The Best Games You’ve Never Heard Of: Men’s Room Mayhem

Mayhem

Continuing our journey into the more obscure corners of the Gamingsphere, we have another indie release. This time, we’re fleshing out one of video games’ more neglected genres: the Help Tiny Cartoon Dudes Not to Pee on the Floor ’em up. Because that’s totally a thing, mostly courtesy of Men’s Room Mayhem.

This arcade title was brought to us by Ripstone. It’s a cheeky little touchscreen affair, akin to the acclaimed Flight Control in its toontastic visuals and control system. Only, here, we’re directing a stream of patrons around the men’s room, and trying to prevent lapses in hygiene/fistfights/puddles of pee on the floor. Yes indeed.

Men’s Room Mayhem consists of a series of… bathrooms, increasingly fancy locations which serve as the game’s levels. You’re presented with a topdown view of your urine-smelling domain, and a fairly strict time limit. ‘Customers’ will enter the bathroom of their own accord, and you must draw a path for them to follow. From the entrance to the urinal/toilet (a charming little icon above their heads will show you which they need) and back to the door, put simply.

Etiquette bonuses, handwashing bonuses... they're all here for the wily player.
Etiquette bonuses, handwashing bonuses… they’re all here for the wily player.

Naturally, though, there’s more to it than that, which is where that big ol’ MAYHEM in the title comes from. As with Flight Control, you’ll need to manage everybody on the screen at once. Your stylus-flailing skills will have to be top-notch to avoid all of the dangers, as this deceptively simple-looking game has a lot of factors to consider.

Firstly, patrons cannot cross paths. This will instantly cause a fight to break out (perhaps symbolic of men’s extreme intolerance for small talk while they’re having a wee). This will give you one ‘strike,’ of which you have a limited number before game over. The same applies to taking too long to get somebody ‘relieved,’ which will yield you another strike and a mess on the floor.

Suffice it to say, once the game has introduced you to the basics it gets very hectic very quickly. Later, special characters will appear, and have particular requirements (for rather obvious non-dangly-anatomy reasons, the rare female visitor can’t use the urinals). Men’s Room Mayhem is an odd little package, but one full of achievements to earn and highscores to tackle. If it strikes a chord with you, there’s a very addictive experience here.

The Best Games You’ve Never Heard Of: ‘Haunting- Starring Polterguy’

Polterguy

My favourite console (bar none), the Mega Drive, had quite a long and relatively prolific life. Sonic the iconic, Alex Kidd with the craptacular sideburns, the RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE wonders of Altered Beast, it was all there. Which means, naturally, that retro heads will find all kinds of weirdness in its library.

Among it all, you probably won’t find a cult classic as inventively nutty as Haunting. It’s creepy, it’s kooky, it’s altogether ooky, it’s totally ripping off The Addams Family. Before the lawyers swoop down and slap us in the face with The Big Ol’ Book Of Copyright Law, let’s take a look at the game.

This obscure title from EA hit the console in 1993. It’s a charming, black humour-y tale of ghostly revenge, starring (as you surely noticed from the title) Polterguy. He was a punk teenager, killed in a skateboarding accident. The board was faulty, made by big business dude Vito Sardini to cut costs. Somehow learning of this after his death, Polterguy returns to haunt the Sardinis, by generally being really, really irritating.

As the pesky poltergeist, you find yourself in the middle of the family home. You can cruise through the rooms at will (though you have to use doorways, which is quite sucktastic for a ghost), and each of them contains a myriad of household items to interact with.

Haunting 1a

That’s interact in the sense of make a bratty little girl pee herself with. In the ghost’s hands, these items become Fright ‘ems. Everything can be used to frighten your quarry. You can possess posters to make the occupants move, or chase the Sardinis around with one of their toy aeroplanes. You can make kitchen implements fly around, like something out of Metal Gear Solid’s creepy boss battle with Psycho Mantis.

All of these –and there are around 200 Fright ‘ems in total– build the family’s Fright Meter, and you finish each stage by scaring them all out of the house. There are three varieties. Some are remote controlled, like the plane. Some must be ‘occupied’ and manually sprung at the right moment. There are also those that are booby trapped, which you simply ‘set’ and watch go off when a family member approaches.

