Machine Games / ID Software / Bethesda (studio)
31 January 2018 (released)
Last time on the Freedom Chronicles, players took on the role of the mighty and blood thirsty Gun Slinger Joe. Former professional football player turned Nazi killing machine, hell-bent on revenge in the most gruesome manner possible. We’re now on our second instalment of Wolfenstein 2’s Freedom Chronicles, featuring another of the resistances best Nazi killers on offer. This episode’s adventure takes us into the role of Jessica Valiant, a brilliant and deadly assassin known simply as Agent Silent Death. It’s true what they say, Hell have no fury like a woman scorn!
There seems to be a common theme going around in these Chronicles, as Agent Silent Death’s journey is one of revenge and retribution. Once a brilliant OSS who fought for freedom and good soon became a drunkard loner after her husband was captured, tortured and killed by the Nazis. After a long duration of drinking and feeling sorry for herself, Jessica receives information on the men who killed her husband and decides its payback time with plenty of bloodshed and disembowelment for measure.
Player’s will have to use all their cunning and skills in evasion in order to slay, stab and mutilate in the most gruesome fashion. Well it is Wolfenstein so what did you expect?
Agent Silent Death’s frame work is fundamentally the same as the previous chapter and the core game. There is a greater focus on using stealth rather than brute force, as Jessica is more agile yet frailer compared to BJ or Gunslinger Joe. This was something that personally made me a little uneasy as the stealth for the core game itself was bare bones and felt extremely difficult to pull off correctly. It worked to a low degree and felt extremely limited in execution to the point where it was easier just to go in guns blazing.
Yet there is a new mechanic to make the stealth a little more approachable, although it's literally been ripped straight out of Metal Gear Solid 5. Whenever you are spotted, time slows down, giving you the chance to take out any nearby enemies and avoid raising the alarm. It also takes a little longer for enemies to raise the alarm and often will patrol the area intensely before calling in back up. Agent Silent Death is able to squeeze through tight spaces, making sure she can slip by unnoticed and for some areas, you can sneak by without landing a lethal blow. However you still can’t hide bodies and making noises as a form of distraction often just raises the alarm.
But sadly this expansion is not living up to the heights of the core game as Agent Silent Death’s adventure will last you just over an hour, even with the difficulty being ramped up. There’s plenty of reused elements again with very little new additions to freshen up the experience. Aside from a neat location or two, including a Television studio and even the Moon (which is a nice detour from visiting Jupiter again), there's very little new features and thus this is just a boring repeat of what we've played previously.
My biggest issue is the relentless and unforgivable nature, as it’s almost a death sentence when you’re discovered, making it easier to just restart the checkpoint if things go tits up. While this chapter presents itself with a focus on stealth, there are plenty of moments which feel heavily reliant on action, with swarming patrols, heavily armed guards and overwhelming numbers of enemies that it’s clearly unbalanced. It doesn’t help that Agent Silent Death can only take a few hits before she buckles over and becomes worm food.
Agent Silent offer no new gadgets, abilities or weapons, but rather more the same of what we’ve played before. This time however, the extremely short length and the tired, uninspired rehash of story elements and level designs just make this insulting to consider paying for. Overall it’s unbalanced and as a stealth heavy experienced that actually requires “stealth”, it’s tough to enjoy due to the massive limitations. Stealth is about elegance, cunning and lateral thinking rather than just pot luck and trial and error with an unbalanced sense of logic.
I’m really not looking forward to the next episode of this is what we’re getting.
++ Still has some good Nazi Killing fun
-- Rehashing everything from locations, story elements and all
-- Dull and tedious gameplay with no new ideas
- Unbalanced stealth
- Extremely short in length
An Xbox One copy of The Freedom Chronicles was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review