The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: First person shooter

Far Cry 4: A Lesson on Patience and Applicability in Contemporary Movements

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” –George Bernard Shaw

After pushing through into North Kyrat, Ajay liberates the remainder of the provinces and ultimately is made to choose to make Amita or Sabal the leader of the Golden Path. In my playthough, I ended up choosing Amita and shot Sabal. In a titanic assault on Pegan Min’s stronghold, the Golden Path are successful in toppling his regime. Finding Pagan Min, Ajay learns of his family history, and Min allows him to place his mother’s ashes inside a shrine. Min leaves on a helicopter, leaving Kyrat to Ajay. With Amita in control, Kyrat becomes a drug state. Had I opted to go with Sabal’s ending, he would have turned the nation into a theocracy. Regardless of which ending one chooses, the ramifications are less than optimal – this is the core lesson in Far Cry 4, that regime changes very nearly always have unforeseen consequences owing to the complexity of even the more disagreeable political systems. Far Cry 4 thus becomes a thought experiment to illustrate what might happen when one is given the means to destablise a regime and introduce change through force of arms, bypassing activism and protest in favour of violence. While Ajay is given enough background to make decisions and carry out his actions, the constraints result in Kyrat being oppressed by a new regime. In my case, having chosen Amita to lead the Golden Path, Kyrat’s citizens are now entangled in the production of narcotics, which will create problems for other nations, as well as internally. A leadership under Sabal would see oppression of at least a similar calibre to Pegan Min’s rule: given that we know what the outcomes are now, it might have been preferable to leave Pegan Min in control because at the very least, what to expect from his regime is known. At the end of Far Cry 4, the game succeeds in conveying the message that supporting a cause to bring about change, without full awareness of what that cause is trying to accomplish, may result in system equally or more undesirable than what was already present.

The events of Far Cry 4 provide players an opportunity to experience a war from the perspective of someone who has the capability to make a tangible impact, and the endings warn players that it is possible that, when folks supporting a cause achieve what they’d set out to accomplish, the end result may not be what they were expecting. The setting and thematic elements of Far Cry 4 give the impression that the game is another perspective of the Tibet 2008 uprisings, deliberately coinciding with the Beijing 2008 Summer Games. Ubisoft gives power to the player, acting as an external third party who is free to explore Kyrat as they will and do as they choose. By shifting power into the players’ hands, Far Cry 4 imagines a scenario where that the folks supportive of the complete and total removal of the Chinese presence in Tibet are given the means to do so. As players move through Kyrat and whittle away Pegan Min’s power, the authoritarian regime weakens and crumbles. However, the end result was rather undesirable: Kyrat’s residents end up trading one hell for another. Far Cry 4 thus suggests that, had the Tibet Uprising accomplished its goals of removing the Chinese presence, they might have encountered additional difficulties afterwards – there is no guarantee that the new leadership would bring about the change that people sought, and that a third party intervening may simply create more problems. The parallels bring to mind organisations that conducted a widespread campaign to promote an independent Tibet during the 2008, and through its narrative, Far Cry 4 implies that organisations or groups could be doing more harm than good, if they are not fully aware of the consequences of rapid change and nonetheless continue to push their agendas forward.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • The Buzzsaw is a signature MG42 that has double the ammunition capacity of a standard MG42 with the extended magazine, and coupled with its pointpoint accuracy and high damage resulting from the 7.92×57mm Mauser rounds, the mere fact that I have the weapon means that for all intents and purposes, I’ve beaten Far Cry 4. The weapon will kill all enemies in less than three rounds, can rip ground vehicles and helicopters apart in seconds and even force the largest of wildlife to yield.

  • Unlocked after liberating all of the Belltowers, the Buzzsaw is so powerful that there is no game to play: Ajay can clear out entire outposts without ever reloading, and reinforcements sent to support Royal Guard soldiers become victims of the weapon. To balance the Buzzsaw out, it would have been more appropriate to give the weapon increased recoil so it cannot be fired for sustained periods of time on full automatic. This way, other LMGs could be given superior automatic fire accuracy and make them more useful.

  • Of course, things are what they are, and having the Buzzsaw made many missions trivially easy. Most of these screenshots for my second Far Cry 4 post date between late August and November of last year – I was pushing to finish Far Cry 4 towards the end of 2017 so I could begin Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and The Division.

