The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Anya Oliwa

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus- Übercommander Missions

“Some things are so unexpected that no one is prepared for them.” —Leo Rosten

Enigma codes in Wolfenstein: The New Order unlocked new difficulties for the game, and while they were a curious addition, did not offer too much incentive for collection. By comparison, The New Colossus provides a new application for Enigma codes: they drop from commanders, and when a sufficient number have been accured, they can be decoded to unlock the location of an Übercommander, high-ranking commanders working directly under General Engel. More heavily armoured and armed than standard commanders, Übercommanders oversee entire regions and are hypothetically capable of succeeding General Engel. Thus, eliminating Übercommanders would remove the Nazi presence in the United States, and from the perspective of a continuation, it would mean that the American resistance against the Third Reich would be strengthened after all of the Übercommanders are dealt with. Each mission is set in a familiar area explored in the campaign, and a large number of enemies, including standard commanders, stand between Blazkowicz and the Übercommander. However, while the areas might be familiar, some of them have a new twist to them, being set during a different time of day, or else has seen extensive modifications since Blazkowicz last visited. When all of the Übercommanders are dealt with, players will unlock a special Übercommander mission that is called “Riverside”. Set in a pitch-black bunker with more robots than soldiers, it’s a complete change of pace from the missions previously. The eerily quiet, dark settings seem to conceal a greater evil, and it is with unease that Blazkowicz steps into the bunker, armed with only a flashlight against the enemy that is the lack of light. Fighting through hordes of robots and the occasional soldier, players eventually reach the final Übercommander, who is standing out in an open area overlooking the river, unattended save one Zerstörer guarding him.

In an intense but brief fight, players will take on the Zerstörer and finally, the Übercommander himself, completing the kill-board and ensuring that General Engel’s chokehold over the United States come to an end. Entertaining and concise, Übercommander missions are separate from the campaign and serve to further the story in The New Colossus further, providing players with an additional element to explore in the game. Their primary advantage is conferring upon players an opportunity to backtrack and explore areas further, allowing for collectable items and weapon upgrade kits to be found if they’d previously been missed. Being able to go back and find weapon upgrade kits is a hugely useful feature: players who may have missed them now have the chance of collecting them again. Considering the sheer intensity of the fight awaiting folks who reach the Zerstörer fight on board the Ausmerzer, which is a challenge even with fully-upgrade weapons and contraptions, it is most wise to have weapons that give players all possible options. In combining extended story elements with fair gameplay, the Übercommander missions represent an advancement in The New Colossus, providing an incentive to make use of Enigma Codes and replay missions, in turn giving the game a bit more replayability beyond the original campaign missions.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • In the Übercommander missions, the Übercommander’s position is given by a blue outline around the commander signal. Here, I am in the Penthouse by night, rather than evening, and the shift in lighting makes fighting Nazis a great deal more interesting. Prior to each mission, Blazkowicz sets out in a submarine, helicopter or later, to the Venus base, a flying saucer of some sort. After arriving in each area, Grace gives him a bit of a primer, and then it’s off to the main attraction: Nazi killing.

  • Here, I return to Mesquite, where the Nazis have turned Blazkowicz’s former home into a film set, where they intend on filming Blazkowicz’s life story. Under the cover of darkness, Blazkowicz must sneak through the guarded set to locate the Übercommander, and looking around, it’s astounding to see just how much has changed since the events of the campaign. It was here where I back-tracked to find one of the weapon upgrade kits: during the chaos of the campaign mission, I did not bother looking for the upgrade kit and so, missed it.

  • Stealth is typically the best way of getting through a mission without sustaining heavy damage, but against the likes of Supersoldaten, stealth is pretty ineffectual. The end result is that more often than not, I found myself engaging in firefights. The plus side is that taking out a Supersoldaten gives Blazkowicz a heavy weapon, which can be used to waste any reinforcements that subsequently show up.

  • While the campaign did not allow Blazkowicz to draw his guns in downtown Roswell and was set during a parade by day, the Übercommander mission returns Blazkowicz to downtown Roswell at night, amidst streets patrolled by Nazis and Klansman of the KKK. Tempting it might be to sneak up behind one and bury a hatchet into the base of their skull, or else mutilate them with high-powered weapons, the more prudent thing to do is silently dispatch them with a suppressed pistol before breaking off into the alley to the right.

  • The Roswell mission was one of the few places in The New Colossus where I ended up unlocking the Ghost achievement, which entails making it through an entire district without triggering the alarm. By nightfall, some of Roswell’s landmarks come to life, including the theatre, which is set to screen a propaganda film. On the topic of films, I’ve been keeping a close eye on Girls und Panzer Das Finale, but the information is about as abundant as information for Half-Life 3, which is to say that it doesn’t exist at all.

  • Because it is an utter waste of effort to wonder when Girls und Panzer Das Finale is coming out for the folks who don’t have the disposable income to fly to Japan for each of the six instalments, I’m going to return to The New Colossus; here, I find myself outside of Super Spesh’s All American Diner after sneaking by a massive robot. The front door is closed, and there are several ways of getting in. The most stealthy approach would be to use the constrictor harness and crawl through a vent at ground level, but the battle walker allows one to climb onto the roof and hop into the diner undetected. Players with only the ram shackles could run into a bit of trouble here with noise.

  • After some looking around, I worked out the way in by means of the battle walker and managed to sneak into Super Spesh’s diner undetected. By night, the bright lights make the venue an inviting one, and it would have been nice to stop here for a burger and onion rings. However, with Super Spesh gone, there’s no option for food, and after briefly exploring the kitchen to see if there was any food lying around (Blazkowicz can eat food items, such as doughnuts, to regain a small amount of health), I proceed into Super Spesh’s secret hideout.

  • Because I did not set off any alarms during this mission, the Übercommander was completely unaware of my presence, and so, I was able to finish him off using a stealth kill. Subsequently, I explored Super Spesh’s hideout and found the weapon upgrade kit hidden in the level; there are some districts where the weapon upgrade kit can only be found when revisiting it on the Übercommander mission, making the Übercommander missions worth replaying.

  • I’ve heard that some players were able to get more than the twenty-one weapon upgrade kits available in The New Colossus by exiting the mission and saving after one was found, but there’s little point in collecting more than the maximum, since there are only seven upgradable weapons in the game. Overall while I missed the Marksman rifle, which had excellent optics and a versatile alternate fire mode that turned it into an assault rifle, as well as the double barrel shotgun, The New Colossus brings to the table more versatile weapon upgrades and more flexibility in choosing the path one takes in upgrading their weapons. The shooting overall was generally quite fun.

  • I’ve noted in an earlier The New Colossus post that the Lasergewehr would probably be my favourite weapon in the game overall for its sheer power and versatility at almost all ranges. However, as a heavy weapon, it’s limited by its unwieldiness, so for conventional weapons, I would stick to the Sturmgewehr assault rifle: while slower firing than its predecessor in The New Order, the weapon nonetheless has reasonable hipfire and acceptable RPM for close quarters, while the attachment of a marksman optic allows the weapon to transform into a thirty-round marksman rifle.

  • I know that today is the release of Yuru Camp△, and I’ve just finished with watching the first episode; I’m saving the rest of my remarks for a proper discussion later, so my first real post of 2018 will deal with Wolfenstein. With this being said, Yuru Camp△ has met expectations in its narrative and visuals, while exceeding expectations with its soundtrack. I’ll aim to have a proper talk for it after I wrap up Yūki Yūna is a Hero: Hero Chapter‘s finale, which is airing tomorrow – a post on my first impressions of Yuru Camp△ would therefore come out either Saturday or Sunday.

  • So far, 2018’s been off to a smooth start, with warm weather and a clear set of goals for work. The Steam Winter Sale also ended earlier today, and I think this is the first time since 2013 where I sat out a Steam Sale. This year, my eye is on Far Cry 5Metro: Exodus and Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, so I’m likely to save for those and in the meantime, play through some titles that I’ve not opened since I picked them up in earlier Steam Sales. For instance, I still have yet to complete the DLC in Valkyria Chronicles and play through Skullgirls.

  • The end goal of every Übercommander mission is the collection of a death card from each defeated Übercommander. After players secure it, they are given the option of returning to the Eva’s Hammer, or else linger in the district a bit longer. The latter is definitely an option for players looking to find all the collectibles in the game, now that all hostiles have been properly dealt with.

  • Once all of the Übercommanders are taken care of, players unlock the Riverside mission. The mission requires eight enigma codes to unlock, and if one is short enigma codes, the best place to farm for enigma codes is the Penthouse district of New York, where the close quarters make finding commanders a straightforward task. The mission begins normally enough, but as Blazkowicz descends deeper into the Nazi bunker here, he is plunged into total darkness.

  • The only light for most of the mission comes from Blazkowicz’s flashlight, as well as any small point lights that have no emissive properties. Even if one is armed to the teeth with all of the fully-upgraded weapons and contraptions, there’s an eerie mood in the bunkers quite unlike anything seen anywhere else in The New Colossus. The first hint that this secret mission exists is that players do not earn the pair of achievements for taking out all of the Übercommanders and completing the kill board after the “last” mission on the map is dealt with.

  • The labyrinthine tunnels of the bunker makes it extremely easy to get lost, and occasionally, I found myself going in circles in this area. The combination of the tunnels, coupled with darkness, makes this a mission that has terrified some folks playing through the level, although I would count said individuals as lightweights, since Blazkowicz is sufficiently armed to deal with all threats encountered in the tunnels.

  • The minimalistic, barren designs of the concrete walls inside the bunker have led at least one guide to wonder if the mission was originally intended to be a part of the game but removed after, given seemingly incomplete design as evidenced by the bare-bones assets and lack of lighting. However, rather than detracting from the experience, the level design succeeds in creating a sense of unease in players who venture into the black depths of the facility.

