Wolfenstein: Youngblood Xbox One X Review

Jess and Soph are fantastic, but they are not enough to give Wolfenstein: Youngblood the boost that it desperately needs.

By Grayshadow, Posted 26 Jul 2019

Wolfenstein holds a high position among a lot of FPS gamers. Wolfenstein: Youngblood seeks to carry the torch of this respected series but not only drops the torch but sets fire to everything around it. The cutscenes share The New Colossus' extraordinary quality and the new protagonists Jessica and Sophia provide authentic entertaining performances. However, many of the archaic mechanics that were vexing in the previous games are still present here. Wolfenstein: Youngblood starts strong, with a brilliant cast of characters and incredibly choreographed cutscenes but slowly falls due to the repetitive missions and bullet sponge-like enemies.

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Wolfenstein: Youngblood takes place years after the events of The New Colossus. BJ and his wife have decided to leave their Nazi-killing jobs to raise their twin daughters Soph and Jess. This doesn't mean they've forgotten about the Nazi threat, grooming their daughters in both combat and survival. Good thing because their father has gone missing and the daughters have decided to take upon themselves, along with family friend Abby, to locate their father who was last seen in Nazi-controlled Paris. Hence the 3 girls have joined the French Resistance to locate their father and remove the Nazis from Paris.

The twins, despite being trained to in combat and survival, have never been in open combat. This doesn't stop the twins, dawning combat armor and killing their first Nazi. Then leaving a bloody path of bloodies as they kill their way up the Nazi chain of command. The sisters rarely take things seriously, usually dancing on camera, reminiscing about their childhood, or providing witty banter about their actions. It works in the narratives favor, giving both Soph and Jess that dorky sister-bond but also highlighting how important they are to one another.

The entire game is cooperative, allowing players to take control of either Jess or Soph online or in private. These missions are distributed at the Resistance HQ by members that give you specific locations of where to find the mission objective. You take on a series of side missions to improve your character in skills and earn currency for weapon upgrades. Taking on RPG elements, players each experience to unlock new skills from different trees that include Mind, Muscle, and Power. Weapon upgrades are earned by collecting "Silver" that can be used for 1 of 3 unlocks, that can be further upgraded to master unlocks with consistent use. You're always gaining new levels to earn more skills and weapon upgrades to aid in battle.

Shooting works well, with an array of weapons including shotguns, assault rifles, and more elaborate guns such as one that shoots an energy laser. Some of these are required to unlock specific paths and recharge over time. 1 big issue I came across was reloading. When your gun empties there's a delay before your character reloads. In other titles such as Halo and Call of Duty emptying your gun triggers an automatic reload quickly but in Youngblood there's a noticeable delay.

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The goal is to complete enough side missions to finish 3 raids before engaging in the final mission. These side missions will take up a bulk of your time since high-leveled enemies guard the final levels. Many of these missions have you traveling to the same area in search of items and specific targets to kill, with optional tasks sprouting up in specific areas of the map.

The map is diverse, with each location have distinct areas to explore. The issue is that every area gets repopulated with hordes of Nazi soldiers each time you enter. You can plow your way with force but sneaking is encouraged as enemies will instantly learn your location the second 1 enemy spots you. And unless you locate the commander, a vexing feature from the previous games, the Nazi reinforcements will keep coming. Be prepared to fight a large sum of the same enemies over and over again.

Youngblood's lighting is very impressive. During dark sections, the use of a flashlight makes these encounters very intense as you switch to weapons with a flashlight. However, strangely how enemies are able to see you in the darkness adds an unnecessary handicap. 

The addition of a partner, whom you can grant buffs to with a variety of Pep Signals, provides a helping hand. You can support one another, revive each other, and share up to 3 revives that can be recovered in specialized crates. The cooperative action is hampered by with bullet sponge-like enemies. High-ranking Nazis are heavily armored and come in large amounts, requiring massive amounts of ammo to kill. The developers did increase the defenses both BJ's daughters can sustain compared to The New Colossus but the sheer number of enemies you have to constantly deal with becomes a frustrating issue.

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The microtransactions, while limited to cosmetics, lock certain unlocks behind a paywall. Having these in a cooperative/single-player experience is unnecessary. Especially considering that 1 option to purchase gold bars cost half the game.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood's is a serviceable cooperative shooter. You'll kill hundreds of Nazis, earn experience, and keep doing it till the final boss. The incredible cutscenes and well-written protagonists are a joy to watch. But the repetitive missions and bewildering choices to add premium currency unlocks sours the experience. Jess and Soph are fantastic, but they are not enough to give Wolfenstein: Youngblood the boost that it desperately needs.
 

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Bethesda
Developer(s): MachinesGames, Arkane Studios, id Software, Havoc
Genres: First-person shooter
Themes: Alternate History
Release Date: 2019-07-26

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