  • I previously mentioned that vegetation can be set ablaze with any incendiary weapon or even the repair tool. I recall an evening where I spent running around Kyrat, lighting up Royal Guard soldiers with the repair tool and setting them on fire for comedy. Repair tool kills have been something I’ve not made a point of getting since the days of Battlefield 3, where it was bloody hilarious to force a reaction from other players who were killed by the repair torch. In Battlefield 1, the Kolibri is the equivalent weapon for humiliating other players.

  • Here, I run with the Kriss Vector, one of my favourite weapons in The Division: I’ve outfitted the Vector with a similar configuration here that I felt I would most likely run with in The Division (at the time, I did not have The Division), mounting the medium range optics in conjunction with a suppressor. While a fun weapon to use against groups of lightly-armoured opponents, the Vector is stymied by a lower range, and is not as versatile as an assault rifle in Far Cry 4, so I did not run with the Vector with any great frequency during the main missions.

  • By this point in Far Cry 4, I accumulated enough cash to buy all of the weapons and their signature counterparts. Having good weapons makes the mid and late game a far cry from what things were at the beginning: while the basic AKM was a weak weapon with poor accuracy, having access to the full spectrum of guns in Far Cry 4 made the game much easier to play. Stealth operations became straightforwards to perform, and in a stand-up firefight, all enemies fell before the might of the Buzzsaw.

  • I realise that this post comes a ways later than expected: I beat Far Cry 4 back in early November prior to starting my journey in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and remark that I actually began my journey in Far Cry 4 on Christmas Day in 2016. During Christmas Day of 2017, I pushed further into Wolfire’s Overgrowth, and finished the game; the campaign is a bit short but quite fun. The fighting mechanics are solid and satisfying, and having beat the Overgrowth campaign, I will aim to get a post out for the game at some point in the future.

  • After finishing all of the Longinus missions, players unlock the LK-1018, which can fire laser-guided rockets similar to the rocket launcher of Half-Life 2. More powerful and effective against air vehicles than the RPG, I ended up using this weapon only when free-roaming the world: on missions where my goal was simply to finish them, the Buzzsaw and AMR are superior anti-vehicle options.

  • I chose to write about Far Cry 4 now, rather than earlier because of the fact that we’re very nearly about to see Far Cry 5‘s release on March 27. Having taken a look at the system requirements, I’m a bit surprised that Far Cry 5 can in fact run on my current computer on acceptable settings – I’m a 1080p60 gamer, and this requires an Intel i5 clocked at 3.4 GHz, a GTX 970 and 8 GB of RAM. The requirements aren’t too steep at all, and I might just pick the title up as a summer shooter: history suggests that Far Cry 5 might just see a 20 percent discount during the summer sale.

  • For 56 CAD three months after the launch date, Far Cry 5 could be well worth the price of admissions if Far Cry 4 was anything to go by: overall, I put in 48 hours into Far Cry 4, and ended up with a 80 percent completion rate, so if I were to spend a few more hours, I could probably wholly do everything in the game. My metrics for determining whether or not a pricey Triple-A title is worth it is whether or not the game costs six dollars per hour or less, which is roughly what it costs to watch a movie.

  • The AMR (Anti-Materiel Rifle) is the ultimate single-action rifle in Far Cry 4: being the signature form of the Z93, the AMR inherits the exceptional damage and slow rate of fire of the Z93, while introducing a HEIAP (High-Explosive Incendiary/Armour Piercing) round that can make short work of anything. Vehicles explode when shot, while large game are so grievously damaged that skins cannot be recovered from them. The main downside to the AMR is that as a signature weapon, it cannot be outfitted with a suppressor, limiting its effectiveness in a long-range role.

  • I’m not particularly fond of shotguns in Far Cry 4, since they do not always guarantee a one-hit kill on enemies. However, there are some missions that require one to kill HVTs or wildlife with specific weapons, which encourages players to try new weapons and make use of novel strategies to make these weapons work. I normally pick off all of the guards in an area from afar, before attempting to finish off the HVTs using the required weapon.

  • There are a few points in Far Cry 4 where Ajay either falls under the influence or where the narrative slips into an alternative plane known as Shangri-La, a mythical land where the gameplay mechanics are completely different. They’re quite distinct and memorable for their unique designs, but overall, I did not end up playing through all of the Shangri-La missions, only doing enough of them to unlock all of the weapons.