  • I concede that there might be some jump scares for folks who move faster than they can see with their flashlights, but a careful, methodical playstyle will allow one to make it through the bunkers without much incident. Stealth in this mission is a bit of a mixed bag, since alerting enemies to one’s presence isn’t a good idea, but on the other hand, there are no standard commanders to bring in reinforcements, and the suppressed pistol isn’t particularly useful here.

  • Close to the end of the seemingly endless tunnels, I managed to take out a Supersoldaten and promptly took its Lasergewehr, allowing me to push onward into the facility. Soon, I spotted a ladder leading players back to the surface. It’s the first bit of natural light in the level since things began, and standing out in the open is the last Übercommander. However, he’s not alone, being guarded by one Zerstörer. I decided the fastest way to wrap things up was to rush the Übercommander and kill him quickly to grab the death card (which freezes the time) and exit the level before the Zerstörer could waste me.

  • Of course, players feeling up for the challenge could try to take on the Zerstörer, but any sort of carelessness will result in a quick death. This brings the first of my two post-campaign The New Colossus posts to an end, and somewhere before January ends, I’ll do a talk on Episode Zero, the first chapter of the DLC. In the meantime, posts coming out in the near future are for Yūki Yūna is a Hero: Hero Chapter‘s finale and my opening impressions of Yuru Camp△. In addition, I will be looking to do a talk on Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter! once its finale comes out (likely on the upcoming Monday) so that I can wrap up the last of the Fall 2017 anime. Finally, because we’re coming close to the ten-year mark after Kotomi’s arc in CLANNAD finished, another post on CLANNAD will be inbound shortly.

One further improvement of the Enigma Codes of The New Colossus is that they are also a bit more straightforward to unlock, being a simple patter-matching exercise. The sum of their contributions to the narrative, ability to allow players a second (or third) chance in unlocking game-changing upgrades and occasionally presenting an area as being different than when first encountered in the campaign mean that overall, The New Colossus is able to make superior use of its Enigma Code and Übercommander mechanic to encourage replay on top of the fact that players can go through the campaign a second time to attempt it using a different special weapon. It’s a pleasant surprise for a standout single player campaign in a market where most campaigns are usually regarded as an afterthought, while not a full game in its own right, the Übercommanders missions ultimately succeed in providing a few additional hours of time spent in The New Colossus. For the folks who’ve gone through The New Colossus already, there’s a pleasant surprise waiting for those who have also taken the time to finish the Übercommander missions if they’ve not already done so, and individuals who’ve yet to finish them will find further incentive to warm up The New Colossus again.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus- Capturing the Ausmerzer, Final Impressions and Reflections

“Lady…that the best you got? Then your best won’t do. You’re among wolves now, and these are our woods.” —William “B.J.” Blazkowicz

After returning to Eva’s Hammer, Blazkowicz is treated to a surprise birthday party, and Wyatt subsequently goes missing. Blazkowicz finds him hidden in the shooting range, and after talking him out, the Resistance prepares to mount an assault on the Ausmerzer. During the preparations, Sigrun reprimands Grace when the latter calls her a Nazi one time too many, earning Grace’s respect, and after boarding the Ausmerzer, the Resistance disables its automated defense system. After reaching the upper levels, Blazkowicz destroys a pair of Zerstörer robots defending the bridge, and reunited with Anya, the Resistance succeed in capturing the Ausmerzer. Later, they travel to the studio doing a live broadcoast of General Engel’s interview for television, and Blazkowicz executes her with a hatchet, avenging Caroline. Wyatt gives a speech about the Resistance’s plans to liberate the world from Nazi rule, and Blazkowicz recovers his mother’s ring from Engel, proposing to Anya. This brings The New Colossus‘ campaign to an end after a sixteen hour long journey; it’s been a while ride whose gameplay mechanics and set-pieces have evidently improved upon those of its predecessor. The game simply looks and feels great, from the shooting to the settings. On the other hand, The New Colossus‘ narrative and pacing exude a different feel than those of The New Order: humour is present to a much greater degree to convey a sense of hope that was absent in earlier games, and this seems to mirror that, as Blazkowic works towards rallying the world against Nazi rule, the possibility of returning liberty and freedom to the world merits a few more smiles and laughs. The ending suggests the possibility of a sequel, where Blazkowicz finally realises his wish to live an ordinary life in a world free of Nazi rule.

The New Colossus‘ return to America opened the floor for exploring what things might’ve been like under Nazi rule, illustrating the core element that the United States was built on and its importance in the American identity. Political commentary and so-called attempts to promote a particular perspective aside, The New Colossus shows that America is defined by its freedoms and liberties: America under Nazi rule prima facie seems unchanged, save the fact that flags with the Swastika are flying everywhere, and culture seems to have only diverged somewhat. However, as players explore the game further, hints of the oppressive Nazi regime become increasingly apparent. Mandatory language laws, imprisonment and execution of racial minorities and the constant lack of personal privacy are rampant. Individual liberty is the single most critical aspect of the American identity. This entails the right to express oneself, choose their own leaders, following their own beliefs or the right to be treated equally – under Nazi rule, liberty is nonexistent. This is what Blazkowicz and his resistance are fighting so hard to bring back: it is not customs, pastimes, culture or cuisine, but a firm belief in freedom that defines America. So, the suggestion that The New Colossus is a political commentary on how modern-day America and the Third Reich are no different is untrue, and individuals who would contend otherwise are evidently unable to grasp the bigger picture that The New Colossus conveys in its narrative.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Sigrun’s knowledge of evading the ODIN system allows the Resistance to bring Blazkowicz and Anya close enough to board it, high above the city below. When I first started this mission, my initial inclination was to run for the boarding platform, which was rapidly closing, but this led me to fall to my death. So, I ended up waiting for Anya to open the platform. Because this post deals with the Ausmerzer mission alone, I’ve chosen to go with twenty screenshots rather than thirty.

  • With every weapon upgrade available and each of the contraptions upgraded, I finally felt ready to take on the Ausmerzer; the mission starts in the same area that Blazkowicz traversed while trying to disable the electromagnet holding Eva’s Hammer in place during the second mission. I’ve long become familiar with the enemies at this point in time, and I’ve found that the Sturmgewehr, when fully upgraded, is the best weapon in the entire game for its versatility. The jungle-style magazine boosts ammunition capacity, the marksman optics facilitate long-range combat and the armour-piercing rounds makes it possible to eliminate heavy opponents quickly. Combined with a high rate of fire and reasonable hip-fire accuracy, dual-wielding the Sturmgewehr is probably the most useful for dealing with unexpected situations.

  • Here, I reach the first of the ODIN terminals, sweeping and clearing anything that moved. The old areas of the Ausmerzer are familiar, but after Blazkowicz reaches the first terminal and enters the password to deactivate half of the weapons, Anya prepares two elevator pods so that they can reach the next control room, set in a new area of the Ausmerzer.

  • In German, ausmerzen is a verb for “to weed out” or “eradicate”; “Ausmerzer”, then, is probably taken to mean “Eradicator”, befitting of the airship’s purpose. Once the first terminal was found, I found myself facing a horde of soldiers and switched over the the Kampfpistols, emptying nearly my entire stock of ammunition on them. Similar to The Old Blood, there are few occasions in The New Colossus where these explosive launchers are really able to shine: the damage makes the Kampfpistoles best suited for crowd control and damaging heavier opponents, but ammunition is scarce. For their power, Kampfpistole rounds are wasted on most soldiers.

  • A Supersoldaten begins attacking the pods and rips the top off the one that Blazkowicz is riding, but I came prepared. In TheRadBrad’s playthough, he used the Dieselgewehr to kill it, but the blast damage whittled at his armour. Conversely, I struck with the Sturmgewehr: its armour-piercing rounds made quick work of the Supersoldaten and dealt no splash damage to me. After reaching this point, it’s a massive firefight to clear the area of Nazi soldiers.

  • The ram shackles are powerful enough to reduce victims into a pile of meat and blood: after locating the second ODIN control center, I sprinted in and ran towards a soldier in here, who met the same fate as Corpse Party‘s Mayu Suzumoto. While both similarly feature their share of blood and gore, the separation between the two titles is that in The New Colossus, players are responsible for turning folks into bloody chunks, while in Corpse Party, players usually find classmates reduced to the same and must evade the supernatural forces responsible. Consequently, if Blazkowicz were introduced into Blood Corpse with his superior arsenal, the game would necessarily be reclassified as an action adventure – even the likes of Sachiko would be no match against the Dieselkraftwerk.

  • Will I play Corpse Party, one asks? The game normally retails for 17 CAD and reaches a minimum price of 11.04 CAD on a discount. It is not compatible with a Mac and has low system requirements, while reviews are exceedingly positive. Being an RPG with multiple endings that require some thought to get right, rather than a steady aim and quick reflexes, my bet is that I’ll end up with every bad ending conceivable if I play Corpse Party because my gaming skillset is making headshots, not working out optimal decisions in games with branching storylines.

  • It took me a little while to work out where to go after the ODIN systems were disabled, and in the end, I noticed a crane reaching towards the centre of this room, allowing Blazkowicz to access a pod. Climbing up a ladder here will finally take Blazkowicz to the Ausmerzer’s upper deck, and it is here that the final level begins to shine, matching the spectacle seen in The New Order‘s final mission to assault Deathshead’s compound. In The New Colossus, the visuals are even more impressive.

  • While presented as a terrifying flying fortress, it is here that players see for themselves the Ausmerzer’s arsenal: large guns are mounted on the deck for bombardment, and the airship has a distinct feeling similar to that of a ocean-faring battleship. With the open skies above and a large city below, the scale in this level is truly breathtaking. Of course, there’s no time to admire the scenery: the entire airship remains to be captured at this point.

