When Wolfenstein: Youngblood launches on July 26, it will be the first game in the long-running series to not feature B.J. Blazkowicz as the protagonist. Instead, the sequel to Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus will star his twin daughters, Jess and Soph Blazkowicz. Another big change is that its the first entry in the new cycle of Wolfenstein games to not be solely developed by MachineGames. Youngblood is being co-developed by MachineGames and Arkane Studios, best known for the Dishonored series.
Even with these changes to the formula, Youngblood is still a game about killing Nazis from a first-person perspective. Essentially, it’s more Wolfenstein, but with some new tweaks to the formula that make it especially intriguing. Here’s everything we know about Wolfenstein: Youngblood ahead of its launch on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.
It’s a spinoff
Whereas Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was a direct sequel to The New Order, Youngblood isn’t the third entry in the series’ reboot. Instead, it’s a standalone spinoff set in 1980, two decades after the events of The New Colossus. This release format mirrors that of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, which acted as a spinoff prequel to The New Order.
As such, don’t expect Youngblood to have as meaty of a campaign as The New Order or The New Colossus. The Old Blood took roughly six hours to complete, and we could see a similar runtime for Youngblood.
Character and story details
The E3 2018 teaser trailer introduced us to Soph and Jess Blazkowicz, the twin daughters of B.J. Blazkowicz. The recent story trailer revealed more information about what to expect from a series that, as of late, has had some of the most gripping narratives in the first-person shooter genre.
B.J. used a fake identity to leave the United States four weeks before the start of the game. His last known location was Paris, which is currently occupied by the Nazis. Jess and Soph head to Paris to push the Nazis out of France and locate their father. It appears that they’ll get the help of the FBI, and FBI resources on their journey. As the story trailer demonstrates, the Nazis are looking for Jess and Soph, whom they have dubbed “The Terror Twins.”
The story trailer shows that Soph and Jess have the affinity for killing Nazis as their father. The weapons on display in the trailers are similar to what we’ve seen in previous Wolfenstein games — machine guns, rifles, etc. Youngblood is very much a traditional first-person shooter based on what we’ve seen so far. Fans of the previous entries will be familiar with the loop. As shown above, giant mech Nazi returns. Considering it takes place two decades after New Colossus, we imagine technology has improved even further in this futuristic alternate history. Basically, we expect even crazier looking foes.
But Jess and Soph also receive futuristic power suits. These power suits look really cool, and they figure to come with unique abilities, too. Bethesda has said that you’ll unlock new abilities and gadgets throughout the adventure. So it seems likely that at least some of these will be tied to the suits. It also appears that these power suits might actually be stolen Nazi property, as the trailer says the twins are in “possession of contraband.”
The twins will set up shop in the Parisian Catacombs. From there, you can choose which order you want to complete missions. This doesn’t mean Youngblood is an open world game — just that the linear missions don’t follow a set-in-stone progression. This is a change from recent Wolfenstein games, and it will be interesting to see how the non-linearity affects the storytelling. But this change also means that you can expect side missions to dig into between the mainline missions.
What’s new: RPG-style progression
Going hand-in-hand with the non-linearity, Youngblood adds role-playing game-style progression. As you complete missions and side missions, you’ll increase your level. New levels bring on new ways to destroy Nazis, as you’ll unlock fresh abilities, gadgets, and earn attachments to modify weapons. You’ll also earn cosmetic items through play.
Toys both old and new
Wolfenstein: Youngblood will feature a handful of updated weapons from the series, and a few new weapons, too. Here are the weapons we know about so far (italic denotes new weapon):
- Elektrokraftwerk: Electric rifle that fires lightning (awesome, right?)
- Magnum Pistol: Improved pistol
- Maschinenpistole: Submachine gun
- Dieselkraftwerk: Flamethrower/Napalm Cannon
- Hammergewehr: Heavy, fully automatic buckshot shotgun.
- Kugelgewehr (previously known as the Schockhammer): Fully automatic shotgun
- Laserkraftwerk: Plasma energy weapon (hybrid semi/fully automatic)
- Bombenschuss: Bolt-action sniper
- Uzi: Submachine gun, can be dual-wielded
- Sturmgewehr: Heavy assault rifle
- Pistol: A standard handgun, similar to Handgun 1960 from The New Order
Wolfenstein: Youngblood can be played cooperatively
Since Youngblood has two protagonists, it makes sense that co-op would be an option. And it is, which represents a big change for the traditionally single-player franchise. You can play through the entirety of the campaign with a friend — one of you controlling Jess and the other playing as Soph.
If you purchase the Deluxe Edition, you’ll get a Buddy Pass. This lets a friend download a copy of the game on their console or PC for free, so you can play together. Though your buddy doesn’t have to purchase their own copy, they can only play it with you when you’re online.
If you prefer to play Youngblood solo, you can absolutely do that. The other twin will be controlled by the CPU in solo mode.
Cosmetic microtransactions only
Youngblood doesn’t have loot boxes, but it does have micro-transactions for cosmetic items such as skins. But many of these items will also be available for purchase with in-game currency.
Nvidia RTX bundle
Bethesda and Nvidia partnered for a pretty neat promotion for Youngblood. If you buy select RTX 20-series GeForce products from now until August 6, you’ll get a PC copy of Youngblood for free. This includes RTX 20-series graphics cards, as well as laptops and desktops. A full list of GeForce products that qualify for the promotion can be found here.
The promotion seeks to highlight the advanced ray tracing lighting effects and adaptive shading that Nvidia’s RTX 20-series graphics cards can deliver if you have a powerful rig.
Pre-orders and special editions
The standard edition goes for $30. Pre-ordering nets you a handful of goodies, including the New Colossus power suit skin and U.S. Army power suit skin. You’ll also get two Old Blood weapons, a pipe and knife, and a WW2 weapon skin kit for ranged weapons.
The deluxe edition costs $40. In addition to the standard edition pre-order bonuses, you’ll also get the Cyborg Skin Pack. It includes a character skin, armor-boosting pep signal, and titanium alloy skins for all guns, the hatchet, and knife.
The main draw of the deluxe edition is the aforementioned Buddy Pass, which gives one friend access to Youngblood on their console and PC so you can play the campaign together. Remember, though, those using the Buddy Pass can only play Youngblood with the friend who gifted them the code.
The Switch version of the game, both standard and deluxe versions, will only be available as a download code. You can buy a retail box, but only a download voucher will be inside. Development for the Switch version is led by Panic Button, the studio behind Switch ports of Doom, The New Colossus, and numerous other successful Switch ports.
Click to pre-order:
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When and where will Wolfenstein: Youngblood launch?
Wolfenstein: Youngblood launches July 26 on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.