Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was one of the best games to release in 2017, so with the knowledge that we’d be getting even more content this time around thanks to The Freedom Chronicles Season Pass, it’s fair to say that many of us were quite excited for the future of the game. Unfortunately, the DLC up to now hasn’t quite brought us the same high level of quality that we enjoyed within the base game.
Despite Agent Silent Death bringing a vast improvement over the opening content piece, it’s still going to take something amazing from The Deeds of Captain Wilkins to stop The Freedom Chronicles Season Pass from being a complete step in the wrong direction. So does it meet the expectations?
Sadly not – although it’s not a complete mess.
In this final chapter, players are thrust into the aging eyes and ears of World War II survivor, Army veteran Captain Wilkins. Having always been fighting the Nazis, Captain Wilkins is no stranger to the threat they pose, and after receiving a mysterious message he soon steps back to what he knows best – killing Nazis. This time, it’s to prevent the world from total destruction thanks to a deadly new super weapon.
Much like the previous protagonists, Captain Wilkins comes with a unique ability to help with the fight against the Nazi onslaught. Unfortunately though it’s no where near as exciting as Agent Silent Death’s vent crawling or Gunslinger Joe’s perfected football tackle. Instead Captain Wilkins sees players able to reach all new heights courtesy of some rather uninspiring stilts.
That’s right, the special ability given to our protagonist this time around involves extended legs.
This conjures up thoughts of cartoon classic Inspector Gadget, but disappointingly, Captain Wilkins’ legs aren’t as exciting as our favourite childhood detective and other than the need to use them to progress through several areas within each of the three chapters, there is very little they bring to the experience. There’s no tactical advantage of being hoisted higher than every other enemy, they are awkward to use when running through some of the many underground tunnels and getting up ledges with them extended is nothing but frustrating. And that’s without mentioning the element of stealth is completely null and void when you’re towering high enough for every enemy within the area to see you in plain sight.
Thankfully, the rather odd sprinting mechanic that had persisted from the main game has finally disappeared in The Deeds of Captain Wilkins and given how out of place it felt before, it’s safe to say movement feels much more realistic this time around. At least as realistic as it could with manually-triggered stilts attached to your legs.
As for the gameplay, there is very little we haven’t already seen before. There are no new enemies included this time around – unlike in Gunslinger Joe which introduced members of the KKK. There are no new weapons either and there is nothing overly different about any of the locations. That said, it is Alaska this time around, but instead of snow-covered locales that would usually spring to mind, the latest content is rife with yet another U-Boat making an appearance and even more of the same narrow corridors showing up once more.
Despite the gameplay proving a little stale after giving us nothing but more of the same, instead of something new and exciting, the story involved in The Deeds of Captain Wilkins is by far the best of those included in The Freedom Chronicles content.
A big part of the reason for this is down to Captain Wilkins as a protagonist. Whilst Agent Silent Death was a vast improvement over Gunslinger Joe, Captain Wilkins brings a lot more personality to the table than both of the previous protagonists put together. With his brief yet telling introduction teaching us about his Allied soldiers and the tale of how they became a guerrilla unit, there is a lot more intrigue about the journey ahead, and just how we’d be going about stopping the Nazi wonder weapon the Sonnengewehr – a.k.a. the Sun Gun.
The story definitely stands out this time, and much of that is thanks to the fact that Captain Wilkins isn’t alone in his adventure. With two characters supporting him, one of them being a former comrade, The Deeds of Captain Wilkins finally breaks the awkward silences seen in the previous DLCs with plenty of comedic banter between the characters.
Captain Wilkins also brings some unique perks to the table with one that stops players’ Overcharge from depleting until you take damage, and another that reinstates health every time you kill an enemy. This makes the harder difficulties somewhat less challenging and should you be quick enough to string kills together one after the other, chances are you’ll rarely find yourself facing death at any point in the relatively short experience.
Unfortunately, though, whilst this final adventure does bring some improvements, the short playtime, needless ability and same old location design doesn’t take long to feel tiresome. When compared to the base game – and taking away the fantastic gunplay – there is still nothing to match that high level of quality we fell in love with previously.
If you’re looking for a little more of the same then there’s probably a chance you’ll find some enjoyment in Captain Wilkins and The Freedom Chronicles as a whole, but it’s hard to recommend jumping into the additional content over a replay of the main game. With a hefty price tag, it’s certainly not the memorable experience we had hoped for.