Wolfenstein: The New Colossus had some brilliantly funny moments, but it went to some pretty dark places too, particularly in the flashbacks to BJ's childhood. The upcoming Wolfenstein: Youngblood, in which BJ's twin daughters go on a hunt for their missing father in Paris, apparently won't be quite such a heavy experience: Executive producer Jerk Gustafsson told VentureBeat (opens in new tab) that Machine Games' approach to telling stories hasn't changed, but the story it's telling in this game is very different from its predecessors.
"We have our Wolfenstein timeline and lore that we’ve written down internally. We’re staying true to that," Gustafsson said. "On some level it might have changed even though we don’t really think about it. It’s hard for me to say. There have been quite a lot of political discussions over the last two years, which is understandable given the situation in the world right now.
"But for Youngblood—the difference here is that when we set out to tell the story of New Colossus, where the Nazis have taken over America, that whole story was about freedom, about liberating America from the Nazis. It was about telling the story of how B.J. grew up. The difference with Youngblood is we wanted to do something lighter. While B.J. was growing up with an abusive father and all this trauma from his childhood, the two sisters grew up in a loving family. The story of Youngblood is an extension of that. It’s about these two young women transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. Their father has gone missing and they want to find their father, out of love. It’s much more of a story about not only the relationship between the sisters and their father, but also between the sisters themselves.
Gustafsson said he hopes the game will "resonate" with players, but added that he doesn't think "it will specifically fall into that political aspect" that surrounded the previous games.
"I hope it will be something that resonates when it comes to playing as a woman protagonist, which is something that we haven’t done before, and the sisterly bond that we’re trying to build into this experience, the determination of these girls going out to find their father," he said. "Hopefully something will come from that, on the more positive side."
The focus on character is interesting when, in the past, Wolfenstein's marketing has been heavily centered on killing Nazis (opens in new tab), though there'll surely be no shortage of that in Youngblood. Lighter tone or not, I don't see it breaking too far from tradition.
Gustafsson also revealed that, while Wolfenstein: Youngblood is being packed with Nvidia RTX cards, it won't actually support ray tracing at launch. "We’re working together with Nvidia on that, but ray tracing won’t be available at launch," he said. "The engineers at Nvidia are still hard at work getting that solution to look as good as possible for the game, and the date is still to be determined. But from what we’ve seen so far, it’ll be good."
Wolfenstein: Youngblood will be out on July 26. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the lowdown on system requirements and preload times.