Sailing to Far Harbor

Having finished off my trek through the Wolfenstein games, I decided to get back to my playthrough of the Fallout 4 DLC. I finished off Automatron last month, and was now ready to head off into the Far Harbor DLC, which is one of the larger scale content pieces added to the game. The quest to get started begins by heading to Stadium City and picking up an assignment from Valentine’s Detective Agency, where you are to meet a family who’s daughter has gone missing. Heading to their house on the edge of the map took some time, but once there the family is straight to business. He thinks someone has kidnapped his daughter, while the mother thinks that she has left. Her grandfather died and had been her closest friend, spending time with her tinkering on various projects. Listening to some of her holotapes, it seems that she has made contact with some Synths on a far off island, and it seems that she is confused about her heritage. Either way, Mr. Nakano lends us his boat so we can head to Far Harbor.

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Once there, we are greeted by one of the leaders of Far Harbor along with some of the locals. Immediately there are some big monsters that are laying siege to the town, so you jump in to help eliminate them. Afterwards, you let the people know why you are there, and you’re sent to the tavern to recruit “Longfellow” who will take you to Acadia, where Kasumi was said to have gone. Longfellow makes you buy him some whiskey before heading out, but leads you through the fog to get where you are going. It turns out this fog is radioactive and there are a couple of other factions on the island outside of the Far Harbor folk. The Children of the Atom (a name we’ve heard before) have a headquarters here, and are said to worship Atom, and this is said to be “his land,” probably due to all the radiation. Anyway, they seem a little crazy, but we only had a short interaction with one of their members. The other faction are these synths in Acadia who have fled the mainland and created a stronghold so that they can live freely. Longfellow gets you to Acadia and then takes off, and inside you find DiMA, who is the synth’s leader. He talks in riddles to a degree, and tries convincing you that Kasumi is a synth and that’s why she belongs in Acadia, while also trying to confuse you on the subject of whether or not you are a human. In the end we find Kasumi and she’s not going anywhere, but it’s hard to tell if she’s a synth or not, as most of these synths look like humans. The leadership of Far Harbor and Acadia have given me a multitude of tasks to complete, and that’s where I left off after this first session. I have a feeling it’s going to take me a while to clear Far Harbor, but I’m looking forward to the adventure!

The Old Blood Complete

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood ended up being quite a bit shorter than the other two titles from MachineGames. Being a prequel to the events of The New Order, and only 8 chapters long, I had estimated that it would take me around 8 hours to complete — but I managed to finish it off this weekend after having spent just over 5 hours on it. As I said in my initial post on the game, it looks and plays much like the other Wolfenstein games from this company, but there are a couple of big differences.

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The first major difference is the inability to manually save, and despite there being frequent check points where the game is auto saved, you’ll still end up dying quite a bit — even on the normal difficulty. Some checkpoints are harder than others, and for the most part it’s a manageable difficulty but I did find it more challenging than The New Order and New Colossus. The other major difference is that this title is pretty story light. The other two games were very cinematic in look and feel, and while this game does have some cut scenes, there are very short and to the point. Everything is very short and to the point. Your mission here is to find out the location of Death’s Head’s hideout, and it takes the entirety of the game to do so. You’ll start by infiltrating Castle Wolfenstein, and eventually escape and fight your way through the nearby town of Wolfsburg and finish things off in the catacombs underneath the city’s graveyard. At some point Nazis start turning into Zombies and its a bit reminiscent of the DOOM games, culminating in a final fight against a huge mummy monster thing. You’re rescued by Fergus, and he will be your buddy through the next two games until his untimely demise in The New Colossus.

Overall it’s a short romp with less focus on story and more focus on killing Nazis. I enjoyed it, and it did fill in some story gaps from the overall epic. I’m very curious to see how things go in Youngblood, but we have to wait until next year to find out. That one being co-op is exciting, I’ll have to try and find a partner to play it, or perhaps pick it up on PS4 and play with my bff. One way or the other, my journey through this alternate timeline is complete for now, and I’m satisfied with the experience. I’d recommend all three Wolfenstein games highly, particularly if you enjoy killing Nazis in your spare time!

The Old Blood

You’ll have to pardon my absence over the last few days, I went on a mini-vacation for Independence Day to visit family and was pretty disconnected during that time. Just before we left, I finished off Wolfenstein II and was thrilled with the game. When I was nearing the end I got to talking with my lady and she was asking if there were any other Wolfenstein games out there, and aside from the original and older reboots, there was a lone game I had yet to play. Back in 2014, Wolfenstein: The New Order released and I played through that one, but when its prequel released in 2015, it was overlooked. The Old Blood is a prequel to The New Order, and thereby another game in the series that I hadn’t played and wanted to. It was still discounted via the Steam Summer Sale while we were having the conversation, so for $10 I would be able to complete my collection and potentially fill in some plot holes. I didn’t start it until we got back into town last night, but I can already tell it’s going to be enjoyable.

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What I have gathered so far, is that this game takes place in the 40’s, and at least starts in Germany. You’re still B.J., but you’re a younger version of him compared to the other games. In this timeline, you are facing the Nazi war machine head on, but the Allies are clearly losing the war. Continuing on, during the events of The New Order, the war is over and the Nazis control America. During The New Colossus, B.J. and co manage to start a revolution during the 1960’s and potentially start the downfall of the Nazi regime… we were teased with Youngblood during E3 this year, and that is supposed to take place during the 1980s and focuses on the twin daughters B.J.’s lady is carrying during The New Colossus. Perhaps then they will finally force the Germans out of America? Time will tell.

