While some gamers loved taking their time wading through the apocalyptic hordes of Nazi soldiers in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, developers have surprisingly confirmed that the game was designed with speedrunners in mind.
Released in October 2017, The New Colossus picked up following the cliffhanger events of 2014's Wolfenstein: The New Order. It was bigger, louder, and even bloodier than the games that came before it, offering a very different view on how World War II could've changed history if the Nazis won.
Speaking at Digital Dragons 2018 via Eurogamer, senior game designer Andreas Öjerfors revealed that speedrunning was always part of the plan for The New Colossus. Referencing the heavy-duty Zitadelle robots and the ability to use stealth when playing as B.J. Blazkowicz to sneak past them, Öjerfors said their design was deliberate:
"That might look like it's incidental, but the boss [executive producer Jerk Gustafsson] actually wanted - he likes for people to be able to speedrun the game. Me, as the designer of the Citadel, I don't, because I want people to play my content!"
Gustafsson may be happy for fast fans to zip through the game, but Öjerfors is clearly a little miffed that some might skip past all his hard work, detailed level designs, and colorful characterization. In fact, the designer even tried to trip up speedrunners who tried to zip through The New Colossus:
"In a very early version of the Citadel design, in the paper version, he had this big shield he could put down and block the places you go past. But we didn't really get that to work very well, it was too slow, so we moved it out. So yeah, you're supposed to be able to speedrun the game - you can run past him if you want to."
Throughout the entire game, there is only one of the mini-bosses that can't be avoided. Speedrunners can actually avoid engaging all the Zitadelles in The New Colossus apart from the one in Area 52 after planting the atom bomb. Given that the Zitadelle appear everywhere from the decaying streets of Manhattan to the decks of the Ausmerzer, it is a handy hint that players can completely disregard them if needs be.
There has been a boom in popularity when it comes to speedrunning thanks to the likes of Twitch. The industry is inundated with speedrunning videos from the likes of Super Mario Sunshine and watching The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time be beaten in an amazing 17 minutes and 07 seconds, but it is interesting that The New Colossus was designed with this niche mechanic in mind.
In recent times, developers have done everything in their path to stop potential glitches and make their games an impossible speedrunning gauntlet, whereas those at Machine Games are happy to embrace the publicity that speedrunning offers its titles. Admittedly, The New Colossus might not be a title that immediately springs to mind when it comes to the trend of speedrunning, but with this new information, expect to see it popping up a lot more on speedrunning sites. Whether taking it slow to complete the story campaign or speedrunning through with guns blazing hot, there is no denying that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is still a "Blazkowicz" to play.