  • The Zittadel robots no longer intimidate me, and while I could have destroyed it using conventional weapons, it seemed so much more fun to pick up the Lasergewehr and annihilate it in a head-on attack. Here, I focus fire on the missile launcher to deprive it of a long range assault: AP rounds from the Sturmgewehr are effective, but having a Lasergewehr makes this battle trivially straightforwards. Because they were so entertaining to use, I have an excess of 300 kills with heavy weapons in The New Colossus, whereas in The New Order, I stuck with standard weapons.

  • One of the perks available only in The Old Blood was the fact that players could carry the MG46 machine gun in their inventory, had they accumulated enough kills with it in the game. The weapon was only marginally more powerful than standard weapons and as such, I never did run too often with it. Conversely, in The New Colossus, heavy weapons were definitely worth using, and while each of the different weapons have their unique points, the Lasergewehr is the most versatile: the Dieselgewehr and Hammergewehr are both fun but better suited for close ranges, while the Übergewehr requires a bit of skilful timing to use owing to its slow firing rate.

  • With my heavy weapons perk levelled to the maximum possible, I was able to carry a ridiculous amount of ammunition for them. The slower movement speed was offset by the vast amount of firepower available, and unlike The Old Blood, these weapons definitely feel powerful. It becomes possible to hold down the trigger and watch as untold amounts of destruction unfolded; the deck here was cleared in no time at all.

  • One detail that I began noticing with the Schockhammer is that, when the rotating barrels are engaged to allow the shotgun to fire all three barrels at once, the weapon goes through three rounds per pull of the trigger, and this is reflected in the shells being chambered in the magazine. Subtle elements, such as weapon chambering animations, never cease to impress me; I am always fond of games that make the effort to add these animations to weapons.

  • The sheer amount of chaos on board the Ausmerzer is such that I’m glad that there are no weapon upgrade kits here to collect: the mission’s entire focus is on capturing the Ausmerzer. Compared to the specific weapon upgrades of The New Order and The Old Blood, the kit-based system of The New Colossus is superior in that it offers players a choice in upgrading their weapons to best fit their play-style. While natural progression will eventually see all of the upgrades unlocked, providing options allow players to pick and choose their preferred weapons to upgrade early in the game.

  • I acquire another Übergewehr on board the Ausmerzer, and look back on the parts of the ship that I’ve already progressed through. I’ve heard people state that the Übergewehr is a black hole generator, but this is ludicrous. Documentation properly describes the weapon as using a combination of electricity and diesel fuel to create a powerful energy blast capable of igniting and vapourising even heavily-armoured enemies outright. Overall, the heavy weapons of The New Colossus are much more fun to use than the MG46 and MG60 seen in its predecessors.

  • When the doors open and pods containing Supersoldaten were launched, I immediately began charging the Übergewehr. There’s a small mechanical indicator on the weapon that shows whether or not the weapon is fully charged: the Übergewehr won’t fire until this indicator is filled, and in the heat of battle, it can be a little difficult to determine what one’s firing state is. Here, I use the weapon to one-shot a Supersoldaten using the Übergewehr’s main energy blast. After a number of these pods are launched, two Zerstörer (“Destroyer”) robots, the level’s bosses, come out in full force. It’s the toughest fight I’d faced in The New Colossus, even with fully upgraded weapons and contraptions.

  • Armed with Übergewehrs of their own, the Zerstörer robots can one-shot Blazkowicz. The Übergewehr, while powerful enough to kill everything else in The New Colossus in one shot, will not destroy the Zerstörer as easily. While slow moving and slow to fire, the fight is compounded by the endless number of soldiers and Supersoldaten that join the Zerstörer. This fight was absolutely overwhelming and it took me a few attempts to get it right: victory is not achieved by superior firepower (least of all with heavy weapons, which slow the player down) alone, but rather, clever use of the available environment to evade and gain better positioning.

  • I managed to kill one Zerstörer using the Übergewehr, which earned me an achievement. The second one, I destroyed in conjunction with the unending reinforcements using the Sturmgewehr. There’s an entire floor below the top deck, and escaping in here to avoid enemy fire, as well as thinning out the standard soldiers, are an essential trick to completing this battle. The boss fight is much easier with the Ram Shackles, since players can batter soldiers to death while beating a hasty escape. After I figured out the environment, and fell back on the old DOOM strategy of shooting the remaining Zerstörer until it was destroyed, I finished this section to finally capture the Ausmerzer.

  • With the Ausmerzer under the Kreisau Circle’s control, there is one final loose end to deal with: General Engel herself. By a bit of a hilarious coincidence, one of my old classmates has taken this surname. The irony comes from the fact that I did not particularly get along with this individual or their friends (followers, really) too well, since they regarded themselves as being the height of popularity and set the standards for what was “in”, whereas I believe that people should make their own decisions regarding brands, life choices and politics.

  • This was the easiest final fight ever: Engel does not stand a chance against Blazkowicz, and this was one of the most violent things I’d seen since The Animatrix‘s Second Renaissance. On the flip-side, Blazkwicz avenges both Caroline and Super Spesh, setting the stage for an opportunity to finally liberate the world. I’ve heard negative reception towards the cliffhanger ending, which is reminiscent of Halo 2, but the possibility of getting another Wolfenstein game a few years down the line is an exciting one. I look forwards to seeing how this journey ends. With The New Colossus‘ campaign at an end, I will be returning in the future to talk about two other aspects of The New Colossus not covered during my campaign run. Looking at the calendar, we’re now a month away from Christmas. There’s quite a lot to do before Christmas arrives, but I look forwards to a peaceful Christmas with family that I foresee spending in Battlefront II or The Division, as well as relaxing with a good book in hand.

Overall, my final verdict for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is that this is a game well worth the price of admission: while perhaps not quite as focused as its predecessors from a narrative perspective, the story nonetheless fits together in a satisfactory manner to reinforce the idea that Blazkowicz’s war is finally beginning to turn in a favourable direction. Between the world-building that further explores what a world under Nazi rule might be like and a large cast of characters that offers no shortage of humour to the journey, The New Colossus might not have the same sense of sombreness or urgency of its predecessor, but it replaces this with hope, suggesting that a world liberated from Nazi rule might very well be close at hand. This looks to be setting in stage a continuation, and I would welcome another instalment in the Wolfenstein franchise. In conjunction with generally solid gameplay (the game is an overall improvement over its predecessor in every department except for indication that damage is being sustained) and fantastic audio-visual elements, it was a superbly entertaining journey to pick up weapons and absolutely shred Nazis. With The New Colossus now in the books, there’s actually still a few things remaining before I can say I’ve fully finished the game: I’ve got a few Übercommanders left to finish off, and because I bought The New Colossus on Day One, I got Episode Zero to complete, which serves as an introduction to each of Joseph Stallion, Jessica Valiant and Gerald Wilkins, who are playable characters in the upcoming DLC.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus- Review and Reflection after the Manhattan Bunker, New Orleans and Oberkommando Venus Base

“Welcome to the Oberkommando. Population: shitload of assholes. You got my ODIN codes, assholes?” —William “B.J.” Blazkowicz

With a powerful new body, Blazkowicz is sent to a Nazi bunker in Manhattan to retrieve a file on New Orleans and learns that the Nazis have a plan to systemmatically eliminate everyone in a large walled ghetto there. Travelling to New Orleans with the Kreisau Circle and fights his way through the occupying Nazi forces to meet up with Horton Boone and his resistance members. Blazkowicz’s combat efficiency impresses Horton, and after a few drinks, he gets into a shouting match with Horton that culminates with Blazkowicz earning his respect. Horton and his crew agree to join the Kreisau Circle, and Blazkowicz uses a captured Panzerhund to distract the Nazis while Horton’s people evacuate to Eva’s Hammer. He returns to the Eva’s Hammer and uses the nuclear cannon to generate a shockwave that pushes the submarine back into the ocean ahead of the Ausmerzer’s arrival. Back on board, the Kreisau Circle learns that the Ausmerzer was originally built to suppress resistance forces and would be a powerful asset if captured. However, the Ausmerzer’s ODIN defense system must first be disabled, and to this end, Blazkowicz travels to Venus under the guise of an actor auditioning for the role of Terror Billy in a propaganda film. He comes face-to-face with Adolf Hitler himself, although far from being the mastermind of the Nazi’s rise to power, he’s now degenerated physically and mentally, suffering episodes of psychosis and a persistent cough. After a tense audition where Blazkowicz brutally kills a Nazi soldier for a scene, impresses Hitler and is given the part. Blazkowicz later steals away from his quarters, fighting his way through the Venus facility and reaches the Oberkommando Base, located on the blisteringly hot surface of Venus, where he finds the codes for ODIN.

This is where I am so far for The New Colossus, and like The New Order before it, I’ve advanced through the game at a high pace – The New Colossus is engaging in its story, and the colourful cast of characters have been the game’s strongest point, adding much humour to an otherwise grim world. The second half has definitely been a blast, and while perhaps similar to The New Order in essentials (stealing a powerful Nazi war machine to supplement the Kreisau Circle and travelling to a facility in space to acquire codes required to make this endeavour possible), the second half of The New Colossus is coherent, focused and clear as to what Blazkowicz’s goals are. One of the aspects that is absent in The New Colossus are over-the-top boss fights mid-game: so far, the toughest enemies I’ve encountered so far are the Zitadelle robots, which can be easily defeated by making use of an AP round-equipped assault rifle to eliminate its weapons. By comparison, The New Order had Blazkowicz fight the London Monitor in a titanic battle. While the lack of memorable bosses in The New Colossus prior ot the the finale is noticeable, The New Colossus offers an excellent set of Übercommander assassination missions, in which Blazkowicz returns to previously explored districts to kill off a high ranking officier, as well as side-missions that allow him to explore Eva’s Hammer in more detail. The additional world-building provides further depth to the world that Wolfenstein II is set in, and I’ve found it to be superbly enjoyable to revisit old locations with upgraded weapons and contraptions.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • After getting a new body, gameplay changes slightly as Blazkowicz regains access to 100 health, but loses the ability to pick up additional armour. Dropped in New York without an air filter or powered armour, the return to Manhattan has Blazkowicz picking up health packs every so often to ensure that he does not succumb to the radiation. Of the three contraptions, I picked the battle walker, which allows Blazkowicz to gain the high ground in combat and access locations that are otherwise out of reach.

