Wolfenstein: Youngblood releases today on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. While we only received our copy today and won’t have our review and final judgement of the game up until next week, it is always interesting to see what some top critics are saying about the game. That’s why we’ve decided to do a Wolfenstein: Youngblood review roundup for today.
From the Wolfenstein: Youngblood reviews coming in so far, the game sounds pretty good, but not fantastic. B.J. Blazkowicz twin daughters do make a generally positive impact on critics, but it seems like their Nazi-killing escapades aren’t being received quite as well as that of Terror Billy in The New Colossus.
Many of the critics mention some flaws while playing with an AI-controlled partner but the gunplay and co-op still seem great. Marco had some hands-on time with the game at E3 2019 and called the co-op fantastic, so if you are looking for a co-op game to play with a friend, then Wolfenstein: Youngblood should still be a great choice.
IGN – 6.5/10
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is an aggressively okay co-op shooter that doesn’t come close to recapturing the joy of its predecessor’s action or its surprisingly interesting characters and story. It doesn’t completely fumble the fun of its weapons and abilities or counteract the pleasing sensation of squishing Nazis between your toes, but it does make it harder to enjoy at seemingly every turn with an out-of-place leveling system, busted stealth gameplay, some aggravating boss fights and inadequate checkpoint saves. Frankly, I expected more from the Blazkowicz twins.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood has the series’ signature first-person shooting thrills that’ll have you gladly busting shots and blasting lasers in the face of Nazi trash–and the opportunity to do so alongside a friend. It incorporates some new ideas which are serviceable for the most part, but hits more of the right notes in RPG elements and level design. It also knows the resistance doesn’t end when one person cuts the head off a monstrous regime; the fight continues, sometimes into the next generation. And the way this brief spin-off broadens the saga with the Blazkowicz twins makes you wish there was more to see from this new cast of lovable knuckleheads. Jess and Soph–and Abby too–learned from the best, and embrace their newfound duty of ridding their world of tyranny while being cool as hell doing it. Youngblood is short, but oh-so sweet.
The drop-in and drop-out co-op is great and the gun and character upgrades are fairly in line with the previous games, but the leveling system places speed bumps on my cosmic reparations murder-parade route. Youngblood is a great time, even better with friends, but it drags whenever the level system demands attention. It only stings because it’s so unnecessary. Youngblood’s gorgeous, terrible world is worth exploring, despite a slight narrative and oppressively boring progression systems.
I appreciate that aspect and even the well-thought-out level design, but I’m just so torn on everything else. It’s fine to make an RPG shooter, but there isn’t a lot of care taken in incorporating those elements into Wolfenstein. It’s great to let the narrative take a backseat, but you also should remind players what they’re fighting for. Youngblood never feels like a fully realized idea, which ultimately hurts what could have been a great game. Maybe I just expected too much, but I find myself missing the careful balance of story and gameplay that The New Order had down pat. Youngblood makes plenty of strides forward for this series, but it also takes some steps backward that end up hurting the overall package.
The opening scenes of the sisters training to survive in combat, matched with the vomiting and joy that comes from their first time actually killing a Nazi, provide a hint at an interesting story that the game quickly backs away from. Youngblood is a meat-and-potatoes first-person shooter where all the systems work well, the enemies provide a brutal challenge, and a friend can come along with you through the whole thing. It seems like it was designed as a relatively inexpensive crowd-pleaser of an FPS, and I will admit that I was very entertained.
Youngblood excels as an entertaining shooter with the right kind of RPG elements and choices. However, when compared to the stellar and shocking storytelling of previous Wolfensteins, this entry comes up short. It has a few interesting breadcrumbs about what happened in the aftermath of Wolfenstein II, including the fates of a couple characters, but this outing is mainly focused on the exploits of its dynamic duo. As far as protagonists go, Jess and Soph are likeable goofballs – a detour from their sad-sack papa – but they don’t have any real character development. As someone who adores the saga MachineGames has constructed, I didn’t mind the lack of an engaging story that much because Youngblood is such a generously entertaining romp.
The usual Wolfenstein brilliance is here, and MachineGames have shown they’ve got a great handle on splattering fascists. They should be commended for being bold enough to take big risks here, and several of those risks have paid off, while those that haven’t only served to make the game a great deal weirder. Games as a medium would be better if risks like this were taken with more beloved games. It’s unlikely, with how expensive the whole AAA development scene is, but this is a glittering example of what can happen, despite its flaws.