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Starkiller

Your thoughts on the Wolfenstein series

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On 6/6/2018 at 8:32 AM, DooM_RO said:

 

One thing that left me ambivalent was how they humanized the nazis in the game in their casual conversations and letters. It's not just "let's kill all jews" or "we shall dominate the world". They talk about how they love their families and wish to see them again, write about how they are not always sure about the awful things they do and so on. What's up with that? I mean on one hand the game is supposed to be cathartic and lets you kill nazis in a multitude of gruesome and creative ways but on the other hand they are humanizing them. I kinda liked that and didn't at the same time and I guess that was the point. It shows the inherent contradiction of the game and I don't mean that in a bad way..

 

That's certainly one of the things I can agree with. On one hand, I approve of a game showing that Nazis are Human deep down (much as I detest their adherence to an ideology that by all accounts should not be allowed to exist) and are essentially doing what they feel is "the only correct thing to do", on the other hand, this is a Wolfenstein game; A series I associate with: "Let's have some dumb fun punishing Nazis for being right bastards and putting entire families in awful Death Camps for stupid, superficial reasons".

 

It'd be a bit like a Doom game where you could access lore runes that recount personal tales of Percival the Imp in which he writes about how worried he is that Garm the Big Bully of a Hell Knight will beat him up if he doesn't mutilate enough Humans for the next Gore Nest and poor Percival doesn't even like mutilating Humans... :'(

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2 minutes ago, dsm said:

That's certainly one of the things I can agree with. On one hand, I approve of a game showing that Nazis are Human deep down (much as I detest their adherence to an ideology that by all accounts should not be allowed to exist) and are essentially doing what they feel is "the only correct thing to do", on the other hand, this is a Wolfenstein game; A series I associate with: "Let's have some dumb fun punishing Nazis for being right bastards and putting entire families in awful Death Camps for stupid, superficial reasons".

 

It'd be a bit like a Doom game where you could access lore runes that recount personal tales of Percival the Imp in which he writes about how worried he is that Garm the Big Bully of a Hell Knight will beat him up if he doesn't mutilate enough Humans for the next Gore Nest and poor Percival doesn't even like mutilating Humans... :'(

 

Nah, it wouldn't be the same. The demons in Doom are literally subhuman. You can't dehumanize what is not human.

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If it has feelings, it doesn't feel right to brutally slaughter it. It being Human or not is irrelevant.

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14 minutes ago, dsm said:

If it has feelings, it doesn't feel right to brutally slaughter it. It being Human or not is irrelevant.

Have you been playing Mr Friendly? Demon Sympathizer!

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Nope, but I saw Mr. Icarus' Doom Mod Madness video on it - does that count? :P

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I've only played wolf3d and I've enjoyed it - I think I completed the first episode or something. I also played with that editor that begins with f--- something which was great fun. I downloaded the source code and tried to compile it after following a few tutorials on changing stuff.  Failed miserably.

 

I wish I would have made a few maps and released them but alas I can chose between focusing on doom or it, so I choose the former. My time is that limited.

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Wolfenstein 3D is a game I hold very close to my heart, as it's the first FPS game I had ever played (Kinda sad that I first played it on iOS, though), and the rest is history.

As for the rest of the series, the only other Wolfenstein games I've played is Spear of Destiny + its expansion packs, and The New Colossus.

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I only played Wolfenstein 3D and RTCW and cannot say that either of them really thrilled me.

Wolf3D's level are just some maze-like structures without any sense of location and that's a big turn-off for me. Even the most abstract Doom levels feel like they represent something, but not so in Wolf3D. I tried several times to get through it but I just lost interest in the third or fourth level each time because it's really just more of the same, no real variation. I also tried to play the Wolfendoom versions of it and while the game mechanics felt better, it didn't help with the level design so the end result was just the same.

 

RTCW is just an average shooter of its vintage but in the end it just boils down to being a WW2 game. It's a setting I cannot connect with which was one of the reasons why I never checked out the later games in the series.