  • The other two contraptions are the constrictor harness, which allows Blazkowicz to squeeze into incredibly tight quarters such as vents and openings closer to the ground, and the ram shackles that offer the ability to ram through some doors and boxes. My choice in the battle walker was made because it seems the most fun to use, bringing to mind the Bamboo Boogie Boots from Futurama. The ram shackles are the best suited for a highly aggressive play-style, while the constrictor harness is fantastic for stealth. It is possible to acquire all contraptions and upgrade them, and this is something that I ended up doing.

  • Panzerhunds make a return as mini-bosses of sorts in The New Colossus, although by now, I have no shortage of options in dealing with heavy enemies. The battle walker allowed me to climb onto hard-to-reach places or maintain a superior vantage point over the battlefield. Together with the Hammergewehr, I absolutely massacred the Panzerhund here. I’ve read that the lowest difficulty is the best way to enjoy The New Colossus, but I would have to disagree with this remark: normal difficulty is fine.

  • Collectable concept art, star cards, Nazi Gold and Max’s toys are scattered throughout The New Colossus, and while I’ll pick them up if I find them, my greater priority is on collecting weapon upgrade kits, since those directly affect gameplay. I missed a few during my playthrough, but thanks to the Übercommander missions, I’ve been able to collect everything, allowing me to fully upgrade all of my weapons. The constrictor harness can be found here, and I used it to take out the Übercommander on this map, as well as to help me find the second of the upgrade kits.

  • Here, I find the Kampfpistole to complete my collection of weapons. Returning from The Old Blood, the incarnation in The New Colossus now has a six-round magazine, and while initially appearing to be a downgrade from its predecessor in The Old Blood for firing grenades, the Kampfpistole can be upgraded to fire rocket-propelled grenades. The weapon is based off the Sturmpistole, which was a modified flare gun that was intended to be an infantry-portable anti-tank solution that could further be mounted as an under-barrel attachment, as seen in Brave Witches.

  • Reaching the end of the Manhattan Bunker with the New Orleans folder in hand, there’s a short elevator ride that takes Blazkowicz back to the surface. After returning to Eva’s Hammer, I spent a fair bit of time unlocking Übercommander missions with the enigma codes I amassed. Before heading to New Orleans, I cleared out Manhattan, Roswell and Mesquite: the missions don’t feature auto-saves, and the Übercommanders are armed with the Kampfpistole. On some missions, I was forced to take them head-on and died more times than I cared to count, but I managed to finish the Roswell mission without being detected.

  • Under Nazi occupation, New Orleans is distinctly woebegone, with empty streets and boarded up buildings. For some reason, I’ve inexplicably associated the Deep South with Tango-Victor-Tango, if only for the fact that one of my friends introduced me to the site and Marble Hornets and I began playing Left 4 Dead 2 during the summer days, when the weather up here in Alberta elicits the sort of atmosphere seen in the Deep South. Marble Hornets is set in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Left 4 Dead 2 takes players through the swamps and cities of Louisiana. Thus, playing through New Orleans in The New Colossus elicits memories of summer evenings spent browsing Tango-Victor-Tango and watching Marble Hornets long after research hours ended when I was an undergraduate student.

  • I remember seeing gameplay footage set in New Orleans during demos back during the summer and found myself highly impressed with the visuals. Compared to The New Order, lighting effects and details are slightly more sophisticated, and I originally wondered if my computer would be able to handle The New Colossus. While we are on the topic of Tango-Victor-Tango, the last week was a little hectic after one reader sent me a request to help fact-check for the Hai-Furi page there; they were looking for some assistance in determining which of the technical examples were legitimate and which ones were fallacious. I spent most evenings looking through examples and verifying them in place of my usual relaxing.

  • In the end, I managed to corroborate most of the information save two claims: that methane clathrate (“burning ice”, or “gas hydrate”) deposits were not located anywhere near Japan, as well as the assertion that Akeno, Moeka and Mashiro’s nicknames (“Mike”, “Moka” and “Shiro”) are common cat names in Japan. The former is untrue, as geological surveys have in fact found the presence of some deposits, and the latter is also untrue: a year-and-a-half after Hai-Furi ended, I still haven’t found anything to suggest that Akeno and the others are named after cats beyond one bogus “discussion” whose author claims that “the cat theme is there and intentional, though – it extends to the entirety of the Harekaze crew”.

  • After twelve episodes and two OVAs, cats have a practical, rather than symbolic role in Hai-Furi, so I’m going to leave the discussion there and transition over to talk of dogs, specifically, mechanised ones. Panzerhunds have been trying to kick Blazkowicz’s ass throughout all of The New Order and most of The New Colossus, so when Horton gives Blazkowicz a captured Panzerhund to ride, the game kicks things into twelfth gear. The Panzerhund can pick up armour off defeated enemies to restore its armour pool to prolong its usefulness in combat.

  • It is incredibly satisfying to use the Panzerhund’s flamethrower to incinerate enemies: the flames are so intense they can burn through the Supersoldaten in mere moments, and even explode a heavily armoured vehicle carrying Nazi soldiers. However, all good things must come to an end, and eventually, the path becomes too narrow for the Panzerhund to fit through. After entering an abandoned factory and fighting off a horde of Nazis, Blazkowicz makes his way into the sewers of New Orleans.

  • It turns out that the massive robots I’ve been fighting are called “Zitadelle” (German for “Citadel”). Their armaments allow them effectiveness at all ranges; while they are intimidating with their size and loadout, they can actually be destroyed quite quickly. My preferred tactic is to use the Sturmgewehr’s AP rounds in single-fire mode and blow off the left arm first, limiting its attacks to close range, and then destroy the remaining arm, which causes the entire thing to explode spectacularly. The stealth approach is a bit riskier, involving sneaking up on it and severing both of its fuel lines. Igniting the fuel also allows for the Zitadelle to be destroyed quickly.

  • I originally was not intending on playing The New Colossus entering the weekend – Yūki Yūna is a Hero: Hero Chapter was scheduled to release, and I was aiming to have a post out for the first episode of Hero Chapter out that evening, but we ended up with a recap episode, and so, I ended up taking the time to advance further in The New Colossus. I’ve previously remarked that I have plans to blog about Hero Chapter in an episodic fashion, and while no new episode was aired, I did see that another anime blog had a talk out for the recap, published while I was still at work. If this is the case, I do not think I’ll be able to offer the fastest discussions on Hero Chapter, but I think I can make interesting, insightful posts nonetheless. I will try and see if it is viable to get posts out on the same day that episodes air, although it is possible that Saturdays are when the posts will be published, as well.

  • While the section through the New Orleans sewers is short, they nonetheless bring back memories of the sewers from Enter The Matrix. The last time I completed the game was back in late 2015, and I’ve been meaning to do a pair of talks on the game, but the opportunity has not yet materialised. A Matrix reboot is supposedly in the works, and it could be time for me to take another look at a game that I greatly enjoyed when I was younger, back in the days when dual core processors and high speed internet was just beginning to become commonplace. The ram shackles can be found here for observant players, and folks who missed it can always return to claim it during an Übercommander mission.

  • At this point in The New Colossus, I’d upgraded enough of my weapons so that even Supersoldaten were not much of a threat: the Schockhammer X, when fully upgraded, features a forty-round magazine and can fire three shots with each pull of the trigger. It will annihilate almost anything downrange, and after I cleared out the area here, I found another weapon upgrade kit inside the house, in a small room to the left. This is one of the upgrade kits that are more out of the way, and in my experience, was the second most hidden one.

  • Adolf Hitler is depicted in the game, and far from the powerful dictator who commanded the Third Reich, the Führer now is a wretch of a man, troubled with a failing body and neurodegenerative disease. Critics have praised this particular direction, suggesting that it’s the perfect caricature of one of the most vile individuals calling themselves a leader in history, and for this, I find that this particular incarnation of the Führer is ill-suited to be the antagonist of any sequels, being relegated to a pathetic and somewhat comedic role. There’s an easter egg here for folks who are inquisitive.

  • The Oberkommando base on Venus is a familiar concept, being similar to the Moon base from The New Order. However, the different environments mean that the Venus base and Moon base are completely different from one another. The presence of a Nazi facility on Venus also attests to just how much of a technological advantage they have over the world, and to have constructed a base on Venus, of all places, is a nontrivial feat: consider that we’ve not returned to the moon since the last Apollo XVII mission in 1972.

  • The interior of the Venus facility feels a little bit like the average space museum, with all of the surface relief models and satellite replicas. The page quote here comes from a point during this mission when Blazkowicz closes in on the Oberkommando center, bringing to mind his comments on the Nazi moon landing in The New Order. Present in the new Wolfenstein games since 2014, I’ve been a big fan of the random quips that Blazkowicz will make during the course of a mission.

  • The engineering in the Venus base is incredibly detailed, and really gives the sense that it was designed to withstand the extreme pressure and heat on the surface. Hallways are composed entirely of steel and look like they’re designed to withstand high pressures, with HVAC components visible here and there to hint at how much resources are directed towards keeping building interiors cool. Windows are small, compared to the large windows and high ceilings of the lunar base seen in The New Order. It’s apparent that Machine Games investigated architecture suitable for conditions on Venus, and the interior of the facility screams Venus, with its yellows, reds and tans, compared to the greys, whites and blues of the moon base.

