LTTP: Wolfenstein: The New Order

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Return to Castle Wolfenstein was a significant title in my gaming history. It was my first introduction to class based multiplayer shooters and my first Wolfenstein title. I enjoyed the campaign but it was never the star of the show; it was the multiplayer. 2009’s Wolfenstein was a direct sequel to Return to Castle Wolfenstein but I ignored it because the multiplayer didn’t resemble RTCW or Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory’s. It was mid-2014 before I gave a Wolfenstein title serious consideration.

The New Order was a re-imagining of Wolfenstein with a de-emphasis on the supernatural and a refocus on alternate timeline “what-if” scenarios. This trailer gave us a glimpse of what life would be like under Nazi rule. It showed a cold concrete cityscape with stormtroopers patrolling the streets. With an interesting premise and plenty of praise throughout 2014’s Game of the Year season, it would have been silly to not pick this up on the cheap — especially when The Order 1886 didn’t pan out and I was itching for a quality single player shooter.

I was immediately impressed by the quality of voice acting, art direction and fluidity of the framerate. It’s invigorating to see first person shooters (that aren’t Call of Duty) favor 60FPS on consoles. I noticed aliasing and poor textures on a regular basis but I’m more than happy to live with those issues if it meant I could have the rock solid 60FPS framerate. This was one of the many correct decisions MachineGames made throughout the game.

Why aren’t there more first person shooters made in this manner? It’s not a foreign style — in fact, I’d say it’s very similar to the likes of hugely popular BioShock. The spaces aren’t as wide open as the ones found in those titles but they offered player choices in approach. Stealth was often a viable option with close range takedowns, throwing knives and silenced pistols at my disposal. On the flipside, the inclusion of the weapon wheel enabled a multitude of choices of firearms for which I can wreak dual wielding havoc with as well. Gluing it all together was a capable cover system that allowed me to be sneaky and keep the firefight going.

I expected to see MP40s, Lugers and Tommy guns make their way back into my virtual hands. I was disappointed by the facsimiles but they were soon replaced by a plethora of re-imagined post-WWII weaponry. The classic german potato masher grenades evolved to include EMP properties that stunned mechanical foes. The MP44 look-a-like evolved to include under barrel rocket launcher attachments. Without constraints, the Nazi war machine’s R&D produced powerful energy weapons. The early prototypes required frequent recharges which limited their usefulness on the field early on. However, the deeper I delve, the more upgrades I found to offset the shortcomings.

The perks system was nothing more than challenges that I’d find in other shooters. They were fun side activities for Trophies but I felt the perk challenges were disruptive to the flow of the game. If I wanted to unlock a particular perk, I had to spend time farming kills in specific circumstances. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re Trophy farming), I was able to reload checkpoints to make farming easier.

B.J Blazkowicz is a known video game character name but who was he besides being loyal and dedicated soldier? I wouldn’t say MachineGames did a lot to redefine who Blazkowicz was, but they did refined his militaristic characteristics and added a layer of murderous intent. He whispers to himself and utters venomous words towards the Nazis. Most of what Blazkowicz was muttering was warranted but the manner which he does it shows a man who isn’t quite right. I mean, who would be with shrapnel embedded in his head?

The Wolfenstein franchise has been all over the place for me. I recognize it as the genesis of first person shooters. It was my gateway game towards a life of loving team oriented multiplayer shooters. And after playing The New Order, I will also associate the Wolfenstein franchise with a fantastic single player campaign. It’s the only franchise where each instalment is a crapshoot. MachineGames will be bringing an affordably priced prequel and I’m considering picking it up sooner rather than later. They only made one game so far but after such a tremendous start, they’ve made a fan of me.

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For more information on Wolfenstein: The New Order, visit the official website.

Battleborn announced

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Gearbox Software just added their fourth game to the list of announced but not released titles. This time it’s Battleborn, a first person shooter x MOBA title coming to the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. It will also have co-operative elements as well as showcased in this trailer.

The announcement trailer doesn’t really show how the game plays. It’s colorful which is nice but I was hoping for glimpses of how the MOBA experience is conveyed to players from a first person perspective. It’s a little early to be expecting that kind of information but in the crowded market of MOBAs and FPSes, I feel they need to show it off more without us needing to buy a copy of Game Informer.

Direct feed of Killzone: Shadow Fall’s E3 demo

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Killzone: Shadow Fall? More like Killzone: Shallow Fail, amirite guys?

That was a lame attempt at humor but there’s meaning behind that. Killzone: Shadow Fall looks like an uninspired title. They may have infused it with next generation visuals but left the gameplay department relatively untouched.

Ideas like OWL may seem like a step up for Killzone but they borrowed elements from other games. Unfortunately they didn’t demonstrate how OWL isn’t a glorified aggro magnet that would make the game a complete cake walk.

I’m not saying other first person shooters are oozing innovation but other shooters have a worthwhile multiplayer mode.

But hey it’s pretty and a launch title.

Crytek’s Warface Trailer

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Warface? Out of all the names, Crytek chose Warface. I guess it’ll work well with their Gface initiative. It’s going to be a free to play first person shooter and it will be class based. I bet you can guess what the classes will be without even pressing play on the trailer below.

I can’t say I’m intrigued. Nothing shown in the trailer was particularly original — not even the mech. But who knows? It’s free and it may turn out to be something great.

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