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I personally love the Wolfenstein series slightly more than Doom. *cries in corner of shame* I have played probably all of them, Muse software included, and they all have decent WW2 based storylines, unlike some games (*Call of Duty WW2*)

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On 6/6/2018 at 4:32 PM, DooM_RO said:

One thing that left me ambivalent was how they humanized the nazis in the game in their casual conversations and letters. It's not just "let's kill all jews" or "we shall dominate the world". They talk about how they love their families and wish to see them again, write about how they are not always sure about the awful things they do and so on. What's up with that? I mean on one hand the game is supposed to be cathartic and lets you kill nazis in a multitude of gruesome and creative ways but on the other hand they are humanizing them. I kinda liked that and didn't at the same time and I guess that was the point. It shows the inherent contradiction of the game and I don't mean that in a bad way


Meanwhile, during my play through of The New Colossus:


Edit: Fun thing about that clip: I'm pretty sure it inspired a feature in Sniper Elite 4.

Rebellion, the makers of the Sniper Elite, are clearly fans of Charlie Brooker as he makes an appearance in the Kill Hitler DLC for Sniper Elite 3. In Sniper Elite 4, if you hold your binoculars over an enemy it'll give an 'intelligence report' that is usually a short back story that is something along the lines of 'conscript, father of three, misses wife'.
This, by the way, is a game where you can use fun real life sniper tactics like 'booby-trapping bodies' and 'injure one and shoot the guys that come to help him (in the testicle no less)' so while it's technically a stealth game where you can sneak around your opposition most of the time chances are you're going to be murdering several young men who even BJ Blazkowicz would feel bad about killing.

Edited by Captain red pants : Wanted to add a non wolf digression without detailing the thread.

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From what I've played:

 

Wolfenstein 3D is infuriatingly designed

Spear of Destiny takes everything cheap about Wolf3D and designs entire levels around that

RTCW is a godsend

The Old Blood is pretty damn fun

The New Order is also pretty damn fun, didn't really care much for the plot though

The New Colossus has intelligence-insulting level design and absolutely refuses to play nice with my hardware

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I'v played them all. old ones where before my time and I find them ok in comparison to doom, Doom just feels like a total upgrade to me. Rtcw was overrated for me personally, But I had again played it when it was past its time. Wold 09 was underated I feel, The new order being my favorite, old blood is very good as well. I felt The new colossus was kinda repetative, That games pace didn't have enough pitch to it, way to many cutscenes, and who ever thought not having any boss fights oughta be slapped with a rubber glove.

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The three DLC's that they boasted about for TNC before TNC even came out are also sitting at 'mostly negative' on Steam. They just didn't give enough of a shit about making a fun game and instead focused too much on marketing and dumb politics.

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I grew up on Wolfenstein 3D, it's not as fond a memory as Doom but I still enjoy it. I recently played through (and recorded) a session of Return to Castle Wolfenstein and I had a blast with that. Wolfenstein II, I haven't played but certain political messages in it kinda bug the Hell out of me.

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Played them all except 2009 and TNC, and have enjoyed them for the most part. Sure the 3D ones are dated, but there's still be enjoyment to be found. Enjoyed RTCW for what it was, but after the 3rd or 4th level got lost and didn't really know where to go in the level. Just kind of sat it down and never picked it back up. Had a blast with The New Order, but honestly I really only bought it to tide me over until the new Doom game that had recently been announced came out. I thought well if I couldn't kill demons then killing Nazis was the next best thing.

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So here comes yet another novel from me. 

 

I do fully admit that Wolf3D is pretty much the only game in the series I haven’t played, as RTCW was my gateway game (more on that later). I do admit that from casual viewing that it’s age is showing, but something about it just strikes me as special. 

 

So since RTCW was my first foray into the series (particularly Operation: Resurrection for the PS2), I find it to be the quintessential Wolfenstein game. The mad science, the unconventional guns, the depths into supernatural threats, and the presentation of a WWII shooter which puts it head and shoulders above franchises like OG Call of Duty or Medal of Honor. 

