There have been a lot of rich stories across gaming throughout this year, but there's one story that will likely permeate beyond this year. That story is centered around a single, simple idea of resistance. Also, that Nazis are terrible people. We are proud to award Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus the title of Shacknews Best Narrative of 2017.
While Wolfenstein: The New Order was a fascinating tale of alternative history, The New Colossus takes the idea a step further. If The New Order was a story of a Nazi military victory, The New Colossus was a tale of a world in which the Nazis succeeded culturally. Nazism had become an element of everyday life. Blazkowicz isn't fighting a war anymore, because the war has already been lost. He isn't considered to be killing terrorists, he is considered the terrorist. He is now trying to resist against an unjust, but ultimately powerful, regime.
But the other thing that ultimately makes Wolfenstein II resonate so well as a story is how it highlights everything that makes America truly great. From the very beginning, with Blazkowicz overcoming personal adversity and rising above his paralysis to accomplish great feats. It's seen in the freedom fighters, all diverse and rich with their own experiences, philosophies, and outlooks on the Nazi occupation. It's in the spirited Grace Walker and the passionate Horton Boone. It's in those who have fallen, like Caroline Becker. Blazkowicz isn't fighting the war by himself and it's the bravery of the downtrodden that make this story particularly inspiring.
But at the end of the day, it's Blazkowicz who serves the symbol of hope. He's the one who pushes through with his journey, knowing his body would eventually give out on him. But even in the face of that, he carried on as a symbol of hope and inspiration for others brave enough to stand up to the Nazi regime.
While The New Colossus doesn't go to some of the far-out locations that The New Order did, it doens't make its story hit home any less. It's a classic story of American grit, perseverance, unity in a time of crisis, and the belief that the principles that made America truly great can stand against any bigotry and any tyranny. Just try not to crack a proud smile after this game's final minutes.
Be sure to keep up with the rest of The Shacknews Awards as we celebrate the Year of the Games: 2017.