The end of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus definitely hinted towards a sequel, it was clear that the Nazis weren't fully defeated yet. But instead of continuing its story directly, Wolfenstein: Youngblood jumps 19 years ahead into the future - accompanied by changes that are completely new for the shooter franchise: it is a co-op [cooperative gameplay] shooter at heart.
Despite their ongoing struggle against the Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order The New Colossus, B.J. and Anya have found the time to provide the Blazkowicz family with a new generation. About 10 years later, Jess and Soph have matured into young women. But the two were not granted one's usual adulthood, mum and dad drilled the twins into dangerous fighting machines. The war against the regime is far from over!
Teamwork is key
Jess and Soph learn that their father has disappeared. Of course, they suspect the Nazis to be the masterminds behind this, especially as dad's last lead traces back to Paris. After a short briefing by the city's resistance, the girls are on their way - together. The story's first mission takes the player aboard a zeppelin and Jess and Soph make sure to show that they are their father's children: right after killing the first soldier accompanied by contemporary electropop sounds, the action takes off! Pistols, shotguns and assault rifles help you kill a lot of Nazis in the narrow corridors of the airship.
Youngblood is as fast and direct as its predecessors, while also consistently incorporating co-op gameplay. In one of the larger rooms with several enemies, you can, therefore, use double the firepower to attack the enemies from two sides. While simple soldiers bleed heavily after a few hits, better-armoured counterparts need special attention - the first boss at the end of the level makes sure to not be an easy one.
General Winkler is fitted with a combat suit that provides him with special powers: He can attack you with a deadly laser beam, is armoured massively and can make himself almost invisible for a short time. Frontal attacks don't make much sense, it's important to draw his attention to one direction, so your partner can shoot him in the back.
According to MachineGames, the missions should provide a total playing time of up to 30 hours. Another mission will take you to the streets of Paris, which now takes place on the open roads as well as inside buildings. This space is definitely needed, as a new type of enemy makes its appearance: the powerful Diesel Soldier. The heavily armored elite fighters are able to swallow plenty of bullets when fired upon directly. Again, you will need to use teamwork and detect the enemies weak spot to defeat them.
In general, movement is just as important as the use of walls and corners as covers, as Jess and Soph don't like to take much damage. Otherwise, the sisters come with some nifty features, like strong impact damage and short-term invisibility. The latter is, in particular, ideal for stabbing an unsuspecting enemy in the back.
The bigger the better?
Although MachineGames are in charge of the third new Wolfenstein part, they did get reinforced by Arkane Studios. The latter being known for the Dishonored games, a series based on an open level design that offers various routes and possibilities. This influence can easily be noticed in Wolfenstein: Youngblood. The game world is beautifully designed and the sound scenery convinces with juicy gunshot noises, a lot of shouting soldiers and some nasty remarks by the sisters.
The combination of co-op and open world, really make Wolfenstein: Youngblood an interesting experience for two players. Fortunately, the basic formula of the franchise under the direction of Arcane Studios hasn't been forgotten. The shooter opens a myriad of new ways to play, with greater freedom of movement. Elements, like flanking or sneaking make the whole process a lot more enjoyable. While the co-op mode with a human partner leaves a very good first impression, there are still a lot of questions open about the sister-interaction when playing on your own. In terms of possibilities and dynamics, soloists are likely to be left behind. Your last help, might be the Buddy Pass.