In Wolfenstein's alternate version of post World War II 1980's, Nazi Germany remained a tyrannical force of evil and oppression in Europe, even after Hitler was killed be the series protagonist BJ Blazkowicz. We last left the BJ and the crew in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus leading a revolution to take America from the Nazi's. Now, fast forward 20 years . America is Nazi-free, Europe is not, and BJ is missing. His daughters, Jess and Soph will be searching for him accross Paris, and helping local resistance operations to take back the fascist stranglehold over the city. At the beginning, you can either choose Jess or Soph, with an A.I. partner automatically taking over the role of the other sister if you can't find a co-op partner, thankfully partnering up online is a breeze. As a host, you can have friends or randoms jump into your session seamlessly without interuption. Who you choose is ultimately cosmetic, since each sister have the same skill tree, weapons, and stat-boosting emotes that players can deploy to get out of tricky situations..
At first glance, Youngblood plays like any conventional first person shooter, with you mowing down waves of Nazi fors as they rush, flank, and ultimately try to annihilate you. Enemies have health and armor bars that you have to knock down, but once you progress with the game and start earning more experience points, you become a Nazi killing machine. Every level grants you an attack power boost as well as points to purchase nodes on your skill tree. These nodes range from maximum health boosters to powerful abilities. The game also gives you the chance to collect coins to buy upgrades for your weapons, these include scopes, barrel mods, stocks, and ammo extenders.
These options give you and your partner a lot of possibilities when it comes to deciding how to tackle probles. You can customize you skills to let you focus more on the stealth part capable of taking down foes silently before the loud violence begins. You can also modify your character and make it into a shotgun-wielding tank while your partner stands in the back with their long range rifle, mopping up enemies on your blind spot. Wolfenstein: Youngblood's variety in choice makes combat satisfying on a tactical level, from your starting pistol to a laser rifle capable of disintegrating enemies, every weapon in your arsenal spells the word fun. The different variety of tolls that you can use makes every encounter feel fresh and interesting. In the mid-game and onward, my partner and I were regularly massacring wave after wave of Nazis. but that isn't to say that combat isn't ever challenging.
Massive robots and Panzerhunds roam the streets of Paris, and in order to take down these bad boys, a certain level of teamwork must be met, often with one player acting as a distraction while the other focuses fire on the foe. Each enemy have different armor types, so that means that certain weapons work better against them, so it's also helpful to be able to communicate and prioritize over microphone chat, who's doing what.The 10 hour story campaign is full of clutch moments, with explosions that blew up a entire squadron of Nazis, and life saving last minute heals to help secure out chances of success on the battlefield. The co-op and coordination don't detract from Wolfenstein's combat; they further enhance the best moments to great effect.
For those who prefer to play alone, the A.I. option can be graded as competent to surprisingly vicious. In some cases, you can stand back and watch your computer partner hunt donwn an entire house filled with foes with ease. However, there's never a point where you feel your entertainment is tarnished by the perfoemane of the A.I., especially given how tough later encounters can be.
Youngblood will enable you and your squadmate to explore and unlock districts around Paris filled with apartments, guard posts, and secret areas. You often have to think vertically to progress and reach your objectives, like hopping into a second-story apartment window to bypass a barricaded alleyway.
Verdict: 8/10 Wolfenstein: Youngblood excells as an entertaining shooter with an RPG element added to the mix. However, compared to the stellar and shocking stories of previous Wolfensteins, this entry comes up short. It has a few interesting details about what happened in the aftermath of the previous Wolfenstein, including the fates and whereabouts of a couple characters, but this outing is mainly focused on the exploits of its dynamic duo. As far as protagonists go, the Blazkowicz twins are very likeable - a detour from their sad-sack papa. The lack of an engaging story won't affect the game that much though, because Youngblood is such a generously entertaining game.