William BJ Blazkowicz might be MIA for now, but Wolfenstein is back for another chapter of killing Nazis and destroying fire-breathing robot dogs. With Wolfenstein: Youngblood, MachineGames – collaborating with Arkane Studios – are changing things up quite a bit from previous Wolfenstein experience, to deliver a game that is quite different from its predecessor in many regards. So as you travel to Paris in the 1980s to free it from Nazi control, you might find yourself grappling with many new systems that you might be unfamiliar with. With these thirteen beginner’s tips and trips, your early hours in Youngblood will be made a little easier.
JESS AND SOPH BOTH PLAY THE SAME
Youngblood stars Jess and Soph – BJ’s twin daughters – as its primary protagonists, and gives you the choice of who you want to play as. That choice, though, is purely cosmetic. As the game tells you when you’re selecting your character and customizing your loadout, both the sisters play the exact same way, and there is no ability, weapon, or upgrade that is exclusively available to either one of them.
Pep Signals are one of the ways Youngblood really doubles down on its co-op shenanigans, where both sisters can use emotes, from a thumbs up to a fist bump. However, these have an impact on gameplay as well. For example, the thumbs up Pep gives 50 health to both sisters. Various Peps have unique advantages, and they all come with a cooldown meter, so use them smartly, and they may just change the tide of the battle in your favour.
MachineGames’ Wolfenstein titles have always had some level of customization and progression for weapons, but Youngblood takes things several steps further. Your weapons can be equipped with various mods, and each of these mods comes in three different categories, or Brands. Stier increases damage, Nadel improves accuracy, and Tempo focuses on the weapon’s speed and fire rate. Keep this Brands in mind while upgrading your weapons though, rather than just looking at which ones make the numbers go up better, because equipping one weapon with three upgrades from the same brand can net you some pretty useful bonuses, such as adding a handy chunk of extra fire power.
Weapons in the game use different ammo types – which is pretty standard for a first person shooter – but what’s interesting in Youngblood is that certain enemy types in the game are weaker to certain ammo types. Enemies’ health bars often have shields or armour displayed, and these bars also display shapes that correspond to one of the three ammo types (those three being light, heavy, and energy). Check which ammo type your current weapon uses on the bottom type of the screen, and if the shape matches with what’s shown in the enemy’s health bar, fire away for extra damage.
Where MachineGames’ part Wolfenstein titles have been heavily narrative-focused games with linear levels that have you going from point A to point B, Youngblood blows things open quite a bit (the influence of Arkane Studios is instantly apparent here). Paris is divided into several hubs, each of which is completely open and ripe for exploration, and though this isn’t the largest game world you’ll ever see, by Wolfenstein standards, it’s pretty damn huge. These areas, thanks to their size, intricate design, and verticality, have a lot of hidden pathways and rooms, and you should always make sure to explore as much as you can. Not only are there collectibles to find, you’ll also net yourself a lot of Silver (the in-game currency) via exploring, which will come in handy when you’re looking to upgrade your weapons.
Stealth is an integral part of any Wolfenstein game, and that much hasn’t changed in Youngblood. What’s different here, though, that enemies have levels, and tiers, and while most grunts can be taken out with one stealthy hit, the supersoldiers are much more resistant. So to make yourself more adept at stealth and to make dealing with these supersoldiers a little easier, be sure to unlock the Supersoldat Hunter ability in the Muscle skill tree early on, which enables silent takedowns on Nazi supersoldiers. It costs 3 Ability Points, so it’s a bit costly as far as early abilities are concerned, but for those who prefer the stealthy approach, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Jess and Soph, unlike their father, aren’t hardened Nazi-killing machines, and are fairly new to all this, which means that several things that BJ took for granted, these two have to learn. That includes dual-wielding, which is an ability that you need to unlock. For that classic dual-wielding carnage, unlock the Dual-Wielder ability in the Muscle skill tree.
Here’s another ability that’ll come in very handy. Also found in the Muscle skill tree, the Bigger Guns can be unlocked for four points. Sure, that’s a bit steep, especially early on in the game, but you’ll be glad you purchased it. What does it do? It allows you to pick up and use heavy weapons dropped by enemies- so if you down a supersoldier using a gatling gun or a laser rifle or something along those lines, this ability will make sure that after you’ve killed them, you can pick up that weapon and wreak havoc yourself.
We spoke earlier about how Jess and Soph both play the same, and the choice between which of the two you want to play as is purely cosmetic. But as you’re beginning the game, you’ll also be making your choices for a few more things- such as one of two abilities which you want to start the game with. You can start with either a cloaking ability which renders you invisible for a short duration, or a shoulder slam crushing move. Our recommendation? Go with the cloaking ability, and make stealth a more viable option. Especially early on in the game, when you might get overwhelmed by lots of enemies, some of which might even be over-levelled. You can always just purchase the Crush ability later on, with 5 points.
UNLOCK GET UP PEP
Making sure that your co-op partner (or AI buddy, as the case may be) doesn’t die is crucial in Youngblood, since not only can you get overwhelmed in combat, the game’s lives and checkpoints system is also affected by that. That is why the Get Up Pep can be incredibly useful, and is one you should look to unlock as quickly as you can, especially if you’re playing co-op. It allows you to revive the second twin from a distance, which means you don’t need to be next to her to make sure she doesn’t die. The Pep can be purchased for 3000 Silver.
UNLOCK MARTIAN ARTS PEP
The Martial Arts Pep can also be incredibly useful. When you’re a bit farther into the game and are looking to enter areas that will be a bit on the harder side, make sure you have this unlocked. This Pep gives both you and your partner 100 health points- as you can imagine, that can be super useful. Equip this Pep before heading into a big battle with lots of foes.
FIGHTING STANCE AND CRACKING KNUCKLES
The Fighting Stance and Crack Knuckles Peps are particularly useful for boss fights, or for more difficult enemy types, or for situations when multiple difficult enemy types descend on you. Crack Knuckles halves the damage both you and your partner take for 10 seconds, while Fighting Stance doubles the damage both of you deal for five seconds. They’re also pretty cheap, at 1000 Silver apiece. Using them in conjunction while playing co-op can be a solid strategy in battles.
No, this isn’t Far Cry, where you can tag ever single enemy to help you during stealth and combat (though honestly, that would be pretty useful). Tagging in Youngblood works a little differently, allowing you to tag a single enemy. While in co-op it’s not as useful, if you’re playing solo, tag an enemies directs your partner to focus their fire on them. In firefights where a single higher-level enemy unit is posing a tough challenge, this can come in pretty handy.