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YMMV / Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Based on how annoying the player finds him, Super Spesh's abrupt and cold-blooded execution at Engel's hand will either be an upsetting wake-up call or something of a relief.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Was Grace being hostile towards Sigrun was because she is a paranoid Politically Incorrect Hero or was she subjecting a Secret Test of Character for Sigrun to show some backbone to stand up for herself and vehemently confirmed that she really performed a Heel–Face Turn? Notably, after Sigrun makes her point, Grace invites her to join them in their crusade against the Nazi tyranny and has that same smile she had after telling BJ about the dummy grenade in another Secret Test of Character early in the game.
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    • Was the portrayal of Hitler a deliberate attempt to cross the line twice, or an unvarnished imagining of what he'd look like in his seventies? Or both? It's known that real life Nazis used stimulants akin to crystal meth during WWII in order to work 20 hour days. While the Fuhrer's actions are violent and unpredictable, it's possible that he's just an old man displaying a mixture of drug damage and early onset dementia. Having his decisions unquestioned for most of two decades can't have done much good for keeping him grounded, either.
    • The Reporter Lady who storms the stage when Engel reveals you've been captured to hit you and scream about how you killed her son and deserve death. Was that a real emotional outburst meant to show you that all the people you've been slaughtering had families you took them from, or considering everything you've heard throughout the game about the Nazi media was she a planted actor?
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    • The Freedom Chronicles. Are they really fictitious in-universe? Or are they legitimate stories (if somewhat exaggerated) that are merely documented as fiction?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • After all the build-up, Frau Engel really didn't put up much of a fight, being killed in a glorified cut-scene. Granted, you do have to fight two giant Zerstörer robots right before that, so it might be justified (unless you just run right past them).
    • Similarly, Rip Blazkowicz may as well be a QTE fight, despite the game establishing him as a major antagonist. Justified in this case because Rip Blazkowicz is an old man with a hunting shotgun facing off the Power Armored One-Man Army veteran that is his son.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The birthday party scene. It's completely superfluous to the plot and seems more like something out of a sitcom.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After seeing Frau Engel cause so many atrocities from both The New Order and this one, seeing her have her arm chopped off by BJ with a hatchet before burying the entire blade in her head and twisting it to split her head like a melon in the ending is truly a satisfying moment to watch. For bonus catharsis, she spends most of her time leading up to the moment being a Smug Snake about being the one to kill B.J Blazkowicz only for him to show up at her televised interview and render her greatest achievement false and taunt her as he kills her to make sure she dies in despair.
    • Sure, it gets you immediately killed, but kicking Adolf Hitler to death while he lays on the floor during the audition is incredibly satisfying.
    • After witnessing how horribly he treated B.J. as a child, and learning that he sold his own wife and B.J.'s mother out to the Nazis in exchange for a generous handout, B.J. killing his father more than counts for this.
  • Complete Monster:
    • B.J.'s greedy, racist father, Rip Blazkowicz, married B.J.'s wealthy mother for money, then abused her and B.J. out of anger at his own poor business decisions ruining his enterprise. Attacking B.J. for playing with a black girl, Rip knocks his wife, Zofia, out for trying to defend their son, then tries to make B.J. shoot his dog, Bessie. When America is conquered by the Nazis, Rip betrays his Jewish, black, and/or homosexual neighbors, and Zofia by selling them out, leading to their internment and death in concentration camps in New Mexico. Attempting to kill B.J. when they meet again, Rip also wiretaps their phone conversation in an attempt to have B.J. captured and executed by the Nazis.
    • The Freedom Chronicles Episode 1: The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe: Übercommander Roderick Metze was a white supremacist who became a dentist for the thrill of torturing people legally. Happily joining the Nazis, Metze relished in a chance to lord over minorities, subjecting them to slavery and death. Taking an interest in sports, Metze abducted a number of athletes, torturing them in ghastly experiments to harvest their abilities for his own side. Metze also intends on activating a superweapon to annihilate the entire American Midwest, driven by his desire to rise ever higher in the ranks of the Reich.