You could call Haunting a lost classic. It’s quite a brief experience, but it’s an entirely unique one. As malevolent and sadistic as the premise may sound, it’s all presented with a cheeky charm. A tiny pool of blood spreading across a living room of its own accord has never been so adorable.

Retro Corner: MediEvil

MediEvil

Here’s a game that knows the surest path to my affections: have a craptacular pun in your title.

Cult classic MediEvil was released for the PlayStation in 1998. It’s an oddly gothic action-adventure from what is now Killzone’s Guerrilla Studios, and is often regarded as among the console’s best. Grab your sword, shield and… bizarre magical chicken leg, and we’ll take a look.

The star of the show is one Sir Daniel Fortesque, an allegedly heroic knight and commander of the forces of Gallowmere. He was killed in battle against the army of nefarious Sorcerer –and terrible-robe-wearer– Zarok. He earned his place in legend for this, and a rather fancy tomb, but it’s all FILTHY FILTHY LIES. In truth, Fortesque was a coward, and met his demise by a stray arrow while running from the battlefield.

But you know how it is. ‘Frankly, he sucked’ doesn’t look as good on a tombstone.

Anywho, it’s all moot. Upon Zarok’s return, the wicked wizard resurrected the dead of Gallowmere, to swell the ranks of his dark army once more. This also brought Sir Daniel back, and he returned desperate to atone for his suckiness and earn that reputation of his. He wipes the dust and cobwebs from his armor, puts his rusty codpiece back on, removes a stray maggot or two from his skull, and sets out to vanquish Zarok for good.

We've all had this dream. Y'know, the one where you're a blurry skeletal knight from the 90s, and a pack of equally blurry zombies were shuffling forward to chew on your eye socket?
We’ve all had this dream. Y’know, the one where you’re a blurry skeletal knight from the 90s, and a pack of equally blurry zombies were shuffling forward to chew on your eye socket?

The journey takes him from the graveyard to the sorcerer’s fortress, with a spangly ghost ship and creeptacular haunted village thrown in along the way. There are some fantastic boss battles, the Stain Glass Demon and… a forty-foot pumpkin among them. You’ll bash a big ol’ dragon in the head with a hammer, a la Ocarina of Time’s Volvagia. You’ll be shrunk to Borrower size and explore an ant’s nest. You’ll throw that magic chicken leg at zombies to convert them into health-restoring roast chicken. What’s not to like?

As macabre as the story and setting may be, there’s a black humour and a twisted charm about the whole thing. This isn’t a ‘horror’ game by any stretch. It’s more of a The Nightmare Before Christmas sort of affair. If Tim Burton made a video game (which I’ve long thought he damn well should), it would look a whole lot like MediEvil.

The VGamerZ Monster Files: The Boos (Super Mario)

Super Mario

Oh yes indeed. Everybody knows these cheeky buggers. They’re gaming’s most adorable ghosts, with their hiding-faces-in-their-hands-like-a-three-year-old shenanigans. The last thing you’d ever expect to KILL YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE.

Don’t turn your back on them!

The Boos made their first appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3. Back then, their official name was the puntacular ‘Boo Diddleys,’ and they’d dwell in the dark levels of World 8. From this inaugural encounter, all of the Boos’ trademarks were in place: they hide like big girls when you look at them, they careen murdererously at your face when you don’t, they’re pretty well impervious to attack, and they’re just all-round ghostly pains in our big ol’ Italian butts.

Later, with Super Mario World, they learnt a new trick. There, they were found within not-so-fiendish Ghost Houses. These twisty-turny, deceptive levels were packed with hidden doors and dead ends, and more of those freaking Boos. The little buggers loved to fly around your cranium in formation, safe in the knowledge that your standard jump right on their darn faces combat tactics wouldn’t work at all.

Boos 2

The plucky poltergeists’ finest hour came in Luigi’s Mansion. This Gamecube launch title saw them dethrone the mighty Bowser as antagonist, and their king kidnap Mario himself. The underlings were safely ensconsed in the mansion’s rooms, detectable only by use of Luigi’s radar attatchment. They couldn’t fight as such, but did have a knack for tricking you and trying to blow your dumbass moustache off with a Boo-shaped bomb.

