|1. Roll call. He might be in a wheelchair at the start of the game, but that won’t limit BJ Blazkowicz. “The way the player controls the wheelchair is very important to us,” says Executive Producer Jerk Gustafsson. “You can move forward. You can roll backward. You can roll to the side. You can even strafe in the wheelchair. You have full control of this vehicle and, of course, you can shoot and use grenades as well.”
2. Step up. OK, maybe there are some limitations, like starting out with a maximum of 50 health (rather than the customary 100). And it’s not so easy to roll up stairs, for example. But that’s where clever level design comes in. From conveyor belts to massive rotating cogs, Eva’s Hammer has all kinds of alternates to the standard staircase. “Obviously, steps or ladders are very difficult if you’re in a wheelchair,” Gustafsson says. “But we have a lot of different ways of getting around, which I think are super fun and entertaining.”
3. Unbreakable. Having BJ start The New Colossus in a wheelchair isn’t just a nod to his condition coming out of the previous game. It also shows Blazkowicz’s indomitable spirit. “Even though BJ is severely injured and broken, you never break him mentally,” Gustafsson says. “He always gets things done.”
4. Partners. Anya is also back, and now she’s pregnant with twins. But that won’t stop her from being a total badass. We get a glimpse of this at the end of Reunion (the first mission), when Anya extricates BJ from a sticky situation by shooting a Nazi solider in the back of his head. “In the first game, Anya always wanted to fight the Nazis, but she didn’t know how,” says Creative Director Jens Matthies. “Then this warrior came into her life and she was able to learn from BJ – learn to do the things she wanted to do. In this game, Anya’s goals are realized. There is a lot of badassery in this one.”
5. The big bad. The other woman in BJ’s life, Frau Engel, also returns – and she has a bone to pick with BJ. While she’s evil through and through, you get a taste of just how vile she can be thanks to the way she treats her beleaguered daughter Sigrun. Go ahead and watch her scene toward the end of Reunion and tell us if you didn’t wince when Frau Engle berated Sigrun for her private diary – and her diet.