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Game Review

The Wolfenstein franchise started out way back in the 1980s, a time when even the messiest action was kept in check by the pixelated, hard-to-identify videogame images of the day. But by the early ’90s, and the release of Wolfenstein 3D, this bloody trigger-pulling series really started, uh, blowing people away. (In more ways than one.) In fact, many feel this franchise singlehandedly gave birth to what we know today as the first-person shooter genre.

So even though the newest game in the lot, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, isn't necessarily plowing much new Nazi-obliterating ground, it certainly knows exactly what it is and what its fans want it to be. And in this current high-def era, that's quite an eyeful indeed.

Cut From the Same Crimson Cloth Like all of the past games in this franchise, the story here takes place in an alternate reality, an existence in which the Nazis won WWII and the rest of the world has been desperately trying to recover ever since. Of course, it’s a dimension where the super-heroic B.J. Blazkowicz has been brutally blazing away at baddies for most of his life. I mean, this is the guy who took out Hitler, after all.

But now, some 19 years after the events of the series' previous game, B.J. and his wife, Anya, have slowed down a bit. They're taking time to train up their twin teen daughters, Jessie and Zofia, in the skills needed for life in a hard, dangerous world.

These adolescents take to their parents’ instructions like fish take to water. Piranha fish, that is.

Then, out of the blue, B.J. mysteriously goes missing from their little town of Mesquite, Texas. Several weeks later, word gets back to Anya and the girls that he left the country under a false identity. After the twins piece together clues from secreted-away photos and files that they discover, they suddenly realize that their graying dad must be off on another special mission. But he's definitely not the spry super-soldier he used to be.

What if he's been captured? the girls wonder anxiously. What if he's being tortured at this very moment? What if no one else will risk going after him to bring him back alive?

It looks as if the Blazkowicz twins will have to kick things into high gear and go give kicking Nazis a try.

Congenial Carnage

The fact is, heroes Jess and Soph are both incredibly likeable in this game. They're a pair of girl-next-door sorts who guffaw over cheesy jokes and who love to punch each other in the arm while talking at length about their favorite characters in a popular boy-detective novel.

It just so happens, though, that the sisters also like to slip into power suits and cut through Nazis like a super-sized blender mounted on a speeding Semi truck. And that's really the biggest and messiest bugaboo that players have to confront here.

Playing as one of these adolescent girls (or both, if playing co-op with a friend), gamers wade into the underground of a Nazi-occupied Paris and butcher countless enemies with everything from pistols, machine guns and futuristic laser weapons to knife blades to the jugular or an ax point to the temple.

Limbs get blown off, heads burst like gory balloons, bodies are crushed and blown up, and chunks of flesh splatter everywhere. (After one such gory explosion, for instance, Jess blanches at the fact that she ended up with someone's brains splashed into her mouth.) And along with all that mechanically smooth and visually well-defined slaughter, the girls also take on giant mechs and other flame-throwing and high-caliber obstacles.

In between such scenes of grinding carnage, the teens still joke and tease—when they're not crowing out exclamations of f- and s-words and misuses of God's name, that is. (I guess Mom and Dad never got around to discussing appropriate language in the heat of battle.)

’Nuff Said

In truth, that's pretty much all that needs to be said about this game. It's yet another goopy, B-grade, over-the-top war adventure in an alternate reality.

Only this time it comes with a few lighthearted moments, a dash of girl power and some fresh teen faces in the mix. They're likeable fresh faces. But their winsome visages are still dribbling with all the splashed entrails and blasted-apart body bits that this M-rated FPS series is historically known for.

And the fact two teen protagonists are called upon to unleash such carnage—between joking about boys, no less—makes the latest iteration of Wolfenstein feel all the more jarring and problematic.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Genre

Shooter

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Publisher

Bethesda Softworks

Released

July 26, 2019

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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