On ocassion, the Boos will stop their dastardly antics and join the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom in some sports. They’ve appeared in such spin-offs as Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix and Mario Tennis. In a sneakier capacity, of course, such as the Tricky class of tennis player (able to bend the ball like a racquet-flailing David Beckham), but they are there.

The devious dudes have become more iconic, and more central to the series, over the years. In the Mario Galaxy games, our hero is given a new power-up which transforms him into one. As you nonchalantly cruise through that first wall as Boo Mario, you realise how awesome it is to be one of those tiny ghosts.

The Games You May Have Missed: ‘Tomodachi Life’

Tomodachi Life

Some video games are just uniquely Japanese. They have an inimitable sense of the wackily charming and the charmingly wacky. This same spirit brought forth the Miis, the adorable little player avatars of the Wii and 3DS. And now, here they are in the fairly obscure release Tomodachi Life.

This Eastern handheld sensation is best described as The Sims with Miis. For lazy buggers. It certainly isn’t as ‘involved’ as that famous franchise, but it’s an odd little life sim with potential to do great things. Let’s take a look.

In Tomodachi Life, you are the owner of a small tropical island. Your personal Mii is its only occupant at the beginning, residing in the first room of a sizable apartment block. From there, naturally, your goal is to coerce others into moving in. You can directly import them from Mii Maker or StreetPass, or design them from scratch in-game. Once your best friends, your girlfriend, your grandma and Adolf Hitler are all settled in together, the experience begins.

Nintendo big boss man Satoru Iwata in a bathtub?  Why not?
Nintendo big boss man Satoru Iwata in a bathtub? Why not?

Tomodachi means friends, and the whole experience is based around these relationships. As your tiny human farm experiment goes on, the Miis will interact with each other, visit others’ rooms and spend time together. All of this fosters friendships and strengthens bonds, to the extent that some will even marry and have children.

It sounds ambitious and complex, but much of this happens automatically. You select food, outfits and gifts for your Miis, and advice them on certain choices, but it’s a very passive experience beyond that. You’re an onlooker for the most part, it is a much less directed experience than The Sims or Animal Crossing.

Some will hate it for that, of course. Some cheeky buggers will complain that this isn’t a game at all. It’s a real time investment, the idea is to ‘check in’ each day to run little errands, see what new items you can add to your growing collection and watch those relationships gradually form over time.

Think of it, if you will, as Nintendogs with humans.

The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops to Buy in 2014 – Under $1,000

Laptops

Being mobile today is a must and more and more gamers are moving from their desktop computers to gaming laptops for the added mobility benefits and the ability to game on the go. Therefore, we’ve decided to check out tens of cheap gaming laptops, compare them, find the top ones to get and share the results with you so that you won’t have to do all this hard work. So we’re happy to share with you below our list of the best cheap gaming laptops to buy in 2014!

Have in mind that since these are budget gaming laptops – all under $1,000 – you won’t be able to play Watch Dogs on the highest settings, but you will be able to get a decent performance from your games, which is probably all that you want! So let’s check out below the best cheap gaming laptops to buy in 2014!

Acer Aspire V5-552-X814

01 Acer Aspire V5 Gaming Laptop

A 15.6-Inch laptop that can be used for gaming, coming at just below $500? Yes, please! It’s running on a decent AMD Radeon HD 8650G graphics card, comes with an extra 6GB of RAM and an AMD A Series 2.5 GHz processor. It’s pretty light at 4.41 lbs, ultra thin and for this price it’s probably the best budget gaming laptop on the market at the moment. Check it out here to see the full specs and hurry to order it before it sells out!