  • Critical Dissonance: Reception on the part of critics has been very positive, with critics praising the game's story and characters, as well as improving the intense gameplay from The New Order/The Old Blood. Among fans, it's more divisive, with some agreeing with the critics, and others finding problems with the game's length as well as some of the changes to the gameplay and the cutscene-to-gameplay ratio. There are also reports of gamebreaking bugs and crashes (see Porting Disaster).
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Showing the power-mad genocidal dictator of the Third Reich as a bumbling idiot? Simply par for the course for a lot of WWII fiction. Showing him as a senile, paranoid 71-year-old lunatic who is barely in touch with reality, remorselessly guns down random people at the slightest provocation (one of whom is Ronald Reagan), rants at length about Jewish spies, mistakes the director of his latest (badly-written) propaganda film for his mutti and shoves his head into her boobs for comfort, pukes, pisses blood in the ice bucket and all over the floor and then lets you stamp his head when he curls up on the floor mid-rant to take a nap? That is called The New Colossus, my friend.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The Zitadelle robots. Gigantic walking war machines, capable of firing enough rockets in one volley to pretty much obliterate your armour and most of your health if you don't get to cover ASAP (and even then the blast might still knock you back and leave you helpless), on top of taking absolutely forever to go down—even a full tank's worth of shots from the Dieselkraftwerk won't cut it. The only way to give yourself any sort of advantage over one is to sneak up behind it and cut its fuel lines, and even that is much easier said than done.
    • On higher difficulties, the Kampfhunds can become this (they're only Goddamned Bats on lower difficulties). During a big firefight, it's entirely possible for one to come up behind you and take off most of your health and kill you before you even realize what's happening.note 
    • The Laserhunds. Fast movers and hard hitters, they can take down an unaware player with infuriating efficiency.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Sigrun Engel has been highly praised for being the type of character that you never see in a Rated M for Manly FPS, an overweight heroic ex-Nazi woman who is not a fighter but refuses to play a passive role in the Resistance. Critics admire her deeply, while most fans just want to give the poor girl a hug.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • The game has been frequently described as more difficult than The New Order. Not coincidentally, the first part is played with BJ's maximum health at half the unupgraded maximum health of The New Order.
    • The UI is also less indicative of where hits are coming from, meaning that a random mook will often do lethal or near-lethal damage if he spawns behind you.
    • Stealth overall is nerfed like crazy in this game; there is no longer a perk upgrade that helps you find officers on the map, and even so, finding officers is much difficult than in The New Order. Enemies in general tend to be a bit more clairvoyant and heavily armored, rendering them resistant to the usual amount of silenced shots.
  • Foe Yay: In spades between BJ and Frau Engel - though it's largely one-sided, and she might just be doing it to goad him after finding the wedding ring he'd wanted to give Anya.
  • Genius Bonus: The Nazi antigravity experiments in Area 52 are clearly based on the conspiracy theory of Die Glocke; there are a few signs with that name and the machine at the focal point of the complex has a bell shape.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • That Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan are seen collaborating in The New Colossus becomes more uneasy following the 2017 protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. Although many people have stated that this actually improves the game, as it both systematically explains how white supremacist Aryan ideology is toxic to everything it touches and allows you to brutally murder anyone who can't or won't learn that lesson.
    • Remember back in Wolfenstein (2009) Deathshead told B.J. that "he wouldn't live to see the swastika flying proudly over Washington D.C."? After the events of The New Order, Deathshead is dead, and this game shows the swastika draped over the Capitol.
    • In The New Order, Deathshead mentioned that he hasn't practiced his English for quite some time when he first met Blazkowicz again, stating that it was a "dying tongue". Then comes The New Colossus, where the Nazis are actively trying to erase the English language to establish German language as the new lingua franca of the Occupied American Territory, as stated in many promotionals and events in the game.
