Ever since Wolfenstein: Youngblood was announced back during E3 2018, I have been anxiously awaiting news and gameplay for this title. I was blown away when it was revealed that the protagonists of the game would be two women. And at E3 2019, I got to play the game firsthand and experience the newest installment in the Wolfenstein series. 

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It’s been two decades after the events of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and B.J. Blazkowicz has gone missing. It’s up to Jess and Soph, B.J.’s twin daughters, to charge into the 1980’s Nazi-occupied Paris and find their father. Throughout their rescue mission, they’ll aid the French Resistance and of course, kill Nazis. In this title, you can either opt to play solo (playing as either Jess or Soph), OR you can grab a friend and play the game cooperatively as the Terror Twins. After my demo at E3 2019, I now WANT to play this game in Co-Op.

When given the opportunity to play cooperatively with another player, I will usually turn it down. I personally just prefer the intimate story experience of playing a game for myself. However, Wolfenstein: Youngblood changed my mind. Even though I was playing with a complete stranger during my demo, I had a blast working together and killing Nazis with a teammate! I think mostly has to do with how the co-op gameplay is built in Wolfenstein: Youngblood. There are co-op mechanics for accessing locked areas, unlocking crates with powerful loot inside, revival, and even Pep Signals, which allows you to give you’re a boost to your sister’s stats just by flashing them a hand gesture (thumbs up, rock-on, etc). And these signals are usually accompanied by a fun bit of dialogue. Each moment my partner and I worked together, there wasn’t just an in-game reward. There was the satisfaction that we were achieving the same goal, as sisters. 

Good Characters & Good Writing

Throughout the shooting and scavenging for items, Jess and Soph will chat with each other, and the dialogue is divine. Their conversations can range from talking about training with their Dad, to the latest teen novel that one of them has read. The writers did a great job of blending the hardcore nature of being B.J. Blazkowicz’s daughters, but with the fun every-day life of being a teenager in the 1980s. I cannot wait to experience Jess and Soph’s character arcs throughout the full game. 

Am I excited because this game has two fun and badass female leads? Of course. I played Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and had a blast, but I wasn’t as excited for that game as I am for Youngblood. Jess and Soph are two unique and fun female leads in a Nazi-killing world. Personally, I feel more inclined to jump into their shoes than B.J’s. I hope we see games continue this trend of exploring female lead opportunities. While the open world male/female options in some games is a step forward, there are still a number of male-focused stories that have been told and not a ton of female-led stories. For a series that could be seen as “male-directed”, I’m incredibly excited to be playing as a woman as I destroy Nazis. 

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This title takes all of the great gameplay from Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and puts a masterful Co-Op spin on it. Likewise, it’s a combo of the characters AND gameplay that makes this title fun and fluid. And as a fellow Texan, I can personally say that the Texas accents in this game are excellent. After my E3 Demo, Wolfenstein: Youngblood has become my most-anticipated game of the Summer. Thank you Bethesda Softworks, Arkane Studios, and MachineGames for the chance to blast some Nazi’s as B.J. Blazkowicz’s badass daughters!

Wolfenstein: Youngblood will be available on July 26 for the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

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Emily Rose Jacobson
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