Despite the excellent qualities of Wolfenstein II , the season pass of the wildly shooting Machine Games shooter seemed immediately intriguing and indeed rather debatable. The idea of telling the war from the perspective of three members of the resistance scattered across America’s territories could be potentially fascinating, but the realization of the ” Chronicles of Freedom ” seemed hasty and approximate already at the time from the Zero Episode , published as prologue to the trio of adventures that would then composed the post-launch support.
The confirmation that the DLC triptych could never give us the same satisfaction as The Old Blood (the additional content of the first Wolfenstein), came withThe Adventures of Pistolero Joe : a mini-campaign that limited itself to reproducing the typical situations of the basic game, ruthlessly recycling environments, weapons, rhythms of play and gaming solutions.
The Diary of the Silent Death Agent , according to the content of the season pass, continues on the same dangerous path, with two aggravating circumstances: in addition to focusing on one of the less effective aspects of the original title, namely the stealth phases, the adventure agent Jessica Valiant is excessively short and not very effective.
During the Second World War Jessica Valiant stood out thanks to her skills as a lethal killer, so much so that she won the nickname with which she was introduced to us at the beginning of the adventure. In fact, when we meet him the Silent Death Agent has literally fallen into disgrace: after the death of her husband, betrayed by a trusted friend who turned his back to ingratiate himself with the high reich balls, Jessica hung the gun at the nail, abandoning himself to a life of vices and lascivious perditions.
Things change as soon as the protagonist receives the dossiers of the three Nazis who have slaughtered her life partner: without hesitation, the protagonist decides that the time has come to dispense a little more death.
The adventure, just as happened to that of Gunslinger Joe, is divided into three autonomous and independent chapters, each of which asks us to take out the executioners of Jessica’s husband. The story is marked by the now classic animated sequences, revealing once again a certain productive laziness. On the field, we have a couple of confirmations that Valiant’s main skills are about discrete infiltration, more than the assault with his head down.
The main equipment is represented by a pistol silenced by high lethality (just a short burst to send the opponent to the creator, even without necessarily aiming at the head), and the slender body of the protagonist allows her to squeeze into narrow tunnels that normally they would not let a human being pass.
This ability follows one of the three skills that Blazko could exploit, in the main game, after having ” restored ” his statuary body. As we were already anticipating at the time of the episode zero, the idea of the development team is to characterize each of the three resistance fighters with a specific characteristic: Joe has touched the lethal shoulder, to Jessica the articulated body, and Captain Gerald Wilkins, central figure of the next and last DLC, will have a biped device available that will allow him to reach raised platforms. In this case too, in short, we can not praise Machine Games for making the most of our creative energies.
Luckily, when you get to the point, the Diari of the Silent Death Agent manages to value in a decent way the stealth approach, usually little incentive in the adventure of BJ. The relative fragility of the protagonist, who has the habit of ending up with the creator before the enemy empties even a loader, discourages anyone who wants to think of a frontal approach, which can be used as a last resort after partially clearing the playing areas.
Together with the stealth, in any case, a good dose of Trial & Error arrives, but thanks to the good design of the levels the adventure can be tackled without frustration. Of course, we note that the ludic dough is not designed for a silent and “delicate” progress: it would have been much better to review the management of the alerts, to study some system to communicate more clearly the state of attention of the guards, and maybe even review some AI behavior, since in some situations it becomes very difficult to avoid a mess triggered by a misstep and to recover the situation with dignity.
That the guys at Machine Games have gone to the savings is also understood by the habit of recovering locations already trodden during the adventure of Blazko, and the total absence of situations to some extent unprecedented. Given the talents of the Silent Death Agent , for example, why not bet in a truly convinced on sniping sessions pushed, which would have otherwise represented an original element in the gaming economy?
The almost complete renunciation to propose new elements, new stages and new dynamics of gameplay makes this second DLC superfluous and inconsistent as and more than the first. As a further aggravating factor, we add the fact that Jessica Valiant’s adventure can be completed in just over an hour.
Wolfenstein 2 had a single, conspicuous problem: the iterative structure of his missions, “recycled” in order to compose a sort of “endgame” made of the “mechanical” repetition of the same tasks. We hoped that the contents of the Season Pass could somehow circumvent this criticality, presenting new situations, new levels and maybe some activities more distant from the classic ones. Unfortunately, the Chronicles of Freedom instead amplify the feeling of boredom caused by a lazy project that has also blurred the optional missions of the good BJ Blazkowicz. In the case of the basic game it was extra content that lengthened the already solid duration of the adventure. Here, however, we are faced with paid content, assembled quickly and without conviction. It was quite a while of time you did not see the Season Pass so poor. Better to overlook and hope, if anything, in an autonomous expansion that embodies, for The New Colossus, what The Old Blood represented for the first Wolfenstein.