Tag Archive: Gaming


Wolfenstein

Wolfenstein’s best scene provides insight into the American mentality.

We all want to believe that we’re doing the right thing. However, our sense of right and wrong is never so clear-cut, which is something that Wolfenstein: The New Order perfectly illustrates with one scene in particular. I didn’t give Wolfenstein a chance when it first came out but after a sale, I felt a simplistic, mindless shooter would fill my time nicely. At least, that’s what I thought going in.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the game was a lot more than just an alternate-history dystopian Nazi future. The game shows it’s understanding of America’s hypocrisy when it claims to fight for freedom. The scene in question is between our patriotic, Nazi-hating protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz and J (played wonderfully by Luke Burke), an obviously stoned and tortured guitarist. When B.J. picks up J’s guitar, we immediately get the sense that B.J. is no hero in his eyes.

As you can see, J’s speech reflects a lot of today’s mentality between the marginalized and privileged. The hardest thing for B.J. to hear is that he’s just a bad as the bad guys. Hell, he even fits the Nazi’s idea of the perfect man – blonde hair and blue eyed. To have his vision of the America he knew stripped away and the idea of what he represents called into question hurts, mostly because that’s what the truth does.

What’s most apparent is that the anger, rejection, and violence that B.J. exhibits to being called a Nazi is all too familiar with today’s heavy political climate. It’s reflective of many Americans’ vision of the past. Nobody wants to look back at their country or ancestors with disgust but pride. Sometimes, the best step to a better tomorrow is acknowledging the mistakes of the past.

World War II is always thought of as a time where most of the world united against a common enemy: the rise of Nazism. An enemy so despicable that you would think that everyone should agree that they were on the side of evil. What we choose to ignore, and what our main protagonist is willfully ignorant of, are the sins of the supposed good guys.

Don’t get me wrong, Nazi’s are and will always be a group of people who have committed some of the worst atrocities known to man. However, their sins don’t erase our own. Blackface lasted well into the early 1900’s, racial segregation didn’t end until the 1950’s (lasting almost 100 years), and as J points out, blacks were drafted into a war to fight for an America that still hated them. This doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of some of the massacres and injustices perpetrated by America pre-World War II.

Developer MachineGames says The New Order wasn’t meant to comment on today’s culture, and while neo-Nazis may have not been in the headlines in 2014, the game clearly makes a statement. With The New Colossus set to debut next week, it tackles an America under Nazi rule, bringing out the worst aspects of the country. As white men with Nazi tattoos and wearing swastika bands on their arms march in the streets, it’s going to be harder and harder for the developer to disassociate the game’s messaging from real life. Even if they can’t predict what the world will be like when their game releases, there are obvious injustices that influence what we see in the Wolfenstein series.

Their marketing has shown to be more reflective of current events but can easily be seen a chance for them to draw attention to their game through popular topics. At the same time, they continue to distant the series from anything related to today’s politics. It’s a bit disheartening to hear, considering MachineGames has a chance to say something of substance while playing around with this particular subject matter. Hopefully, The New Colossus provides more scenes that reflect the dark parts of America that a vocal percentage doesn’t want to see.

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Picture of the characters from the RPG, Final Fantasy XV

Gladius, Prompto, and Ignis do want they want.

I have a grievance. My last two role-playing games (RPG) experiences – Final Fantasy XV and Mass Effect Andromeda – are not satisfying me. They are great games and fun to play but the action-oriented focus of both sacrifices a key aspect of the genre – control.

This loss of control doesn’t happen when I’m playing as a lone wolf type of character. In games like Fallout or the Witcher, you’re the all-powerful hero who can conquer anything by yourself. However, when you are given a party or squad, you’re their leader. You’re supposed to direct them on the battlefield and tell them what to do. Except, recent RPGs have made your party autonomous. They do as they please and you have little say.  Continue reading

An Xbox One with a controller on the side.

Are Xbox One fans looking forward to any of these games?

It’s fair to say that Sony’s PlayStation 4 catalog of exclusive games are killing it. So much so that they outshine anything on the Xbox One. It’s become pretty common at this point for gamers to say that Xbox One “has no games,” making for a worrisome statement. Even I’m guilty of making this assumption.

I personally blame Microsoft. Aside from a very bloated, tech-heavy reveal of Project Scorpio, everything is quite on the Xbox front. After doing some further digging, I’ve found a few gems from Microsoft that tells a different story about their exclusive lineup. Will it be enough to get fans excited? Continue reading

Sony's enhanced console, the PS4 Pro.

Are you upgrading for 4K resolution?

The PS4 Pro just dropped, and next year the Xbox One’s Scorpio is set to release. I don’t know how to feel about these enhanced consoles yet. They are cool in concept, but do they bring enough to the table to justify replacing your current machine? Continue reading

The Mass Effect Anomaly

A banner for Mass Effect Andromeda.

Mass Effect Andromeda is different, and sometimes not in a good way.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is a weird game. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy it but playing it just feels strange, like something is off, and it’s not the animations. Keep in mind that I’ve only had enough time to complete a majority of the missions on planet EOS, so I still have a large portion of the game to get through. With that said, a few aspects stick out, shaping my early impressions of what the rest of it might be like.  Continue reading

Promo art for Metroid Fusion.

Oh Metroid, where art thou?

Boy, do I have a lot of woes lately. Anyway, I’ve had a recent craving for a Metroid– style game, and Nintendo seems unwilling to fill that void. It’s actually a bit frustrating to be a fan of the red-headed stepchild of the Nintendo family. Whenever the company does acknowledge that the series exist, it’s more like they are telling you “Here you go, now shut the fuck up.”

My only solution to these Metroid withdraws is to rummage through indie catalogs for the best imitators out there. I do this about once every year. It’s actually quite surprising how many of these developers are making amazing metroidvania games. Continue reading

The cast of Blizzard's Overwatch.

Does Overwatch Deserve to be Game of the Year?

As I browsed through my monthly Game Informer magazine, I came across an interesting topic within the Q&A section. The magazine recently released their top 50 games of 2016 list and it was obvious that some of their readers didn’t agree. Many of its detractors questioned their choice of Overwatch as their Game of the Year. The magazine has every right to name whatever game they felt deserved the top spot. However, the comments brought up something I haven’t thought about before – What makes a game the full experience? Continue reading

Munchkin, the card/board game.

Munchkin just might break our friendship one day.

While video games take up a majority of my play time, I do make and play card and board games. They’re fun, they’re challenging, and require a lot of player interaction. In fact, at least once a month, a few friends and I get together for a game night. Our game of choice? MunchkinContinue reading

I FINALLY BEAT MY FIRST BOSS!!! … I know it took me forever, but leave me alone, alright. I’m not crying, I’m crying. Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, I bought Bloodborne over a year ago. It kicked my ass and ever since, I have avoided it like the plague. I mustered the courage to try again and now I feel accomplished. It wasn’t the pretty win but taking down my first boss in Bloodborne felt so good. Hopefully, I’ll post more adventures of me getting my ass kicked.

YouTube: Follow Renegade Plays on YouTube.

Microsoft's Xbox logo.

Microsoft has trouble competing when it comes to exclusive games.

 

One of Microsoft’s highly anticipated games, Scalebound, was canceled. News that shocked many fans eagerly anticipating this Platinum Games Xbox One exclusive. Honestly, this is worse news for Platinum than Microsoft. However, it is important to note that Microsoft has a problem. Where Sony champions their exclusive games, Microsoft still struggles to move past franchises like Halo and Gears of Wars. Continue reading

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