  • At its surface, Venus has an average temperature of 462°C and a pressure of 92 atm. The atmosphere is largely carbon dioxide, with traces of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen. Precipitation takes the form of sulfuric acid, which is highly corrosive and can cause severe burns. In The New Colossus, Blazkowicz dons a special suit in order to traverse the facility’s exterior, and while it is not implausible for a suit to withstand extremities of temperature, I find its construction to be most impressive, given that it can stand up to Venus’s atmosphere, which exerts an equivalent of the pressure found in the oceans down at a depth of one kilometer.

  • One of the nuances about Venus is that Blazkowicz must be mindful of the amount of coolant remaining in his suit: it depletes over time, forcing him to resupply at special stations. Running out completely results in a painful death, but it seems that moving around at high speeds and taking damage in combat thankfully does not appear to have an impact on the coolant supply. It is possible to instantly restock on coolant by entering a building, and while it can be easy to neglect coolant levels mid-combat, The New Colossus provides cues for players: Blazkowicz will remark that it’s a good idea to resupply or that it’s getting hot when he’s low, and an alarm will go off if levels are critical.

  • In The Old Blood, the Kampfpistole could not be dual-wielded, so when they made it an option to pair the Kampfpistole with another weapon and even use two at once, there is the possibility for limitless destruction, allowing Blazkowicz to reduce entire groups of enemies to puddles of blood and chunks of meat. Fully upgraded, the Kampfpistoles can put out six rockets at a time when dual-wielded, with each Kampfpistole firing three rounds at a time for massive damage.

  • This ladder goes up a shaft leading to the next section, and it is here that the best-hidden weapon upgrade kit is located: it’s found halfway up the shaft on a ledge adjacent to the ladder and can only be accessed by climbing to the top and hopping back down. There are a total of twenty one weapon upgrade kits in The New Colossus, and while I’ve heard of players farming Übercommander missions to acquire more, one only needs twenty one to fully upgrade every weapon. The last upgrade kit is found in one such mission, and can’t be missed, being on the way to the Übercommander.

  • Admittedly, the exteriors on Venus bring to mind the terrain and landscapes of Mars in DOOM: this is the closest that Wolfenstein and DOOM will come; while the games original incarnations were quite similar in mechanics, their narratives differed greatly, and both games contributed to the development of modern shooters.

  • Scattered throughout the Venus base are large spherical fuel tanks that explode when shot. A well-placed explosion can eliminate an entire group of enemies at once, earning players environment kills that contribute to a perk that reduces explosive damage taken.

  • The Übergewehr is the ultimate weapon in The New Colossus, being more or less the Wolfenstein incarnation of DOOM‘s BFG 9000. Like the BFG, it is so powerful that it can reduce entire groups of enemies and even Supersoldaten into unrecognisable piles of meat and blood. However, unlike the BFG 9000, Blazkowicz cannot carry the weapon in his inventory, experiences reduced movement speeds while wielding it (like all other heavy weapons), and there aren’t any powerful bosses to use it on. It must be charged before firing, and creates a massive energy sphere that vapourises anything it touches. The scene where players are presented an opportunity to try it out is also reminiscent of DOOM, where players can try their newly-acquired BFG 9000 on a room full of possessed.

  • As I wander deeper into the Oberkommando facility, I’ll also take this time to remark that its been a bit more than a week since the Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka??: Dear My Sister OVA began screening in Japan. With the home release (and correspondingly, my review) likely to come in Spring 2018, I remark that discussions on the OVA has been fortuitously light. With this in mind, at least one English-speakers have already seen it, having reserved tickets ahead of time and traveled to Japan with the sole purpose of seeing the film. While one might perhaps admire their tenacity and disposable income, I simply don’t have the time to do something of a similar scale. So, for folks wondering when I’ll write about Dear My Sister, the answer to this is that it’ll be close to the home release: ordering BDs is rather more economical than spending an excess of two thousand Canadian for one 50-minute long OVA.

  • It’s actually a bit surprising to learn that I’ve spent roughly fifteen hours in The New Colossus and I’ve still got quite a bit to do before I finish the game: I spent most of the past weekend in The New Colossus. Most of Saturday was devoted to looking around for a new tree top ornament with LED lights, which I was unsuccessful in finding, and then visiting a local meat shop to buy some spicy kebabs and chicken wings. Despite the lateness in the day, the clerk gave us a sample of their meatloaf, which tasted quite wonderful. I nonetheless managed to get a good way into the Oberkommando mission after a hearty dinner of fried chicken and fries with a nacho salad to start – it’s always satisfying to spend a Saturday evening gaming following a crunchy and flavourful fried chicken, which seems the perfect accompaniment for shooters (after washing and drying the dishes, of course).

  • Contrary to complaints about things on Steam reviews, the amount of content in The New Colossus is nothing to sneeze at, and it looks like that I might not be able to finish The New Colossus‘s campaign and Übercommander missions before the hopefully upcoming Steam Black Friday sale, where I’m looking to pick up The Division. I’ve mentioned this in passing previously, and while I didn’t think the value was there when the game was going for 35 CAD during last year’s Winter Sale, the game has seen discounts to the tune of 60 percent off, which corresponds with a price tag of 28 CAD, which is rather more reasonable. Coupled with the fact that this time of year, leading up towards Christmas, ties in nicely with the atmosphere in The Division, it feels like the time is right for me to experience a game I’ve not played since the open beta back in February of last year.

  • As for Star Wars: Battlefront II, I’m still on the rocks about whether or not I’ll be picking it up. The crisis with the loot crates notwithstanding, the gameplay looks mechanically solid, and the Christmas season seems the time to be playing a Star Wars game. I’ll make a decision on Battlefront II closer to The Last Jedi‘s première, when the game will likely be sold at a discounted price. Back in Wolfenstein, I’ve upgraded all of my weapons and have all of the contraptions upgraded as well, meaning that I’m more or less ready to roll onwards and finish the final mission on board the Ausmerzer. I will be returning once I complete The New Colossus to do a final impressions on the game overall. In the meantime, Hero Chapter‘s first episode is set to air this Friday, so I’m looking forwards to seeing what this entails.

From a technical perspective, The New Colossus is an incredibly fun game that definitely has earned its place in the sun as a worthy predecessor to The New Order. The biggest strengths in the game lie in the world-building, which expands upon what was seen in the first game, and the cut-scenes were as entertaining to watch as the shooter elements were to play. Notably, The New Colossus is able to strike a balance between comedic and serious moments more so than its predecessors – finally, we have a game that feels consistent with the marketing and advertising, and the humour interspersed throughout the game conveys a sense of hope that, with Blazkowicz and his raggedy-ass bunch of resistance members, there really is a possibility to liberate the world and return liberty to its people. The New Order ended on a somber note; defeating Deathshead did not stop the Nazi stranglehold over the world, and similarly, The Old Blood concluded with Blazkowicz joining Fergus for the ill-fated run on Deathshead’s compound. Both games had easy-going, hilarious advertising campaigns, and the games themselves left me feeling a bit melancholy, knowing that all of Blazkowicz’s effort notwithstanding, his dream of ending the war and settling down to start a family would not be realised yet. The change in atmosphere in The New Colossus, seemingly irreverent, actually gives the impression that the world Blazkowicz dreams of building might not be an impossibility after all.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus At The Halfway Point

“You take freedom away from the American people, you’re playing with fire. And I intend to pour some gasoline!” ―William J. Blazkowicz

After reaching the remains of Manhattan, Blazkowicz makes his way to the Empire State Building to link up with the American resistance elements. The trek through the crumbling ruins of New York is an arduous one; Blazkowicz fights off hordes of patrolling Nazis and even a massive robot. After meeting up with Grace Walker and Norman “Super Spesh” Caldwell, Blazkowicz clears off the area of Nazi reinforcements before flying back with Grace’s resistance team to Eva’s Hammer. Blazkowicz informs Anya of his condition after she confronts him about avoiding her as of late, but their conversation is broken by Grace, who announces a plan to cripple Nazi leadership (the Oberkommando) at their base in Roswell, New Mexico. After recovering a nuclear warhead from the bowels of Eva’s Hammer, Blazkowicz travels to Roswell and meets up with Super Spesh, who provides support for him as he infiltrates the Nazi base, plants the bomb and annihilates it. However, when he makes a detour to his old home in Mesquite, Texas, to retrieve a family heirloom, Blazkowicz confronts his father and is captured by General Engle. An attempt to free him from captivity fails, and Blazkowicz is sentenced to death, briefly imagining himself escaping and meeting with his mother one last time during the trial. During his execution, General Engle personally beheads him, but the Kreisau Circle recovers his head and manage to keep him alive, grafting his head onto a new body. Swinging from the morose and maudlin to whacky comedy at the drop of a hat, The New Colossus has been one hell of a journey so far, and this is from just completing the first half of the game, which I’ve heard to be the weaker half (in turn suggesting that things will continue to get better as I progress further).

