A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a violent and bloody first-person shooter for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. Using a variety of guns (both conventional and sci-fi), explosives, hatchets, and traps, players have to kill a lot of people, as well as some dogs. There's lots of blood, gore, and dismemberment, all accompanied by screams of pain. There are also scenes of female nudity, including one of a topless woman in bed. Two characters are also heard and shown engaging in sex, although they're clothed. The dialogue includes numerous curse words -- including "f--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "motherf----r," "bitch," and the "N" word -- while some characters make racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic comments. There are also a couple of scenes where characters are shown drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication or unconsciousness; another character is a smoker of cigarettes, and still another ingests LSD and hallucinates. The game also features downloadable content (DLC) available in individual packs or as part of a season pass.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
Set in an alternate history version of the 1960s, in which the Nazis won World War II and now control the world, WOLFENSTEIN II: THE NEW COLOSSUS once again casts you as American soldier and Nazi killing enthusiast B.J. Blazkowicz, who sets out to undermine their authority and save the world with the help of an armed resistance and a lot of guns. Players will cross the U.S., gaining allies in the resistance, attack a horde of Nazis across many different environments, and cause havoc in fighting back against this dangerous regime.
Is it any good?
Thanks to spot-on controls and a compelling alternate-history story, this post-apocalyptic World War II first-person shooter is one of the most engaging shooters of the year. Like its predecessor, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is set in a version of our world in which the Nazis won WWII and now control the United States and the rest of the planet. As former American soldier B.J. Blazkowicz, you have to work with the resistance to stop them -- which involves shooting lots of Nazis and blowing up their stuff. Good thing you have some effective weapons, including some sci-fi ones, as well as some power armor with some helpful augmentations.
But while shooting Nazis is always fun, what makes this particular game so compelling is the sci-fi alt-history setting and story, because it provides interesting places to do all the shooting. That and the intricate, multi-path levels, which let you sneak around, thinning out the herd before you go all guns a-blazin'. All of which is driven by an engaging, darkly comic (and also, sadly, topical) story. There are some minor issues: B.J. doesn't always grab loose ammo off the floor like he should. It can also be hard to know where you're supposed to go through these intricate levels; plus, some enemy commanders are dummkopfs -- they behave stupidly or are easily killed in action. Nintendo Switch owners will also deal with visuals that aren't nearly as sharp or visually detailed as the other versions; faces and environmental details can be a bit blurry and somewhat generic. This visual downgrade is worth it for the game performance on the Switch, though -- no corners were cut for the size of each level, and the game runs without a hint of slowing down on the less powerful system. Aside from these issues, all the other aspects of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus work so well together that they make it one of the year's best shooters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Does it make a difference that you're killing people in this game, as opposed to aliens or monsters? Does it matter that they're very bad people?
There have been a lot of stories in the news lately about Nazis, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and fascism. Does Wolfenstein II feel more imperative because of what's currently going on? Do you think it's good or bad for a game to be relevant to current events?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bethesda Softworks
- Release date: June 29, 2018
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, History, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs
- Last updated: June 10, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.