    • In the Wyatt timeline of The New Order, when J brings up the Jim Crow laws that he and his family had to abide by before the Nazis took over, he states the US government and indirectly BJ were no better then the Nazis, prompting BJ to place J in a chokehold. Then comes The New Colossus, where we learned the BJ's father was an Abusive Dad and a Politically Incorrect Villain who made BJ's childhood hell, especially for befriending an African-American girl; his father's bigoted beliefs is also what instill BJ's hate for what the Nazis stood for. It is no wonder BJ would instantly goes into Tranquil Fury towards J in the last game as he doesn't want to become like his detestable racist father.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight In the Fergus timeline of The New Order, Tekla accuses BJ of cheating death, due to his disappearance at Deathhead's castle. In The New Colossus, BJ, once again, cheats death, on live television, no less.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: An appearance by Adolf Hitler himself, in the flesh and even more deranged than you could ever have anticipated.
  • Idiot Ball: The resistance pick it up and hold it tight in their attempt to free Blazkowicz, particularly Spesh. When the plan starts with trusting Nazis to honor civil rights, particularly when it comes to the man they call Terror Billy, you've planned to fail.
  • Iron Woobie: BJ Blazkowicz. Forced to watch many of his good friends die, stuck in a wheelchair (at first), and witnesses first hand how the American people have simply given up hope. And yet, he keeps on fighting, determined to make things better.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: While about the same length of general gameplay as Wolfenstein: The New Order if you pursue side-content, the consensus seems to be that The New Colossus just sort of 'ends' a little early and anticlimactically (with the death of Frau Engel being mostly cinematic and the Final Boss being a pair of souped-up Ubersoldats). From there it's just revisiting old areas for collectibles, side missions you didn't complete, and taking on the Oberkommandant Enigma assassination missions that often recycle areas from the main campaign. It's entirely impossible to literally play through the game's normal levels again with one's perks unlocked.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many players will note that the arrest of B.J. for his father's murder and terrorism, as well as B.J.'s trial and execution (with a battle in the courthouse Dream Sequence in between), and his being revived via head transplant into a Super Soldier body (with you being put in the perspective of B.J.'s literal talking head, also in between), is quite an accomplishment and more memorable than anything else in the game.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Make it as gruesome as you want, MachineGames, you're not gonna convince us you'd let BJ stay dead. Doesn't help that they didn't do a very good job of hiding his survival, with many players correctly predicting the outcome months before the game came out.
  • Love to Hate: Even among Nazis, Frau Engel is an incredibly loathsome character , between horribly abusing her daughter Sigrun and executing both Caroline and BJ, so getting to brutally murder her with an axe on live television is an absolute joy to play. And between how terrifying she is and the sheer psychotic glee she shows at nearly all times, Engel steals every scene she's in, with many players even comparing her favorably to Vaas Montenegro.
  • Memetic Mutation: Its hatred from real life Neo-Nazis has become an endless source of mockery, with joke reviews for similar media involving killing Nazis such as Captain America and Raiders of the Lost Ark parodying their reactions.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • If Frau Engel hadn't crossed it already, telling her daughter to execute Caroline with an axe certainly counts. Then she goes the extra mile by doing the deed herself when Sigrun refuses, and brings Caroline's decapitated head to BJ while having her head 'kiss him' to degrade the crippled hero. What's more, when Sigrun rightfully calls her mother out, Frau Engel's response is to do the same to her daughter, but also presses Caroline's head against her daughter's privates to further embarrass her, and finally smacks her hard when Sigrun pushes her away in disgust.
    • If Rip Blazkowicz didn't cross it when he knocks out his wife and chokes a young B.J. into unconsciousness, he definitely does when he tries to force B.J. to shoot his own dog, and shoots her himself if he refuses. And if that somehow doesn't work, there's also the revelation that he sent his wife to a concentration camp. Considering he made it clear he only ever married her for her family's assets and then foolishly lost it all, he has no one but himself to blame for his actions, but still persecuted and sent every single person he disliked off to die for self-vindication.
  • Narm: For some, the credits theme — a screamo cover of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" — is this.
    • Due to having a single character model, the younger Rip Blazkowicz is always seen wearing a suit in the flashbacks. It mostly works fine, but it does get a little strange when we see the final flashback where Rip deals with BJ's night terrors, still wearing his suit in the middle of the night.
