September 24, 2021

Xbox One X

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Wolfenstein 2 and the anatomy of a blockbuster hero

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Picture for a moment the triple-A hero. He is Kratos grappling a gigantic serpent on mighty waves; he is Call of Duty’s Jack Mitchell acquiring a magic robot arm at his best friend’s funeral. Sporting abs (or guns) that shine like justice, he is fast, deadly and remorseless. At his logical conclusion, the triple-A hero is Kurtz from Apocalypse Now sat in the dark jungle, whispering tales of annihilation, a catalogue of army medals in his back-pocket.

In film, the only recourse left for the Stallones and Lundgrens of 80s fame is parody. These days we tend toward John Wick over The Terminator, although key traits – unquenchable bloodlust, highly efficient – still remain.

This is not the case in games, where hyper-masculine juggernauts abound. Wolfenstein series hero BJ Blazkowicz – lumbering toward Nazi henchmen like a haunted steamroller – is the perfect example. He’s a one-man army wrought by the gods of steroidal fury.

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