I played – Wolfenstein II „The New Colossus“

I am new to Wolfenstein. I have not played any of the games and to be honest, I hadn’t really given Wolfenstein any thought before I heard/read so many good reviews about „The New Colossus“. And then Christmas came. And with it, a beautiful collectors edition of Wolfenstein „The New Colossus“ with a figure of Terror Billy aka Blazkowicz.

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The Swedish developer MachineGames who also created the prequel „The New Order“ (2014) and the standalone „The Old Blood“ (2015), put out a fantastic single player experience with tons of humor and a breathtaking action-driven story. Published by Bethesda Wolfenstein „The New Colossus“ was released in October 2017 on all platforms.

The campaign follows William Blazkowicz, the main character of almost all of the Wolfenstein games and is a direct sequel to the events of „The New Order“. In this alternate history, the Nazi regime has won the war and gained control over large parts of the world. „The New Colossus“ is set in the USA where the regime and the KKK have infested the lands and try to crush the last rebellious group called the Kreisau Circle. Your enemy is the breathtakingly beautiful commander Irene Engel (I am kidding…she is hideous). Your goal is to take ahold of the Ausmerzer, Engel’s massive airship.

Boy, did I have fun with this game! Sometimes I sat there and couldn’t believe what I saw. The freak level is soooo high! If you like weird and a lot of shooting you should most def buy this game. I haven’t had so much fun with a linear single player campaign in a long time.

You start your game with a pretty tough decision that influences your game only regarding the appearance of certain characters. But the tone is set right from the start and you know that you are in for one hell of a ride. The gameplay is simple and nothing new. It’s a shooter, guys. Of course, you can decide to play the game stealthy or big bang (my style). Throughout the levels, you will find commandants that are visualized by a popping radar that indicates how far away they are. You can be sneaky and try to get to them silently or you ignore all that business and run straight in. Most of the times I at least tried to be sneaky and was caught very quickly. Then the guns were blazing and a lot of times I was dead shortly after. The weapons felt very good and there was an adequate amount of variety overall. But what really struck me was the characters and story. The story is entertaining and finds the right tone for the serious theme of the game without being disrespectful. The dialogues are extremely well written and so funny. The graphics are on point. Very colorful and pop art like. Man, I am really impressed as you can tell.

Now to an aspect, I didn’t like, although that has to do with my version of the game. In Germany, you won’t see the Hitler character the way you see him in other countries. His name is Mr. Heiler in the German version and he has no beard. Other than that he looks the same as the real Hitler. I can’t fathom why we can’t see the game and it’s characters the way it was meant to be. I mean, we know it’s supposed to be Hitler. By giving him another name (that sounds an awful lot like Hitler…) and removing his beard, you do nothing but anger the gamer. At least myself. Being German, I am offended when something like this happens. By now, every German has had it’s fair share of guilt and feeling shamed by what has happened in our history. But that’s exactly what it is: History. Stop making me feel like I can’t deal with what happened.

But ok, enough of this.

There is only one scene where you come across Hitler directly and it’s freaking amazing. I loved it and yes, I did the optional part, of course. If you have played the game, I think you know what I mean and if you are still about to play it, you’ll know when the time comes.

I will give this game a 10 out of 10. Play it if you like a good linear campaign with a really good story and beautiful character design.

 

Halo: Bad Blood by Matt Forbeck released

The latest Halo novel is upon us. Praise Matt Forbeck. Halo: Bad Blood was released on June 26th and follows our good old friend Edward Buck, former ODST badass and now proud Spartan. The predecessor of this book is Halo: New Blood, also written by Matt Forbeck. In that book, we have seen Buck become a Spartan. Then Halo 5 came and we saw Buck the Spartan in action. I personally prefer him to be an ODST but that is just my opinion.

Bad Blood is the first big lore that is given to us after the events of Halo 5. To my knowledge, the only past Halo 5 lore we had before Bad Blood was the Rossbachs World story in Fractures.

In Bad Blood, we follow Blue Team and Team Osiris as they struggle to figure out what evil Cortana is up to. Buck is given a secret mission and reforms his old squad Alpha Nine to accomplish said mission.

Since I haven’t read both books yet I can’t really say more and probably shouldn’t either way. We all have to read it anyway, right? Right? I am really looking forward to reading both books. I have always loved Buck and of course Veronica Dare. But since time is precious and I have all sorts of other things to do, I’m way behind with the books. The next book on my Halo to do list is Shadow of Intent.

Have a grand time reading whatever, but make sure it’s Halo.

 

Halo TV Series – News from Showtime

Just now we have had news about the long-awaited Halo TV series. Kiki Wolfkill posted a short article on Waypoint confirming that 343 is knee deep in the planning of the Halo TV series. Showtime is going to work with Kyle Killen, who is an executive producer and showrunner, alongside director Rupert Wyatt who you might know from Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Showtime also just announced on their Twitter feed that they are doing 10 episodes for the first season. My guess is that an episode will be about one hour long.