    • Apparently Machine Games couldn't be bothered with creating two versions of the end credit art, leaving non-Germans to wonder why the American rebels are shown striking out against a bunch of soldiers with weird triangle logos, instead of swastikas.
  • Older Than They Think: For anyone with an inkling of familiarity with the series (or the first person shooter genre, or video games in general), killing Nazis is not a new development in the slightest. That, however, has not stopped some from interpreting the game as a reference to the current political climate.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Adolf Hitler only appears in a single scene around the middle of the game, but boy is it unforgettable.
  • Polished Port: The Switch port is a marvel of optimization. It's the full game, at a smooth 30, looking barely any worse than the other console version, and portable (and is actually better in Portable Mode, because the small screen makes it harder to notice the lesser visuals, and still runs at a fluid framerate).
  • Porting Disaster: Upon the game's launch, the Steam page was flooded with negative reviews- not because the game was bad, mind, but because so many people were experiencing Game-Breaking Bug after game-breaking bug with the game's actual launch. The game is somehow both a great PC port and a terrible one at the same time.
    • The PC version of the game exclusively uses Vulkan as the graphics API, preventing many older (as in pre-2016) graphic cards to even play the game because of the inconsistent Vulkan support on older graphic cards.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Grace can be seen as this after taking over as the resistance's Big Good following Caroline's death. She is also likely this towards La Résistance in-universe in contrast to their full respect for Caroline, as her attitude is seen as so obnoxious to some members of the resistance that when Sigrun throttles her, no one appears to intervene, probably to teach her a lesson.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Annoying in that it's actually a vital part of shooter gameplay: player damage feedback. While the previous game wasn't the most consistent or efficient with it either, in The New Colossus there's barely any indication that you've been taking damage beyond the blurring and some darkening of the screen edges. The result is that there could be an enemy behind you plugging you with a shotgun and you may not have a single idea he's doing that until you notice you're taking damage while no one in front is shooting. Considering the Nintendo Hard nature of the game, it's entirely possible and even extremely likely that you'll keel over dead and not have any idea what just killed you because two soldiers chewed through your health and armor out of view in seconds.
  • Signature Scene: The casting audition on Venus for Hitler's propaganda movie, which is widely considered to be the most hilariously dark segment in the entire game, if not the series.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • This game does not shy away from showing how Nazi ideology corrupts everything and everyone who believes in it, and how collaborating with it is a product of selfishness and racism.
    • The game has a surprising amount of Pet the Dog and Cry for the Devil moments as depicted in various letters from Nazis to their families. Oddly enough, this doesn't go against the former theme - the intended message is most likely "Yes, these people have family and others they care about. But they've been corrupted by Nazism, and they're terrible people who believe in a murderous ideology that destroys everything around them, so screw 'em."
    • The game also makes a point with Sigrun that calling and accusing someone of being a Nazi when they aren't, or lashing out at allies who only want to help, can be just as cruel and damaging as any other kind of label or prejudice.
    • When a woman named Adler flirts with a German officer, he returns her affections and praises her zeal for agreeing with Nazi ideals, until she makes a misguided remark about 'impure Austrians'. At which moment, he immediately turns on her. The lesson in this is twofold: Firstly, trying to cozy up to racists will make you a jackass. Secondly, trying to cozy up to racists will backfire when they inevitably turn on you for your inevitable misstep.
    • You don't have to follow up your parents' steps if they are in the wrong, as both B.J. (with his father Rip) and Sigrun (with her mother Engel) display across the game.
    • In addition to the bit above regarding BJ's father, Rip's racism and the complacent attitude of many Americans to the Nazi occupation bring up the important fact that 20th century America still had grave problems of its own regarding bigotry even when it fought the Third Reich. This leads to the aesop of never being apathetic in times of injustice, especially when Grace points out that marginalized folk have and still fight for their rights on a daily basis. Oppression doesn't need jackbooted Nazis to be any less real.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The nuked New York City level is the closest thing we have to a Fallout game set in that city.
