Wolfenstein: Youngblood and the Future of Wolfenstein
I recently completed Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and way the game ended left me a bit concerned for series going forward; though, not from a game play perspective. Despite all of the bad press, my co-op partner and I had a good time and felt like we got our (or I should say MY) moneys worth. The concern I had is about where they are taking the story with Wolfenstein III, and to understand where I’m coming from I’m going to have to spoil some of the story of Wolfenstein: Youngblood. If you don’t care about the story (or to play the game for that matter) continue. If you do care you should stop here.
So, What Happened?
Youngbloods takes place twenty years after Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and a lot has happened. The United States along with most of the world have been liberated from Nazi control and, small detail here, BJ KILLED HITLER. There is no cinematic shown for this, just mentions of it as you play the game. In the prologue BJ starts acting a bit weird and disappears. His two daughters, Jessie and Zofia, discover a hidden room in their house and find out that he has gone to Neu-Paris, a city still occupied by Nazi’s, to meet the French Resistance. They follow and end up connecting with the French Resistance, but of course, they need to help them first.
Lots of dead Nazis later you’ll find out that the two “leaders” of the French Resistance are actually disgraced Nazis. Actually, more like Nazi extremist if you can believe that. The main baddie, General Lothar, wants to create a Fourth Reich, but his plans are not in line with his Nazi superiors. They tried to have him killed due to his insubordination, which drove him underground where he managed to infiltrate the resistance. Long story short, you essentially did his dirty work the entire time and brought him closer to hitting his goal.
You chase down Lothar to his secret “Lab X” base, and that’s where you find BJ. He explains that in order to kill Hitler they had to use the God Key; something you may remember from The New Colossus. In TNC, Set was unable to determine how to use it or it’s purpose, but sometime between then and now they figured it out. Turns out that the God Key opens doors to other dimensions. How they used this to kill Hitler was not expanded upon, but what BJ did tell us was that when he killed Hitler a doomsday device was activated that would eventually make the earth uninhabitable. BJ came to Lab X to find the God Key, which he hoped would provide a way to stop doomsday device. The problem is he can’t get it to work.
After this you fight some more Nazis along with General Lothar, eventually defeating him. You find out that he is not alone in his efforts and that there is a larger movement within the Nazis to start a Fourth Reich. Additionally, Hitler’s doomsday device is still ticking and you can start to see its effects. The game ends with BJ leaving Jessie and Zofia in Neu-Paris to clean up Nazis and find more God Key tech, while he and Anya go off and try to rally allies to defeat the Fourth Reich and stop Hitler’s doomsday device. Clearly, they want to continue this story.
What I’m Worried About
Lots of people talking about Youngbloods being the setup for Wolfenstein III, and that makes makes logical sense. Still, I think that would be a terrible idea and terrible for the story of the series. The audience has a twenty-year time jump where some major stuff happened, while there is only was only a six-month time jump between Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus.
When you played BJ in TNC it didn’t feel like you were playing catch up. It would cause a major disconnect between players and the world if they continued from this point on top of being an incredible disservice to the fans to not get the satisfaction of hunting down and killing Hitler. There are so many questions that need to be answered. How did they figure out how to use the God Key? How does that help them kill Hitler? What did they do with that bad ass airship after TNC? We need answers!
What I think (and Hope) is Happening
I think Bethesda and Machine Games are actually setting up for the next trilogy after Wolfenstein III. I believe (and hope) that Wolfenstein III will take place shortly after TNC and will have you as BJ, mowing down Nazis until you get to Hitler and kill him. Having a Fourth Reich to dismantle and a doomsday device to destroy is something you can get another trilogy out of. I’m predicting that we’ll get news of Wolfenstein III in early 2020, and have a release later in the year. At the latest, I’m expecting Wolfenstein III in the first half of 2021.
If their release cycle is about every three years (it was three years between The New Order and The New Colossus) and my prediction is correct we would see this story start to unfold in 2023, which really isn’t that far. Even though this game had a poor reception I think they still may attempt to make a sequel after they’ve had a chance to go back and improve on a few items, so that would give us more Wolfenstein in between main games.
The only thing any of us can do now is wait and see. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long.