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Wolfenstein: The Old Blood brings back the classic video game feel to the new generation | Review

The Wolfenstein franchise is over 30 years old, and since 2009 has begun being rebooted for contemporary consoles. While the 2009 release didn’t fare particularly well on the Xbox 360 and PS3, this latest installments including Wolfenstein: The Old Blood from MachineGames and Bethesda Softworks is the perfect approach to introducing the old arcadey style from its early days as Wolfenstein 3D to the modern style first-person shooters have today.

Wolfenstein merges the old with the new and does it really damn well.

There's some flashes of beautiful vistas, skyboxes, and ruins amid the death and destruction.
There’s some flashes of beautiful vistas, skyboxes, and ruins amid the death and destruction.

The developers at MachineGames weren’t looking to completely conform to what the prototypical modern first-person shooter is now — and it’s awesome. What they made is truly fun to play. It takes the FPS gameplay trends of the late 90s and reintroduces them to many gamers who have not experienced them. It’s not flashy and it’s not a game riddled with little gimmicks.

Heck, the game can get pretty chaotic at points with that slight touch of the old rapid movement of the first FPS games like Doom, Marathon, and Wolfenstein 3D. But duel wielding shotguns and Ak47s while flying down corridors and the ruins of Castle Wolfenstein make the experience as fun as a game can be.

Even the setting is a tad off-putting for those not familiar with the Wolfenstein franchise. A Nazi-controlled alternate universe set in 1946 with America still fighting despite bleak circumstances.

Players are placed in the shoes of B. J. Blackowicz, a U.S. marine helping to lead the fight back against the Nazi oppression. The main mission for Blazkowicz is to find Helga Von Schabbs, commanding officer of Castle Wolfenstein. Blazkowicz is set forth to find and capture documents that could potentially help win the war for the U.S.

And while that’s absurd itself the game takes a dramatic sci-fi esque turn later in the story.

*Spoiler Alert*

The game initially plays in a somewhat reasonable setting, but as the game progresses through the eight-chapter long campaign the developers take some fantastic creative liberties opening up a world of zombie-apocalypse with flaming — yes, flaming — Nazi zombies raining down from above. Even further down the line, the story’s primary antagonist — Helga von Schabbs unlocks the uncovered demon/monster creature from the dark depths of ancient ruins.

*End of Spoiler*

Any sense of realism in this game can be quickly dismissed.

This is what a pure video game should be.

Exageratted physics, overpowered characters, and the ability to withstand multiple (graphic) stab wounds adds enough ridiculousness that a hint of comedy is in almost everything as well.

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Adding to that is the sometimes cheesy dialogue with an overly badass main character  taunting the enemies around him.

Blazkowicz serves as the primary protagnist for the entirety of the story, and “badass” really isn’t quite a strong enough word. His attitude oozes confidence and stares down the face of those who would like to (and do) stab him in the face repeatedly with no remorse as he mows them down and attacks back with his trusty (and rusty) iron pipe.

The iron pipe is one of the first weapons and tools shown to players and serves a variety of uses from wall climbing like a mountain climber to killing your Nazi/zombie/mech opposition.

While the rusty piece of piping is certainly the most versatile weapon in the game, there are six main weapons — the Handgun 1946, Assault Rifle, Schockhammer Shotgun, Double-Barreled Shotgun, Bombenschuss rifle, and Kampfpistol.

wolfenstein the old blood 6

Each weapon is well balanced with no being too overpowered to be deemed better in every situation over anything else. In addition, each enemy has specific niches that give players the opportunity to think more creatively with how to kill them.

While the combat is great, it is very fast paced and some players that are used to contemporary shooters may find it disorienting at first. The game does allow you to aim down the sites for more precision like contemporary games, but it is definitely much more fun to just go berserk dual-wielding and hip-firing shotguns or other guns.

And fun is what this game is all about.

Which leads to an unfortunate aspect of the game that inhibits how enjoyable it could be with friends — the lack of multiplayer. While a full online multiplayer system complete with lobbies, ranking, classes, and more is understandably not fitting for the game nor likely in the budget with just the $40 price tag, a small local co-op mode would have been extraodinarily well-placed in the challenge mode that is also offered in the game.