  • In the end, the best long-range weapon is the semi-automatic SA-50, which, while having a lower damage per shot compared to the AMR, offers a much higher firing rate and can be customised. This means a suppressor can be added to the weapon, making it the perfect choice for clearing out fortresses and outposts without alerting anyone to my presence. Clearing outposts without being detected and without any alarms being set off provide experience bonuses, and while players initially must choose between defensive and offensive upgrades, completing the game will allow Ajay to unlock more or less everything.

  • With every available skill unlocked in Far Cry 4, Ajay can survive three times as much punishment, move faster, reload more efficiently, perform more powerful takedowns, carry more gear and so on. While Ajay was quite weak as Far Cry 4 begins, at the game’s conclusion, the skills, weapons and player familiarity with the perks allow Ajay to be a veritable one-man army. Even the superior Royal Guard of North Kyrat stand little chance against Ajay.

  • I’ve not been too fond of the bows for their projectile drop and low firing rates, so I never made extensive use of these weapons for stealth or hunting. By comparison, the automatic crossbow is easy to use, featuring a high projectile speed and firing rate: it is perfect for close-quarters stealth engagements with multiple targets and the ideal hunting weapon, swiftly dealing with wildlife without damaging their skins. Where stealth is necessary, the automatic crossbow is the top sidearm for the job, and I found myself switching to this from the M79.

  • While most of Kyrat has a verdant, vibrant landscape, some parts of North Kyrat have a more distinct feel to it, with browning vegetation that evokes a sense of autumn. It is here that Kyrat’s toughest enemies are faced, and I take a few moments to look back ten years ago today, which was when an anti-China rally was set to go forwards. Some of my classmates were ardently trying to encourage fellow students to participate in rallies downtown in front of the Chinese Consulate to protest the Chinese government’s response to events in Tibet during the 2008 Summer Games. I antagonised them by declining to participate, feeling that it was unreasonable to expect that immediate change was realistic, and that all actions required consideration to avoid the sort of thing that might arise in Far Cry 4.

  • The argument devolved very rapidly; while I attempted to present the arguments outlined in this post as the basis for why I would not commit to their protest, one of the individuals backing the other party immediately resorted to ad hominem attacks. Claiming that “some of the things [that I] have written are incorrect”, and that I “should only respond if [I] want to discuss issues respectfully towards [my] opponent”, they concluded with the demand that I “owe [them] an apology for being inconsiderate to [them]”. The unique situation in Tibet means that what they sought (an immediate and complete removal of the Chinese presence) may have potentially created new social problems that would have not benefited the people in the area: my mere suggestion that change should be gradual if it is to persist was offensive to them.

  • I stress that I am not opposed to the idea of human rights, nor do I hold that China is blameless, but rather, I oppose actions and organisations who are so focused on one goal that they neglect the bigger picture, and the fact that change must be gradual. In the decade that has passed, I remark that the Dalai Lama has stated that his goal to be what is called the Middle Way: rather than full independence, he calls for cooperation and coexistence, understanding that an extreme course of action will similarly have extreme recourse on the people. Consequently, I owe this individual no apology – that change has indeed taken a more gradual, methodical approach shows that I was right, and there is no need to apologise for presenting facts where they used emotion.

  • The individual above asserted that opposing them constituted as harassment, and so, can be seen as being the precursor to the modern-day virtue signallers, folks who play the victim or take offense on the behalf of other groups for the sake of improving their own image. This is an issue that has become more prevalent, and as of late, such groups have protested everything from video game journalism to the so-called Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. The former sparked a massive internet war that ended being of little consequence to those seeking to change the industry, and the latter, while ostensibly promoting democracy, created major disturbances in Hong Kong, blocking traffic and damaging property that undermined the movement’s credibility.

  • As a consequence, I believe that Marco Rubio’s nomination of Joshua Wong and the Umbrella Revolution’s participants for a Nobel Peace Prize to be, for the lack of a better word, a complete and utter mockery of what the Nobel Peace Prize to be about. In their actions, the people who participated in the Umbrella Revolution give the demeanour of little more than entitled youth who do not understand what hard work entails. In the knowledge of the unreasonable real estate market in Hong Kong, which makes it difficult for Millennials to buy a house, it is understandable that there is dissent. However, I hold that there are more appropriate ways of expressing this dissatisfaction, as opposed to causing a public disturbance.

