Hugo Boss - the company founded by Hugo Boss, the man - provided uniforms for the Nazis, including those iconic SS uniforms, and the outfits worn by the Hitler Youth. These were often manufactured by forced labourers, the majority of whom were women.
Admittedly, the company did eventually express its "profound regret" at all this, but not until 2011, following legal proceedings brought about by Holocaust survivors.
Anyway. Think about that the next time you're spritzing your gooch with Hugo Boss perfume, or you see an ad with Chris Hemsworth or Gerard Butler looking all sultry in a suit. Hugo Boss was a Nazi. Not one of these "Ha ha - you called me a Nazi, therefore you lose the argument! I invoke Godwin's Law!" Nazis you get nowadays... but an actual Nazi who was happy being called a Nazi.
Because he was a Nazi, and his company designed those funny trousers Nazis wore, with the big pouches in the thighs, which they presumably used for storing knockwurst.
And while we're at it, Volkswagen was created by the Nazi Party under direct instruction from Adolf Hitler himself, IBM provided early computers to help the Nazis with the logistical demands of genocide, and Coca-Cola aggressively promoted itself as a pro-Nazi drink in Germany - with Fanta being created to appeal specifically to Nazi supporters. The original recipe was described as using "the leftovers of leftovers", due to limited availability of ingredients during the war.
That sounds like some weird joke, but it isn't. Fanta is a drink for Nazis. Fact.
Youngblood is really a two-player co-op game, but I need to state upfront that I only played it in single-player mode. It works fine like that, to be honest. I didn't feel I was missing much; the NPC AI did a fair job, and was there when I needed to be revived (most of the time), or help me strafe a boss.
The two-characters thing is one of the big new "innovations" that Youngblood brings to the Wolfenstein buffet. You play as one of BJ Blazkowicz's daughters, a couple of decades after the previous game. Across the globe, the Nazis are on the backfoot, and the girls find themselves in a still-occupied alternate Paris in search of their missing father.
There are little nods to the fashions and music of the 1980s, but it felt like it's crying out for a bit more of that retro aesthetic, put through a Nazi-fied alternate history filter.
You meet up with the French resistance, who give you intel on your father's possible whereabouts, and then it's into a mostly non-linear progression of missions of the sort that you might expect. The journey eventually leads you to the heart of the Fourth Reich, but that's pretty much it as far as plot goes.
Along the way, there's more of an RPG-style progression system than previously seen in the series, albeit coupled to an arcade-style lives system, which are shared between the two characters; no matter who dies, you lose one of your overall lives. This sense of team-building extends to "peps" - annoying gestures either sister can perform, which gives the other a temporary boost. These, like most things, can be upgraded as you progress.
The bulk of what you're doing is, as you might expect, shooting. And more shooting. And sometimes stomping on the spines of Nazi foot soldiers. It's a first-person shoot 'em up. Do not expect it to reinvent the wheel.
Apropos nothing, Hugo Boss - the Nazi - died of a tooth abscess in 1948.
The Blazkowicz sisters very much embody the sort of weird tone the Wolfenstein games have always had. On the one hand it's very much "Oooh, aren't Nazis bad?"... and on the other it's kind of tongue-in-cheek, with banter between the siblings that never takes itself entirely seriously. It does, after a while, start to grate, and as characters neither is particularly likeable.
The other big issue is one that I'm growing increasingly tired of across the board; boss battles. The fights here, as they occasionally were in New Colossus, seem unfairly stacked against you - even with two characters at your disposal. They tend to be Destiny-style bullet sponge affairs, and while there may be plenty of you who enjoy that sort of tedious slog, it feels anathema to a series that has, at least over the past couple of games, put story first.
Its boss battles suck all momentum out of Youngblood, trapping you in a room while you circle and shoot and grind and fall back and grind some more. It's an outdated mechanic that - lest we forget - was introduced to force us to keep plugging coins into an arcade machine. Time to move on.
Coupled to this, your opponents are now only vulnerable to certain weapon types - and you have to figure out on the fly which weapons work best against which cannon fodder enemies and bosses. It's kind of annoying, and doesn't add much to the gameplay, short of forcing you to try out all of the available weaponry.
For all that, Youngblood is still, broadly, a satisfying game. The gunplay is as meaty and visceral as you'd expect from Wolfenstein, the swastika-draped environments tangible and interesting, and there are some nice moments of pseudo-platforming. Given that it has been released at a lower-than-normal price, there's more than enough bang for your buck.
It feels like they've used this lower-risk release as an opportunity to experiment with the format, but it's just a shame that the new elements feel kind of superfluous, and are more about slightly rearranging the deckchairs, rather than truly pushing the genre forwards.
A little nod here, though, for the Switch version. Though I've not played it on other formats - which, presumably, look better... it still looks pretty great on the Switch. The novelty of playing a full-blooded FPS on a handheld has yet to wear off, so for that alone you can give the Switch version a couple of extra points.
SCORE: HUGO BOSS WAS A NAZI out of 10