Waypoint 101 — Wolfenstein: The New Order [Spoilers Unleashed]


#63

Re the play throughs iirc they are different in pretty minimal ways


#64

Two words to convince you about that Wyatt playthrough: Jimi Hendrix.


#65

The only game I remember having that same thinking in terms of cinematography was Vagrant Story on the PS1. Definitely a very rare thing.


#66

The comparisons between Wolfenstein: TNO and DOOM (2016) are inevitable with them both being Bethesda published remakes of popular old FPS series, but it’s really interesting to see two different developers tackle the challenge of bringing these old properties back and crafting a fresh experience.

The new DOOM is a game I don’t particularly care for, and I think its tone is at least part of the reason for that. It just feels like an easier route to take this over the top, ultraviolent, testosterone fueled shooter from the early 90’s and play up the silly, self aware angle with it. That’s not to say it doesn’t have some genuinely funny stuff in it, but a lot of it just didn’t resonate with me.

MachineGames on the other hand went a totally different route, one I find a lot more interesting. They took a similar property, a rather straightforward, simple FPS, and packed it full of well-developed characters. Instead of keeping the protagonist as a silent blank slate, they made him someone we can genuinely root for, someone with aspirations, hopes and fears. They kept the graphic content but made sure it meant something, violence being a necessary evil in the fight against overwhelming odds and a genocidal regime. They made a game with a surprising amount of heart and an engaging narrative to hold it all together. Overall, their decision to focus on character development and not shy away from quiet, heartfelt moments in between the action made for a far more memorable game to me. It is easily one of my favorite first person shooter campaigns of all time, and I’m so excited it’s getting some more exposure with the release of this sequel.


#67

I saved Wyatt this time around, and had my suspicions of ‘J’. Then I had the bit where BJ has his cutscene with him and fuccccccccccckkkkkkkkkk!!!


@Foxtrot I think both games are triumphs, after years in which Id have been chasing the ghost of their original shooters with varying levels of success. Return to Castle Wolfenstein was great, but the 2009 Wolfenstein from Raven was perhaps a little too generic as a gory ‘bro’ shooter, meanwhile Doom 3 was divisive and Doom 4 was stuck in development hell as a COD clone. I’ve yet to try Quake Champions, but it feels as if Quake as a series has maybe had its day. It’s amazing that Machine Games and Id have managed to find a way to bring both Wolfenstein and Doom into the modern space, in a way that both calls back to the spirit of the early 90s whilst standing on their own two feet as supreme single player shooters that are better than any COD, Battlefield or Halo campaign.

All shooters have to find someway to justify you committing mass murder in a way that maybe you can revel in the violence of it all. With Wolfenstein it’s easy, they’re Nazis. Fuck Nazi’s. I think when I first played Wolfenstein I was surprised by the depths of the characters. BJ’s inner monologue was a stroke of genius, which express a definite but understated state of PTSD whilst he’s blasting fascists and being the all-American hero. It’s something only the player is privy too and I can scarcely believe that no one else thought to do this.

The second time through I’m appreciating the world and the game’s depiction and various details of what a nazi occupied world would be and how this would affect the character of the resistance. The fact that BJ awakes to this Nazi world and like us cannot quite believe the world has just accepted it (again just like us), makes him more of an endearing hero. He’s already struggling mentally by the start of the game (count to 4 inhale/exhale), but being in a Nazi occupied world. In Raven’s 2009 game, BJ was an unlikable protagonist, a quintessential bro-shooter moron.

I do think I prefer Doom as a shooter, there’s just something about how quickly it gets you into the action with minimal story telling, just enough to make it work. Yet if you go looking for it, the game does provide you with a deeper story. Whereas they really created a character out of BJ, the Doom marine is basically cancelled down into this entity rather than someone who emotes or has a realistic more tangible relationship to his world. He’s an ancient warrior with one purpose, he has no care for the progression of humanity or any additional characters, he’s untethered, just like the player he wants to destroy demons in the most violently efficient manner. It’s such a simple conceit, it’s bizarre that no one has thought of this!

I sincerely hope Bethesda can score a hat trick and knock a single player Quake out of the park. I’m not sure what that would be, Doom kind of holds the throne as far as violent shooters go, which is part of Quake’s spirit. Quake was basically a polygonal Doom. You’d need speed and heft in equal measure. I think you’d probably need to go back to the original Quake, with all these medieval-ass weapons made of stone and nails.


#69

And both originally id software, of course - it’s not just that they’ve wound up in the same place, they started out in the same place too. Doom was very much seen as a successor to Wolfenstein.


#70

I really loved the one moment where gameplay diverged significantly between the two timelines, during the Eichenwald prison break. I thought that really did a great job of highlighting the different approaches that Wyatt and Fergus take. I wish there were more instances of that dichotomy instead of which minigame you use to unlock secrets.


#71

This was an excellent piece of analysis, that definitely rang true for me. I beat finally beat DOOM and Wolfenstein: TNO within two weeks of each other. DOOM’s entire gameplay loop is centered around the player jumping headlong into encounters, where Wolfenstein will make you take cover occasionally.

There’s some heinous shit going on in DOOM, but a lot of it requires digging for codex items.