 

Wolf 2009 for me was the weakest entry, or at least the most forgettable. I do admit it tries to throw caution to the wind such as an open world and game mechanics based on a supernatural phenomenon, but it fell victim to the “me-too” levels of gameplay that would further define the CoD series (namely, the “bloody screen so real” mechanic that is regenerating health among other things). In short, it felt like RTCW without the soul, and it felt very PG-13 as a result. I do admit that I still get a kick out of stabbing Nazis in the throat with a bayonet and hearing them gurgle as they crumble to the floor. 

 

And then there’s the latest games coming from a (soon-to-be) trilogy that is TNO and TNC (so far). I’ve come to notice that more and more people are coming out of the woodwork just to shit on the Machinegames efforts on the series, ESPECIALLY The New Colossus for having characters that people just don’t like “for political reasons.”

 

I find that those people who hate TNC for those reasons are missing the point of the games, as the overall message is “it doesn’t matter who or what you’re affiliated with, as long as you can pick up a gun and kill some Nazis, you’re with us.”

 

And no, I’m not counting The Old Blood (as that’s more of a throwback to the older days of RTCW) or Wolfenstein: Youngblood (as that appears to be a tie-in to the final entry of the trilogy). 

 

I find the newer games to be way more than just “Nazis have taken over the world and life sucks now.” In fact, I actually equate them to something like The Dark Knight Returns or Daredevil: Born Again, namely on how it handles its protagonist. 

 

That’s not to say that the newer games have their own storytelling issues. While TNO felt too restricted in terms of scope, it illustrated the atrocities committed by Nazis beautifully.

 

TNC had the opposite problems, where its scope was more open-ended in spite of its supposed length, but the depictions of Nazi occupation were actually rather excessive.

 

Case in point, the “abusive and xenophobic dad” subplot and Caroline’s execution. The former felt like more misery to pile on BJ’s already melancholy life, whereas the latter not only turned into yet another “bury the gays” moment and just turned an already grimdark moment into something that was borderline tasteless. 

 

The former in particular makes me hesitant to replay the first half of the game as it can definitely dredge up some unpleasant memories for some, especially those who had a parent just like Rip.

The latter appears to exist purely for shock value, as Frau Engel not only slaughters Caroline like an animal, she then proceeds to defile Caroline’s corpse further and further until I just recoiled not out of terror, just out of pure disgust. It doesn’t help that the “bury your gays” trope appears to be in full effect here, as Caroline is heavily implicated to be a lesbian, or at least bisexual.

That was pretty much the moment I drew the line. With that and the treatment of Engel’s daughter Sigrun, Frau Engel stopped being a “loveable villain” and just became a villain whom I wanted to just fucking die. 

Hell, not even Deathshead became this unlikeable, and he literally went on a screed at the end of TNO on how “all subhumans must be purged from the earth.”
It must be absolutely said that Nazis were indeed vile motherfuckers who wanted multiple genocides so that their "pure blood" can inherit the earth, but at least they can say that they pulled no punches. 

 

In spite of how Machinegames has handled parts of its storytelling (particularly the heavier content involved), it does portray a beautiful yet poignant portrait of the man that is William Joseph Blazkowicz. 

 

Even though he wasn’t technically a Nazi, Rip Blazkowicz came to represent everything that the Nazis represented and stood for, at least to BJ. During his childhood, BJ and his mother were subjugated to force the same bigoted beliefs their "superior" had, their minds broken in order to be subjugated. But as a result, this created a fervent hatred for the Nazis that BJ now harbors.  

 

Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse was not only a longtime rival of BJ, they were polar opposites. BJ was youthful and spry while fighting for the good guys, while Deathshead was elderly yet cunning while in command of a darker regime. Yet in TNO, we see the end result of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. BJ may have came out the victor, but his body paid the price. He has become a broken man in every sense of the word, but his body is now failing. BJ’s own execution is something of an irony, as his new body has transformed him into a literal killing machine.

