New Order: Substance
Happy weekend TAY!
I hope everyone is set for a great weekend, especially those who had to go back to school last week. (How ya feeling Retrohunter?).
It is supposed to be a nice warm summer weekend around these parts, which will still likely involve lots of staying inside and gaming. Mostly because if I go outside, I’ll feel obligated to do yard work or start the process of sealing my driveway.
Last week saw the end of NeverDead for me. Wow, what a finish! A challenging boss encounter right before the delightful final boss battle all made for a great conclusion to what I thought was a fabulous game. Seriously underrated in my books. If you see it cheap, grab it, you might love it as much as I did. Well done Rebellion!
After finishing off NeverDead for the 360, I was able to move on to Wolfenstein: The New Order on PC. I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to getting around to this one (well, I guess I’ll try). I was a huge fan of Rage and Wolfenstein: The New Order was the second game to use the idTech5 engine after Rage.
Performance is amazing on my new video card, though performance wasn’t really an issue for the console version of the game either. That isn’t to say the game doesn’t have warts. Anti-aliasing doesn’t work very well on the PC version and needs to be enabled in the launch options in Steam as there is no anti-aliasing settings in the video options of the game. Even cranked, the anti-aliasing implementation still isn’t very good.
Also, the sound needs some tweaks. Overall, the sound in the game is excellent, but the voice mix is very quiet in both 5.1 and 7.1 (I didn’t try less than 5.1). I’ve had to turn on the captions for all voices in the game, something I hate to do as I feel it ruins the immersion.
But the gameplay, man oh man, I’m in heaven. I’m playing on Uber difficulty, which is the top difficulty and it really isn’t very hard, but challenging enough to make the game a tense affair. The stealth implementation is well done and the perk systems allow for enhanced skills depending on your preferred play-style. I simply love the way the game looks, the way it sounds, the way it controls, and the way it moves. It is wonderful treat for my eyes, ears, and my hands.
The other main reason I was excited for Wolfenstein: The New Order is the pedigree of the developer. MachineGames is the dev behind the game and is made up of most of the key people from the original Starbreeze Studios; makers of my favourite games The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay and The Darkness. When MachineGames was formed after splitting from Starbreeze and was snatched up by the monster ZeniMax, they were tapped to do the next Wolfenstein game.
Starbreeze Studios (when it was whole) was known for fantastic gameplay mixed with amazing storytelling and wonderful atmosphere. The little I’ve played of Wolfenstein: The New Order seems to have all of these characteristics in spades. I was surprised how much substance there is in the storytelling; past Wolfenstein games certainly wouldn’t win awards for their narratives. I’m glad to see MachineGames still holds on to the aspects of game design that marked their past successes with Starbreeze. I look forward to watching the story unfold.
I also played a session of Dying Light with my buddy on his Twitch channel last week. What a trainwreck that ended up being. One of the viewers decided he needed to tell us every solution to every problem before we had any chance to even assess the scene. Frankly I don’t understand this behaviour. We weren’t stuck at all, yet this person seemed to feel the need to share his “vast knowledge” by spoiling the game for us at every turn. I understand this is one of the many pitfalls of playing on Twitch. Many hosts on Twitch enjoy having the “help” as it fosters viewer involvement and often the host isn’t so much playing the game as playing up to the audience. However, you should check with people to see if they want their game spoiled, especially when they make several requests for you not to spoil things. No one is impressed with what you know about a game when they haven’t played it through once themselves. I can watch all the Youtube videos I want if I feel the need to ruin games. Don’t be a spoiler of games, or at the very least ask if people want any help. Suffice it to say, I’m not sure I can continue to play such a great game as Dying Light under those conditions.
So, hopefully this weekend will see some Rock Band 3 with the family as I fixed our ageing Guitar Hero guitar and maybe I can get back to some Halo 3: ODST with my son. Every other free moment can hopefully be put into Wolfenstein: The New Order.
What are you playing this weekend?
Oh, and for those who came looking for a different New Order: Substance: