The next installment of the Wolfenstein series follows the story and gameplay with new characters and more refined graphics. No story spoilers as I intend to keep this review very brief. In a few words, you traverse the levels killing everyone, having to use stealth sometimes and performing tasks like deactivating traps and finding ways to open your way ahead. I found the game more entertaining than the previous, maybe more playable in some ways but worse in others, but let’s look at the accessibility.
I played on PC using mouse and keyboard and these are my thoughts.
In the Controls screen, we find horizontal and vertical sensitivity options for gamepad and a separate one for the mouse. We can also disable vibration and invert the vertical look directions. We can also adjust the way the weapon wheel handles. This wheel requires to hold down the corresponding key/button which isn’t ideal. A toggle option for it would greatly help many people. There is an Aim Assist option for gamepad too. Sadly there are no toggle options for Aim or Crouch, only for Sprint. Crouch is a toggle function now by default but to aim you have to hold down a key/button which is a big step back from the previous title in terms of mobility accessibility.
Key Bindings allows remapping all the keys with the exception of the mandatory Escape key for menus. The key binding is still pretty good, with up to three different inputs per action, including extra mouse buttons and mouse wheel up and down. The number of keys is 30 but some of them aren’t necessary at all.
Controller Layout lets you choose from three different presets: right-handed, left-handed Guzman and alt right-handed. Button remapping isn’t available.
How to Play
The game mechanics are a decisive aspect of any game. In this case, the gameplay is simple but has some unfriendly features. Running around shooting enemies is no problem, although I played in the lowest difficulty mode. Stealth sequences are hard, as you need to crouch and lean which isn’t really that friendly but it’s not as bad as in the previous game.
- To move you use the usual WASD keys or whatever you change them to. You control turning, aiming and the camera using the mouse. To sprint you can hold down the direction you want to go and press the sprint key once. Some movements require pressing down multiple keys, like running and jumping, performing slams, leaning sideways… These movements require more some precision and timing.
- To aim you have to hold down a mouse button/key. To switch weapons you can press a designated key for each one or cycle through them using the next and previous weapon key/buttons. You can also hold down the weapon wheel key/button to select different weapons and assign them to for each hand. Grenades are thrown by tapping the proper key. Reloading and performing a takedown also use their own keys but you can just empty your magazine and let it reload automatically. When dual-wielding guns you’ll need to press a separate input for each of them. Toggling independent weapons upgrades requires tapping a key.
- To interact with NPCs and the world (activating buttons, picking up weapons…) you press a key. Sometimes you need to hold it down for a bit, mostly when activating end of mission objectives and progress to the next. You also can unlock perks by completing certain objectives like perform a specific number of stealth kills. Picking ammo, health and armor need just a tap.
Conclusions and Issues
Overall, the accessibility is okay with similar exceptions as the previous game but some new potential problems. All menus can be interacted with via mouse. Rebinding is good, no issues here except the fact that in some occasions you need to press a different key than you expect to, like in a scene with a periscope where you have to press Control instead of Escape for no good reason and no indication of it. Gamepad remapping is not possible but it has good sensitivity controls. The biggest problem I found is the lack of toggle aim. This makes it impossible to aim with finesse for many players, and I could only address this by using a third-party tool. I don’t understand why an option present in the previous title was removed. If it wasn’t for the workaround I would have refunded the game. Same goes for the weapon wheel mechanic.
General gameplay is simple but some actions are not so easy to perform, like slam which requires you to jump and press the crouch key/button mid-air. These actions are required quite often to progress and can be a barrier. Maybe they could have been simplified. The other complaint I still have is with picking up ammo. You have to tap the interact key way too often. Again, adding an option to auto pick up ammo, health and such would be very helpful to avoid muscle fatigue.
Antonio I. Martínez is 42 and has been a gamer his whole life. He has SMA Type 3 and can be found on Twitter at @Black1976