to give a crap about feelings and we are 100% ready for the full blood soaked ride this game is going to take us on.