How Wolfenstein: Youngblood reinvents the series’ FPS formula

…and a few things that the new 1980s-set co-op adventure keeps the same

 
 

1. It's the first ever Wolfenstein co-op adventure

Whereas previous outings in the series put you in the shoes of lone warrior BJ Blazkowicz, Youngblood has two new co-protagonists: BJ's twin daughters Jess and Soph. Whether your counterpart is controlled by AI or by a friend online, the whole game is played in co-op. What does this mean for gameplay? 

Strategic combat

Expect more strategic combat options as you team up to take down the Nazi menace – one twin can barrel through the front door all-guns blazing, while the other flanks the enemy to divide and conquer. 

Tag-team play

Revive each other in the midst of combat, share extra lives, stat-boost with new ‘Pep’ gestures (for example, Jess can give Soph a thumbs-up for a temporary health buff), or team up to operate massive weaponry like the outrageous Tesla gun.

Co-op puzzle solving

Having two protagonists in play at the same time opens up all manner of opportunities for co-op puzzling. Work together to throw switches, open doors and access seemingly out-of-reach locations. 

 
 

2. New protagonists

Meet Jess and Soph, AKA The Terror Twins - the two young daughters of BJ and resistance fighter Anya Oliwa. Barely a twinkle in their parents' eyes at the end of Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, they’ve been trained by mum and dad to pick up the Nazi-slaying baton and run with it. Which is just as well, because BJ has gone missing behind enemy lines and needs tracking down.

Both characters have their own distinct personalities but have access to the same set of abilities. You'll customise your load-out at the start of the game then build out the twin's respective specialisms as you progress, via an extensive skill tree system.

 
 

3. Powerful new kit

With the action set two decades after the last Wolfenstein adventure, an array of shiny new playthings have been engineered since you last went toe-to-toe with the Third Reich. Chief among said innovations is Jess and Soph’s power armour - future-tech garb that affords you a range of skills, including:

  • CLOAK: Feeling stealthy? Your powersuit allows you to become invisible for short periods of time and take your enemies by surprise.
  • POWER JUMP: Access seemingly out-of-reach areas by double tapping the jump button for a secondary boost mid-air.
  • POWER SLAM: Death from above! Flatten the Nazi menace with a well-timed, turbo-powered ground pound.
  • CRUSH: In short, this lets you punch things really, really hard. Turn hapless enemies into a fine crimson mist or smash through doors in a shower of splinters.
 
 

4. New 1980s setting

After an opening skirmish in a zepellin, the action picks up in a nightmarish, neon-drenched vision of 1980s Paris. This is not the French capital you know and love - no romantic strolls through the Jardin des Tuileries, no exquisite patisserie - just hordes of no-good leather-clad Nazis out for a ruck.

It’s a setting distinct from the crumbling streets of 1960s Nazi-controlled Europe depicted in previous games,
affording Youngblood a fresh look and feel.

"Every enemy, weapon and gadget in the game has a new look to fit the 1980s retro/sci-fi style"


- Andreas Öjerfors, Senior Game Designer, MachineGames

 
 

5. New co-developer, new perspective

Series mainstay MachineGames has drafted in a bit of help this time round, in the form of Arkane Studios – the talented team behind the acclaimed stealth-centric Dishonored games. The incoming team’s influence is immediately apparent:

  • Sprawling level design: Whereas previous Wolfenstein games largely routed you from point A to point B, Youngblood’s levels are huge areas that offer multiple paths to your objective. Exploration is rewarded – as in Dishonored, concealed areas hide power-ups, Easter eggs and additional story detail.
  • Open-ended mission structure: With the exception of the opening and closing stages, missions are of varying difficulty and can be tackled from a central hub in any order you like. There is an XP system, so you may be under-powered for some tasks at first!
  • Play your way: Weapons are fully customisable (search for loot to purchase upgrades) and you can upgrade your power armour through skill trees as you progress, allowing you to define and refine your own playstyle.

"You get MachineGames’ heavy gunplay and combat, and Arkane’s fantastic open-ended level design"


- Andreas Öjerfors, Senior Game Designer, MachineGames  

 
 

6. There’s a complementary VR experience

Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot is a standalone companion piece for PlayStation VR set in Paris shortly before the events of Youngblood. You’ll need to aid the Resistance by commandeering a range of powerful enemy war machines via your hacking skills, then rampage through the French capital clearing out the occupying Nazi menace.

You certainly don't need to have played one game to enjoy the other, but they share common narrative threads.

"When playing Youngblood, you’ll recognise the consequences your actions in Cyberpilot had on the city"
 

- Andreas Öjerfors, Senior Game Designer, MachineGames

 
 

And a few things Youngblood keeps the same...

  1. Hordes of evil Nazis: Different decade, same old fascists. Dispatch them without prejudice. 
  1. Giant killer robots: That other Wolfenstein staple – OTT weaponised robots – are out in force too, including upgraded Panzerhunds.
  1. Enormous guns: It wouldn’t be Wolfenstein without oversized, scenery-wrecking weaponry and Youngblood goes to town, with a huge arsenal at your disposal.
  1. Outrageous language: The series’ signature sense of humour is intact. It’s not just BJ’s Nazi-slaying skills the twins have inherited, it appears his creative use of the English language is hereditary too… 

"Its beating heart is still Wolfenstein. You wield ridiculously overpowered weapons to grind up Nazis, while the story keeps our mix of serious themes, great characters and dark humour"


- Andreas Öjerfors, Senior Game Designer, MachineGames  

 
 

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