Back to The Old Blood. Thankfully because it is a prequel, playing it after the other two games hasn’t really affected the telling of the story. You’re undercover as a Nazi officer and entering into Castle Wolfenstein it seems. Much of the set design is reminiscent of the old Wolfenstein games we played decades ago, being a big sprawling castle and having a ton of Nazis inside to kill. There seems to be more puzzling portions, and you’ll gain some different abilities as compared to the other titles. One piece of equipment becomes a mainstay in your inventory – a big metal pipe. You can use it to climb walls, pry open doors, and most importantly stab people in their necks. Otherwise it’s a very similar game made by the same developers so you should feel right at home. I know I do. I’ve enjoyed the couple of chapters I’ve played through, but this does feel like a game I’ll complete faster than the others. At this time The New Order took about 10 hours, while The New Colossus took just under 9. I’m a couple hours into The Old Blood and on chapter 3 of 8 so I assume this one will clock in around 8 hours at this rate. Either way, still fun to be blasting Nazis and filling in story gaps.

I will report back once I’ve completed it, most likely by the end of the week if not sooner.

Wolf 2 Complete

Wow, that was a quick turnaround! I managed to play Wolfenstein II for a couple hours here and there throughout the week and made a final push over the weekend, finally completing the game last night. It turns out I was at the very end of the game on Sunday but had stopped to go play some MTG with my roommate, so within 30 minutes last night it was over. There are DLCs and things but I’m going to pass on those, as my girlfriend bought me a copy of The Old Blood, which is the prequel to the original game and should hopefully fill in some story gaps. I should be able to complete that one long before Youngblood comes out, but at least I’ll be able to say that I played all of Machine Games’ Wolfenstein titles on offer.

What a crazy adventure this game was. There are some spoilery screenshots ahead, so if you haven’t played this year old game, you might want to skip this post.

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From getting beheaded on national television to having your severed head put in a jar and then attached to a cybernetic body, this was surely a crazy experience. Seeing an aging hitler, and finally getting your revenge on the Frau was an amazingly fun time. I was hooked from start to finish, and though there wasn’t anything too challenging to complete, it was still not the easiest shooter I’ve played through. There are varying difficulty levels, so most players should be able to find their sweet spot. Graphically the game was amazing, if not a little gory. As a matter of fact there is a bunch of adult oriented content in this title, from sex scenes, to the aforementioned gore, to various vulgarities and slurs. But if you aren’t a snowflake, you’ll probably be able to take it for what it is. I’m not sure why this game got some negative reviews, as there wasn’t anything I took issue with, but perhaps I’m part of the crowd the game was designed for. I look forward to the next iteration that’s for sure!

The New Colossus

The Steam Summer Sale is in full swing and as usual I was tempted by some titles that have long been on my wishlist but are normally full priced. It’s hard to pass up a good deal, so I was trying to justify spending the money while having a conversation with my girlfriend. I really couldn’t justify the expenditure, but she pulled the trigger for me. I’m a lucky guy! As you could probably guess by the title and picture above, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus has been on my list for a long time and it was 60% off during the sale so for $24 it came into my possession.

During my first session with the game, I was already impressed. It gets a little graphic and touches on some important social issues within the first thirty minutes, but otherwise feels much like the original. Graphically it seems to be done in the same engine because I feel like it’s similar enough to The New Order, but I also haven’t played that one in quite some time so perhaps there have been some updates that I’m unaware of. I was happy to see that it supported 21:9 aspect ratio and 2k resolution, so it looks glorious on my new (ish) monitor. I saw no issues with framerate drops or hitching/tearing. It flows seamlessly between cut scene and game engine and I have been enthralled with the storyline once again.

I’m still impressed by the way these developers managed to take a 1990’s FPS with zero story and turn it into this magnum opus, but I’m glad they have because it feels like so much more than a mindless shooter. Sure, the game is fairly linear and has its share of big fuck you weaponry and explosions, but in between we see the humanity of this world and these characters and it’s a nice change of pace from the hoorah military shooters that have dominated the marketplace for so long. Similar to titles like Bioshock, this one has a compelling story that keeps you invested after the firefights have calmed down.

When the game opens, it gives you a little snippet of what happened in the first game, and then picks up precisely where it left off. B.J. got a little fucked up at the end of the first game, and gave the order to blow shit up despite the fact that it would kill him. Thankfully his friends came to his rescue, but the extent of his injuries were pretty dire. He floats in and out of consciousness, having flashbacks of his childhood (which seemed pretty fucked up) while his friends cut out bits of his guts and whatnot. Eventually he recovers, just to find that the ship he’s on is under attack, and finding that his legs aren’t working at that juncture. Equipped with a wheelchair and a gun, he goes on the offensive.

Through the first few scenes he eventually gets captured and his friend gets beheaded. The evil leader from the first game is back and wants to make the revolutionaries pay. She fat shames her daughter, tries to force her to do the beheading and then takes matters into her own hands. Thankfully at one point while trying to kill another friend, he breaks loose and shoots some of the soldiers, and in the ensuing scuffle B.J. is able to get into the power armor that had been worn by his beheaded friend and can now use his legs again! The Frau escapes while her daughter helps the team to escape and release their U-boat from the airship’s grasp.

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At this point I took a break but intend on pushing through this title fairly quickly. My girl also ponied up for the Dark Souls Remaster and I really want to get going on that series so I’ll have more to write about in that regard soon.

Did you grab anything in the Summer Sale?