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Old 08-06-2019, 08:56 AM   #1
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The Evil Avatar Wolfenstein: Youngblood Review

Title: Wonfenstein: Youngblood
Platform: PS4,Xbox One, PC
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Developer: MachineGames
Publisher: Bethesda
MSRP: $39.99
Writer: Aaron Birch

Wonfenstein: Youngblood Review

Sisters, doing it for themselves

Seen widely as a return to form after some divisive attempts, the Bethesda-published resurrections of the classic id FPS, Wolfenstein, have been well received by critics and fans, with developer, MachineGames delivering a modern take on the granddaddy of the FPS, and bringing it's hero, BJ Blazkowicz, back into the limelight. Both New Order and The Big Colossus were great games, and moved the series further away from its stable-mate, Doom's more streamlined shooting in favour of a more varied gameplay experience. Still, the shooting remained solid, and the chance to mow down legions of Nazis, seemingly, never gets old.

With so many missions under his belt, though, the dev team decided it was time of give BJ a rest, and with the latest instalment of the series, instead fast forwarding to events later on in BJ's life, where he's had two daughters with his wife, Anya.

Twenty years on, and much of the world, including America, has been liberated from the Nazis, but the menace still remains in control of some part of the globe, and after he leaves mysteriously for France, which still remains under Nazi control, BJ's daughters, each trained by their parents in combat and survival, take chase. Thus another episode in the much storied series commences.

Playing much like the previous MachineGames outings, Youngblood doesn't do too much to mess with the formula of the previous games. The combat is still snappy and buttery, the weapons are still meaty and have that hefty impact to them, and the presentation is, of course, top notch, with great visuals, sound design, and an overall high level of polish.

The game takes place in the 80s, so expect plenty of nods to that period, only with an alternate history twist of Nazi control, and for the most part, this is pure, modern Wolfenstein. However, there's one major difference here, and that's the focus on the two female protagonists.

Built primarily for co-op play, Youngblood has been structured heavily around a dual-heroine mechanic, and as such, the levels take full advantage of this. This mechanic takes many forms, from the basic ability to provide cover and back up for each other, and the ability to revive your fallen sister, to various co-op tropes like having to pull two switches to open a door, it's all in there.

These tandem moments in the game are, in truth, all fairly played out by this stage. I've lost count of how many games feature this kind of co-op, but despite being cliché, Youngblood makes it work, and mixes it in with the excellent combat, so it's lack of originality doesn't get in the way to much.

The revive system is interesting, at least. At any one time you have a number of lives, which are used to revive yourself should your partner also become downed. This life revives you, so you can carry on the fight. If you have no lives left, and both of you are downed, it's game over. What's more, game over here means restarting the whole level again. There are no checkpoints here when you both die, so teamwork and cover is all-important. It's nothing revolutionary, but it does help enforce teamwork, and at its core, that's what Youngblood is all about.

That said, although you'll obviously reap the most reward from the game with a real friend at your side, Youngblood isn't multiplayer only, and you can play the game solo with an AI partner. Not as dynamic and reliable as a real person, the AI nonetheless is actually not that bad, and will usually be there to back you up and to revive you should you fall. They use the additional perks you can equip, such as being able to grant you and your sister a health or amour buff, and they'll also use stealth if you're choosing to go silent in a situation. So, if you're a lone wolf, you can sill enjoy the game with no problems.

There are other gameplay features that have either been added in or refined, such as a skill-tree for character improvements, and an extensive weapon customisation tool that lets you spend accumulated currency on upgrades and weapon parts, with the added ability to customise the look of your guns and characters with aesthetic additions. This is all welcome, but is stained by the unfortunately expected inclusion of microtransactions. You all know the drill by now - it's ugly, manipulative greed and I hate it, so I won't dwell here.

An area where Youngblood falls down is the story. The idea of BJ's daughters taking on the Nazis to rescue their Dad is fine, if ham-fistedly delivered, but it's hardly living up to the potential the characters and the game world have. Instead it's a wafer-thin tale that takes a back seat to co-op gunplay, and it's a shame more effort wasn't put into the girls and their surroundings and supporting cast.

I did enjoy Youngblood, though, and although it's certainly a weaker game than its predecessors, it's a solid shooter, and the co-op play is a lot of fun when online. It does expand the lore of the series a little, and explores new areas thanks for BJ taking a day off, but I feel more could have been done here, and as solid as it is, the co-op features could have been much more original.

Score: 4 out of 5

The Good
  • Rock solid shooting
  • Sterling presentation
The Bad
  • unoriginal co-op mechanics
  • lack of checkpoint will any some
The Ugly
  • Yep, you guessed it - microtransations
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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meh the microtransactions are only for some cosmetic stuff anyway. You can buy boosts and most of the cosmetic gear with the currency earned in-game. doesn't bother me if it's just skin shit and it's not like they look that great anyway.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:24 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 223
Well.. I find this annoying.
"lack of checkpoint will any some" lol
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wolfenstein youngblood

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