Challenge mode lets players rack up points and fight for high scores against an endless onslaught of enemies from every chapter in the game. It’s an excellent addition to add a touch of replayability in a game that doesn’t offer too much more after beating the game the first time.

It’s very surprising to not see multiplayer incorporated into this game mode whether it be online or local.

The lack of multiplayer is about the only drawback of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.

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However, even with the fault of no multiplayer the game is still incredibly enjoyable and well worth it for the campaign alone. Currently available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC Wolfenstein: The Old Blood offers a blast-from-the-past style gameplay reminiscing the classic Wolfenstein 3D game and brings a great level of pure fun, silliness, and insanity that isn’t always prevalent on modern consoles. It’s lack of multiplayer is disheartening, but not dismissing of how enjoyable this campaign is.

8.9/10

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is currently available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC retailing at $19.99.

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Emotional Metal Gear Solid V: The Phatom Pain trailer showcases evolution of series

As the final game in the Metal Gear saga, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will bring everything to a dramatic end following the story that’s spanned nearly two decades in gaming. This trailer is one of the last pieces of work fans will ever get to see from Hideo Kojima with the franchise.

Kojima served as the director, designer, and ultimate creator of the Metal Gear games since his first released in 1987. As the franchise progressed and evolved into the more recognizable Metal Gear Solid games, his influence on the game made ripples throughout the entire gaming industry and this latest trailer showcases just a small bit of the progress the series has made over the years.

Though Kojima and Konami had a distasteful breakup, the quality of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will not take any negative hits. MGSV is bringing “the ultimate thrill,” and “the ultimate story” wrapped up in massive open world to improve the iconic stealth element of the game. With realisitic day/night cycles and weather patterns players can recognize and adapt to their situation to take the best approach to gameplay.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will release on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC on September 1, 2015.

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EA celebrates Madden Season with ridiculous Madden 16: The Movie trailer

With the start of the new NFL season EA sports comes with their yearly iteration of the Madden series and the gaming giant is celebrating with an insane, ridiculous, and hilariously silly Madden 16: The Movie trailer.

Starring Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Julio Jones, Rob Gronkowski, Colin Kaepernick, Antonio Brown and Rex Ryan the Madden: The Movie trailer is complete with a list of some of the biggest names in the sport today. Those big names come face to face with dinosaurs, evil bosses, intense coaching courtesy of Rex Ryan, and a cyborg-football monster (Rob Gronkowski).

Madden 16 will release on Xbox One and PS4 August 25 retailing at $59.99. A Deluxe Edition is also available catering to the Ultimate Team fans with “up to $50 in value” for $69.99.

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Rockstar Editor coming to Xbox One and PS4 in upcoming update

The Rockstar Editor that made way for an abundance of GTA V fan-made videos and mini-movies is now coming to Xbox One and PS4 in the game’s upcoming update.

Rockstar announced the mode would be coming to consoles back in May, and in the latest reveal of the winner of the Ill Gotten Gains Video Contest it was announced that the update is finally coming.

The winner of the contest (seen below) takes viewers through a dark story showing both the glamour and the hardship of a life of crime.

Now console players can join in on the action expanding the competition for Rockstar’s video contests.

The Editor will be available for both single player and GTA Online giving players the ability to transform into amateur video makers with extensive access to characters, pedestrians, and animals. Players may manipulate and direct short clips however they see fit.

Rockstar has said the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the Editor will be specifically tailored for the limited processing power they have in comparison to high-end PCs.

While no specific date is known yet, more info will soon come regarding both the update and the video contest.

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Chinese android console, OUYE, gets gaming console rip-off hat trick

The obvious rip-off versions of gaming consoles isn’t a particularly strange sight to see with things like the Playbox 720, Polystation, Chintendo, and more, but one specific Chinese company is going for the hat-trick in console rip offs.

The OUYE is currently available to be backed on jd.com — a Chinese version of Kickstarter. The console’s creators are looking for ¥100,000 (roughly 15,000 U.S. dollars). The name is quite literally one letter away from the OUYA — the android gaming console recently sold to Razer. The console itself is a near mirror image of the PlayStation 4’s exterior design.

 

fake playstation 1

fake xbox one controller

The console boasts “powerful” specs like 2 GB of DDR3 RAM, an A80 processor, and 16 gigs of flash memory! Processor/GPU wise it actually is on a similar level to the OUYA.