When The New Colossus first released, it was bug-ridden: I’ve been fortunate in that the game has been very stable for the most part. With this in mind, my first evening with The New Colossus was characterised by not being able to take screenshots and my mouse sensitivity settings reverting to their default values whenever I re-entered the game. I’m also able to alt-tab out of the game now without suffering crashes. The game has since seen some patches and at the time of writing, both of my issues have been rectified, allowing me to focus on the gameplay and story. Shooting and movement is of a high quality, thanks to both the Id Tech 6 Engine and a capable GPU, presenting an experience as smooth as that of The New Colossus‘ predecessors. However, where The New Colossus really shines is in its characterisations: more so than the previous Wolfenstein games, The New Colossus presents Blazkowicz as a mortal man struggling to deal with his impending death and resolute determination to have a proper family, having known only abuse with his father and seeking solace in his mother’s company. The Kreisau Circle and crew on board Eva’s Hammer become his new family, and in exploring Eva’s Hammer, players see through Blazkowicz some more interesting and meaningful interactions amongst the people on board. Similarly, the extent of General Engle and the Third Reich’s fanaticism is superbly presented – by The New Colossus, the enmity between Blazkowicz and Engle reach new heights; Engle addresses Blazkowicz with a mixture of revulsion and perversion. While The New Colossus might be a shooter whose marketing campaign was centred around wholesale slaughter, a colourful, well-written cast of characters forms the centrepiece of The New Colossus, and moments spent on board Eva’s Hammer exploring are just as enjoyable as the moments where I am taking on Nazi robots with the Lasergewehr.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • In the past 24 hours, Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka: Dear My Sister premièred in Japanese theatres, although unlike Girls und Panzer: Der Film, things have been quieter – I’ve not seen quite as much excitement around the ‘net. There will be a time to write about Dear My Sister later, so for the time being, I will focus on The New Colossus. After seeing the trailer footage of a Fat Man-like device being used on New York for The New Order, players will have a chance to see what New York looks like in the aftermath. In the trailer, the bomb appeared to have been detonated in Lower Manhattan: if we assume a similar yield of 20 kilotons, the blast would level everything within a 1.1 kilometer radius and severely damage buildings out to a distance of 1.24 kilometers.

  • Looking at the maps, then, it is plausible that the Empire State Building would have survived, structurally intact. Blazkowicz is dropped into an area outside of the detonation, since most of the buildings are still standing, albeit severely damaged and exposed to the elements. Of the crew on board Eva’s Hammer, Blazkowicz is capable of surviving the radiation in New York owing to the suit of Da’at Yichud powered armour, and so, he is sent to go into the ruins of Manhattan to locate the New York resistance.

  • The hazmat gear Nazi soldiers have are reminiscent of the cleaners from The Division, and I’ve made a decision about The Division: the game’s gone on some sales now for prices well below what I’d seen previously, and I’ve heard rumours that Steam will have a Black Friday sale this year starting on November 22. If this is the case, I will likely pick up The Division; this time of year seems to be well-suited for playing through The Division, and I would like to get a bit of a start on it.

  • After I found my first weapon upgrade kit, I added the suppressor to my pistol so I could headshot commanders from a distance outside of the throwing range for hatchets. The pistol is surprisingly useful and while I avoid sidearms in most games, Wolfenstein‘s pistols are immensely useful for stealth approaches, being able to eliminate most standard enemies with one well-placed round to the skull. The second weapon upgrade I would apply was adding a marksman optic to the assault rifle. The lack of dedicated long-range weapons in Wolfenstein is a first: The New Order had the Marksman rifle, and The Old Blood gave players the Bombenschuss. The marksman optic turns the assault rifle into an accurate weapon for longer-range combat, making it an indispensable upgrade.

  • The lighting effects in The New Colossus are impressive, and here, I stop to admire the volumetric lighting in New York before descending into the subways. I’m playing the game on standard difficulty: I went through the previous two Wolfenstein games on “Bring ’em on!”, occasionally switching to “Don’t Hurt Me!” when things got too tricky to play through in The New Order. Because I became much more familiar with the mechanics by The Old Blood, I’ve not had to do that, and in The New Colossus, while some parts of the game kicked my ass, I’ve managed to overcome those segments without lowering the difficulty.

  • I imagine that when I begin my journey in The Division, I will be seeing a lot more of the New York Subway; The New Colossus has a few sections set in the subway systems of New York, and in the close quarters of the tunnels, having a good close quarters weapon becomes indispensable. Since I’ve yet to get the shotgun here, I stuck with the Dieselgewehr, a flamethrower-like weapon that launches fireballs that are devastating against even heavily armoured opponents.

  • The derelict tunnels of New York are reminiscent of those seen in the Metro series of games. My introduction to Metro was through Last Light four years ago, when my GPU came with a complimentary copy of the game. A mere curiosity at first, I came to greatly enjoy Metro: Last Light, went back and beat Metro 2033: Redux, and presently, I’m looking forwards to seeing how Metro: Exodus will handle. I’ve heard the game will be more open than its predecessors, and I’m hoping this to be true, as Metro: Last Light and Metro 2033 were both highly linear in nature.

  • Against the Supersoldaten, who dual-wield heavy weapons, even a single Dieselgewehr proves to be absolutely lethal, making short work of them on standard difficulty. By means of a pilot light, the weapon can be kept ready for firing on short notice at the expense of mobility, similar to the Lasergewehr. One thing I was not expecting here was suddenly being knocked down by dogs, which causes Blazkowicz to drop any heavy weapons he’s wielding and lowers mobility. Jumping up after being knocked down is the fastest way of getting back into the fight.

  • Here, I fight against a massive robot in Manhattan: it is armed with a missile launcher similar to the Cyberdemon’s aerial bombardment ability, plus a flamethrower for close range combat. When I encountered this monstrosity, I was running low on Dieselkraftwerk ammunition – I ended up emptying my magazine into it, and then switched over to dual assault rifles, hammering the missile launcher to destroy it. It subsequently became a matter of staying out of range of the flamethrower and shooting it until it ded.

  • After linking up with Grace Walker and Super Spesh, Blazkowicz stays behind to hold off the Nazi reinforcements while the other resistance members are evacuated. The penthouse fight is high intensity and offers only a few places to hide from enemy fire. I ended up using dual assault rifles throughout the fight, counting on the heavier hitting rounds to deal damage. Enemies will appear from all directions, and it took me several attempts to overcome this part of the game. There is a weapon upgrade kit up here, and some cans of fuel for the Dieselkraftwerk, which is useful for taking out the Supersoldaten that arrive.

  • Back on board Eva’s Hammer, Grace’s crew settle in and open up a hacker’s corner. Exploring Eva’s hammer is surprisingly fun, and there’s even a club with a working Wolfenstein 3D mini-game in an arcade console. I ended up grabbing some potatoes for Rosa, a pig that Max Hass is fond of. I cracked a smile when I saw how Rosa’s room is set up; there’s a disco ball in here that certainly livens things up. Walking through Eva’s Hammer and exploring all of the rooms was fun, and there’s even a shooting range here where Blazkowicz can go to resupply and practise shooting. Some weapon upgrade kits are also hidden in here.

  • Deep in the bowels of Eva’s Hammer is a nuclear weapons armoury that is protected by Supersoldaten: the heavy weapons will make short work of them. There are numerous recharging and refuelling stations here. I note that all heavy weapons can be warmed up, allowing them to fire more quickly, but this comes at the cost of movement speed.

  • By this point in The New Colossus, I’ve also opted to grab the armour-piercing rounds for the assault rifle, as well as the nailgun upgrade for the submachine guns, bolstering their damage potential. I’ve chosen to focus on improving the weapons’ versatility first, before maximising their damage – weapons each have three upgrade slots, and some upgrades are more useful than others, so it’s not too big of a deal that I miss some of the upgrades.

  • While I miss the Marksman Rifle from The New Order, the assault rifles of The New Colossus appears to have fulfilled that void when upgraded with the optics and AP rounds: their advantage over the original Marksman Rifle is that they have a larger magazine capacity and ammunition is more plentiful. In the confines of Eva’s Hammer, a pair of assault rifles with AP rounds will make short work of the Supersoldaten when heavy weaponry and Dieselkraftwerk ammunition are in short supply.

  • A couple of rounds from the Dieselkraftwerk will eliminate the Supersoldaten, and here, I narrowly dodge laser fire from one. Looking at the date stamps on these screenshots and the calendar show that we’re almost halfway through November. Work’s been quite busy, and I daresay I’ve finally found my groove again – October and September was a little slow, but it feels like I’ve been a bit more productive again. Thus, it feels great going into the Remembrance Day long weekend: I’m not convocating this year, so I spent today relaxing at the local bookstore, which was much busier than it had been during the summer.

  • Afterwards, I visited the Café 100 and had their sizzling plate chicken steak with black pepper sauce for dinner. There’s nothing quite like a Hong Kong style chicken steak; the meat is tender and tasty, perfect for nights that are lengthening now that Daylight Savings has rolled back. A ways back, our province was discussing whether or not Daylight Savings should be kept permanent, and while it would be amusing to do so, I can also see it as being a hassle for transportation schedules, as well as NHL games. Back in The New Colossus, I finally find the room with the warheads and retrieve one.

  • After acquiring the bomb, Blazkowicz returns to the bridge and is briefed on his next assignment, to smuggle the nuclear warhead into the Oberkommando headquarters in Roswell and blow the place sky-high. The first segment is to rendezvous with Super Spesh at his All American Diner, and this starts with a walk through the streets of Roswell, New Mexico. The atmospherics here are surprisingly detailed, and it’s worth taking the time to look around and see what’s changed, versus what’s stayed the same, in an America run by Nazis.

  • My favourite cutscene in The New Order is set at Papa Joe’s All American Diner, when a Nazi officer enters and asks for a strawberry milkshake, comments on how it’s his favourite American thing, jokes about how the rest of the menu should be more German and begins asking Blazkowicz for his papers. The fellow seemed friendly enough until he recognises Blazkowicz on the wanted posters, prompting Super Spesh to shoot him. They enter his command post and Super Spesh briefs Blazkowicz on how to infiltrate the Oberkommando headquarters. As an aside, there’s an app on the App Store called “The Spesh”; rather than any space alien conspiracy or anything of that nature, it’s an app designed to find specials for entertainment and dining. While a great idea on paper, the app itself has a terrible design.

  • I managed to complete this entire section without triggering the alarm, attesting to the usefulness of the suppressed pistol. There’s another weapon upgrade kit located here, and I ended up saving it so as to upgrade the shotguns as soon as they are found. The sheer scale of Nazi facilities in Wolfenstein makes exploring an incredibly fun experience, and the aim in this section is to take control of a rocket-powered train to reach the Oberkommando headquarters.