 

Irene “Frau” Engel is something of an estranged lover to BJ, or at least, that’s how she sees it. In the world of anime, she would most definitely be a “yandere,” someone who cannot stand the sight of their beloved be with someone else. So by BJ murdering the closest thing she may ever have to a lover, she makes him pay dearly. By butchering Caroline and decimating the resistance, BJ’s spirit has paid the price. He has become a broken man in every sense of the word, as he is left an emotional wreck and possibly even a death seeker. 

BJ’s own execution is indeed something of an irony, as his new body filled him with a new vigor, a new zest to completely decimate the Nazi regime, and a good reason for him to do some butchering of his own. 

 

So in short, his mind, his body, and his spirit were all broken, yet he fights on. In other words, the Nazi war machine has found (and perhaps even created in its hubris) the one man it cannot break. 

 

The gunplay on the other hand is nothing short of absolute god-tier. The weapons are satisfying to use, the variety is wide, and the various perks help to make the games easier, because they are HARD. It doesn’t help that the enemies (especially in TNC) have pretty much pixel-perfect laser accuracy. In other words, the Machinegames trilogy is flawed, but shines where it truly shines. 

 

In fact, the Wolfenstein series is pretty much a mixed bag. 

 

Hope you enjoyed yet another TED Talk. 

Edited by Man of Doom

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Wolfenstein 3D - Played it five years ago & remember liking it a lot. I'll replay it again sometime soon. Though, not a fan of maze looking levels & samey textures but I guess that was the limit back then.

 

RTCW - My favorite one & the only one I played it during my childhood. It has mission objectives, like Quake 2 & I'm a sucker for that. Only thing I didn't like is the forest stealth mission due to randomness of mission failing. Also, a mixture of horror & action.

 

Wolfenstein 2009 - Played only the demo & remember liking it but couldn't find the full game at the time. Lost interest since.

 

New Order - Love the combat, collectibles & missions. Some plot points are ridiculous but eh. Not a tough game either & I don't see myself replay it.

 

The Old Blood - Honestly, wasn't impressed with it. It's basically the first mission of RTCW but remade & extended to a full game. (or RTCW on steroids) Would gladly go back to RTCW.

 

New Colossus - Not interested in buying it.

 

Youngblood - Not interested in buying it.

 

--------------------

 

First two are worth replaying but other than that, not a fan of the series anymore.

 

Edited by The_SloVinator

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Did try out Wolfenstein 3D one time, and it was nice. :)

 

Never played the other titles in the series, but The New Order, New Blood, and New Colossus look like modern first person shooters as they have sprinting, linear level design, aim down sights, with too much focus on story and cutscenes. By the way, what's with them having, "New" in the title? Are they like the New Super Mario Bros series?

Edited by The-Heretic-Assassin

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Wolfenstein 3D - first FPS game I ever played(1993) - it was amazing I got best impressions from video game ever.

RTCW - skipped, don't know why. It was mistake, I know.

Wolfenstein 2009 - not bad at all, but nothing special. 7/10

New Order - good storytelling, but very average gameplay. But mostly I was happy about this return, because of exellent art design by ex-Starbeeze guys. 8/10

New Colossus - MachineGames at their best. I don't mind how they can do something better. 9/10

Youngblood - still looks promising, but I don't like SJW things at all. Hope for good game expirience now in co-op.

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10 hours ago, The-Heretic-Assassin said:

Never played the other titles in the series, but The New Order, New Blood, and New Colossus look like modern first person shooters as they have sprinting, linear level design, aim down sights, with too much focus on story and cutscenes. By the way, what's with them having, "New" in the title? Are they like the New Super Mario Bros series?

I'd hazard a guess and suggest that "The New Order" refers to the World Order ushered in by the Nazis conquering the world, which destroys the Old, more democratically based, World Order (as well as marketing the game as the "New Generation" of Wolfenstein games).

