Having sampled Wolfenstein: Youngblood across all platforms now, it’s fair to say that technologically speaking at least, Machine Games’ latest is very a side-step from its excellent work in Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. There’s the sense that the id Tech 6 feature set hasn’t evolved beyond the additional enhancements to the engine found in TNC and that this time around, Innovation comes from gameplay, with cooperative play the key new mechanic, paired with more thoughtful level design likely due to the influence of co-developer Arkane Studios.
Youngblood launched at the tail-end of last week with little to no fanfare, which is surprising as this is a full-blooded multiplatform roll-out with considerable resources and talent put behind it. Not only do we get PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases, but Switch received a day and date release too with Austin-based developer Panic Button once again at the conn. The turnout for the game across consoles is diverse and although genuine surprises are limited, performance isn’t quite the same as it was on the last Wolfenstein release.
The PC version is the easiest to cover in that if you’re au fait with The New Colossus, you’ll know exactly what to expect here. There are no pretensions of new engine technology, the options selections are entirely identical, performance is much the same – although with two players in the same scene pushing out effects-heavy pyrotechnics, you can see some additional GPU load. The bottom line is that technologically speaking, it’s more of the same – you’re simply getting a bunch of new levels with a different design ethos, with the added benefit of cooperative play.