  • Positive change in society is built on the shoulders of the hard-working, not the vocal – activism and protesting has its limits compared to sustained hard work and a clear game plan, so I’ll leave the topic aside and return to Far Cry 4. Here is another segment of Far Cry 4 set in Shangri-La: as an ancient warrior, players only have access to an enchanted bow, but also gain a powerful tiger companion. Enemies take the form of mysterious spirits, and these missions allow players to learn more about the mythical aspects of Kyrat. I prefer these missions to the psychedelic, drug-fuelled chaos of the Yogi & Reggie missions, which gave me a headache in trying to complete them. Humourous characters they were, their impact on gameplay was much less enjoyable, and I only did enough of their missions to advance the story.

  • The Shangri-La missions are quite linear in nature, and end with players reaching large bell that they must cut free and allow to toll. The real-world location is a city of 130 000 people in Yunnan Province of China, but when the name is mentioned, James Hilton’s description of a paradise in his novel, Lost Horizon is what comes to mind. In his novel, Shangri-La is a Himalayan paradise far secluded from the world, where the residents were immortal and eternally happy.

  • A glance at some of the beautiful scenery up in the Tibetan Plateau, Sichuan and Yunnan will speak volumes as to why Hilton set his fictional paradise up here. From colourful pools of Huang Long, to the vast salt lakes in the most remote corners of Tibet, the landscape up here is beautiful beyond measure, and one of my dreams is to visit this part of the world for myself. Kyrat features none of these landscapes: its design is more similar to the terrain found in Bhutan, a small nation that reports a very high social development index and happiness despite its status as a least developed country.

  • I ended up choosing Amita’s path for fun: at the end of the day, one’s choice is not particularly relevant, and one of the things I’m wondering about Far Cry 5 is whether or not it will create a more impactful ending based on the decisions that players make. With this being said, the strengths in Far Cry seem to be the exploration component, so even if Far Cry 5 does not have a true user-chosen ending, I’m sure the game itself will be solid from a technical perspective.

  • We come to it at last: the final assault on Pegan Min’s fortress. There’s hardly a need for stealth here: equipping the loudest and most powerful weapons in the game, I accompanied the Golden Path on a full-scale siege of his fortress. With the Buzzsaw, AMR and LK-1018 in my inventory, I struck the facility with guns ablaze and very quickly cleared out all resistance without any difficulty. Golden Path forces will assist Ajay in his siege, but my superior firepower meant that this was quite unnecessary.

  • Far Cry 4‘s co-operative component and guns for hire: the latter can be called in to assist with operations to take on liberation of outposts and fortresses, but during my run of the game, I relied on neither to help out. While they could add a bit of amusement to the game, I prefer running missions without computer-controlled NPCs so I can fully control my approach towards completing an objective – there’s always a chance that they might break stealth and set off an alarm prematurely.

  • Officially, my journey in Far Cry 4 ended eleven months after I began the first steps to the campaign back on Christmas Day of 2016. Throughout the summer of 2017, I continued to play through the game with a non-trivial frequency and wondered why I did not play it sooner. For the most part, Far Cry 4 is superbly enjoyable – there are only a few repetitive elements. Besides the animal hunting missions, I was not a particular fan of the arena mode; I needed to reach rank ten to unlock the Bushman, the best assault rifle in the game, and after I finished this, I continued on my way with the campaign.

  • Destroying Pegan Min’s solid gold statue will bring the main campaign to an end. I chose to spare Pegan Min and sat down to dinner with him, listening to his final speech before he leaves Kyrat to Ajay. I’m well aware of the secret ending and will give it a go in the near future. With this post in the books, I’m going to look at doing posts for Wolfire’s Overgrowth and Sansha Sanyou for my Terrible Anime Challenge series before we reach the end of this month, which will see the Yuru Camp△ and Slow Start finales. My schedule over the next few weeks will be a bit chaotic, so posts will be written and published on a best efforts basis: I anticipate that things will settle out in April