Steven Spielberg is still on board with his production company Amblin. Kiki stated that they are already in pre-production phase and that they plan to go into full production in 2019. I would guess that we are going to see the first episode in 2020. Maybe alongside the release of Halo Infinite?

Either way, I am so excited for this.

 

Halo Infinite – Back to the Roots

Hey guys, it’s been a while. It has also been a while since we had any exciting Halo news. But that my friends has changed since Microsoft’s press conference at E3.

When the conference started I wasn’t really ready, meaning my beer was missing and the couch wasn’t correctly angled and the volume wasn’t right and and and…I was not ready you understand? So then this trailer starts, beautiful pictures of vast landscapes and weird looking animals and then soldiers and then OMG IT’S MASTER CHIEF! That moment I sat upright and shouted something at the TV which I don’t remember. Next thing the Warthog cruises through this CE looking world and then the Ring.

Halo Infinite Banner_FistoftheUnicorn

Phew! Mind blown! Confusion! Doubt! Happiness! All at the same time.

For starters, is this Halo 6? If so, why doesn’t it say Halo 6: Infinite? Could it be something different? Or is it just too early for 343 to be making it that official. Do they want to cause confusion and generate more hype? Would make sense to me. Many voices assume that this game might be an open world Halo and I think I would love that. I think…Also, the title Infinite could be interpreted quite literally: Infinite meaning Open World?

What made me worry was the missing release date or at least an approximate date of release. That can only mean that it will take a long time for this title to come out. I expect it to be late 2019 or maybe even 2020. Which would be hard to bear. But then again, I want 343 to make it right this time. Halo 5 was so flawed in its story, they can’t mess it up this time.

So what stood out the most in the trailer?

Since we know that this trailer was a showcase of the new engine called Slipspace, it makes sense that they chose to show rather unconventional Halo stuff like animals or the impressive landscapes. I didn’t think that it was a Halo trailer because of the focus on the animals and the scenery. So far Halo trailers have been action-packed and/or character focused. While watching and rewatching the trailer I was reminded of the first Halo trailer from E3 in 2000.

In this Bungie showed 2 species we have never seen in the actual games (3:45) and (4:26). And I’m pretty sure we have only seen other animals in Halo: Reach so far. I could be remembering that wrong though. Why did 343 put such emphasis on the animals? Is it to give the Halo world more life? Just to show off the potential of this new engine? On the other hand, it is only logical and realistic to have animals on the Ring. The Librarian did put all kinds of species on the Rings, right?

The other thing that I saw early on was the „Fight for Her“ poster in the crashed pelican. We know this poster from Halo: Combat Evolved as well as the Anniversary edition. If this is just a nostalgic note or has more meaning to it, I couldn’t say. Some might have been confused about that Fight For Her quote thinking it had something to do with Cortana. Like, save Cortana, fight for her. But it is just a nod to the old school Halo titles.

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The other thing I saw in the pelican and I am not sure if anyone else has picked up on it, is the dashboard in the middle of the cockpit. It’s pretty hard to catch but if you look really closely you can see a date flickering. If my eyes did not betray me it says 2560. If this is correct then it gives us a clue at the time Infinite will take place. Halo 5: Guardians took place in 2558 and the last post-Halo 5 lore we know of are the events of Halo Wars 2 which happens in 2559. This would mean that it is a definite sequel to Halo 5 and probably Halo 6.

Right before you see Chief you can see a huge herd of animals and above them floating in the air you can see actual Sentinels. They look like they are just watching everything. They don’t seem alarmed at all, more on patrol maybe.

The appearance of Master Chief was a sight for sore eyes. I miss this guy big time. My boyfriend thought that Chief looked weird in the scene where we see him holding his helmet. He said he looked too skinny. And that is true. The legs look more like those of a woman or a slender boy. I don’t remember where I read it but someone said that it looked like the version of Master Chief in the Halo 2 Anniversary’s cinematics. After watching some of those again, I can only agree with that.

To conclude this, what does the last scene mean? Chief pushes an AI chip in his neural interface. The chip looks like the one we know so well. Cortana? Could it be? Is it a new AI? Does every AI chip look the same? AHHHH, I don’t know. I want the old Cortana back so much. But at the same time, I can’t picture a story that brings her back that makes sense and isn’t complete bs.

In the end, we will have to continue guessing and rack our brains for a while longer. But isn’t that the greatest feeling anyway? The hype and the excitement we are experiencing again? Last time I had that kind of feeling was with Hunt The Truth.

With that said good hunting Spartans.

Halo Infinite MC_FistoftheUnicorn

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