Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: February 25, 2018
Wolfenstein II: The Diaries of Agent Silent Death is the second major expansion for first-person shooter Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The Diaries of Agent Silent Death is available as part of a season pass titled The Freedom Chronicles which can be purchased digitally from the PlayStation Store on PS4 for £17.99 or $24.99 including three expansions or individually for £7.99 or $9.99, while The Freedom Chronicles can also be purchased digitally as part of the Deluxe Edition containing Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and all three major expansions for £64.99 or $79.99. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was critically well received and deservedly became an award winner with Best Action Game at The Game Awards 2017, but can The Diaries of Agent Silent Death successfully follow The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe in achieving the same standard of quality?
The story revolves around a heartbroken former assassin named Jessica Valiant who has hit the bottle to drown in her sorrows, although after mysteriously receiving three targets that are all in one way or another responsible for her heartbreak; Jessica decides to come out of retirement and play her part in the resistance against the Nazis, while simultaneously exacting revenge in an effort to gain at least some closure.
The Diaries of Agent Silent Death is structured the same as The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe as there are three volumes to Jessica Valiant’s story, while completing each volume unlocks a combat scenario challenge arena as it did in the prequel The Freedom Chronicles episode in a similar fashion to that of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood as varying difficulty levels provide a risk and reward factor for earning greater points during higher difficulty levels in addition to online leaderboards introducing a competitive edge. The challenge is essentially based upon points scoring in which every defeated enemy has a particular points value such as a light armoured soldier providing 400 points, while a super soldier is 1,400 points, a commander produces 900 points and an elite soldier is 600 points, although combos, headshots and kampfhund kills offer varying quantities of bonus points. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus received combat simulations for each level in a free post-launch update.
As always in Wolfenstein, there are numerous collectibles including 12 gold bars and 24 readables such as continued Nazi propaganda in newspaper articles, written orders from Commander Hans, letters and more besides. Every readable can be found and inspected scattered throughout environments which provides a clever back story to Jessica’s story.
Character design is as essential to The Diaries of Agent Silent Death as it was to The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe and previous Machine Games developed Wolfenstein games; as Jessica Valiant is depicted as a heartbroken agent that comes out of retirement to fight against specifically assigned Nazis. Enemy design is mostly the same as B.J. Blazkowicz’s story in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, although the significant difference is the three main enemies that Jessica is assigned to assassinate.
Weaponry is pretty much identical to B.J. Blazkowicz’s arsenal in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, although Jessica does not know scientist Set Roth resulting in there being no gadgets as such or resistance manufactured weapon upgrades, but Jessica tends to find weapon upgrades here and there located within Nazi headquarters. As was previously the case in Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus; there are various perks that can be earned through achieving specific side objectives. For instance, Jessica can gain an increased movement speed when crouching by silently killing soldiers from behind using stealth takedowns; increased damage can be inflicted upon enemies when aiming down sight for killing enemies with headshots; an increase in total knife capacity as a result of killing enemies by throwing knives; and more besides. Jessica’s intense training in the OSS has provided her with a certain set of skills that are diverse in comparison to B.J. Blazkowicz and Joseph Stallion. Jessica has the ability to contort her body to fit through very small vents and crawlspaces that would otherwise be too narrow to sneak through; silent walking and less noise when jumping or sprinting; a health boost reward when killing an enemy; enemies freeze in fear when spotting her; and even slows time when selecting weaponry from the weapon wheel.
The Diaries of Agent Silent Death’s environment design is as varied as its prequel episode and Machine Games’ Wolfenstein games with Jessica Valiant venturing to Nazi headquarters in Sacramento, a propaganda film set in Hollywood and then onto a spaceship headed for the moon.
Graphically, The Diaries of Agent Silent Death is just as incredible as Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and The Adventures with the same quality of lighting, explosions, character models and performance. Meanwhile, the audio is as involving as ever with large scale shootouts and Jessica Valiant stealthily approaching enemies, while every character’s respective voice-over artists set the scene of genuine rivalry that Jessica’s mission is based upon. Claudia Black (Chloe Frazer in Uncharted 2, 3 and The Lost Legacy and Tess Everis in Destiny 1 and 2) headlines the voice-over cast with a superb performance that really brings Jessica’s story to life. Elsewhere, controls and general presentation is the same as Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus with the exception of Jessica Valiant’s abilities being different to that of B.J.’s and Joseph Stallion’s.
The trophy list includes 10 trophies with 8 bronze trophies and 2 silver trophies which is somewhat disappointing given that Wolfenstein: The Old Blood comprised of two stories that were four chapters in length yet had a platinum trophy. Easier trophies include completing the three story volumes as they can be completed on the easiest difficulty level. Harder trophies include the California Gold silver trophy for finding all gold in The Diaries of Agent Silent Death and the Expert Spy bronze trophy and the Ultimate Spy silver trophy for completing The Diaries of Agent Silent Death on the two hardest difficulty levels. It is estimated that depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take between 5 to 10 hours to 100% the trophy list based on how you fare in the combat simulation challenges and collectibles.
Wolfenstein II: The Diaries of Agent Silent Death’s replayability stems from unlockable combat scenario challenges accompanied by online leaderboards, collectibles, perks and 7 difficulty levels which will have players returning for a few hours after completing all three volumes of Jessica Valiant’s story.
- Title: Wolfenstein II: The Diaries of Agent Silent Death
- Developer: Machine Games
- Publisher: Bethesda
- System: PS4
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross-Buy: No
- Cross-Play: No
- Players: 1 (Combat Scenario Online Leaderboards)
- Hard Drive Space Required: 65.91GB (Version 1.06)