By Staff Writer Zach Lunghi.
ID software and company are back with their newest installment to the World War II inspired video game series Wolfenstein. However, the politically-rooted video game’s release didn’t come without controversy.
Following its announcement at the E3 gaming convention, many long time fans of the game took to Reddit forums and Youtube comment sections alike to express their discontent with the change of protagonists.
The newest game Wolfenstein: Young Blood is centered around the tale of two twin sisters, Jess and Soph, who set out on a mission to expel Nazi soldiers from 1980’s Paris all while searching for their father BJ Blazkowicz, who happened to be the protagonist in previous games. This shift in lead roles is the primary reason for such backlash following it’s expose at E3 back in 2018.
Those who were bothered with the new faces have claimed that the movie was too politically charged and that the developers were just pandering to please different audiences. After the release of the game’s trailer, plenty of commenters on YouTube argued that Bethesda is playing the part of social justice warriors.
They also feared that this marked a time when the company placed more prominence in politics rather than the games.
In particular, one user had actually applauded the developers for the use of female lead roles and it was met with a bigoted remark of why teen girls were such a terrible choice for the franchise. Claiming “…2 teen girls cant do [explicit]”. Then another followed up expressing his concerns for the future of Bethesda.
Their laundry list of complaints didn’t just stop with the sexist remarks, they then scrutinize Youngblood’s implementation of a black female character who supports the lead roles. Many comments claim it’s just a blatant appeal to the Black Lives Matter movement and strongly oppose their decisions.
This backlash over the latest Wolfenstien game also happened to follow the intentional shutdown of a gaming themed subreddit on April Fools day, to use the day to reflect on the presence of blatant racism and sexism that finds its way into the community. The community’s moderators posted a long message detailing their reasons, and were met with a mix of criticism and support.
Consumption in the video game industry has historically been male dominated, so it comes as no surprise that as gaming becomes more inclusive, there are some who oppose the mass appeal.
However, for all the criticisms based around the game’s political nature, it is also met with approval from many gamers who either believe the change is promising or they’re indifferent to the politics and remain focused on the gameplay itself.
Supporters of the new game like having a glimpse into the world of the previous protagonist BJ and giving room for his two twin daughters to take over. They are drawn to the spark-plug personalities of the girls and how it resembles what they experienced with BJ.
As for the actual game play, Youngblood also offers a co-op campaign feature which allows you and someone else to play the game together as both Jess and Soph.
The developers have also confirmed upgrades to the weapons, abilities and many other features in the game. Youngblood is set to have a July 26,2019 release date but can be pre-ordered anytime before that.