From a gameplay perspective, Far Cry 4 proved to be remarkably entertaining, and a sobering theme aside, the game itself is actually quite light-hearted and humourous in nature. There is no shortage of activities to participate in within Far Cry 4, and the world of Kyrat is fun to explore, even if most of the map is repetitive in design. One of the most notable elements in Far Cry 4 is the fact that Pegan Min’s Royal Guard speak Cantonese; it was hilarious to hear enemies insult my family and demanding that I drop dead. The weapons in Far Cry 4 are also immensely satisfying to use – there is an impressive array of weapons Ajay can equip and use. While the gameplay is reasonably straightforwards, Far Cry 4 offers an incredible array of modifiers: from weapon customisation and skills, to syringes that impart benefits, Far Cry 4 allows players to approach any situation in any manner of their choosing. The world-building in Kyrat is also top-tier: from Shangri-La missions to random journal entries and design elements in the environment, Kyrat is highly immersive. All of these gameplay aspects, in conjunction with a narrative relevant to current events, makes Far Cry 4 both entertaining and thought-provoking. The game is very much worth the price of admissions, and also sets the stage for the upcoming Far Cry 5, which is set in Montana – although the core mechanics of Far Cry 5 look similar to those of Far Cry 4, I’m curious to see what a virtual Montana looks like, and the prospect of fighting off a fundamentalist doomsday cult is also enticing. Releasing later this month, I will be keeping an eye on Far Cry 5; if I can run the title, there is a chance that I may pick up Far Cry 5 as a title to experience during those days where the weather is not conducive towards being outside.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus- Episode Zero Reflection

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. –Jimmy Johnson

After Blazkowicz finishes off beating up Nazis and sends General Engel to Davy Jones’ Locker, there are three other Resistance fighters, each on their own adventure to undermine and destabilise the Nazi regime with their own unique talents. The expansion content to The New Colossus introduces former quarterback Joseph Stallion, the OSS Agent Jessica Valiant and Captain Gerald Wilkins as playable characters. In Episode Zero, players briefly play as each character – Stallion breaks out of a Chicago Nazi facility and steals a Panzerhund, Valiant infiltrates Nazi bunkers in California to find information on Operation San Andreas, and Captain Wilkins moves through an Alaskan base on the first steps of stopping Operation Black Sun. It’s a taste of what’s to come in each of the upcoming DLC packages: as a result of having picked up The New Colossus on launch day after curiosity took me, I received Episode Zero free of charge, as well. Each of the newly introduced characters have one of Blazkowicz’s contraption abilities, allowing them to be played in a certain manner, and their stories each serve to extend the depth of what’s happening in the world of Wolfenstein following General Engel’s death, furthering the world-building that Wolfenstein has excelled in since The New Order released.

The biggest draw about The New Colossus DLC are the play-style choices that are imposed on players. Because each character has a slightly more limited version of the contraption upgrades Blazkowicz has, each new character force players to adopt a particular playstyle that they might have not otherwise made extensive use of in The New Colossus‘ main campaign. Stallion’s extensive football background allows him to tackle opponents, withstand explosions and throw things further, but he’s not capable of stealth to the same extent as Blazkowicz or Valiant. Valiant can sneak through ventilation shafts as Blazkowicz could with the constrictor harness and excels at reaching spots that others cannot access, but she’s also vulnerable whenever situations devolve into a direct firefight. Captain Wilkins’ Kampfwanderer gives him the ability to access high ground, similarly to the battle walker upgrade. Each of the characters do not have any of the perks that Blazkowicz has, and weapon upgrades are gone, forcing players to play more carefully in each of the segments. It’s a fun approach to The New Colossus that showcases a different adventure to Blazkowicz’s, and Episode Zero does a succinct job of setting the stage for what players stand to experience should they choose to buy the DLC.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • The full DLC, titled The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe, for Joseph Stallione’s story was released back in December 14 of 2017. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I actually had Episode Zero available in my account: this DLC is only available for players who pre-ordered the game or bought the season pass (both of which are risky manoeuvres), but it seems that buying the game on launch date seems to have been sufficient to make me eligible for Episode Zero.

  • Episode Zero released on November 7, a week after I began playing through The New Colossus, and I did not beat The New Colossus until eighteen days later. After clearing through the Übercommander missions, I finally set my sights on Episode Zero, which begins with Stallion. It felt a bit strange to have lost all of the perks that I unlocked through the main campaign, and my weapons were sent back to their starting incarnations. Fortunately, exploring the mission will find weapon upgrade kits for Stallion’s weapons.

