Wolfenstein®: Youngblood is a brand-new co-op experience from MachineGames, the award-winning studio that developed the critically acclaimed Wolfenstein® II: The New Colossus. Set in 1980, 19 years after BJ Blazkowicz ignited the second American Revolution, Wolfenstein®: Youngblood introduces the next Blazkowicz generation to the fight against the Nazis. Play as one of BJ's twin daughters, Jess and Soph, as you search for your missing father in Nazi-occupied Paris.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a terrific shooter with nice characters, an online co-op mode and a brand new level design, but the graphics on Nintendo Switch are heavily downgraded.
Youngblood suffers as a result of the Switch's relatively underpowered hardware, but for all its technical shortcomings, the game still delivers intense, momentous, and challenging combat. Everything features-wise remains intact, and you'll get to enjoy taking a shotgun (or fully charged laser beam) to the heads of Nazi scum. The Blazkowicz sisters, Jess and Soph, bring their own unique swagger to the Wolfenstein franchise, too. So if the Switch version is your only way of playing Youngblood, you can be confident it's still one hell of a ride.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is an odd little thing that evokes the smaller scale approach given to Far Cry: New Dawn earlier this year. Like New Dawn, Youngblood is a spin-off that focuses more on gameplay freedom while losing the focus on story. In some ways, it takes the series forward in the way it tries new ideas and mechanics - such as co-op and more open-ended level designs - and we hope a number of these features return for the next full sequel, but without the mind-bending twists and turns of its narrative, Youngblood pales in comparison to The New Order and The New Colossus. A fun and enjoyable co-op shooter (and another porting masterclass), but one that both improves and diminishes its own winning formula.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood offers exceptional gunplay the series is known for and brings a lot of interesting elements to the franchise for the first time. While the character-upgrades, sound design, and world are fantastic, the mission structure, lack of story, and awful checkpoint system bog down the experience.
Overall, Youngblood is a welcome reinvention of the series, but lacks the personality of what makes a Wolfenstein game. Microtransactions aren’t as bad they’re made out, but it is still understandably going to impact each person differently. The extensive replay incentive and a charming, albeit short, story are appreciated. If you are a Wolfenstein enthusiast, this game definitely deserves at least one playthrough— just make sure you won’t have any interruptions during your sessions.
A really confusing game, in that it takes some of what made the modern era of Wolfenstein so great, then copies and pastes modern looter-shooter tropes on top. [Issue #41 – September 2019, p. 76]
All told, Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a rather baffling experience that doesn’t quite seem to fully understand what it’s trying to be. Many of the factors that made previous games enjoyable are still here: the core gameplay mechanics are solid and the presentation is legitimately impressive considering Switch’s hardware limitations. However, the changes they made both in terms of structure and the addition of RPG mechanics simply don’t work together in a cohesive way.
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