Making a name for yourself isn’t entirely a good thing. B.J. Blazkowicz knows this well – after the events of the last Wolfenstein, he’s now the world’s most wanted man. Nazi propaganda portrays B.J. as a mass murderer, and with ‘wanted’ posters spread across Nazi-occupied America a low profile must be retained when the need calls.
This leads to a couple of instances where Blazkowicz don disguises to mix with civilians, both of which are tense and memorable moments. Believe us when we say this isn’t an experience that’ll be soon forgotten.
In the eyes of his peers, Blazkowicz is a hero. A one-man-army that’ll stop at nothing, with arms as thick as tree trunks and a throwing arm to make any baseball pitcher jealous. A hatchet is his melee weapon of choice, able to remove limbs with one swift blow. Indeed, developers Machine Games learned a trick from id’s DOOM reboot – the grisly one hit kills are immensely satisfying.
With a child on the way, B.J. has far more on the line than before. His partner doesn’t shy away from combat either, taking on the Nazi regime with a bun in the oven. Again, this leads to some surprisingly comical cut-scenes. The storytelling and both character design and development are superb throughout. It’s never assumed that the Nazis are inherently evil; you’re shown reasons to despise them, with their twisted and malicious ways and psychotic tendencies on display from the outset.
B.J. and his ragtag bunch of rebels have made a home for themselves on a U-boat, and thanks to its ability to submerge they’re able to elude the Nazi’s grasp. The U-boat acts as a hub, with a target range, an enigma decoding machine, a playable Wolfenstein 3D arcade cabinet and a couple of optional missions to partake.
Only once is it used for unnecessary padding – there’s one fetch quest much later that slows down the pace somewhat. Still, it’s easy to waste a good couple of hours taking in the sights, listening to squabbles, and becoming acquainted with the good folk who’ve joined your cause. Over time new groups join; seeing them interact with the existing crew members is a joy, with one redneck happy to share his supply of brain cell destroying moonshine.