Acer Aspire V5-552PG-X809

02 acer aspire gaming laptop

We’ll stick to Acer’s V5 laptops, but this time we’re going a bit higher, both in performance and in price. Just like the previous gaming laptop, this one’s powered by a 2.5 GHz processor, but comes with 8GB or RAM and the better AMD Radeon HD 8750M Graphics Card. It has, compared to the previous laptop, 250GB of extra HDD space (for a total of 1TB) and is the better choice if you’re not forced to stick to a $500 budget. The Champagne Ice color makes it look pretty sleek too, so you should really consider this one. Right now, there’s a deal that saves you $76.64 off the purchase, so click here to check it out!

ASUS X750JB-DB71

03 asus gaming laptop

It’s time to move to the real big guns of the cheap gaming laptops! I am a huge fan of ASUS, and this laptop proves why. For a great price, you get an i7 Intel processor running at 2.4 GHz and a ton of other great features: the nVIDIA Geforce GT 740M Graphics card running on 2GB of RAM, 8 GB DDR3 and 1TB HDD. Since this is a 17.3 inches laptop, it runs on resolutions up to 1600 x 900 and packs a real punch. Check it out here to get all the details and best price offer (for example, at the moment of writing, there’s a $99 discount!)

Lenovo IdeaPad Z710

04 lenovo z710 gaming laptop

The Chinese manufacturers are slowly starting to prove that they have some really high quality products in the budget area and their Z710 gaming laptop is a proof of that: good quality at a more than decent price. This particular product runs on an Intel Core i7-4700MQ 2.4 GHz processor, has the “standard” 8GB of RAM and the NVIDIA GeForce GT745M Discrete Graphics Card. It also runs at full HD resolutions (1920 x 1080), so that’s certainly a bonus. As one reviewer states: “Good bang for the buck!” Click here to check it out – there’s just 5 left in stock at the moment of writing!

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p

05 lenovo y gaming laptop

Can it get even better? Well, if you are ready to go to the top of the $1,000 budget for your gaming laptop, Lenovo’s Y510p might be the perfect choice! Although it’s running on an i5 processor, it still gets 2.5 GHz and 6GB of RAM from the factory. It’s biggest bonus comes from the fact that it has Dual NVIDIA GeForce GT750M Discrete Graphics for increased power for your gaming needs. It’s also a 15.6-Inch Laptop, which makes it easier to carry around and the red touches are pretty nice! Check it out here for all the details.

And these would be our choices for the best cheap gaming laptops that you can get in 2014 for under $1,000. As I said in the intro, you should not expect top performance from these little babies, but the price/quality ratio is certainly the best. If you want to purchase any of these products for a particular game (especially if it’s next gen) double check to see if it can actually run your game!

The Best Games You’ve Never Heard Of: QuickPick Farmer

QuickPick

There are some genres perfectly suited for the touchtastic talents of the DS. When it’s implemented properly, and not just shoehorned in for gimmickry’s sake, great things can happen.

I didn’t know that ‘crazy arcade sheep-wrangling sim’ was a genre, but it’s a perfect example of this. feast your eyes, ears and assorted bodily orifices on QuickPick Farmer.

This obscure little offering from Dancing Dots hit DSiWare in 2010. As the title suggests, it’s a game of quick stylus-sorting, in which sheep must be sheared and their wool dispatched in trucks as fast as possible. Which doesn’t sound all that exciting, but there’s more.

The sheep shuffle about on the bottom screen, stupidly and hairily as sheep are wont to do. Above them are the sheds, each of which only admit certain ‘varieties.’ From within the crowd of black sheep, white sheep, grey sheep and subtly-differently-spotted sheep, you must grab the appropriate ones and drag and drop them to their destination. Mistakes will cause time penalities, so you must be both fast and accurate.

Yep, just an average day with QuickPick Farmer.
Yep, just an average day with QuickPick Farmer.

There’s a further complication, in the form of an emaciated and really dumb-looking wolf. He is slowly but surely approaching the herd from the top screen, along a ‘path’ of bushes and such. If he reaches them, it’s an instant game over, but you’re able to defend yourself.

When each shearing-batch is completed, you use the stylus to fire the wool ball catapult fashion into the waiting trucks. Timed correctly, you can instead opt to blast the wolf with it, which will knock it back along the path it’s following and buy you time. In this way, you have several different elements to manage, and a strict time limit for each. It’s all oddly strategic and hectic.

