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🔗 Twenty Sided Tale: Wolfenstein 2 Retrospective

This isn’t an RPG. There aren’t a lot of complex leveling mechanics, branching storylines, moral choices, or philosophical conundrums for the player to puzzle over. The game throws Nazis in your way and you shoot them. This is a fairly simple game in both a narrative and mechanical sense. So why am I bothering to do a deep-dive on a linear shooter?

Basically, because I think the gaming press whiffed on this game. As of this writing, New Colossus is scoring an 88% on Metacritic. I realize that tastes vary and I’m not arguing that any individual review is wrong. If you think this game really is an 88% that’s fine. But this game is rated far above New Order and I think when you examine it closely it’s clearly inferior.

I honestly can't remember how long I have been reading Shamus Young's Twenty Sided Tale blog but it goes back at least a decade. I stumbled upon it when I was looking for write-ups of D&D campaigns and he had an outstanding one of a custom campaign that he ran for his friends. From those humble beginnings he transitioned into writing very poignant pieces about programming and video games, one of my personal favourite being his novel length vivisection of the ENTIRE Mass Effect trilogy.

His most recent retrospective on Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is an outstanding breakdown of how a sequel that tries to improve on everything that came before it can actually find itself destroying what made the original great.


🎮