Wolfenstein II The Freedom Chronicles: The Diaries of Agent Silent Death Review

Agent Silent Death perks The Freedom Chronicles back up a bit after a disappointing start with Gunslinger Joe.

Wolfenstein II is a game renowned for hard-hitting, pulse-pounding action, but the tempo set in The Diaries of Agent Silent Death tries to slow things down into a hitman espionage thriller.

With mixed results.


Silent, but violent

Voiced by Claudia Black, you play as Jessica Valiant, better known as Agent Silent Death. But instead of shoulder charging through Nazis, now you have to quietly skulk around through grates and knife them in the noggin.

This time, though, the three-part structure for Freedom Chronicles’ episodes suits Agent Silent Death because she has three different targets to pursue. Each one is responsible, in part, for the death of her beloved Jack, and so Jessica will visit California, Hollywood and the Moon in order to set things right.

That’s the immediate difference between Joe and Agent Silent Death, location variety is so much more obvious and welcome. This feels like a clear three part story which you can get invested in, helped by the silky tones of Black as she weaves a tortured narrative on the road to redemption.

Whereas Gunslinger Joe felt like a throwaway add-on, I’d argue the concept for The Freedom Chronicles was built around Jessica Valiant. Bethesda’s thinking behind this season pass becomes more clear the more you play. And even if I’m still not completely convinced by it, I definitely enjoyed Agent Silent Death much more because of that.

I even spent more time playing this as sections are trickier and Jessica isn’t as bulletproof as either BJ and Joe, which does ensure you play the game a little bit differently than before. The aim is clearly to be as covert as possible and so you need to be more aware of enemy patrols, crawling spaces and vantage points. Something Wolfenstein II didn’t really pat you on the back for.

The problem is, you can tell Wolfenstein II was not built or designed to be a game that focuses on stealth and so it’s very difficult to ghost an entire level without being spotted. Jessica has abilities which make her harder to spot than most, with her footsteps and jumping silenced, quick draw abilities with a weapon and enemies freezing whenever spotting her. But enemies seem to have bat-like hearing and eyes like a hawk at times, no matter how careful you are.

At some point, you’ll concede that the action is probably going to break down into all-out warfare and due to the sheer size of reinforcements, you will quickly get overwhelmed.

Of course, Silent Death also suffers from the same problem as Gunslinger Joe in that it is an exceptionally short piece of content, though is certainly less noticeable due to the difficulty spike and the narrative. It’s also incredibly expensive individually, so you’ll almost certainly want to buy it as part of the Season Pass. Though understandably, that’s a tough sell.

There are more collectibles this time out, and the use of a silencer as a weapon of choice is certainly more of an appealing proposition than machine guns blazing for challenge missions, but Agent Silent Death is, at once, a briefly entertaining diversion from your backlog, but ultimately, another forgettable piece of content.

The Diaries of Agent Silent Death shows a glimpse of how stealth could work in Wolfenstein to exciting effect, but the foundations of such an action-orientated game don’t provide sufficient backing for that will and desire.


Pros

+ Good narrative structure and well voice acted
+ Enjoyable takedowns and hitman possibilities
+ More challenging and varied than Gunslinger Joe

Cons

– Stealth doesn’t naturally work in The New Colossus and numbers get overwhelming
– Very pricey individually and short


The Diaries of Agent Silent Death

6.5 out of 10

Tested on PC

Code provided by the publisher

About the author

Ray Willmott

Ray is the founder and editor of Expansive. He is also a former Community Manager for Steel Media, and has written for a variety of gaming websites over the years. His work can be seen on Pocket Gamer, PG.biz, Gfinity, and the Red Bull Gaming Column. He has also written for VG247, Videogamer, GamesTM, PLAY, and MyM Magazine,