  • Unlike The New Colossus‘ campaign, however, the upgrade system in the DLCs seem more similar to those of The New Order, where upgrades players find will be specific attachments for a weapon. I acquired a drum magazine and the nailgun upgrade for the submachine gun, which was my preferred weapon for this mission on account of ammunition availability: rifle-calibre rounds were more uncommon. The close quarters hallways seen in the first section of Episode Zero means that dual-wielded weapons on full-automatic are the most effective.

  • Stallion’s football experience confers him abilities equivalent to Blazkowicz’s ram shackles prior to upgrading them, and are on the whole, slightly less powerful: I don’t think it’s possible to tackle a commander and have them explode into chunks of meat and a shower of blood as Blazkowicz can do, but for the most part, Stallion can sprint through metal grates and take out soldiers without too much difficulty.

  • Going purely from Episode Zero‘s preview of all the DLCs, I feel that Stallion’s is probably the most unremarkable of the three: it’s set in a bunker that appears largely recycled from assets seen in The New Colossus‘s main campaign. While I’ve heard that Stallione gets to fight on Venus, the setting had already been explored in The New Colossus: I’ve seen some footage of The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe, and the fact that it looks fun notwithstanding, I think that I will wait for the other DLCs to be released before I make a concrete decision as to whether or not I’m grabbing the season pass come the next Steam Sale.

  • Stealing the Panzerhund results in some gameplay reminiscent of when Blazkowicz was rampaging through the ruined streets of New Orleans: the flamethrower is absolutely vicious in the narrow hallways here, and will make short work of any opponent. Its armour can be replenished from pieces dropped by enemies.

  • Panzerhunds were the bane of my existence when I was forced to fight against them during The New Order: when one broke into the Kreisau Circle’s headquarters, I expended more than half of my ammunition stores trying to stop it. By The New Colossus, however, heavy weapons and contraptions make the fights a bit more straightforward, even if the Panzerhunds seen in The New Colossus are supposed to be more powerful than their counterparts in The New Order.

  • After seizing the Panzerhund and escaping, the story shifts over to that of Agent Valiant in The Diaries of Agent Silent Death. Her stealth-driven gameplay is rather more exciting, forcing players to choose their battles carefully; Valiant seems less durable than Stallion and Captain Wilkins, making it imperative to make use of the shadows to get around without being caught. She starts Episode Zero with a knife and a suppressed pistol: in spite of its weak damage compared to other weapons, it can be used to silently dispatch foes with a single, well-placed shot to the head.

  • There’s an entire roast suckling pig with potatoes and vegetables that can boost Valiant’s health up by a hundred points, overcharging it. However, with the ability to keep overcharged health as with The New Colossus‘ campaign with the right perk, Valiant’s health will slowly deplete back to 100 points over time. While I lamented the lack of burgers in Super Spesh’s All American Diner during the Roswell Übercommander mission, food items are scattered through the game, and one of my preferred techniques for situations where I had been low on health was to collect health items after I’d reached a particular increment.

  • Since health recharges up to a maximum of twenty points to the nearest multiple of twenty, finding three donuts could allow players to go from 20 points of health back to 80. This system is a fine balance between the recharging health of Halo and the non-regenerating health of games like Half-Life 2, allowing players improved survivability while maintaining their attention on keeping their health in a good state.

  • The Diaries of Agent Silent Death is set to release later this month, and I’m actually curious to see what it will entail. If Episode Zero is a reliable indicator, Valiant’s maps are a bit more exciting than those of Stallion’s, being styled in an ostentatious manner with golden monuments, Nazi artwork and the like. Here, players will find themselves in large rooms that seem to be made of nothing but locked doors, but fortunately, there are small openings that Valiant can make use of to sneak through and access new areas.

  • Valiant does not last very long in straight up firefights with only a mere pistol, but once more powerful weapons and some armour is found, the tables are turned. This recording studio feels quite similar to the courtroom seen in the mid-game of The New Colossus, but there are differences enough to make the mission feel unique. Being a spy of sorts, her missions look quite exciting, and I’m a bit curious to see what Operation San Andreas will entail.

  • During my playthrough, I managed to remain stealthy right up until near the end, where I ran into a Supersoldaten and set an alarm off. Fortunately, I managed to sneak into one of the ventilation ducts and continued on deeper into the facility, out of range of the alarm. I did not manage to find any of the upgrades for Valiant’s weapons save the suppressor for the pistol, and admittedly, it does make me feel a bit under-prepared to enter new areas without the marksman optic mounted to the assault rifle.

