It’s been a decade and a half since WW2 wrapped up, but in Bethesda’s latest incarnation of Wolfenstein, the Allies got their asses handed to them. As such, your German-hating protagonist wakes up to a world dominated by the Third Reich. And, despite his blond haired, blue eyed complexion, he’s not too happy about how things turned out. Wolfenstein as a franchise has never been about deep storylines or character development. The first one had you fighting cyborg Hitler for fuck’s sake. And, for the most part, Bethesda’s brand of Wolfenstein follows suit.
As you might imagine, most of the game revolves around putting bullets (as well as plasma and rockets) into the Aryan army, with sprinklings of witty one-liners to accent the action.
Is the gameplay revolutionary? No, not really. Some of the weapons were interesting, like the dual-wielded shotguns or the high-powered welding torch (which could melt enemies or create shortcuts through metal doors), but the rest was fairly straightforward: (1) Aim gun at Nazis (2) shoot Nazis (3) sleep with a hot chick (4) reload and repeat.
But hey, it’s not like the original Bioshock had particularly strong combat, and just like that dystopic title, Wolfenstein makes great use of tense story moments to convey just how twisted the player’s enemies are. In one particularly well executed scene, the player is forced to serve tea to a bitter, 60-something female German general.
If that’s not uncomfortable enough for you, she’s pointing a gun at your face the whole time. If that’s not a source of tension, how about the fact that she’s getting a handjob under the table during the interrogation? I know it sounds absurd, but it was believable insofar as a Nazi-culture alternative universe can be believable. No, you cannot “interact” with Frau Grandma.
Whether or not you’ll like Bethesda’s take on Wolfenstein will probably come down to this: how much do you like shooting Nazis? After that, the only thing you’ve got to figure out is how much of a thing you have for (much) older women.