That’s the beauty of QuickPick Farmer. As simplistic as the concept is, there’s a lot going on beneath the surface. It’s a brief experience, with only a series of main levels and a survival mode, but it’s rather compulsive. It also has that cheeky humorous spirit running throughout, which is great to see.

Exclusive Battlefield Hardline PS4 Beta Gameplay

Battlefield

We here at Vgamerz have been trying out the Battlefield Hardline and decided to share a bit of our experience thus far.  The cops and robbers centric shooter is the first yearly  entry in Battlefield, but it seems to make up with gameplay innovation with new game modes and gear. The gameplay video features play from both the police and criminals, along with a number of different weapon sets.

Driving feels better than before as, with a more traditional racing drift allowing for quicker and more response driving. The vehicle sets themselves felt shallow in comparison to those available in Battlefield 4, but with the crime angle more vehicles are sure to be added by launch day. Moment to moment it felt weird to play as both sides, with Cops using excessive violence and criminals mowing down cops in turn.

The imagery is sure to disturb some players more than others, but since the gameplay feels exactly like every other Battlefield I found it a simple ascetic swap that may not affect long time players.  The gadgets are another cool addition, with zip lines and tazers leading the way. If Battlefield can change the formulaic combat scenario while still operating within their gigantic destructible arena’s then Hardline may be the best title yet. All this remains to be seen however, as the developers have proven a that a good framework exists and the only thing left is coming up with new ways to interact with it.

The new Battlefield and Call of Duty titles are both taking their respective series in new directions that aim to steer away from the typical military shooter, and I hope they can succeed. For more info on the Call of Duty trailer check here, and for all your E3 news needs head on over to Vgamerz news hub.

The VGamerZ Monster Files: Specter and the Monkeys (Ape Escape)

Monkeys

When you think of the real icons of video game villain-tude, the usual suspects arise. Bowser, Albert Wesker and his sunglasses-indoors-like-a-simpleton routine, Sephiroth… We know them, we love them, and some of us whine uselessly on the Internet about who’s ‘best.’

But in the grand scheme of villainousness, there’s one thing that doesn’t come to mind: time travelling monkeys.

Nevertheless, Specter and his band of fellow furry fiends are the antagonists of PlayStation classic Ape Escape. This 1999 platformer had arguably the oddest premise the genre (or any other freaking genre) has ever seen.

Specter was an innocent circus monkey. You know, dancing about, juggling knives, playing with itself and not caring who’s watching, all that usual monkey stuff. By some freakish chance, he inadvertently tries on the Peak Point Helmet, the intelligence-augmenting invention of a local crazy professor. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a good thing.

Specter the monkey king.
Specter the monkey king.

With his newfound genius and a dash of good ol’ fashioned crazitude thrown in, Specter goes all megalomaniacal on us. He outfits all the apes in these helmets, and they rampage through the professor’s laboratory, where the clever old bugger has just completed a time machine. You see where this is going, of course, and Specter sends his henchmen backwards and forwards though time to create some bizarre new monkey empire.

Of course he does. Nothing screwy there.

All of this is a fine excuse for varied levels in a platformer, taking us from prehistoric dinosaur-y jungles to the technologytastic future. Your objective in each is to capture a specified number of monkeys, with all kinds of gadgets from the professor. A humble net suffices for the early ones, but in later levels these wily beasts will be armed themselves.Stealthy approaches and/or a fair amount of firepower of your own will be needed to succeed.

Specter himself has the fanciest (and deadliest) flying machine any monkey has ever owned. Quite a final boss.

Wolfenstein: The New Order Wrap-up

Wolfenstein

Author’s Note: This ‘wrap-up’ assumes basic knowledge of Wolfenstein: The New Order. An uninformed reader may still enjoy the piece, but you have been forewarned that characters names WILL be used without backstory and the second to second gameplay WILL NOT be explained. There are spoilers for the game’s ending in one paragraph toward the bottom, with  tags for where they begin and end. Enjoy!

