If Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus was going to launch in Germany, and it did, some measure of censorship was to be expected. Nazi symbology and references aren’t just frowned upon there, they’re flat illegal.
Spoiler alert: This video and text reveals details of a scene in Wolfenstein 2.
Wolfenstein 2 features a scene in which a few American actors are auditioning for the role of B.J. Blazcowicz in a film, to be made by the Nazis. Adolf Hitler figures into the scene in his own paranoid, murderous way, and one would figure his inclusion would simply make it unworkable for the German version.
Instead, MachineGames took away his mustache. We’re not making that up. Skip to 2:15 of the above video, by Censored Gaming, to see a mustachless not-Hitler cough his way through a scene in which his paranoia is decidedly less threatening.
Hitler isn’t calleed Hitler, either; The actor from Arizona calls him “mein heiler,” (“my healer”) for example, and he’s addressed as “mein Kanzler” (“my chancellor”) and not “mein fuhrer.” Subtitles aren’t available, but it sounds like Not-Hitler is accusing the actor of being a spy, instead of being Jewish.
The swastika has been replaced with that made-up, three-pronged symbol that some stateside gamers may have seen in trailers and marketing. Bethesda Softworks has used it rather than develop separate trailers or risk having one with the wrong imagery used over in Europe. (In the past, the use of licensed music has also meant careful tiptoeing around the presence of Nazi symbology.)
Fans are ripping the bowdlerized dialogue and symbology.
“They should’ve just put a paper bag on his head with ‘Not hitler’ written on it,” said one YouTube commenter.
“They deprived us of a great story by removing the amazing voice acting (both English and German) and replacing it with a low quality dub that changes the narrative into a nonsensical, patronising mess and then having the gall to offer it to us thinking we wouldn't notice these obvious changes,” said one Redditor, who said he is German.
But really, what’s anyone going to do? We’re talking about laws in place. Remembering the lesson of Snakes on a Plane, you don’t want to change things so much they become self-parody. But dropping entire scenes is no better, and it’s unlikely Germany would get a completely different game built for it.