Wolfenstein: Youngblood Review
When diving into the world of Wolfenstein there are plenty of expectations. The alternative-history franchise has a large following of players that judge every new game based on the ones that came before it. This may be an inevitable human trait, but it often does not to justice to the raw quality of the newer title. This pitfall may be one of the biggest reasons some people will shy away from Wolfenstein: Youngblood as it plays drastically differently from its predecessors. This is not, however, necessarily a bad thing. Join us as we dive into this new co-op shooter!
Co-op driven games are a rarity in today’s gaming industry. There could be a plethora of reasons for this, not the least of which being that it is much more difficult to convince players to buy a game that they then need to convince one of their friends to buy.
This was clearly in the mind of Arkane Studios and MachineGames when they developed Wolfenstein: Youngblood, as they added a Buddy Pass to the Deluxe version of the game. This Buddy Pass provides you with a code to give a friend to download and play the game for free, with the only caveat being that they must be playing the game with you, the purchaser of the Deluxe Edition. A nice touch, to be sure.
Some might say even a crucial feature in a game that fails to provide any breakthrough experiences at all, really. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing inherently wrong with Wolfenstein: Youngblood, it just does not do enough to stand out or live up to the names of previous titles in the franchise.
By itself, Youngblood provides a solid few hours of fast-paced shooter entertainment. You play as one of two twin daughters of the earlier Wolfenstein protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz and team up with your sister to start gunning down Nazis by the boatload. The overall graphics are quite impressive; from player models to lighting and shadows, I could not find a single issue. The gunplay is satisfying, with each weapon feeling unique in your hands and being uniquely customizable through a somewhat comprehensive upgrade system.
Your characters also have an ability unlock system that provides some pretty insane options later in the game. The co-op focus is ever-present with your twin sister following you around consistently, whether controller by another player or the AI. You will find yourselves often needing to work together to open Shared Life crates, pry open doors and other 2-player actions. In fact, this happens so often it begins to feel quite monotonous.
Enter the biggest issue that Wolfenstein: Youngblood suffers from. Repetition. As you build your Nazi bodycount, there is little to signal your progression in the game. The game begins to feel very formulaic and after a while starts to lose its charm.
Playing with a friend will certainly stretch the enjoyment of this game, as there is no system by which you can issue commands to your AI twin sister to co-ordinate attacks or strategically fight bosses. Something like the Ghost Recon ‘Sync Shot’ would do wonders here for solo players.
The storyline itself may follow the canon of Wolfenstein but is certainly a mild departure from the rest of the series. I found the characters a little too one-dimensional to truly become invested in the story, but for those who require a storyline to enjoy a game, there is enough of one as not to ruin your experience.
Overall, Wolfenstein: Youngblood carefully toes the line between exciting combat and stale repetition. I would recommend this game only to those who have a co-op partner waiting in the wings. If you are a primarily solo player or have unreliable friends, this is one Wolfenstein game you may just want to take a pass on.
While we reviewed Wolfenstein: Youngblood on Xbox One, it is also available for PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC and will be coming to Google Stadia at a later date. Learn more here: https://bethesda.net/en/game/wolfenstein-youngblood