One of the most recent controversies to surface in the gaming world is the complaints on social media outlets directed at Bethesda’s newest sequel to the hit Wolfenstein series. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, is set to be released on October 27th this year, but after the introduction of the new game’s slogan online, a continuous stream of complaints came forth from one of the strangest sources to date: the American Nazi Party.
The Wolfenstein franchise has a long history that stretches back to 1981 with the release of the first game, Castle Wolfenstein, by iD Software. The original game, a simple 2-dimensional stealth-based shooter game, would later inspire Wolfenstein 3D, which was released in 1992 and was an immediate success. Wolfenstein 3D, often considered to be the first of its kind, served as a major influence for later first-person shooter games that would solidify the genre for several decades to come.
ID Software would later be bought out by ZeniMax Media in 2009, and developers from Bethesda began setting grounds for their own series of Wolfenstein games based on the characters from the originals, most notably the franchise’s protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz. An OSS agent of Polish descent, Blazkowicz has been the major protagonist for the Wolfenstein series since the release of Wolfenstein 3D, and has been confirmed as the main playable character for the newest game.
Any fan of the series should already know that the entire series is based around the occultism and the paranormal research supposedly carried out by an elite group of Nazi scientists during the reign of the 3rd Reich. Though there is limited evidence to suggest that the Nazi regime ever had the intention of creating anything like the supernatural weapons and soldiers depicted in the Wolfenstein games, Hitler and his fascist allies certainly possessed the cruelty and malice necessary to utilize such methods of destruction. This interesting notion actually encompasses the major plotline that was introduced in Wolfenstein: A New Order that will continue through Wolfenstein 2. For those of us out there that have not yet had a chance to play Wolfenstein yet, the plotline I am referencing is NAZI GERMANY WINNING WORLD WAR II. Yes, they defeated everyone, and the fascist Nazi regime controls the world and, of course, the United States.
Now that everyone is caught up, what was it that apparently was so outlandish that it would offend the American Nazi Party and thousands of unaffiliated white supremacists across the United States? The slogan, “Make America Nazi-Free Again”.
Complaints rolled in on virtually every available social network site about how the slogan was offensive and unfairly labeled Nazis and other far right-wing fanatics as the enemy. Others criticized Bethesda for the political agenda that they are accused of representing in the game as well, believing the clearly cut sides to be threatening and unconstitutional towards anyone who might believe in and/or work to promote the policies of such groups.
These complaints and accusations have caused quite a few internet battles to break out over the subject, with both sides ultimately blowing the entire ordeal out of proportion. Many, fortunately, have cited the subject content of the video game series has not changed much since the first release, and have reminded everyone that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a fictional video game created to entertain, and should not be overanalyzed beyond such. Others have used the controversy as an example to promote how important human history really is, and how removing its study from schools will allow later generations to repeat mistakes that should not be repeated.
See the official Wolfenstein Twitter posts and trailers here.
What do you think of the unexpected outcry from social media users? Will you be playing this title? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook, and don’t forget to follow us for our review when Wolfenstein II: Shadow of the Colossus releases October 27th on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One!