Wolfenstein uses some really effective storytelling tools to show that 1) BJ is dealing some extreme stress that we don’t normally see represented in shooters 2) The Nazis are fuckin’ evil, full stop.

I’m just glad that last point never got lost in the story.


#72

Agree on all this. DOOM personally just really didn’t do anything for me gameplay-wise or story-wise. Something about the mixture of having an incredibly powerful arsenal at all times against enemies who often fight with reckless abandon and little regard for their own life got dull to me, as did seeing the same glory kill animations hundreds of times. Wolfenstein had some decent options when it comes to stealth or going loud, more diverse environments, more interesting weapon design, and I just generally got more enjoyment out of the combat knowing that it was all part of a more grounded, desperate struggle for the greater good.

That said I think based on the positive player reactions to both games, triumph is a good word to describe the two. Both studios faced a daunting task and pulled it off.


#73

My issue with DOOM was that off all the guns only the super shotgun, Marksmen, and like two others actually felt useful to me. Plus it was like two to three hours too long and somehow still felt rushed at the end. Also real talk that game took up way to much hard drive space. It would literally take me the better part of a week to redownload it.


#74

Just to jump back to the difficulty question; having played a bit more of the game I’m beginning to get the impression that it’s balanced for a replay, not a first run.

There are some sections where you can get through with simple shooting, where there are just simple enemies that just need to be shot with something, but others which strongly require a particular approach, whether using a weapon type that an enemy is weak to, or in the order in which you tackle targets in a room. There have been areas that seemed overwhelming, with enemies that could kill me in only a couple of hits, where either a death screen hint has pointed out how to beat them, or where I’ve explored the space differently and found a crucial cache of weapons that radically tips the balance.

If I were playing the game over again, I’d get those situations right ‘first time’, and normal difficulty would probably feel just fine. The death-as-learning-mechanic still feels a bit off somehow, but I’m coming round to the idea that it’s intentional.


#75

They recently made all the multiplayer DLC for DOOM free. It was a nice gesture, but it also resulted in steam automatically downloading another ~30 gigs onto my very crowded SSD, which I wasn’t thrilled about. I like that game a lot, but now I feel like I have to finish it off so I can get it off my hard drive.

I personally prefer DOOM to Wolfenstein, I just like running around in the open dodging fireballs much more than fighting semi-defensively against guys with regular guns. I didn’t make it very far into Wolfenstein before bouncing off though, so maybe that is less of an issue later on.


#76

I’m still playing on uber and have made it more than half way now. I got stuck at the section at the end in which you commandeer the robot after the concentration camp. I had to hide around a building and take pot shots at the waves of troops. Not great. But turret sections rarely are.


#77

How much are you dying though? Are you doing the repeated deaths until you’ve learnt the ‘right’ way to beat an area thing, or are you mostly surviving unfamiliar new areas without that trial and error process?

I wonder if the different perceptions of the difficulty are simply about ability, or if they’re more about expectation - if you expect to die often and do they might feel appropriate, whereas if you die just as much while expecting not to, they won’t.


#78

I’m very late on this but if you’ve found yourself enjoying the way this game presents characters and story at all, it’s absolutely worth it to do both play-throughs. Maybe put it on the easiest difficulty the second time through and blow through it in a thrillingly homicidal six hours.


#79

I’m mostly okay with the fire fights. It was just this section where you’ve on this big juggernaut and you have to fight of waves of troops whilst other troops are evacuated. It just piles them on, and you can’t hide in cover so very easily to get killed.


#80

After beating it on the most medium normal difficulty, I think I’m gonna do this. Also probably with a guide so that I can get all of the collectibles. I got a few of the records and gold, but never finished an enigma code. Has anyone gotten most of the collectibles or at least the enigma codes?


#81

I’ll be honest, the more I play of it, the less I like it.
The initial catharsis of gunning down low level enemies have kind of dulled and I’m not really feeling the level design. (also I found stealth to feel more effective and novel towards the beginning)
It’s just kind of generic, and I don’t know if I want to stick with it.
The story and characters have also not held my interest beyond the initial missions up to and including the mission in the prison. The story seems to be the draw(?) and if this is what it has to offer mid game…I dunno.
FYI I’m currently chasing a critical objective on the moon, so from there can anyone let me know how much I have left?


#82

Completing the codes unlocks higher difficulty levels, and some novel variations. Finding all of them is more fun than actually using them, you ask me.


#83

There is one thing I am really noticing, and I think it’s because I just finished Rise of the Tomb Raider which uses the same weird trope: the intentional fail.

That may not be a great name for it, but I’m not coming up with much better. There are a number of sequences in this game where you need to complete a gameplay sequence successfully, only for a disaster to happen which is not all that different than the fail state a second ago which caused a restart of the sequence.

Here’s a pretty generic example which can be found in both games (I don’t think it’s a spoiler): A leap needs to be made. Miss it and fall, and you will need to replay the jump to proceed. If you do land, however, a cutscene triggers where the place you land gives way, and you fall. It’s pretty much the same fall as you just had, but this time it’s intentional.

It’s not a complaint, just an odd trope I have been noticing. I suppose I wish we could see a game like this where the fail states weren’t so binary. Where a failure can advance the story, instead of needing a success in order to trigger a specific failure which advances the story.