Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus—Review

When it comes to introductions Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus will often be remembered for its sheer brilliant opening. It’s so good that honestly I refuse to spoil it only to say that it manages to capture the beauty the game offers: violence is the only real solution to conflict.

That is not to say that I’m a violent person, I mean the mere idea of holding a gun freaks me out. But FPS games such as DOOM and now The New Colossus has shown me that violence through games can be an enthralling experience especially if that world is pretty much filled with violent people including yourself. Shoot first, ask questions never.

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Like The New Order, The New Colossus puts us in a world where the Nazis rule the United States and it’s up to a group of rebels spear headed by you to stop them. There’s no sympathy for the enemy here, I mean its Nazis. Just kill them all. But even then the characters themselves including the Nazis have personality. BJ carries the same Max Payne—esque attitude of saying bleak lines of poetry for example which honestly never gets old. This time knowing he’s going to become a father does give him an extra emotional layer.

The shooting here feels more refined, TNO had this janky recoil especially with the machine guns but here it doesn’t seem to be a problem. Most notably the game introduces more impressive set pieces, one of the first sections involving shooting from a wheelchair seen often in the trailers is one of many crazy scenarios the game will throw at you. Another major upgrade are the visuals. The graphics in TNC are downright gorgeous with city streets filled with people to enemies that die in the most grotesque ways possible.

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The violence is probably the biggest highlight here. The ways to kill your enemies depending on the weapons you choose are wide and varied—my favorite being the axe which you’ve probably guessed includes its own flashy death animations. The dual wielding guns including shotguns turns every room red. The game wants you to be comfortable with its violence and manages to do so perfectly well.

In-between you get moments to reflect with your characters and some of these moments, mostly told through cutscenes, are heavy and tough to swallow. This game is gritty as gritty can get, but it does so with personality.

9.5/10

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The Five Games of 2016 You Have to Play

We’re well into our first week of 2017 and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead in this wide magical landscape we call video games. But before we forget the year that is 2016 (celebrity and political issues aside) the year managed to produce some pretty amazing titles. Here are five pics from last year you have to play no matter what.

Final Fantasy XV

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After 10 years of waiting, Final Fantasy XV has arrived and delivered. While many argue that it is flawed with missing story set pieces I personally enjoyed this journey of brotherhood and bonding with an ending that left me in tears. Few games have offered me the kind of immersion that XV did with its attention to detail from everything ranging from hair to gigantic cities and of course the beautiful lush landscapes. As a Final Fantasy game it manages to break new ground with an active battle system that sets the foundation for others to follow. Most importantly it brought the franchise back and is till now the best JRPG I played this gen. If you’re looking for an entry into the franchise this should be it.

Uncharted 4

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Naughty Dog has constantly raised the bar on its games and Uncharted 4 is no exception. Despite this being a PS4 game it manages to look better than most high-end PC titles (and this is coming from a PC fanboy). Filled with none-stop adventure, Uncharted 4 never has a dull moment. Sure the tacked-on multiplayer is forgettable but its singleplayer is where it truly shines. By far the best game ND has produced, this masterpiece is a must for all PS4 owners.
As a side note: Uncharted 4 and Final Fantasy XV are the only games I’ve given a 10 for which makes them the highest recommended games on this list.

DOOM (4)

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There was a moment were I thought DOOM 4’s campaign was going to suck, I mean aside from the stage demo, most of the promo footage I recalled was about the game’s Snap Map and its multiplayer which looked kinda lackluster. Ironically its biggest selling point ended up being its less promoted singleplayer mode with the others feeling tacked on. Everything about it screams personality from its techno metal soundtrack (which brought back memories of Quake 2) to its hyper-demon slaying-violence. And unlike most of today’s shooter where you need to play defensive by hiding to recover health, DOOM flips the table and demands you to be more aggressive to get health packs and drops from enemies to survive. It also manages stay true to its source material while also surprisingly expanding the game’s lore, in short: DOOM is the 90’s shooter brought to modern times done right.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided

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Ever since the turn of the century Deus Ex has been that one game that questioned the world I live in. It introduced me to conspiracy theories and how world government operate not to the benefit of society but to shape the world they see fit. Deus Ex Mankind Divided continues that tradition by bridging itself with today’s problems. Escalation in racism and the way it treats biomoded humans as refugees, Mankind Divided manages to be a game that we can all relate to. Added to that is the improved gameplay and traditional freedom to its level design, Deus Ex has never looked or played this good. It’s easily my favorite entry in the franchise and honestly can’t wait to see what happens next.

Inside

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Let’s face facts, most of the big pixelated indie games we play tend to bank on nostalgia. Owlboy, Freedom Planet, Axiom Verge while all amazing titles they tend to relay on our history with the games we played and loved. Inside is first indie title in a while that manages to give me a new groundbreaking experience. Everything from its ambient atmosphere to its smart puzzle design helped shape a world without a single piece of dialogue.

Honorable Mentions:

The Last Guardian

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The Last Guardian was one of the most frustrating experiences I had this year, but it still managed to warm my heart. If you can look past its issues you’ll find a game that’s certainly worth your while.

Titanfall 2

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I was very close to adding this to my list, but decided against it mainly because I found DOOM’s singleplayer to be more memorable. Don’t get me wrong, this is game is a sequel done right with amazing level design that harkins back to the Half-Life days. That being said, I did find its multiplayer feeling stale after a while similar to Titanfall 1.

Doom 2016 in Doom 2 is A Remarkable Achievement

Doom 2016 was an absolute blast and a definite GOTY contender. Fans can also agree as it managed to capture the spirit of Doom while introducing some modern elements.

So it’s no surprise that some have taken liberty to recreate the entire Doom 2016 tutorial in Doom 2’s engine. The results are, well, see for your self.

The fan project dubbed appropriately “Doom 4 Doom” was accomplished in a few week’s time which is pretty amazing. Whether the team will decide to move forward with recreating the entire game remains to be seen.

Doom Update Brings Back Classic Center Aim

Doom 2016 has won me over and is easily a GOTY 2016 contender so far.

What makes it so unforgettable is how it understands the source material and translates it to modern times. Ergo, Doom is now getting a free update that lets players experience the game with center aim mode. This of course pays homage to classic 90’s shooters that always had their guns appear in the center as opposed to the more (realistic?) style of keeping the weapon on the side.

pistolThe update will also include a number of different new features include a photo mode. Read up all about it on the game’s official blog. Expect it to roll out tomorrow on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Now if only they could fix that pesky multiplayer region issue on PC.

Doom 3 – 12 Years Later and It Still Kicks Ass

Doom 3 may not have been the most popular entry in the franchise but it sure was unique. It’s dark morbid corridors made you feel vulnerable and isolated. There is this general sense of dread and atmosphere that very few first person shooters offered at the time.

It is in every sense of the word a classic that all fans new and old should check out even after Doom 4’s arrival.