Since Wolfenstein released a couple of weeks ago talk about the stellar FPS has died down. I thought it was amazing, with satisfying gameplay and intelligent storytelling. The game deserves to be talked about, but instead of doing a review I thought I might try something different. Wrap-Ups will be a type of review, but instead of giving a score I will discuss some of the best and worst areas of a game. Hopefully the overall tone will clue you in as to how I felt about the game, it’s story and gameplay. These ‘finer points’ may seem like excessive critique of a video game, but if we as gamers don’t critique our favorite games and properties we can’t expect them to get any better, individually or as a whole. Hopefully some of these points come across as clear and thought provoking, but you be the judge.

Wolfenstein: The New Order

W3

Wolfenstein begins like any other shooter, and that’s good. There has been a general discontent regarding the beginning of Wolfenstein for being uninteresting, a cookie cutter FPS. I saw that as exactly the case. The opening scenes are ripped straight from every shooter since Modern Warfare 1, replete with ‘water-cooler’ moments and ‘brotastic’ cutscenes. At first I was bummed out by it as well, but then the game slowly began teaching me it’s language. As I played, it taught me that the game had a stealth mechanic (one that was actually quite good, but I’ll cover that more later), and that the world was filled with collectibles and pickups and helmets. It allowed me to wade into it’s world, capture it’s tone and take my time. After playing through the complex narratives and systems, I found the beginning well suited for setting up the game’s villain. Veteran FPS players could reach General Deathshead easily, while newcomers would have faced a climb to reach the game’s antagonist. Either way, when Deathshead either removes all sense of your power or makes all the work you have done seem inconsequential, it stings. Not to mention he forces you to make a decision you are absolutely unprepared to make. While the setup may be droll and indistinguishable from modern FPS sensibilities, it sets players up for what really makes Wolfenstein great in an effective manner. When compared to other introductory sections in the FPS space, the opening hours of The New Order put tutorial laden shooters to shame, and while it may not be a selling point, I certainly appreciated it.

W4

After the opening mission, Captain Blazkowicz is put out of action for 14 years. The passage of time is handled better than many games and even a few movies manage to. The Captain is put in a wheel chair and placed by a window, and from there his surroundings speed up and slow down depicting moments of clarity and confusion. It abruptly stops the day Nazi’s come and destroy the hospital/ward. The family who cared for Blazkowicz are murdered, with only the daughter taken captive. As the Captain struggles upward and regains his faculties, the game never blinks as to how much time has passed. Players are kept in the dark until the ensuing level on how long he sat there. I admire Machine Games’ confidence in keeping players in the dark, unaware of anything except the driving thought to kill Nazis. The lack of timeline information traditionally infers that not much time has passed, so when it is revealed that 14 years have gone by and the Nazis managed to win WWII, it comes as a shock to the player as well as Blazkowicz. The best characters are built when player and character can connect in even the smallest instances, and I felt this was an eloquent way to start shaping the Captain we see for the rest of the game. It’s these subtle things that I may even be putting more thought into than the developer, but I appreciate it nevertheless.

W1

Talking about Captain Blazkowicz brings up one of the downsides I had with the game. The ever present whisper our protagonist speaks in drove me crazy. There were times when he would talk and the voice fit well, but all too often that talk would be dialed back to a dissonant hushed tone. The worst offenders were mid mission as robots, soldiers or fiery explosions were met with whispered comments and observation by the Captain.  While the story didn’t suffer from lower decibel lines, in the moment these struck me as weird and out of place in a game with dual wielding shotguns.

W8

The combat itself held many surprise I wasn’t expecting from the newest Wolfenstein. In retrospect, I think Wolfenstein managed to do what Dishonored set out to do better. Dishonored promised a city that reacted to players play, but ultimately this led to players who were action-oriented just facing more enemies while being stealthy kept enemy numbers low. Wolfenstein has this same idea but on a more moment to moment basis, as almost each encounter can be dealt with quietly with reduced troop numbers or not. This meant that players who wanted a run-and-gun Wolfenstein of old could have that, but those who were more interested in stealth or story could facilitate that. The shooting when things did get loud felt great. At the start I found the shortness of ammo and other resources restricting, but as Blazkowicz’s arsenal opens up, the shortness of ammo made me more resourceful, trying out different weapons on different enemies. The stealthing mechanics were simplistic and smart. After getting a silenced pistol early on in the game, players could headshot foes from huge distances with only the targeting reticle. Once enough stealth kills are made, Blazkowicz is able to throw knives for an instant kill as well. These silent killing options paired with hidden pathways through almost every combat scenario ensure that players can get the job done quickly and quietly. Both arsenals are important in killing the commanders, enemies which call reinforcements that are found in almost every combat scenario. All the intricacy found in the combat make Wolfenstein earn a status above that of the ‘mindless’ shooter, as it is evident while playing how much thought went into each encounter.

