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Wolfenstein: Youngblood Release Date, Trailer, Editions And Co-Op

In these tumultuous, uncertain times, the good people at MachineGames and Bethesda would like to remind you that Nazis suck, have always sucked, and will continue to suck, and would like to offer you, their most treasured players, the opportunity once again to go show the Nazis first-hand just how much they suck by any means necessary. 

Wolfenstein: Youngblood is coming, giving players the ability to get their best Steve Rogers on for the good of all humankind. This time, though, you won't be going in alone. That's right, Youngblood is a co-op experience, and even more than your average co-op title, you're going to have to play very nice with your partners if you intend to give the Reich what for. But you might have questions about this whole business, and with Youngblood a month away, now's a perfect time to get some answers.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood's release date

Wolfenstein: Youngblood will be out on July 26. That gives you a week to plow through Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3 and a week to tell your Madden buddies, "Yeah, football is cool, but have you tried stabbing Nazis multiple times in the heart with your sister while wearing a cyborg suit? Your move, Eli Manning." They'll either want in, or disown you forever. This is how you sort out who your real friends are. 

The game will be hitting for Xbox, PS4, and PC as well as Switch. The Switch port is being handled by Panic Button, who are the folks responsible for cramming Doom 2016, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus onto the system, along with Rocket League, Warframe, and Subnautica (they'll also be handling Doom Eternal when the time comes). You're in good hands, Switch folks. It'll also be going to Google Stadia some time after that launches, and may your ISP be ever in your favor.

The trailers for Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Oh yeah. In between dudes yelling gibberish at Todd Howard and Doom Eternal blowing the roof off, there was a gameplay trailer at Bethesda's E3 conference this year, which gives a look at some of that awesome Nazi-killing action. It includes a few new tricks, including stealth, a Doom-ish stomp move, and an explosive bumrush move that basically turns Nazis into runny Jell-O. Also, whoever synced up that gunfire to the synth beats deserves a medal.

Oh, but wait, there's more! There was also a story trailer a few months back which gave a bit more setup, showing the twins getting help from some old buddies from New Colossus, a few of their friends from the FBI, a quick glimpse of an older Anya and B.J., and the fact that the Nazis have dubbed Jess and Sophie "The Terror Twins." Because if there's one thing that's sure to demoralize your enemies, it's giving them one of the coolest nicknames ever.

The story of Wolfenstein up to now

In case you missed out, here's the rundown on Wolfenstein: it's the great-grandfather of the FPS genre. Wolfenstein is about gunning down snarling Nazis wielding advanced technology. There's a half-dozen Wolfenstein titles before getting to the current series, but the nutshell is you play as B.J. Blazkowicz, a soldier who'd been putting the screws to the Nazis since WWII, blowing up a lot of their tech along the way.

B.J.'s fight takes a wild alt-history detour in 1946, however, when his final push to capture the Reich's Special Projects leader, Col. Wilhem "Deathshead" Strasse, ends in failure, leaving B.J. braindead. The Nazis win WWII, and things go about as well as you'd expect.

Naturally, when B.J. finally snaps out of it in 1960, he's less than pleased and, with the help of his bednurse, Anya Oliwa, who's no slouch in the Nazi-killing department whatsoever, joins up with a scrappy, pissed-off resistance to try kicking the Nazis to the curb. Along the way, B.J. and Anya fall in love, Deathshead gets blown to hell, B.J. loses his head and gets it grafted onto a cyborg suit, and a leading Nazi commander gets executed on national television. Oh, and Hitler's a movie producer. Look, you should really play Old Blood, New Order, and New Colossus; that's the real moral of this story.

So, what's Youngblood?

20 years after Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, B.J. is still in the Nazi-killing business, but as it turns out, it's awful hard to kill Nazis when you've gone missing. But he won't stay missing for long, because B.J.'s a family man now, with twin teenage daughters, Sophie and Jess. Come on, look who these girls' parents are. Their mom once blew up a half dozen Nazis with a grenade and gave a full-on Rambo yell while topless and getting covered in their entrails while she was pregnant with them. Yes, that scene's on YouTube. No, do not watch it at work. Point being, this is not a woman who raises cowards. 

Anyway, as you can imagine, Jess and Sophie don't sit idly by waiting for dad to come home, and end up heading to Nazi-occupied Paris to find him. As it turns out, though, the French haven't had much luck resisting the Nazis and are gonna need a wee bit of help. And that's where you, and the Blazkowicz girls, come into play. 

All right, so what's with this co-op business?

Sophie and Jess are joined at the hip in Youngblood, and as such, the game will have you either playing with an AI companion or with a friend online. (Sorry, folks, no local co-op.) There are, of course, natural advantages to having a second player watching your back. Especially considering how hectic Wolfenstein's shootouts can be, a second gun on the lookout for strays is a godsend. But the co-op goes way beyond that. 

For starters, the game isn't about to let you off the hook too easily just because there's a second player.  You'll have a small pool of lives that each player eats into every time they respawn, and once those lives are gone, it's back to the last major checkpoint with you. On the plus side, though, the twins do get to give each other "pep talks" which can give them extra ammo or armor when they need it, on top of just being a nice thing for sisters to do. In general, though, the game is riddled with puzzles and obstacles that will require some serious asymmetrical thinking to solve. If you couldn't get in sync with your chosen partner-in-crime in something like Portal, you probably should work on that before July 26.

But what if my friends don't own the game?

Everything's better with friends, and MachineGames and Bethesda have decided to make it a lot easier for friends in far-away places to get their Nazi-killing on. Specifically, the Deluxe Edition of Wolfenstein: Youngblood will include a little item called a Buddy Pass.

With the Buddy Pass, the owner of the game can actually invite friends to join in on the fun any time they want. No purchase needed; just invite them using the pass, and let the wild Reich-stomping rumpus begin. 

There are a couple of provisions. One is that buddies may have the game, but unless they purchase it themselves, they literally can't play it unless the original owner is playing with them. Trophies and Achievements also aren't tracked for Buddies, so if you're obsessive about your precious Gamerscore, maybe shell out for your own. Your progress, however, does get saved, so if you do decide to upgrade and want to play solo, you can absolutely pick up where you left off. All in all, the Buddy Pass is a good way to share the good times with friends. At least until your friend starts singing "You Are Not Alone" at full volume into the mic. If that happens, it's maybe time for some new friends.

What editions does Wolfenstein: Youngblood have?

According to Bethesda, the Deluxe Edition will include a Cyborg skin for the twins, Titanium skins for ranged and melee weaponry, and a special armor-boosting pep talk. If you decide to pre-order either edition, though, you also get a whole slew of goodies from the previous Wolfenstein titles: B.J.'s badass jacket and Army power suit from Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, the detachable pipe weapon from Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, and a bunch of the World War II weaponry as well. Overall, not a bad way to spend $39.99.

The Standard Edition is just the core game itself and costs a mere $29.99. Not a bad deal at all.

There is, however, the big question that looms over every game nowadays, which is about microtransactions. There were some early concerns that some of the game's heavy weapons would be purchasable, but everybody can thankfully relax: Bethesda have since clarified that the microtransactions will be cosmetic only. So, likely more skins and pep talks, and no loot boxes. And exhale, everyone.