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: Youngblood is a violent first-person shooter for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. In it, you travel to Paris to rescue your dad, as well as to kill any Nazis you run into along the way. This is done with a variety of guns and explosives, which results in tons of blood, gore, and dismemberment. The dialog includes such curse words as "f--k" and "s--t," though since the game can also be played co-op with strangers you meet online, and communication between you isn't monitored, you may hear even naughtier words if you play this way. There's also images of a character giving "the finger" to her sister, and shots of multiple people smoking. There are also numerous bars in the games, and many bottles of alcohol there and in other places, though no one's shown drinking.
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What's it about?
In WOLFENSTEIN: YOUNGBLOOD, it's 1980, nearly twenty years since series star B.J. Blazkowicz and his fellow rebels began a civil war against the occupying Nazi forces. But after he goes missing in Nazi-occupied Paris, it's up to his grown twin daughters Jess and Soph to rescue him. Like previous installments of this alternate-history first-person shooter series, this means you're going to be killing lots of Nazis from the first-person perspective, just now with a fellow rebel at your side. Players will be able to tag team enemies to cause loads of damage on targets, and will also have the ability to plan out where they're going to strike Nazi bases before infiltrating and causing mayhem on the Parisian streets. Can you save your father as well as the world?
Is it any good?
For the newest installment of this alternate history post-World War II first-person shooter series, sisters are doing it for themselves. In Wolfenstein: Youngblood, it's been nearly two decades since B.J. Blazkowicz and friends drove the Nazis out of America at the end of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. But with B.J. missing in Nazi occupied France, it's up to his twin daughters Soph and Jess to engage in a covert rescue mission deep into the heart of Paris. Which, of course, means you're once again using guns and grenades to kill tons of Nazis in interesting locations, something that's made slightly easier by the game's smooth, intuitive controls, your armored suit, and your ability to be sneaky.
As for what's new in this new installment, the big thing is that you can play this with a friend or solo with the computer controlling whatever sister you didn't pick. She's not only a good shot, but she'll even help you up when you get hurt, knowing you'll do the same for her. To compensate for this dynamic duo, the Nazis send even more enemies to take you out, making for some really frantic (and thus fun) firefights. It's a good thing that in the middle of a firefight, you and your sis can get a boost to your spirits with a quick thumbs up, which can make you fight a bit harder against the enemy. But the problem, and it's a doozy, is that you and your sis share lives, and if you die, you have to restart your current mission from the most recent checkpoint. That's a real bummer because since some of these missions can be very long, it could mean that you'll have to replay some intense battles that you've already beaten if you make a simple mistake. It's also annoying that, even when you play on your own, you can't pause the action to catch your breath. Even so, with a wide varied of places to explore and engage in gun battles, enemies who are no slouches, and some fun guns to use, Wolfenstein: Youngblood more than stands on its four feet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Wolfenstein: Youngblood acceptable because players are fighting Nazis, who want to rule the world through destructive means? Would the game have the same impact on gamers if the effect of bullets and explosions weren't so graphic? Does it need this level of detail to get its point across?
The heroes of this game are risking their lives to save their father, and the world, but do you think they made the right decision? Do you think you would put your life at risk to save someone? What about to save everyone?
In Wolfenstein: Youngblood, our heroes often have to help each other, so how does this show why working together can be a good thing?
- Platforms: Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bethesda Softworks
- Release date: July 26, 2019
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
- Last updated: April 13, 2020
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