Wolfenstein: The New Order's ending is the perfect setup for the kind of game we're all asking for
Warning: We’re talking end-game spoilers for Wolfenstein: The New Order here, so move along unless you’ve finished the game!
In a time when diversity and representation are at the forefront of discussion in gaming culture, Wolfenstein: The New Order is an oddity. It’s a game starring a muscle-bound, white, super-meathead with a penchant for killing Nazis, yet it managed to avoid the majority of damaging tropes that have ignited discussions throughout social media, gaming forums, and E3 showfloors. It features a diverse cast, strong women, and generally treats its very silly premise with a shocking amount of maturity and care.
Right from the start The New Order has every opportunity to craft the perfect damsel in distress with Anya, B.J.’s love interest. But not only is she shown regularly holding her own, impressing B.J. and even saving him, the two manage to have a normal, adult relationship throughout the entire game. You may play as B.J., but Anya is never your trophy for a Nazi-killing job well done. Instead, she's an equal half of a touching, heartfelt romantic partnership.
When the team discovers a power suit that would make the Master Chief jealous, it isn’t a chance to tear shit up even harder for our hero, but a way to empower Caroline, the team’s leader who is unable to walk otherwise. Machine Games is seemingly unconcerned with wasting a potentially empowering, badass item on a paraplegic in her 40s, and that’s awesome.
By the end of the game B.J. seems to sacrifice himself. His wounds are fatal, and he gives the go-ahead to nuke Deathshead’s facility, crippling the Nazis and giving the resistance a fighting chance. A tiny audio clip of a helicopter provides a tiny bit of hope that he’ll still be alive for a sequel. But what if he wasn’t?
What if the follow-up, which Machine Game’s has stated they’d love to do, picked up with the remaining resistance members advancing the fight on the Nazis? What if, instead of playing as B.J., you’re playing as Anya, the other half of a love story that wasn’t meant to be? Or Caroline, the super-suit-equipped leader of the Kreisau Circle? There’s a chance to develop Bombate -- a black character where no one would have batted an eye if he was excluded -- into a fully-fledged member of the team.
Maybe that’s not where Machine Game’s intends to take The New Order in a sequel, but I really hope they do. It would make that ending even better if B.J.’s death was symbolic of a decades-old, demographic-fueled, stereotypical hero passing on the hero torch to some fresh faces.
What do you think? Could B.J. Blazkowicz really die to make room for someone new? Would you want to see that? Are you ready to play Wolfenstein as someone else? And if so, who would you pick? I’m really curious to know what everyone thinks.
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