Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is an action-adventure shooter game played from a first-person perspective. To progress through the story, players battle enemies throughout levels. The game utilizes a health system in which players’ health is divided into separate sections that regenerate; if an entire section is lost, players must use a health pack to replenish the missing health. Players use melee attacks, firearms, and explosives to fight enemies, and may run, jump, and occasionally swim to navigate through the locations. Melee attacks can be used to silently take down enemies without being detected. Alternatively, players can ambush enemies, which often results in an intense firefight between the two parties. Enemy commanders can call for reinforcements several times.
A cover system can be used in combat as assistance against enemies. Players have the ability to lean around, over, and under cover, which can be used as a tactical advantage during shootouts and stealth levels. Stilts are also available during some game segments for a further tactical advantage. The game gives players a wide variety of weapon options; they can be found on the ground, retrieved from dead enemies, or removed from their stationary position and carried around. Weapon ammunition must be manually retrieved from the ground or from dead enemies. Players have access to a weapon inventory, which allows them to carry as many weapons as they find. Players have the ability to freely mix weapons for dual wielding, giving them an advantage over enemies by dealing twice as much damage. Players can also customize weapons through the use of upgrades. Scopes and suppressors can also be attached to weapons.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was originally teased at Bethesda’s press conference during E3 2016. The game was officially announced at their E3 2017 conference in June 2017. The game is scheduled to release on 27 October 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A 2018 release for Nintendo Switch was announced during the September 2017 Nintendo Direct presentation. The game’s collector’s edition includes a Blazkowicz action figure, a steelbook, and a poster.
The narrative theme of The New Colossus is “catharsis”. Creative director Jens Matthies was intrigued by the juxtaposition of America, which was “founded on the idea of freedom”, to be under totalitarian control. The development team also enjoyed exploring iconic American locations and events of the 1960s, such as diners and parades. The team attempted to make the enemies larger and more intimidating for players. The game features over 100 actors, whose performances were recorded using performance capture technology; about 40 hours of performances were recorded. The development team wanted to delve further into the character of protagonist William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, for players to feel as though they are him. In the game’s opening, Blazkowicz is confined to a wheelchair; the team was enthusiastic to include combat during these scenes, as a “testament to B.J.’s willpower”. The game was developed using id Tech 6; the technology and animations required a complete overhaul from The New Order, which used id Tech 5. The team also built a full body model of Blazkowicz, which can be seen from the first-person perspective.