 

Dunno much about what this "New Collossus" is - if memory serves, I think I read somewhere that the "Collossus" was referring to the Statue of Liberty, referring to the game taking place in the good ol' U.S. of A and it being "New" is again referring to the Nazis' "New World Order" bulldozing the old one.

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Here's how id's three mayor shooters are put to as.

 

Doom: Old-School First Person Shooter

 

Wolfenstein: Modern First Person Shooter

 

Quake: Multiplayer Arena Shooter

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Wolf 3D and SoD are fine, but after having beaten them, I have no desire to ever play them again. Doom has a timeless quality to it, despite its age. Wolf3D does not achieve that as a result of restricted, uninteresting map design, and virtually no weapon variety.

 

RtCW is good, but not on the normal difficulty. I have no shame in saying I will play through the game from now on on a difficulty below 'normal', because, well, Xatrix/Gray Matter's problem has always been a habit of having some terribly-balanced enemies. It's what ruined Redneck Rampage, it's what made Kingpin such a chore to play, and it's what drags down the second half of RtCW. In particular, snipers, paratroopers, the Nazi spy ladies that do a stupid amount of damage, despite carrying a Sten (wait, why are Germans carrying Stens?), and the super-soldiers, which angered me in almost all of their appearances. The Lopers are pretty damn awful, too, even hitting me from above, when they shouldn't be able to reach me, the cheap sods. But on a lower difficulty, these problems crop up much less, and the game is allowed to have a more suitable, fun flow to it, which is the key to any shooter series created by id.

 

RtCW has some good weapons, but the arsenal feels a bit 'off', as though it needed some trimming and editing. The Venom gun is... bad, to be honest. The rate with which the spread increases is incredibly quick, and the spread is so large as to mean that anything other than point-blank combat with it results in most of your bullets sailing right past the intended target. In conjunction with the spin-up time, it has an awkward, unpleasant flow to use. I'd rather use almost any other weapon.

 

Wolf2009 (or Wolfenstein: Black Sun, as I call it) is my favourite game in the series, to the point that I've 100%'d it, something I almost never do. It all just clicks so well with me. It flows nicely, gunplay is punchy and satisfying, exploring the levels and the town hub sections is engaging to me, pretty much none of the enemies are too annoying (except for Hans Grosse, whose fight is absolutely garbage). It has it's weak aspects, sure. I'm not fond of the voice acting by clearly non-German individuals, I think the Thule Medallion is pretty needless and didn't really benefit the game much, and the hubs could've and should've been more interesting and dynamic to traverse through. But damn, the game is just solid fun and is, off the top of my head, my favourite shooter from '09.

 

TNO is just... bad. Tedious level design, an ugly visual style, a depressing tone, frequent unskippable cutscenes, a really bad story with levels that are really cringey (oy vey, let's show you how bad the Holocaust was!), set pieces that feel out of place (SUPER GIANT NAZI ROBOT MECH THING!), unlikable characters, bothersome game design decisions... Once the game got past the first chapter, it turns to utter shit. Haven't yet played TOB, but it looks like it might actually interest me a bit more, since it takes place during the more likable 40s-era that TNO starts with).

 

TNC is worse than TNO is every conceivable way. Gunplay feels worse, the plot, characters, and tone are the most nonsensical, stupid, post-modern bullshit I've ever seen in a game, maps are worse, the game has MORE stupid design decisions (50 HP for, like, half the game? Are you shitting me?), and it simply doesn't even feel remotely like Wolfenstein anymore. If you had no idea that TNC's main character is meant to be B.J. Blazkowicz, and only had, say, RtCW or Wolf2009 to go off of, would you even make the connection that it's supposed to be the same character? Because they are technically in the same timeline, you know.

 

To be honest, I think the Wolfenstein series got the shaft the hardest of id's shooter series. Wolf3D is too outdated, RtCW has balance issues, and TNO and TNC are garbage games that don't even try to feel like Wolfenstein, and a lot of people don't seem to care for Wolf2009, unfortunately. Meanwhile, all of Doom's mainline games, while different, are good. Quake's setting, tone, and even gameplay focus has shifted drastically, but pretty much all the games have been at least sort of good (though I have no desire to play QC, and would rather play the Doom mod).