The final piece giving this console the rip-off hat trick is the controller. It’s completely identical to the Xbox One controller with just a minor alteration — the removed Xbox Home button in the center and the replacing android-centric buttons.

The UI also looks fairly similar to the Xbox One UI with the large button layout and tabbed home screen menu bar.

fake xbox one ui

The creators of the console have 30 days to finish crowdfunding — but it’s not looking so great with 0 supporters for even 1 yen.

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EA introduces new control point game mode, Supremacy, for Star Wars Battlefront

Mutliplayer is all the focus of Star Wars Battlefront and EA is ready to make sure fans get enough variety in their online gameplay experience as they announce a new game mode called Supremacy.

Designed to encompass a variety of situations ranging from close-quarters combat to long-distance sniping battles, Supremacy faces two teams against each other with a series of points (5) to control in “the largest fighting grounds that Star Wars Battlefront has to offer.”

The game mode along with the large map sizes will be reminiscent of Conquest from the Battlefield franchise — something for fans should expect of the whole game given this a DICE developed game.

The influence from previous Battlefield games will show, but some key tweaks will make “improve the formula” that was used for Conquest.

Merging the Star Wars characters into the gameplay will give it its own sense of fun.

“Using a character like Darth Vader to secure control points is great, as he can take increased damage before going down. Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett are great for moving swiftly between attacking and defensive positions, and giving you the edge against opponents in battle,” – Lead Level Designer Dennis Brännvall

While the action takes place on the ground the battles continue on the sky with “TIE fighters and X-wings soaring through the sky to assist the quest for supremacy at each location.”

Supremacy will be available right away on Star Wars Battlefront when it releases on Xbox One, PS4, and PC November 17, 2015.

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Homefront: The Revolution comes back from the dead | “Thank You” Trailer

The openworld FPS Homefront: The Revolution was thought to be dead by many when THQ closed the previous development studio and sold the IP to Crytek in 2014.

…and then it was thought to be dead again when Crytek failed to pay its staff and announced that “internal restructuring” forced them to sell the IP to Koch Bros.

Now, finally some good news for anyone that’s been holding on in the hopes that this game would break ground soon. Being developed by Deep Silver, Homefront: The Revolution has reared its head again in a more emotional trailer dubbed “Thank You.”

Homefront takes players through the Greater Korean Republic’s takeover of the United States. Philadelphia serves as the primary operating base for the GKR, and the story of guerrilla warfare begins among the Pennsylvanian residents.

Since the Deep Silver take over, a greater focus has been placed on co-op — letting players build their own Resistance Cells by recruiting more fighters and gathering supplies.

The game promises to not play like a standard FPS.

“this is no linear shooter; learn the art of guerrilla warfare and use ambush, infiltration and hit and run tactics against your foe in thrilling un-scripted firefights” – Gamescom 2015 press release

Homefront: The Revolution is slated to release sometime in 2016 on Mac, PC, PS4, and Xbox One, but no specific date is certain as of yet.

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ZombiU comes to Xbox One, PS4, and PC as Zombi; announcement trailer released

When ZombiU released on the WiiU three years ago it was one of the most eye-catching titles for a game on a Nintendo console having a darker and gorier style. Now as the WiiU’s struggles continue Ubisoft will be porting their first-person survival game to next-gen consoles and PC.

ZombiU was initially designed to take full advantage of the unique features of the WiiU consoles — most notably the secondary screen on the gamepad. The same base game is at the core, but now the game has been upgraded visually and streamlined for a standard controller/keyboard experience.

The game will release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC August 18.

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Mafia III confirmed by 2k Games

Mafia III, the long-awaited continuation to 2k Games’ Mafia series has been confirmed by the game’s twitter account. This announcement doesn’t come as too much of a surprise however. Back in January the main character’s voice actor, Rick Pasqualone hinted at some upcoming news.

Mafia takes players back to the 1940s and the rein of mobsters, gangsters and corrupt cops. The last Mafia release, Mafia II, had a mixed, but generally positive reception. 2k will look to one up this in Mafia III on the new generation consoles (and they’ll be hoping that Square Enix’s CEO’s “Law of Third Titles” is really true).

The game is expected to release on Xbox One and PS4. More information will be revealed at the worldwide reveal trailer August 5.