Waypoint 101 Spends Three Hours Spoiling Wolfenstein


#1

First up, an apology. Though we’ve tried to find a way to make Waypoint 101 run on a schedule, the bandwidth of Waypoint’s staff makes that really tough. That said, we’re happy to present this three-hour (!!!) podcast in which myself, Danielle, Austin, and Rob talk through the second half of Wolfenstein: The New Order and make sense of the sequel, The New Colossus. We tried to keep things short, but failed.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/d3db5m/waypoint-101-spends-three-hours-spoiling-wolfenstein

#2

I enjoyed the podcast, despite the understandable delays. Rob in particular did a great job of contextualizing everything in a way that greatly enriched my own understanding of the game’s nuances.

I would say though, I feel like in the over five hours you talked about TNO and TNC that there should have been some time found to mention some of the developers by name. Sure you mentioned MachineGames’ history with Starbreeze but I feel like that doesn’t go far enough. It would have been nice if TNO’s creative director Jens Matthies was mentioned when his superb cutscene direction was highlighted for praise. Or noted that it’s an impressive debut as lead writer from him, he only did a little additional writing at Starbreeze and is credited more as an Art Director on those titles.

There isn’t necessarily a need to list off the entire list of credits, but some key people such as the game’s overall lead designer Jerk Gustafsson deserve to be mentioned at some point across five hours of discussion. The Blade Runner 2049 spoilercast dropped it’s first crew reference within the first 10 minutes so it doesn’t seem like the staff is opposed to this.

If Waypoint is going to take generally pro-worker/pro-labour editorial stances in its news and business coverage I think this would be a way to reflect that in its criticism space as well. I acknowledge that many (including yourselves???) reject overly centralized auteur readings of collaborative works, but I feel that there is merit in shifting the focus away from “Bethesda / A company it owns made this” and towards “No, actual people made this.” Not that I believe that’s how you view things, but I think games coverage as a whole would be better for its creators if we expressed this more explicitly through acknowledgement of actual people.


#3

I love y’all but attempting to pronounce “da’at yichud” and somehow ending up saying “das jude” is a bad look.

I’ve posted on these forums about my particular problems with the new Wolfenstein series before (and I don’t think that this game’s treatment of BJ’s background, nor the events of the game itself actually remedy them), so I’ll probably be mostly ducking out of this discussion, but I do want to say that I’m glad that y’all took the time to really do a deep dive into the game. Even though it took maybe longer than you originally intended, I think that this sort of in-depth “we’re gonna spoil everything because we need to talk about the whole thing” coverage of a game is really worth doing.


#4

I’m surprised you didn’t discuss the scene at the very end with Anya topless. It felt gratuitous, out of place, and completely unnecessary.


#5

For Austin, about the cat-monkey conversation. I played the beginning sequence twice, and noticed that if you skip talking to Set and go directly to the training area (I was wandering around the submarine), the cat-monkey cut scene is entirely skipped. That might have been what happened to you too.


#6

I really thought after the first episode, the tide was turning in Wyatt’s favor. Then, they all picked Fergus, again.


#7

This scene was SO out of place especially so close to the end of the game. Like I kind of understand they kind of had show her becoming more active as a fighter in this game and having a sex drive over both games, but this really felt like some guy just got to put his fantasy into the game. I was really shocked they didn’t talk about it…


#8

My (not serious) (but maybe) theory is that the director of TNC lost a bet and had to let David Jaffe direct 1 cutscene.


#9

I thought that scene was cool and funny in a manner befitting the rest of the game. Anya’s pregnancy doesn’t limit her Nazi killing, or her sexuality. And it stands in contrast to her diary entries about becoming dangerously ill after aborting a Nazi pregnancy.

I didn’t think it was any more ridiculous or out of place than Hitler pissing in an ice bucket while Leni Riefenstahl steps in his puke (which is to say, at all).


#10

I didn’t get the achievement, and I honestly can’t tell you why.


#11

At first, I thought it was metal as fuck.

Now, I definitely think it was out of place.


#12

Anyway the Anya bit at the end was super out of place, both for the game itself and the character. Yeah, the game is often cartoony and ridiculous, but it’s more big robot dinosaur type of crazy and less topless pregnant woman covered in blood and dual wielding machine guns type of crazy.


#13

I will say in defense of the Topless Anya Covered In Nazi Blood Scene that BJ’s reaction to it was so great. That is probably his Exact Fetish. Topless lady doin’ a lot of Murder.


#14

Great discussion. With both Wolfenstein’s, the Starbreeze Studio heritage is very apparent. The quiet moments contrasted with over-the-top bombastic set pieces. The writing and voice-acting (particularly the handling of every-day relationships). The basic stealth mechanics. Even the on-rails vehicle levels.

It’s great to see that kind of artistic consistency in a work. I can’t wait to see what else they do.


#15

Errant Signal is always worth a watch:


#16

That was a really interesting read. I agreed with a number of their complaints about the gameplay loop, although Patrick has made some compelling points in past podcasts about how well this game switches from stealth into a flurry of action.

I don’t totally agree with their complaints about the story beats, but I certainly understand where they’re coming from. Wolfenstein doesn’t always provide good enough answers to some of the questions that it is asking. I think it should be commended for attempting to ask those questions in the first place, however.