  • What’s impressive about this section is that train tunnels will be continuously generated until players reach the front of the train to helm the controls. This is where players will first find the Schockhammer X, an upgrade from the Schockhammer seen in The New Order, and features a high rate of fire thanks to its three rotating barrels. The best upgrade for this gun are ricochetting shells, which bounce of walls and can damage enemies multiple times if fired in close quarters; this is why saving that upgrade kit found earlier is useful, as the upgrade allows Blazkowicz to tear through the close quarters inside the train with relative ease.

  • The raw firepower offered by dual-wielding both the Dieselkraft and automatic shotgun is unmatched, wrecking havoc with anything that is downrange of the weapons. The automatic shotguns are incredibly powerful and can blow limbs off enemies: one feature in The New Order I found amusing was that some weapons were powerful enough to gouge holes into victims or blast appendages off. I’ve noticed that headshots can blast heads clean off enemies in The New Colossus, as well.

  • Here, I watched the animation where Blazkowicz cuts off the commander’s arm before burying the hatchet…into the commander’s skull. The melee kill animations are incredibly satisfying, and against some enemies, Blazkowicz will slice their legs off. It’s absolutely brutal and absolutely hilarious, but one thing about The New Colossus I had to reacclimatise to was that melee kills on enemies do not restore health as Glory Kills did in DOOM.

  • Like The Old Blood, listening in on the conversations the Nazi soldiers have with one another offers a great deal of insight into their own backgrounds, as is finding journal entries, letters and postcards. There are moments where the nameless, faceless Nazis that Blazkowicz wastes are presented as ordinary humans, but all empathy goes out the window when they spot Blazkowicz and open fire on him. While the game’s proven to handle quite well, the mechanism for switching weapons in dual-wielding is a little cumbersome, and it’s best to make the switch before entering a firefight.

  • On the other hand, dual-wielding two weapons of the same kind at once is easy, and it’s possible to engage the alternative fire mode on one weapon only. Here, I square off against an UberSoldat, a mechanical, Terminator-like enemy armed with energy weapons and graced with incredible speed. The best countermeasure against them are dual shotguns: a single blast from each (or two consecutive shots from a single shotgun) on standard difficulty will make quick work of them.

  • Super Spesh has very quickly become one of my favourite characters in The New Colossus: between his paranoia about “space aliens” and excitement at the prospect of making Nazis experience a bad day, his character’s offered much comedy in the game. He suggests to Blazkowicz that the nuclear warhead be placed inside the nuclear reactor so the radioactive signature is hidden. I managed to blast my way to the end and set the bomb, but alarms suddenly go off: Blazkowicz’s presence has not gone unnoticed, and the Oberkommando begin evacuating, leaving Blazkowicz to fight another robot.

  • Complicating the fight are the numerous soldiers that show up, coupled with the fact that there are gaps in the platform that lead to deep chasms. It took me a few attempts to get this part right, but I managed to succeed in the end, destroying the robot. Being knocked down here is quite costly, so I prioritised engaging the robot’s missile launcher first.

  • As Blazkowicz moves through the facility to escape, Nazi rockets are seen taking off: this whole scene brings to mind the sort of facilities seen in DOOM: I haven’t played through DOOM since I beat it last year, and while the multiplayer was mildly entertaining, the campaign is worth going through again. One of the things that both DOOM and Wolfenstein nail is the simple HUD, which gives enough information to be useful and places the elements in familiar spots so I can immediately ascertain Blazkowicz’s state at a glance.

  • After vacating the Oberkommando Headquarters and detonating the warhead, Blazkowicz heads to Mesquite in Texas, where is family home was. He finds the ring that belonged to his mother, but finds himself face-to-face with his father, Rip Blazkowicz. A racist and self-serving, Rip frequently abused William and Sofia; he is defiant to the last and attempts to sell out Blazkowicz to General Engle before being killed. Engle soon arrives and pulls the Blazkowicz home from the ground, and Blazkowicz is captured here.

  • Super Spesh dies trying to free Blazkowicz with a ruse, and Blazkowicz is sentenced to death. At his trial, he imagines himself breaking free and meeting with his mother, who reassures him. During this segment of the game, Blazkowicz is able to make use of the Hammergewehr, a quad-barrel automatic shotgun that is absolutely vicious in close quarters; I used it to reduce a group of soldiers into a pile of meat and blood à la Mayu Suzumoto of Corpse Party (and most certainly not Mayu Shimada of Wake Up, Girls!).

  • While Blazkowicz’s execution was a sobering scene that outlines just how sadistic General Engle is, the mood changes abruptly when the Kreisau Circle rescues him. The grim mood gives way to a sense of lightheartedness as Set Roth works to bring Blazkowicz back from the dead. I was all smiles here – how Blazkowicz is rescued is well beyond the realm of any known science and quite over-the-top, comparable to Futurama in execution; Blazkowicz is preserved as a head-in-a-jar until Roth manages to link his head to a new body.

I think I’m at The New Colossus‘ halfway point now: with Blazkowicz restored to full physical fitness, it seems my days of being stuck with fifty percent health and ability to pick up two hundred points of armour are long over. I’ve had the change to test out the battle walker stilts, as well: taking the place of DOOM‘s double jump, the battle walker contraption acts as a mobile set of steps, and allow Blazkowicz to reach high places, perfect for picking off enemies with headshots. It’s apparent that the gameplay is about to change, and this shift keeps The New Colossus refreshing and novel; MachineGames has evidently found new ways to continue to keep Wolfenstein exciting. Moving ahead, Blazkowicz is heading to New Orleans; the deep south has long been a place I’ve associated with long summer days and as we’re approaching winter, it’ll be quite fun to play through a warmer locale with a Blazkowicz who handles more similarly to his old self from The New Order, albiet with some fancy upgrades. My experience at the halfway point suggests that the price of admissions was worth it, and I’m looking forwards to seeing just how The New Colossus will prove this point to be correct in the game’s second half.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus First Impressions

“I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism.” –P.D. James

After destroying Genera Wilhelm Strasse’s headquarters during the events of Wolfenstein: The New Order, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz is rescued and falls into a coma. He is returned to Eva’s Hammer, but awakens to find the vessel under attack from General Engel, who has engaged in a personal vendetta against Blazkowicz since The New Order. Crippled and unable to walk, Blazkowicz fights his way through Eva’s Hammer on a wheelchair to regroup with Anya, who is expecting twins. He reveals his plan to surrender to Engel, and is taken aboard the Ausmerzer, Engel’s airship along with Wyatt and Caroline. Caroline is executed, but before Engel can kill Wyatt, Engel’s daughter, Sigrun, stops her, buying Wyatt enough time to kill two guards and pass Caroline’s powered armour to him. Blazkowicz fights his way through the Ausmerzer and disables the electromagnetic clamps holding Eva’s Hammer in place, before returning to the U-boat, where he finds a group of Nazi soldiers holding out in a hitherto unexplored part of the submarine. They are transmitting a signal, explaining how Engel has found them so easily, and Blazkowicz disables this transmitter before joining up with the others to mourn Caroline’s death. This is how far I’ve gotten into The New Colossus‘ campaign after two hours: the decision to purchase the game on launch day rather than waiting for a sale was not an easy one, motivated the fact that I have a reasonable grasp on what my schedule this month looks like. With two hours of the game under my belt, the price of admissions has proven to be well worth it: I’ve heard that the campaign spans fifteen hours when played through at a brisk pace, and this is to say nothing of the assassination and side missions.

From a technical perspective, The New Colossus is an impressive game. Powered by the Id 6 Engine, which drives last year’s DOOM, shooting and movement feel more fluid than they did in The New Order. While not as smooth as DOOM, The New Colossus has so far been a thrill to play. The new dual-wielding system combines the whacky ability of being able to fire two heavy weapons simultaneously akin to GoldenEye 64‘s system with Halo 2‘s capability for mixing and matching weapons to dual-wield to improve weapons diversity. So far, I’ve only got the Maschinenpistole, Sturmgewehr and pistol, plus the Dieselkraftwerk, a compact grenade launcher, but it’s been fun to mix and match weapons, even if nothing is quite comparable to the raw firepower offered by a pair of Sturmgewehr rifles. The wheelchair sequence in The New Colossus‘ first mission was also an innovative one, forcing players to make use of the environment in order to navigate and also appreciate the amount of freedom available in just being able to walk. The visuals in The New Colossus have also been improved from its predecessor: there are more details in the environments, textures look sharper and lighting is more intricate. In spite of this, I’ve had no trouble running the game at 60 FPS at 1080p – my rig is four-and-a-half years old now, but The New Colossus is buttery-smooth in the frame-rate department, running the game on Über settings without too much of a struggle.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • With this The New Colossus post, I’ve got 888 posts, and in my last post about Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered, I remarked that I would go back through the game and get all of the intel items before the ten year anniversary for Call of Duty 4‘s release passed. I ended up succeeding in my endeavours, although on closer inspection, I realised that there was not much more I had to add to my thoughts on this particular title. So, at the ten year anniversary of Call of Duty 4‘s release, I will be going through the first hour of The New Colossus instead. Call of Duty: World War II also released yesterday, and while the campaign looks quite nice, I do not think I’ll be playing it in the foreseeable future.

  • I’ve seen footage of The New Colossus‘ opening moments during the E3 demo, which sees Blazkowicz start the mission in a wheelchair. Eva’s Hammer is evidently not designed to be wheelchair accessible, but Blazkowicz improvises to the best of his ability. He picks up the MP61 Machinepistole, a submachine gun, from a resistance fighter when Nazi soldiers begin boarding the U-Boat, and fulfills a role similar to that of Halo 2‘s submachine gun, with a high firing rate and low bullet damage.

