We loved Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, although we felt the game could use a little more level diversity. We’re hoping the game will get that with The Freedom Chronicles, a set of three new DLC chapters telling outlandish tales of Nazi fighting starring brand new characters, and Bethesda have released Episode 0 as an introduction to all three. But will it be worth your time?
Our full verdict on Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus!Wolfenstein 2 Designer Explains Why The Single-Player FPS Is Dying
Episode 0 of The Freedom Chronicles is basically a demo of DLC, a quick introduction and short level for all three episodes that will follow. There are three playable characters – Gunslinger Joe, Agent Silent Death, and Captain Wilkins, and each story is told like boisterous wartime adventure novels, complete with illustrated pop art cutscenes and a cheesy bombastic American narrator. It’s fun, certainly, and removes all hint of the darkness and seriousness that Wolfenstein 2 played with in favour of over-the-top ridiculousness. And that’s just fine by us.
Each character, and chapter, is sort of based around the three special upgrades BJ Blazkowicz gets access to halfway through the main game. Joe gets the Ram Shackles to shoulder-barge enemies noisily to death, and specializes in a full assault. Death gets the Constrictor Harness to let her fit in tight spaces, as she’s a stealth character. Wilkins has the Battle Walker to let him view the action from up high and make tactical decisions. Which basically lays out how each of the DLC episodes will play, too.
Of the three, Agent Silent Death was the most fun for me. Normally I hate enforced stealth, but her level reminded me a lot of one of my favourite FPSs – No One Lives Forever by Monolith. A few more silly James Bond-like gadgets in the final episode and I’ll be in heaven. Sneaking around, crawling through vents, bopping Nazis with a single silenced bullet and then disappearing? Wonderful.
The other two characters can use stealth but are more valid for outright mayhem. Gunslinger Joe teases a full Panzerhund-riding episode, so that should be fun, as well as the threats from the main villain – a Nazi dentist! Captain Wilkins was slightly less satisfying as his level didn’t really have many quirks, but at least his playstyle offered itself to both Mayhem and Stealth more evenly.
The downside of all this is that this is really only a taster of the DLC and, even with three levels and three characters, is pretty damn short. Which is why Episode 0 is a pre-order bonus too rather than just the first DLC episode – it’s basically an advertisement, which makes me wonder why Bethesda didn’t just give it away for free.
My main hope with the Freedom Chronicles is that they expand the range of locations, as that was our main complaint of Wolfenstein 2 – too many internal metal Nazi bases. It could still happen, but Episode 0 is not any better. All the levels are just copy-pasted from parts of Wolfenstein 2, probably to get it out as quickly as possible. At least Agent Silent Death’s level is colourful and not a metallic base, even if it’s mostly just the courtroom area from the main game.
Performance & Graphics
OS: Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 (64 Bit)
Processor: AMD FX-8350/Ryzen 5 1400 or Intel Core i5-3570/i7-3770
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 770 4GB/AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB or better
Storage: 55GB Available Space
OS: Windows 7, 8.1, 10 64 Bit versions
Processor: AMD FX-9370/Ryzen 5 1600X or Intel Core i7-4770
Memory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB/AMD Radeon RX 470 4GB or better
Our test system was an AMD FX-6300 Six-Core Processor, 16 Gb RAM, Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti 4Gb, and Windows 10 64-Bit, and just like Wolfenstein 2 ran perfectly with a mix of Ultra/High settings, with the exception of cutscenes which were occasionally choppy. It still looks very good, but Episode 0 at least isn’t pushing anything graphically as all the levels and locations are quite small and contained.
WOLFENSTEIN II - THE FREEDOM CHRONICLES VERDICT
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is fantastic with a few faults, none of which are corrected by The Freedom Chronicles Episode 0 – yet. While we love the idea of playing three pulpy fun adventures in the Wolfenstein world this is very much just a taster of each, offering just three short levels you could blast through in an hour. Moreover the locations are just copied from the main game, so there’s only a little incentive to play them. Still, it’s still got the Wolfenstein fun, it’s more content, and it’s not really the final Freedom Chronicles – just a demo to set them up. Episode 0 does a good job doing that, but it’s hardly essential. Episodes 1-3 though could be a blast.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Popping a Nazi soldier’s head off with Agent Silent Death’s silenced pistol from across a room.
Three new Wolfenstein chapters!
Drops all the darkness and focuses on ridiculous pulpy fun.