So what exactly is Mein Leben mode? On the surface, it is simply the game’s hardest difficulty mode no small thing as Wolfenstein II already sports 6 other difficulty modes. Upon inspecting this mode further, you’ll be greeted by an image of a bloodied skull rather than the usual flesh intact face of BJ Blazkowicz. To make matters worse, the only text accompanying the difficulty option simply reads “One life only – game over if you die”. The English translation simply means my life.
Mein Leben mode simply isn’t messing about. For some background, my first playthrough of Wolf2 was on DO or Die! the difficulty which acts as the game’s hard mode. This difficulty setting was no pushover, I died multiple times throughout the campaign even with the upgraded perks and weapons you’ll unlock along the way, it was challenging but equally rewarding. Now that trophy currently sits at 2.7% completion, clearly, not many players have braved hard mode, so what of the other difficulties? Call me Terror-Billy! acts as the very hard difficulty and currently has a completion rate of 0.9% and I am death incarnate! which acts as the ultra-hard difficulty has a completion rate of 0.5%. The point I’m making with all this is that Wolf2 is a very hard game. For some further background, I quite happily beat Wolfenstein The Old Blood and Wolfenstein The New Order on the hardest difficulty modes, they were certainly no pushovers but pale in comparison to the challenge of Wolfenstein II The New Colossus.
Now let’s take a look at Mein Leben which currently has a completion rate of 0.1% although for about a week after release this trophy had a completion rate of 0.0% I checked this trophy every time I logged in and it would appear that at least one person has accomplished this amazing feat.
I wanted to give this trophy a crack myself being no stranger to such challenges and always wanting to squeeze all the content I can out of a game. I’m reminded of two games which had similar trophies. Alien Isolation had a trophy in which you had to complete the game without dying, you could play on any difficulty and the trick was to reload a save during the long death animations which would negate the death. Vanquish also had a trophy in which you had to complete the game without dying, it could be played in any difficulty mode and simply returning to the title screen upon death negated the death.
The thing with Mein Leben mode is that it is a difficulty mode and one in which you can die almost instantly, so no playing the game on the easiest difficulty like you can with other trophies, the ones mentioned above. To add to the insanity there is no manual saving when selecting Mein Leben mode which means no making clever use of manual saves. As far as I can tell, there are no exploits or cheats to make this easier or for the trophy to pop early, you simply have to play the game start to finish without dying.
With all this in mind, I dived into the fray. After the very long intro most of which is not skippable I finally get down to killing Nazis as the wheelchair-bound BJ. My mindset in all this is to play it extremely safe and never ever taking risks. I’ll use the games peeking mechanic to my advantage and use stealth where possible. At first, things are going well I manage to Kill the first Nazi, I use the nearby health packs to overcharge my health, the next two Nazis are hiding behind cover already I’ve taken an unnecessary risk as I charge forward rather than pick them off from a distance but I manage to gun them down in some close quarter combat. Three Nazis down only about 1000 to go. I stock up on ammo, health and armour and confidently wheel myself to the next section. I make a mistake and wheel myself too far forward propelling me out of cover and into the sight lines of two Nazis coming down the flight of stairs. Before I’m able to line up a shot I’ve been shot and killed and the game is asking me to start a new game. Perhaps I was a little too cocky so I try again.
After sitting through the antagonising long introduction again I get straight back to it. Using a piece of destructible environment to kill the first Nazi I remain by the first doorway and wait for the next two Nazis to make their presence known as they approach I open fire but don’t do enough damage to kill them, in response, they open fire killing me instantly… wait… did that just happen? Killed after just one kill on the first level?! Mad at myself I yet again sit through the looooong intro and prepare myself mentally for all the challenges ahead.
The Nazi robots, the super soldiers the brutal and challenging courtroom battle all have to be completed without a single death. Things start off very well, I kill the first Nazi but do take some damage and then wheel myself backwards both of the next enemies rush my position and I’m able to headshot one and gun down the other. In the next room, I wheel about collecting all the available health packs to overcharge my health for the next battle, by doing this the next two Nazi soldiers from the stairwell have pushed towards the doorway and I am yet again able to take them out without taking any damage. Before the elevator there is a wooden box with 25 armour inside, I figure to get through this game will require constantly overcharging health and remaining at max armour as much as possible. I use the elevator and wait for the dialogue to finish with the character Set Roth who has just used his traps to kill two Nazi soldiers, I am able to pick up their helmets for additional armour, in total I have 75 armour for the next battle after the cinematic with Set. In this next section Set Roths traps can be activated to give you the upper hand, wanting to play it safe I kill the unaware Nazi and then decide to activate the traps in the area. During the animation, two soldiers rush me and strip me of all health and armour. Yup…I am so done with this mode.
With Mein Leben mode there is no room for error, none what so ever. To complete, this mode requires inside-out knowledge of the entire game, quick reflexes, clever tactics, plenty of time and an unprecedented amount of luck. This is perhaps the most difficult trophy I have ever come across and thus one of the hardest Platinum trophies to get. It’s very unlikely that things will change to make this easier; honestly, sitting through the intro was the most annoying part as it meant having to wait for ages before getting to attempt this insane challenge again.
So is it impossible? Certainly not but is quite close to it. Those who achieve this should be given some kind of prize. Instead, they get a measly bronze trophy. Best of luck to any and all who attempt this, but this kind of insane challenge is definitely not for me. Instead, I’ll be battling the Nazis on the Death Incarnate difficulty. There I don’t have to sit through the long intro every time I die. Auf Wiedersehen!