'Wolfenstein: Youngblood' Has a Lot of Nazis to Shoot But Not Much to Say

Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a game that understands the simple joys of sneaking behind a Nazi super soldier and sticking the knife in their jugular. Whether sneaking through the streets of occupied Paris or smashing through the doors of a heavily guarded research laboratory, Youngblood is constantly moving, engaging, and full of moments that made me smile. It’s also very different from its predecessors Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus—it’s co-op focused, for one—but the departure mostly works.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/59774n/wolfenstein-youngblood-review

The marketing for this game felt so cryptic, which was weird for me being it’s one of my most anticipated games this year. If it were a proper Wolf 3, it’d be a game of the year contender, but as a spin-off I’ll have to settle for it being a Very Fun Game. Still, I can’t help but feel a tad bit disappointed.

That being said, is the narrative completely stripped out? Are there no madcap cutscenes, beautifully sinister world building, or German twists on 80s pop culture? The “quiet” moments are what I’ve loved most about the last two games and I hope that’s not completely lost here.

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I want these devs to thrive after how they handled New Order and Colossus, but hearing this is a co-op spin off without the main component that drove me through those games really unsells me on it.
I was hoping that it would keep its narrative hooks despite its new structure but alas.


Yeah I was going to pick this up, but now I’m thinking I might pass. I was a person who just mainlined Colossus to get the story on the lowest difficulty, so I don’t know how much a fleshed out combat system with lots of side quests and challenges is gonna do for me.

I recently replayed all the new Wolfensteins, starting with The Old Blood. Of all three games, that game has the most enjoyable pacing and encounter design. When Machine Games focus on making a great shooter, they do well. I’m still very much down for another Wolf game in the style of The New Order and the New Colossus, I’m excited to see them flesh out The Old Blood’s design priorities.

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Excited to play through this with a buddy. A little disappointed it sounds like there’s not much in the way of plot and characterization, but I’m not terribly surprised with it being a $30 title. I’ve really enjoyed the gun-play and stealth of the series, so I think I’ll have plenty of fun killing nazis with a friend.

Nazis fuck off!


Yeah it seems the roadmap is to put out these smaller gameplay focused games in between the main story focused ones.

If that’s what keep last the lights on at the studio then good on them.


I’m a bit conflicted on Machine Games’ decision to make the sisters the protagonists of Young Blood. On the one hand, they seem to be the most well received part of the game. On the other hand, it seems to have set expectations that this would be something other than an arcade-y spin-off in the vein of Old Blood.

I didn’t particularly follow the previews or marketing, so I don’t know how Bethesda sold it, but I thought the $30 price tag made it pretty obvious what kind of game it would be. Of course, for that to be obvious to people, they would’ve had to have played Old Blood, which I don’t think many people did.

I just hope the sisters aren’t permanently relegated to this fun-but-shallow side content.

Exactly my thinking. Also I kind of reject the notion that a gameplay-focused Wolfenstein has nothing to say. The Old Blood was an inventive reworking of the previous Wolfensteins, presenting the series’ decade-spanning transition from the tech-focused nazi threat of Wolf 3D to the occult-inflected Return to Castle Wolfenstein in two short chapters, ending with a prelude to the opening of New Order that signalled the transition from pulp adventure to grindhouse; reframing the whole series as being on path towards getting serious about their subject matter through their level design and pacing.

The idea that these shooting-oriented entries are just shallow, enjoyable fluff because don’t take on the Big Issues that the mainline games is kind of disservice to the ideas that the level design, systems, and mechanics convey.


I just rolled credits on Youngblood, about 12 hours of playtime including most sidequests, and I really enjoyed it. The comparisons to The Old Blood is apt, although Youngblood mixes up the formula way more than the previous expansion. And the amount of story and world building is actually substantial for an interquel.

I’ve also been seeing a lot of complaints about enemies being bullet sponges, but I have to disagree with that assessment. Sure, they’re pretty hardy, but if you select the the right weapon for the enemy armor type and aim for weak spot, they go down pretty easy. The onboarding isn’t great but once you get the logic of the combat system it actually feels really good.

The Old Blood.




Castle Wolfenstein
Beyond Castle Wolfenstein
Wolfenstein 3D
Spear of Destiny
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
Wolfenstein RPG
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Wolfenstein III: The Destiny of the Old Colossus in Enemy Castle Territory

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