  • Valiant’s mission ends when she reaches the documents archive where the file she’s seeking is held. The file’s sitting out in the open and once she finds it, her part in Episode Zero comes to an end. In the end, I barely made it to the final part of the mission, with only twenty health remaining, and stopped to look around the details in this area before wrapping the mission up.

  • Evergreen trees can be seen out the windows of Captain Wilkin’s mission in Episode Zero; his mission deals with the experiences he has in Alaska while trying to stop Operation Black Sun. I don’t think I’ve seen any shooters set in Alaska, and the last time I was in Alaska was many years ago, on a cruise to the Inside Passage. It’s absolutely beautiful here, being a place where snow-capped mountains merge with the ocean to create a unique landscape.

  • The Amazing Deeds of Captain Wilkins is supposed to deal with the “Sun Gun”, a planned Nazi weapon that would have been placed 8200 kilometers above the surface of Earth and have a surface area of nine square kilometers. The weapon would have worked by focusing the sun’s rays onto a narrow point on the surface that would have hypothetically burned through cities and even boil away bodies of water. The Sun Gun was well ahead of its time, and Nazi scientists predicted that it would take at least fifty years before such a weapon could be built.

  • Captain Wilkins is equipped with the Kampfwanderer, which performs similarly to the Battle Walker, allowing him to take the high ground over his opponents, and here, I deal with Nazi soldiers standing between him and the objective: Episode Zero has him fighting through a facility set along the western coasts of America (as evidenced by the evergreen trees), with the aim of softening up a Nazi facility and destroying a heavy weapon at the facility: here, I finish off the remaining Nazi soldiers firing at me, leaving naught but a pile of bodies in my wake.

  • In English, the phrase “bury the hatchet” stems from American tradition, where hatchets or tomahawks were buried in a peace ceremony to signify disarmament. Its origins tie in with the idea of making peace with a past conflict, but in Wolfenstein, “burying the hatchet” takes on a whole new meaning. English idioms are rather interesting, and despite my background in English, there are many phrases that I remain unfamiliar with. The Chinese similarly have what are called chengyu (成語, jyutping “sing4 jyu5”); some of them are pretty intuitive and make perfect sense, while others are quite obscure.

  • Of all the DLCs, I’m most looking forwards to seeing The Amazing Deeds of Captain Wilkins, especially if flying to the Sun Gun space station and engaging in space combat is a part of the missions. Here, I reach the control room and clear it of remaining hostiles so I can make use of the control panel. Level designs notwithstanding, one thing that I found consistently enjoyable through each of the characters was their extensive exposition and the fact that they give monologues similar to Blazkowicz’s, offering further insight on their personalities.

  • By the brilliant  morning light of the West coast, I prepare one of the defensive cannons and aim it towards the much larger weapon to destroy it, bringing an end to Episode Zero, this discussion and the end of my Wolfenstein II writings for the present. I still find myself impressed that buying The New Colossus on launch date gave me access to Episode Zero; in the end, while it was a bit costlier to do so, I ended up saving quite a bit of time, so I find that I did get good value for my decision. Looking ahead into January, I’ve got my Yuru Camp△ post inbound in not more than a few days, and I’ll be wrapping up Wake Up, Girls! New Chapter! soon.

For the present, while I’m convinced that each of the three DLC packages, one each for Stallion, Valiant and Captain Wilkins, are likely to be quite fun in their own right and add newfound well-written stories into the Wolfenstein universe, the sample of the gameplay through Episode Zero suggests that there’s no new weapons, enemies or abilities. Furthermore, The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe, already released, seems to be quite short – if this instalment’s length is an indicator, then the DLCs together will likely add around five to seven hours of additional content in total (compared to the nine advertised). When one looks at the price tag of 30 CAD for the season pass, it’s probably not worthwhile to pick the DLC up in the absence of a good sale. For the present, then, I have no plans in continuing my adventures with Stallion, Valiant or Captain Wilkins – for one, I still need to go back through and beat The New Colossus on the Fergus timeline, which gives me access to the Laserkraftwerk. Of course, once I gain a bit more insight as to what the DLC offers once all of the instalments are released, and if a good sale should appear, I could change my mind and pick things up to continue what folks have concisely described as more Nazi Slaughtering Goodness.

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.