It’s a weird day-and-age we’re living in right now, where “Nazis are bad” has become an actual political stance, as opposed to a bit of basic, obvious wisdom. And yet, there’s something shockingly brazen about seeing it stated so bluntly, as in a Twitter ad released tonight for upcoming Nazi-killing video game Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.
We’ve written about The New Colossus—MachineGames’ follow-up to Wolfenstein: The New Order, and the latest incarnation of the Third Reich-slaughtering franchise—before, thanks to preview gameplay of B.J. Blazkowicz’s latest attempts to liberate America from a fascist occupying force. But the ad in question, which simply shows stormtroopers parading down an American street, as the phrase “Not My America” flashes on the screen, is the most direct the game’s marketing has been to date about its willingness to comment on our odd, frightening political times.
There are, of course, a small number of consumers actively pissed that the Nazi-killing video game included language about killing Nazis, claiming it’s unfair for the developers to take a swipe at the political faction they’re constantly claiming not to be. (The internet is having its usual fun at their expense.) What’s more interesting, though, is the ad’s existence at all, and its accompanying campaign; video games—and especially triple-A video games, published by big companies—are about as stridently apolitical a medium as you could hope to find, owing largely to the old “No reason to alienate half your audience” school of financial neutrality. The New Colossus ad is a bluntly political statement, and it’ll be fascinating to see how that willingness to embed the game in the modern political landscape will affect the game’s critical and commercial reception when it arrives later this month.