  • The New Colossus allows players to really appreciate the freedom conferred by being able to walk around normally. Ordinary constructs like stairs suddenly become obstacles, and a part of the first mission is really just getting used to the shooting again. Like its predecessor, The New Colossus lacks hitmarkers and instead, counts on highly visible indicators of a successful hit on enemies, who will stagger or outright collapse when shot. Conversely, it’s actually quite tricky to tell when Blazkowicz is taking damage, and consequently, I’ve died more often than I cared to count because I wasn’t aware of how much damage I was taking.

  • Players have explored Eva’s Hammer previously in The New Order, when the goal was to capture the submarine. In the time that has passed, the submarine has evidently become a base of operations for Kreisau Circle. As Blazkowicz, players explore hitherto unknown areas of the submarine, hinting at just how large the U-Boat really is. Eva’s Hammer is inspired by Nazi Germany’s Type IX U-boat. There are four variations, with the having had a maximum length of 87.58 meters and a height of 10.2 meters. By comparison, the Ohio-class submarines are 170 meters in length and a height of 10.8 meters, while the Soviet Akula (NATO name “Typhoon”) was 175 meters in length and 12 meters high.

  • The dimensions of Eva’s Hammer is likely much greater than even those of the Typhoon-class, considering the amount of space there is to explore within the submarine. One of the things about Wolfenstein II and the games that Bethesda has published in recent memory is the fact that they seem to be caught in the middle of petty squabbles from folks on the internet who seem to have nothing but leisure time on their hands. With DOOM, some ignorant knaves claimed that “this level of extreme violence shouldn’t be considered normal”, although fortunately, negative social media impressions did little to dampen DOOM‘s success.

  • The New Colossus, on the other hand, has been counted to be a “politically correct” game for its portrayal of diverse groups unifying to challenge Nazi rule in an alternate history. Groups who have been attempting to force developers to inject political correctness and social justice messages into games have been around for a few years, and while some feel that games are on the decline for this, I’ve long found that the operative word here is “attempt”: gaming will only die when the options for exploring fantastical, fictional worlds dwindle and the only titles left on the market lack good mechanics in favour of pushing agendas.

  • The bottom line for The New Colossus is simple enough: if I can go around, smoothly explore a map and light up whatever is downrange of my crosshairs, that’s good enough for me, and this generally holds true for other games that I play. So far, the game plays very well, so even if there are messages in the game, at the minimum, they’re not affecting the gameplay. Thus, I won’t trouble the blog with this particular topic any further, and return discussion to The New Colossus; at this point, I’ve been captured by General Engel, saw Caroline executed and capitalised on Sigrun betraying General Engel to save Blazkowicz, as well as Wyatt. I’ve also got Caroline’s powered armour, which allows Blazkowicz to move freely again, and my first action is to dual-wield the MP61s.

  • In The New Order, melee weapons were restricted to knives. The Old Blood introduced the pipe, a clever tool that could be combined to form a single weapon, pulled apart and dual-wielded for quick strikes. On top of this, the pipes could be used to scale some walls and also open hatches. The New Colossus introduces the hatchet, which makes for some interesting kills, but lacks the utility of the pipe from The Old Blood. Superbly useful for silent kills, the hatchets are the best way of eliminating enemy commanders from a distance.

  • Like its predecessors, enemy commanders will call for reinforcements if a firefight breaks out, and neutralising them will prevent them from doing thus. Commanders are almost always found in groups of two, and in The New Colossus, they drop enigma codes that can be used towards unlocking missions for the assassination mini-game. In The New Order, enigma codes were scattered throughout the levels and could be used to unlock cheats for the game. I don’t think I ever collected everything in The New Order.

  • One of the joys of The New Order was seeing a fictionalised depiction of Nazi technology and architecture. The second mission is set on General Engel’s Ausmerzer, a large fortress capable of flight by means of three large repulsors. One mechanic in The New Colossus is the fact that Blazkowicz spends most of the game at fifty health, forcing players to keep an eye out for armour. It’s a slight change of pace from other games, adding another nuance to the New Colossus that make things interesting.

  • The assault rifle in The New Colossus is known as the Stermgewehr, and while it’s supposed to be a straight upgrade from the assault rifle of The New Order, it has a smaller magazine and lower firing rate. In its base form, the weapon is only slightly better than the Machinepistole – while capable of dealing more damage, its recoil is similar to the assault rifle of The Old BloodThe New Colossus seems to dissuade methodical, tactical play, as I’ve found that going loud seems much easier when I’m dual-wielding the assault rifles.

  • Killing Supersoldaten in The New Colossus will allow Blazkowicz to pick up heavy weapons: the Lasergewehr is a directed energy weapon that can outright vapourise unarmoured targets, and it’s an absolute blast to use. Capable of melting through and vapourising steel sheets, the weapon is also useful for opening metal crates. There are plenty of charge stations on board the Ausmerzer, allowing me to utilise the Lasergewehr liberally.

  • A straight upgrade from The New Order‘s MG60, the Lasergewehr is a beastly weapon that also has a firing sound rivalling the seismic charges and thermal imploders of Star Wars. Supersoldaten are now powerful enough to dual-wield these weapons, and they can tear through Blazkowicz very quickly. Unlike the Supersoldaten of earlier games, the ones in The New Colossus are equipped with a rocket pack that allow them to cover great distances quickly; they will use this ability to knock Blazkowicz down.

  • Because I picked the Wyatt timeline, I ended up getting the Dieselkraftwerk: the Fergus timeline will yield the Laserkraftwerk. Fueled by diesel, this incendiary weapon is new to the Wolfenstein game and acts as a delay-grenade launcher with the option of launching projectiles that detonate on impact. I’ve heard that the Laserkraftwerk is easier to use, and did not know that the choice between Wyatt and Fergus would alter the signature weapon Blazkowicz accesses. I ultimately chose Wyatt because I chose to save Wyatt in The New Order, after watching a Fergus playthrough and so, I wished to see the other timeline.

  • One of the most glorious features of The New Colossus is the ability to dual-wield any weapon that can be held in Blazkowicz’s inventory, meaning that the Stermgewehr can be used simultaneously with the Dieselkraftwerk to provide over-the-top firepower. Although dual-wielding is a fantastic way to bring a large amount of damage to bear against enemies, it comes with the disadvantage of requiring a longer reload once Blazkowicz runs out of ammunition.

  • While the schematics might have shown section F as a mere laundry room, it turns out there’s an entire section of Ava’s Hammer that remains unexplored and home to Nazi soldiers holding out. The conditions leave them in a woebegone state, but they’re still hostile to Blazkowicz. The cavernous machinery and hallways really give a sense of how large Ava’s Hammer is, and finding the signal altering General Engle to the Kreisau Circle’s whereabouts is a nontrivial task.

  • When I started The New Colossus last week, the weather had still been very much autumn-like, but on Wednesday, a slow-moving system moved over the area, bringing with it at least fifteen centimeters of snow and an additional ten projected. It’s feeling a lot like winter now, and on Thursday, I decided to swing by the local bookstore after work to pick up the final manga volume of The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, which I’d been following since 2013. The drive was ardous, and remained so yesterday morning; in response, I left for work a full hour earlier than usual. Things had not improved by evening: roads were very much icy when we went out for dinner at the Café HK; the windchill and snow made dinner (a Japanese-style curry tonkatsu) especially delicious.

  • The roads are still treacherous today and will likely remain so for another day or two while the city clears and sands the roads. This means a quieter day spent at home in lieu of my usual weight-lifting, and this will give me some downtime to read through The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan. I will be doing my first-ever manga review once I finish, and discuss what about this particular manga worked well for me. It’s been a four year journey since that day when I picked up the first volume at a bookstore downtown: back in 2014, only four volumes had been available for purchase. There will be more on this later – this isNew Colossus post, and not a Nagato Yuki-chan post, after all.

  • After sweeping through the bowels of Ava’s Hammer, I finally reached the room with the broadcasting equipment and incinerated it. What followed was a fierce firefight: while I’d been keeping the Dieselkraftwerk’s ammunition in reserve so I could break through any passageways, now seemed as good of a time as any to unload with the weapon’s payload. Against numerous targets, using the weapon’s alternate fire mode turns it into a highly effective grenade launcher that can blow away even Supersoldaten on short order.

  • Once the broadcasting station is destroyed, the Kreisau Circle is finally afforded some peace, and this mission comes to an end. After two hours, I am convinced that The New Colossus was worth the price of admissions, and with unconfirmed news that Star Wars Battlefront II might be discounted close to The Last Jedi‘s theatrical première, it seems that going through The New Colossus in November will allow me to focus fully on Battlefront II come December should it go on sale. I’m also wondering if it will be worthwhile to buy Tom Clancy’s The Division during the Steam Winter sale for the single player aspects. There will be more posts this month on The New Colossus as I advance in the game, along with a handful of anime-related talks before I delve into Yūki Yūna is a Hero: Hero Chapter, which will begin airing on November 17.

The New Colossus was originally the name of a poem by Emma Lazarus, intended to raise money to construct the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. Inscribed at the base of the statue on a metal plaque, The New Colossus is a poem that was aimed at inspiring hope, welcoming people arriving in America – during this time, immigrants arriving in the United States likely would have been sailing from Europe, and New York would have been their first destination. This is where Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus takes its name from, being about the hope that has forsaken the alternate-history America within the game, and in classic Wolfenstein manner, this hope is embodied in a Blazkowicz’s crusade to liberate the United States from Nazi rule. The setting in the United States, rather than in Europe, offers a unique perspective on what a United States where Hitler had won might look like; the fight is taken much closer to home. Overall, The New Colossus has a satisfying shooting system, and combat is visceral, as its predecessors before it: having removed any doubt that my system can handle The New Colossus, I greatly look forwards to seeing what awaits me in the Wolfenstein sequel, especially with respect to the part where I get to explore the different locations of the game and make use of the new weapons to, as Bethesda puts it, Make America Nazi-free Again.