United We Stand – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
BJ Blazkowicz is back in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – and now he’s got even more friends to help him eradicate the evil occupiers of his beloved homeland.
Well, not at first. Bloodied and barely alive after his battles in Germany, BJ returns to America in a state of disrepair. At his side is the entirety of the Kreisau Circle – the German resistance movement that BJ joined in the first game. With General Deathshead now defeated, BJ must rebuild himself and rally a new resistance across the United States to take back his country.
“At the end of Wolfenstein: The New Order, BJ was at death’s door,” says Creative Director Jens Matthies. “He faced off against Deathshead. He was very, very gruesomely injured. Thankfully, of course, his friends wouldn’t leave him to die. Now, he is recovering from the immense physical trauma of that experience. Of course, he has survived severe traumas in the past, but this is a BJ Blazkowicz who’s more affected than he has ever been by injuries and just pure age. He’s really bearing the scars of life on the front lines.”
This time the stakes are also higher. Aside from an open front in Africa, the Nazis pretty much rule the world. America has been occupied for 14 years, and the once-proud nation that was founded on the notion of freedom is now at risk of losing everything. But BJ isn’t only concerned about his country. “BJ’s relationship with Anya is evolving,” Matthies says. “She is pregnant with twins, and he’s about to become a father.”
“Not only is Blazkowicz fighting for the people around him, the country around him and the entire world, but he also has to look after the future for his unborn children,” adds Senior Game Designer Arcade Berg. “That puts a whole new strain on the responsibility he carries. He can’t give up, even if he wanted to.”
A New Revolution
Anya isn’t the only person fighting alongside BJ in The New Colossus. Other members of the Kreisau Circle have joined BJ in America, including fan favorites like Set Roth, Max Hass and Bombate. Also returning: Fergus or Wyatt. Once again, you’ll have to pick which of these two beloved characters will accompany you through the game – and this time the choice not only has narrative repercussions but also affects the gameplay. Go with Fergus and you’ll have access to the Laserkraftwerk; with Wyatt, you’ll get the Dieselkraftwerk. Each of these powerful signature weapons will create different gameplay opportunities – but we’ll have more details about that soon.
Aboard a nuclear submarine called Eva’s Hammer (which also serves as the game’s hub), BJ and his crew travel to various locations to rally the resistance and ignite the next American Revolution. But it won’t be easy. Frau Engel has also returned… and she has a bone to pick with Blazkowicz.
“Frau Engel has a personal beef with BJ because they had clashed before,” Matthies says. “Through a series of events in the first game, she ended up horribly scarred. Her companion was also killed by BJ. Now she has been promoted to general, and she is spearheading the effort to capture and kill BJ Blaskowicz.”
Aboard her flying fortress, the Ausmerzer, Frau Engel relentlessly pursues BJ, who has become an icon of the resistance – and a scourge of the Nazi regime. “They call him Terror-Billy, because he is really throwing a spanner in the works for them,” Berg says. “So along with her personal vendetta, she has a mission to take him out.”
From a Manhattan still reeling from a nuclear attack to small-town Roswell to the bayous of New Orleans – with stops elsewhere and in between – BJ takes the fight to the Nazis, with Frau Engel always in hot pursuit.
“We get to explore the relationship between Frau Engel and BJ, and see where that relationship is going,” Matthies says. “It’s very interesting and quite freaky.”
Rally the Resistance
The 1960s in America was a time of cultural revolution. But America in 1961 in The New Colossus is a time of bloody revolution, with pockets of resistance fighting to survive against Nazi oppression. Like any revolution, though, the battle has to come from within – and BJ must look beyond the Kreisau Circle to liberate America.
Enter a new cast of supporting characters – unrelenting revolutionaries who have long been fighting on their local fronts. But recruiting these fighters to a unified cause and igniting a real revolution is a daunting task. Some – like Horton, the leader of the New Orleans Resistance – have a deep mistrust of centralized authority. Others, like Grace – the Manhattan-based leader of the Black Revolutionary Front – have been fighting the Nazis on their own terms and are slow to trust Blazkowicz and his cohorts.
But one thing is certain: Just like in the original game, all of BJ’s new allies are real characters. “We have this new fellow called Super Spesh, and he’s just a fantastic piece of entertainment,” says Berg about one of his favorites among the new cast. “He’s a bit nuts, but he’s on your side, so I’m OK with that.”
Crazy or not, BJ will need all the help he can get from his compatriots – both old and new – to take back his homeland and spark a revolution.
“We love our characters, and we love making them as unique as possible,” Matthies adds. “We love the team we have from the first game, and now we’re adding even more interesting people to The New Colossus.”
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus releases on October 27, 2017, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Winner of more than 100 awards at E3 2017, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus also received four nominations from the official E3 Game Critics Awards (including Best of Show) and won Best Action Game.
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