Wolfenstein 2 Review

They said it couldn’t be done, but lo and behold, Panic Button has somehow miraculously crammed BJ Blazkowicz and all his Nazi-hating friends into the Nintendo Switch despite a few technical hiccups. Much like DOOM, this port shows the Switch is certainly capable of swimming with the big fishes and helps highlight a promising wave of third-party support for the hybrid console. Technical issues aside, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus on the Switch doesn’t skip a single beat in regards to content and you get the same highly entertaining, hyper-violent campaign as the Xbox One, PS4 and PC that everyone loved last year, except now you can take the fight to the Germans on the go.

The Switch version of Wolfenstein 2 is largely unchanged from the console and PC versions from last year. Picking up after the events of The New Order, you continue rampaging across Nazi-occupied America as the now infamous BJ Blazkowicz or “Terror-Billy”. Upon starting the game, you get the option of getting to choose who you saved during the first game, with each choice offering mostly narrative differences, along with a unique, powerful weapon in each campaign. The added incentive for replay is appreciated, as the pacing of Wolfenstein 2’s pacing certainly seems to thrive on the Switch. Missions are quick enough that they work well with the portable nature of the Switch, but it’s unfortunately not quite as impressive of a feat in a handheld mode, where the combination of the joy-cons and the reduced resolution have the game struggling at points, with some levels being quite hard on the eyes at moments. There are also some notable issues with sound at particular points in handheld mode, with some guns seemingly being silent when they clearly aren’t meant to be. These issues were not in replicable nearly as often in Docked mode, but for a system that shines with its handheld mode, it’s disappointing that the experience feels so gimped at points.

MachineGames has shown that they are certainly capable of crafting a satisfying shooter and Wolfenstein 2 certainly meets the mark. The New Order garnered a lot of praise for featuring visceral gunplay that was an outright blast to experience, with Wolfenstein 2’s gunplay feeling largely the same. At times, I was running into the odd technical issue in which the guns didn’t make any sound at all, taking away a lot from the experience. The presence of HD rumble helps to offset this, but the game seemed to be plagued by muffled audio, taking away from the overall experience of the gunplay. Despite these technical issues, it was still a largely enjoyable experience though, and these issues could likely be traced to the obvious concessions needed to get this game running on the Switch.

A Damn Satisfying Shooter

The set pieces of the campaign are all quite impressive as well, with missions ranging from simple to the outright insane in scope. Wolfenstein 2’s missions feel a lot bolder than the previous entries, and these are compounded by challenging assassination missions that you can pick up during each mission as you progress through the campaign. These missions are a welcome addition on top of the already respectable campaign length, as it further compounds the replay value of this game. There’s a surprising amount of content compared to other Wolfenstein titles, and it’s refreshing to see modern games encourage more than one playthrough. Without delving into the story material too heavily, it’s safe to say there will be some moments in the game that will definitely leave you surprised if you haven’t played it previously.

wolfenstein ii

Serious props should go to Panic Button, by the way. It’s almost surreal to realize you’re essentially playing a AAA game on a console that is a step behind in processing power. Panic Button’s efforts really can’t go unappreciated here, as they have shown multiple times now that they are essentially modern-day wizards, cramming such visually demanding games into a portable console without too major of a step-down. Despite the technical issues in Wolfenstein 2 on the Switch, the experience is still largely intact, and it’s still the same impressive shooter that was so well received when it came out last year. The technical shortcomings do have me hesitant to recommend this over the other versions if you have the means to play them, but if the Switch is the only console you have, you’ll still get your money’s worth, without a doubt.

***Switch key provided by the publisher***