W9

Besides the commanders there are quite a few other opponent types found throughout the game. These ‘other opponents’ are mostly robots, and unfortunately they become a pain to deal with during the latter sections. While the design of every mechanical Nazi looks fantastic, the way they can slaughter you isn’t as great. The speed at which death comes when facing one of these opponents hurts, a fact which doesn’t help how much ammo it takes to kill them. Unloading multiple full magazines is enough to take down the smaller machines, but the larger they get the more force it takes to dispatch them. The change up in combat, which usually consists of mowing down foot soldiers, grinds to a halt when these behemoths enter the room. With one present it provides a nice challenge, but when multiple arrive the difficulty skyrockets. Toward the end of the game players face many such situations, and it becomes a grind after the second or third death.

W5

But besides the combat, the game tells an interesting story almost devoid tropes and typical subject matter. Outside the existence of Nazi’s. the games premise feels fresh. With the war won by Nazis everything is industrialized, and the artists had a lot of fun creating unique spaces to show that in. Acting as the resistance to such a mighty power can be daunting, but the game allows entire sections from the 16 chapter long campaign to be about interacting with other characters and exploring environments instead of fighting back. Building the connection to places is effective, whether it be a concentration camp or a secret hideout, you feel the oppression or comfort each space projects. Specific story moments never pull punches either. Whether sitting down on a train after getting coffee or returning to previous locations I will remember these interactions for a while. The story built characters you wanted to be proud of, feel sad for and fight with. Wolfenstein managed to make me interested in a first person shooter’s story for the first time in years and that’s something special.

W6

****Spoilers Begin****

The ending was an entirely different beast. It chiefly suffers from the high expectations set by 10 previous hours of outstanding content. As expected, it depicts Blazkowicz confronting Deathshead for a climactic battle, but a few story beats within the fight fell flat. It begins with Deathshead putting the brain of your former friend into a robot and telling it to kill you. After a short fight Blazkowicz defeats the robot and puts an end to his suffering friend, but the scene has no real emotional pull. To begin the only background we had with the character was during that first hour of the game before Deathshead took his brain, so there was really no moment where you could start to like that character. Secondly, the fight is over so quickly that there is never enough time to think about what you’re doing while you’re doing it. Lastly, the entire fight your old friend is begging you to kill him, which may have worked, but it came off as cheesy and cheap. After that, Deathshead himself comes out and you are tasked with taking down his giant mech suit. The fight seems as if it will be a long drawn out battle, but the first stage is done by simply firing tow cannons at some air balloons so lightning will strike the general. After the battle is taken inside, a tense fight occurs while the room is filled with fire, smoke and debris. After the fight is over, the game has a few moments of excitement before it slows down, and players are left wondering why the narrative went from fast paced boss fight to slow introspective moment. The story ends with ambiguity as to Captain Blazkowicz fate, and sloppily puts a bow on an intelligent, well paced main storyline.

****Spoilers End****

W2

Before writing this I had little desire to jump back into the Nazi resistance, but after getting my thoughts down I may just jump back in. Luckily the game provides an interesting reason to, with a slightly altered storyline and all those aforementioned collectibles. Wolfenstein captured my attention every moment I played, and while it may have lost some luster toward the shaky ending, I still came away happy with the experience as a whole. But this is just my feeling on the game, and I want to know what you thought. Be sure to leave responses in the comments below and let us know what you liked and didn’t like from Wolfenstein: The New Order. Also be sure to check back soon for more wrap-ups and all sorts of video game coverage from us here at Vgamerz.