At its best - primarily during the few plot-critical missions - Wolfenstein: Youngblood captures everything that made its predecessors great: intricate combat arenas, fast and fluid movement, brutal firefights, likeable protagonists, and great writing. Only this time, you can do it with a friend (or a very self-sufficient AI). However, Youngblood was clearly designed first and foremost as an action-oriented coop-shooter, and this has serious ramifications for the mission flow, enemy encounters, and how it plays solo. You don’t start a single-player campaign in Youngblood, you “host” an “offline” multiplayer session, with all the bells, whistles, and bull**** that entails.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re looking to spend upwards of 15 hours with a friend - running around in power armour, shooting, stabbing and strangling Nazis, while gaining experience towards new skills and silver coins towards upgrading weapons - the mission design makes perfect sense and it’s a lot of fun. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of the single-player experience and are looking for something similar, I’d still recommend Youngblood, but that recommendation comes with several caveats.
Despite a rough start, the “Terror Twins”, Sophie and Jess Blazkowicz, take to Nazi-killing like ducks take to water.
...the raid on the towers are plot-critical missions, with a more traditional structure, full of set-pieces and narrative beats
The influence of Arkane Studios on the development is obvious and their retro-futuristic take on Neu-Paris often feels ripped straight from the steampunk Dishonored series.
The mission structure, lives system, and enemy encounter rate are ultimately a great fit for coop, but the gameplay loop can grow stale when playing alone.
Enjoys games with awesome stories and characters, along with new and interesting hardware. Dislikes day-one patches and driver updates.
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MachineGames, Arkane Studios
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
25 July 2019
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