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Well I just played the Total Conversion of Wolfenstein 3D by AFADoomer, and it's like playing on a source port for Wolf3D. This mod perfectly has everything from the actual game, such as the movement and walls pushing forward. It even comes with Spear of Destiny. I made adjustments to the settings to make it more Wolfenstein-ish, like turning off the crosshair, messages, secrets notification, automap's monster and secrets count, and free look. I even set the screen size to ten. :D

 

2018-07-27-08-57-49.png.b8cb768e2edbc1cc33da96fff9369754.png

 

Top is what I currently have.

 

2018-07-27-08-59-31.png.f2b0c7139ebc01aa3d3d67281a728826.png

 

Bottom has the screen size set to nine with the status bar scaled to four.

 

I still didn't play Return to Castle Wolfenstein and such though, but Wolfenstein 3D is definitely great. =)

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Wolfenstein 3-D was one of the first FPS games I played (back then we called such games what could be translated into English as "roamies" because you roam around the levels :)). For this I have some very string nostalgic feelings about Wolf3D, although I never played the entire game through, and probably can't be bothered to do so.

 

However apart from this I'm quite impressed at the number, quality and variety of community made expansions, add-ons, custom episodes and total conversions for the game. Operation Serpent is probably my favourite currently, but there's also other very interesting stuff like Trench Warfare, which is nothing short of a completely new game that is ways beyond the original Wolf3D.

 

I've never played any newer games apart from a demo of RTCW, which did not really impress me much. I do however count Blake Stone titles as part of the franchise, and consider Blake Stone in some ways better than Wolf3D, with more variety of, well, everything while still keeping the original gameplay. TO me there's quite a lot of fun in looking for secret pushwalls :) Haven't player Super 3D Noah's Ark though, but I heard it's pretty good (at least, according to a review by LGR)

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I haven't played much of classic Wolfenstein 3D, it's pretty bland as far as gameplay and I was constantly lost. That being said, I'm going to try to make a point of playing that and Spear of Destiny this year.

Wolfenstein '09 I also started but never finished, I enjoyed some of the environmental elements of it but honestly remember none of what I've played of it story wise. Another "to-do" game.

Wolfenstein: TNO I enjoyed for the most part, storyline was fairly close to what you'd expect from it. I didn't really approve of the half-assed love story that they decided to splice in. There's no real basis for connection or chemistry between the two, other than BJ saved Anya from the hospital and now he's suddenly regained his mind and killed a bunch of Nazis and she is up. for. it. Yay, I guess. The other issue I took was with the choice of who to save towards the beginning of the game, because in the end it effected only a couple things story-wise and gameplay-wise (Fergus FTW tho). 

Aesthetically, though, TNO was fantastic, and did stick to a lot of the classical gameplay elements and guns, just put them in a much more realistic setting. Even the dog food health power-ups made it into TNO. One thing that I found really interesting is how they implemented the classic map into a more realistic world. BJ moves slower throughout the map, which definitely gives away just how unrealistically fast classic BJ and Doom Guy were. It was just definitely a really odd jolt to have been facing pretty realistic-looking (for the most part) enemies in the game, to all of sudden being face to face with a super-pixelated Nazi that shoots out realistic-looking blood. All in all, I enjoyed the game. BTW, ever been on a drug trip? Because you actually get to do that in this game. That was pretty... fun.

I've not played the New Colossus because my computer would probably explode if I try, but I'm interested to know how it is story-wise. There was a ginormous blow-up around the time Bethesda released it due to some "controversial" tweets. 

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I have no desire to play the modern Wolfenstein games, but I do love the classics.  I didn't care much for episode 2 of Wolfenstein 3D due to the overly powerful zombie enemies.  I also really wanna get back to playing Spear of Destiny.  I only played like 2 or 3 levels of that. 

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