The image of two teenage girls sending buckshot into Nazi guts is proper emasculation of Nazi garbage, that rare time when the videogame power fantasy feels right and proper.
Set in 1980’s Neu-Paris, the evocative visual design considers a European country still under Hitler’s laws. Neu-Paris looks frozen in time; nothing progressed since World War II, short of scattered cassette tapes and weapons technology. The teen duo project an excitement over the prospect of slaughtering fascists and remain friendly to one another as they go. In training, one is told, “[Nazis] get us when we quit,” an inspiring line of fired up dialog.
And yet Youngblood doesn’t translate that enthusiasm, stretched over a plodding map with languid pacing and leveling systems that both stall the hunt as much as weaken these girls. They project strength; Youngblood doesn’t give them any in the fight though. It’s confounding and bloated, lessening the urge to giddily slam a tomahawk into a Nazi scalp for worry a nigh invincible, laser-spitting Nazi robot is around the corner.
These kids rock. Their game does not.