'Wolfenstein' Characters: Who you need to know before you play 'The New Colossus'
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus was recently announced at Bethesda's E3 conference, and for many, it was the most exciting news to come out of the expo. The New Colossus is the sequel to the fantastic 2014 hit Wolfenstein: The New Order, and thankfully we're going to be seeing the return of some of the characters from the original.
If you haven't played Wolfenstein: The New Order (or its side-story The Old Blood), you should do yourself a favor and immediately remedy that situation. If you just can't get around to it, we've put together a Wolfenstein main character primer to help you get to know the who's who of the Nazi-occupied world.
We'll concentrate on how the characters are presented in the latest Wolfenstein series: The New Order and The Old Blood, and only the main protagonists and antagonists are listed. There are some spoilers below, but we've tried to keep them to a necessary few.
Wolfenstein Characters: Captain William J. Blazkowicz
Captain Blazkowicz has been the protagonist of every single-player Wolfenstein title, and the character the player assumes control of during gameplay. Bethesda's B.J. Blazkowicz hails from Texas. Whether or not the events of previous Wolfenstein games are canonical to The New Order is debatable, so much of Blazkowicz's past exploits are in question.
We know that during the Second World War, B.J. was a Captain in the U.S. Army and that he worked for an intelligence entity much like the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the CIA. During a botched raid on General Deathshead's compound in 1946, B.J. took a piece of shrapnel in the head and went into a coma.
B.J. awakens in 1960 to a world where Nazis rule all. During his coma the Allies capitulated to German forces after a prolonged conflict that ended with New York destroyed in a nuclear fire, Britain invaded and the rest of the world engulfed by the Nazi war machine. B.J. joins a resistance group, the Kreisau Circle, and is able to corner Deathshead and eventually kill him.
As of The New Colossus, B.J. is married to fellow resistance member Anya Oliwa. After the fight with Deathshead, B.J. was injured but managed to escape. Deathshead's former underling, Frau Engel, has been hunting B.J. since his escape, and it seems to be her finding him that The New Colossus starts with.
Wolfenstein Characters: SS-Obergruppenführer (General) Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse
General Deathshead was the force behind the advanced technology that allowed the Nazis to repel the Allied advances in 1946. Initially, he's the leader of the SS Special Projects Division, but by the time B.J. Blaszkowicz awakened in 1960, Deathshead is Reich Minister of Advanced Research and is one of the most influential people in the Third Reich.
Deathshead is sadistic and psychopathic to the extreme. Blazkowicz and his team are captured during the assault on his fortress in 1946. Deathshead makes B.J. choose between two members of his team: one lives, the other dies. Whomever is chosen, Deathshead vivisects him in front of B.J. and leaves the rest of the team to be disposed of.
Deathshead dies in 1960 after finally meeting his bloody end. His giant mech suit and tech are no match for Blazkowicz's tenacity, and in the end, when he's cornered he commits suicide by blowing himself up with a grenade, which also severely maims B.J.
Wolfenstein Characters: Anya Oliwa
Anya Oliwa was the head nurse at the Psychiatric facility B.J. Blazkowicz was held at during his coma. Her parents were killed when a Nazi death squad came to "liquidate" their patients, and it's only through Blazkowicz's intervention that she was saved. Anya and B.J. quickly become involved, and they both join the Kreisau Circle resistance group.
Anya is the team's radio contact and translator and gives invaluable information to B.J. both in the field and at headquarters. As Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is beginning, Anya and B.J. have married and Anya is pregnant with twins. She's a fierce woman, and in trailers, it's shown that she's once again had to watch over B.J. after the injuries he suffered at the end of The New Order.
Wolfenstein Characters: SS-Obergruppenführer (General) Irene Engel
When we first meet Frau Engel in The New Order, it's obvious that this then-SS Lieutenant-Colonel has major issues. She invites B.J. over to her booth in the dining car of the train to Berlin and tests his "Aryanhood" by making him choose between random photos. In the end, Engel reveals she's toying with him, which in a world where you can be imprisoned or killed for your ethnicity is incredibly cruel.
The next time we see Frau Engel is at Camp Belica, a concentration camp in Croatia. She's the commandant of the camp where all prisoners are either euthanized upon arrival by gas or utilized as slave labor until they die. Camp Belica is a vital resource for the Nazis because it is there that their primary building material, Über Concrete is produced.
As B.J. is breaking several important prisoners out of Camp Belica, Engel's jaw and teeth are smashed out by a hijacked robot and she still chases you with two guns. She survives to attack the Kreisau Circle resistance base but isn't seen again after viewing her on a computer monitor in Deathshead's compound near the end of the game.
It appears that Frau Engel (now General Engel) will appear as one of the primary enemies in The New Colossus. After Deathshead was killed, she's been chasing B.J. Blazkowicz to exact her revenge, and it seems that during the opening of The New Colossus, she's finally found him.
More gaming news and updates
Check out the latest from Mic, like this essay about the sinister, subtle evils lurking in rural America that Far Cry 5 shouldn’t ignore. Also, be sure to read our review of Tekken 7, an article about D.Va’s influence on one Overwatch player’s ideas about femininity and an analysis of gaming’s racist habit of darkening villains’ skin tones.