Review of Episode 2 - The Diaries of Agent Silent Death
We loved Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, but the first DLC expansion The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe was merely okay, offering a fun diversion but nothing that wasn’t in the main game. Well, the second episode in The Freedom Chronicles gives Wolfenstein it’s first female protagonist and is completely focused on stealth, plus it seems to be a homage to No One Lives Forever. That’ll do us.
Agent Silent Death harks back to the original Wolfenstein games in that it’s purely focused on stealth. I literally did not use any weapons other than the throwing knife and a silenced pistol during my entire playthrough – although I admit mouse and keyboard users will have things a lot easier than gamepad users since Jessica’s pistol will kill anyone with a single headshot. Make too much noise or alert the guards and you better run to the next area, because Jessica won’t last too long in an all-out firefight.
I can understand how this might upset people – I still remember the complaints The Old Blood got for enforcing stealth at the beginning. Nevertheless if you like stealth you will be in heaven. Did you play No One Lives Forever 2 and tried not to alert anyone? Me too, and you’ll probably get on with this as well. There are no sight cones, dark meters, or boxes to hide under, but there is a short few seconds of slow motion before a guard notices you where you can shoot him in the head – or hide behind something.
The three levels are, frankly, over too soon. While I wasn’t as impressed with Episode 1 I do feel it lasted longer, or maybe I just enjoyed myself with Episode 2 too much. Either way, the Hollywood movie studio is the obvious highlight, with sets to explore and creep through, and I wish the whole DLC was set there. Your target is even dressed as Nazi Batman Blitzmensch too. The Moon Base is a good finale but you don’t do enough there, and it’s not Dr Evil enough in terms of design – back to the metallic Nazi base style that Wolfenstein 2 overused.
As a bonus, Jessica Valiant herself is a fantastic character. She’s very inspired by Skyfall’s James Bond - a spy hiding from the world in tropical climes, drowning her memories in alcohol, brought back for one possibly final mission – except that in this case it’s Cate Archer rather than Jimmy B. Her monologues are interesting, and – this is sort of a spoiler – the game teases that she may turn up in Wolfenstein 3, if that happens. I really hope so. Or, just do a spin-off with just her. I’ll be fine with that too.
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 the DLC ran perfectly with a mix of Ultra/High settings, and unlike The Freedom Chronicles Episode 0 the basic cutscenes actually ran well this time. While the areas are a bit more confined than the main game or Episode 1 due to the stealth angle, Episode 2 always looked great anyway.
WOLFENSTEIN II - THE FREEDOM CHRONICLES VERDICT
While not for gamers who hate stealth, The Diaries of Agent Silent Death is a wholly unique slice of new Wolfenstein that actually feels different from the main game, with an excellent new player character and the feel of a pulp-y spy novel. It almost doesn’t feel like Wolfenstein at all, with no massive firefights, huge action sequences, or the expectation to do anything except hide, sneak, and pop heads with a pistol or jab a knife in Nazi groin. I took it all as a homage to the likes of No One Lives Forever and I was massively entertained, and I wish Jessica Valiant had her own spin-off game. The bar’s been raised, Episode 3!
TOP GAME MOMENT
Discovering the set of ‘German… Or Else!’, or taking out all the guards in a room without them raising an alarm.
An entertaining homage to spy movies, Wolfenstein’s stealthy past, and No One Lives Forever.
Feels completely different from the main game, which is what DLC should be like.
The stealth-focused gameplay is fun and works well, for the most part.
Jessica Valiant is a fantastic character and I hope we see more of her.