MachineGames’ follow-up is the “same game” even without its co-op component.
While Bethesda has been busy assuaging most fans’ concerns about Fallout 76 and its inherently multiplayer premise, another title that’s had a bit of scrutiny is Wolfenstein: Youngblood. MachineGames’ next iteration in the series is a follow-up to Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, focusing on B.J. Blazkowicz’s twin daughters, who are all grown up and just as deadly.
However, more importantly, it’s a co-op title with a second player capable of controlling one of the daughters. Bethesda has been a big supporter of single-player titles and went as far as to indicate that games like Fallout 76 don’t represent the future of its games. So what gives with turning an inherently single-player franchise into a co-op game?
VG247 spoke to Bethesda VP of marketing Pete Hines at QuakeCon 2018, who replied, “We still support single-player stuff as well, or better than pretty much anybody else out there. In UK parlance, we were having a laugh at everybody freaking out about single-player stuff, and that it needed to be saved. But we weren’t trying to say that we only want to make single-player. That’s not what our devs want to do, it’s not what we want to do – we want to do a lot of things, including single-player.”
For Wolfenstein: Youngblood, it was more about the gameplay suiting the premise. “We’re going to continue to do a variety of different things, and it’s all going to be based on what our devs want to do. In the case of Wolfenstein, it was: ‘Well, we want to do this thing where you get to play as one of BJ’s twin daughters’. We were like, ‘What’s the other one doing?’. They were like, ‘Nothing, or maybe they can be an AI companion’. ‘Well, if she’s an AI companion, could you let somebody else play the other one?’.”
This isn’t like A Way Out though – co-op is purely optional, so if you want to experience the entire game solo with the other daughter controlled by an AI, you can. “It’s co-op, but it’s kind of the same game because if somebody’s not playing with you it doesn’t feel dramatically different. She’s still there, whether it’s an AI or a person. It doesn’t change the experience wholesale. It’s not like it’s Skyrim and all of a sudden some dude turns up. Ultimately, as with all things, we’re interested in what our devs think,” said Hines.
As of now, we still haven’t seen any gameplay for Wolfenstein: Youngblood. It’s scheduled to release next for Xbox One, PS4, and PC, so how MachineGames will balance the franchise’s brutality with another character in mind remains to be seen. There’s also Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, a VR title for HTC Vive and PlayStation VR out next year, to look out for.