It’s not just the co-op, the non-linear level design, and the presence of greater content than before that’s new in Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Unlike its predecessors, it’s also introducing some lite-RPG mechanics. Though progression and upgrades were present in past MachineGames Wolfenstein titles as well, Youngblood is taking this a bit further than that, with proper levelling systems, skill trees, health bars, and more.
In a new update on their blog, Bethesda have detailed some of these systems. Wolfenstein: Youngblood will reward players with Ability Points through gameplay, which can then be spent to upgrade your Power Suit in one of three different branches: Mind, Muscle, and Power, not to mention “a new weapon upgrade system that lets you fine-tune every aspect of your guns.” All of this promises “more control over your arsenal than ever before”.
The Mind skill tree houses upgrades like getting ammunition off dead enemies, being able to see hidden collectibles on your radar, having a sideways dash move, increased health, having a fully loaded magazine when you switch weapons, and more.
The Muscle skill tree’s upgrades can also bring about some interesting advantages, like dual-wielding weapons (yes, you need to unlock that now), having more armour, having more ammo carrying capacity, and being able to store heavy weapons in your inventory.
Finally, there’s the Power skill tree. Bethesda haven’t revealed too much about this particular aspect of progression, but there area a couple of upgrades they’ve mentioned that sound particularly interesting: like being able to “turn enemies into paste” with a shoulder slam, or upgrading your Power Suit with a cloaking device that becomes more potent the more you level up.
There’s also a new, deeper weapons upgrade system to dive into, with multiple weapon components now being upgradable, including receivers, sights, muzzles, stocks, and magazines. Each weapon upgrade essentially falls into one of three brands: Stier increases damage, Nadel improves accuracy, and Tempo focuses on the weapon’s speed and fire rate. Combining any three of the same brand on a weapon yields a bonus.
Weapon upgrades are purchased with Silver, the in-game currency. Silver can be found throughout Paris, encouraging exploration, while completing objectives and missions also nets you with the same. There’s no word on whether Silver is purchasable with real money, but Bethesda did clarify earlier that Youngblood would only contain cosmetic microtransactions– so hopefully not.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is out on July 26 for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. You can take a look at some of the screens showing the game’s upgrade and skill trees below.