  • That One Achievement: "Mein leben", which requires you to beat the game on the eponymous difficulty setting, which is a single-life permadeath mode with no checkpoints or saves. In other words, you have to complete the game without dying in one sitting, just like BJ himself. Have fun!
    • To make this especially painful, if you haven't noticed the massive number of exposition breaks in the form of cutscenes and, even worse, in-game scenes that happen at the speed of plot, you will by the 2nd or 3rd attempt at this achievement.
  • That One Level:
    • The courthouse battle transforms into this on any difficulty from "Bring 'em on!" and above. You start in the center of the room with your weaponry ready, but the start is rather jarringly abrupt and you're suddenly surrounded by enemies on every side. Considering you're a Glass Cannon in this game, at best, and enemies spawn all around as well as attempting to flank you, holding a position in the room is hell as it is. While there's plenty of cover, it's also likely to get shredded as the fight runs on, giving foes no small amount of opportunities to gun you down the instant you get reckless or caught off-guard. Good luck not dying in the first five seconds on the hardest difficulties.
    • The penthouse fight in Manhattan also qualifies, though it's not nearly as long.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • When the Freedom Chronicles expansion was announced, many assumed it would be a series of side stories focusing on other soldiers fighting the Nazis all over the world, possibly running into BJ and company at some point. In reality, the stories are in-universe propaganda comic books about fictional freedom fighters, effectively rendering it non-canon.
    • With the Nazi occupation of the USA, it would be reasonable to think that there would be a handful of Les Collaborateurs that would fight alongside their Nazi masters such as the hooded Klansmen, diversifying the enemy lineup a bit. Ultimately, aside from Rip Blazkowicz, the entirety of the game pits the Kreisau Circle against the German occupiers as per usual. The Klansmen are ultimately just a Palette Swap of the usual German Mook, using German dialogue.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The German version of the game, in the interest of confirming to Germany's No Swastikas rules, has been rather heavily edited, to remove all references to the Nazi regime. Some German game critics have noted that the localisation team has perhaps been overzealous in this job, as the nature of the crimes the Nazis committed has also been heavily obscured, by way of removing any references to Judaism — most notably, "traitor" is frequently used as a stand-in for "Jew" — as as well as any overt mentions of extermination camps, which ironically results in making the whole thing come uncomfortably close to sounding like outright Holocaust denial.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Rip may have gotten all the power he wanted for years under the Nazi rule and felt nothing about it, but he outright lists off B.J.'s accomplishments as terrorist acts and still thinks he can take on his son with nothing more than a double-barreled shotgun with full intent on killing him. Days, maybe even hours at best, after said son nuked Roswell and forced the Nazi high command to run with their tails between their legs. This ends about as well as you'd expect, though that might have been his intention, as he also stalled BJ for long enough that the Nazis were able to ambush him in full force.
    • Super Spesh is a known (former) lawyer and social deviant, and absolutely badgers the hell out of the Nazis standing guard over a captured B.J. to see him and attempt to stage a rather basic escape plan. The latter sort of thing was already pushing it, but Frau Engel puts a bullet in his head when Spesh forgets to check the door behind him in the midst of his attempted plan. From inside B.J.'s cell which, as Spesh mentioned only minutes beforehand, has the highest security he's ever seen. The only reason he even got that close is because Frau Engel knew his ruse and let him get in there just to fuck with him, a Conspiracy Theorist such as him should've seen it coming.
    • Frau Engel goes ahead with executing B.J. when he's captured without wasting too much time, yes, beheading him like she did with Caroline Becker, but unlike the latter scenario, she did not think to obliterate B.J's head in a quick and easily confirmed matter for good measure instead of flashily dropping it down a chute in case the unthinkable happened (which it did). When a Giant Mook has more foresight than you do, you're clearly doing something wrong.
  • The Woobie: Sigrun Engel, Frau Engel's daughter. Constantly abused by her mother for being obese, is forced to participate in a war she wants no part of, and is told to execute Caroline. And she's only seventeen. No wonder she decided to pull a Heel–Face Turn.


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