You know what the funny thing is about the new Wolfenstein games? That despite being set in some crazy alternate universe with giant robot dogs, Nazi moon bases, laser guns, and cartoon villains like Deathshead and Frau Engel, it’s actually one of the most accurate and disturbing portrayals of Nazism I’ve seen in a video game.
I mean, think about it. There’s been a lot of WW2 shooters/games with Nazis in them. The original Wolfenstein was like the first FPS ever, so Nazis have basically been video game baddies since day one. But have you ever seen a “realistic” video game with Nazis in them tackle things like the Holocaust? Racial extermination and eugenics? How downright insane, sadistic and horrifying the Nazi ideology is? Cause that’s exactly what the new Wolfenstein games are doing.
Wolfenstein had the balls to show the human experimentation, the extermination camps, the daily terror of being hunted by the Nazis simply for being Jewish or a person of color, the warped doctrine of racial purity that the Nazis aspired to, the Orwellian control of information and society that they practiced, their imperialism and colonialism that demanded the lands of essentially all non-”Aryan” races be pillaged and looted for them. It actually shows people of color and Jews fighting in a resistance movement specifically because the Nazis wanted them to literally not exist. It even touches upon, however briefly, the persecution of LGBT people under the Nazi regime and their demand that women submit to strict gender roles.
Oh and all of the “cool stuff” that the Nazis have in The New Order? Yeah they stole that from a group of Jewish super-scientists. Even the “cool” things about the Nazis in Wolfenstein don’t belong to them, because they’re pathetic, evil fascists.
I doubt that at Sony’s press conference tonight when the new Call of Duty gets shown off you’ll see any hint of the terrifying true nature of Nazism. You’ll see a bunch of good ol’ boys fighting the good fight, and the Nazis will conveniently provide bodies to shoot at as they do in every video game where they’re the bad guys, but I can honestly say I have never seen a video game that has as damning and accurate a portrayal of what Nazism was and is really about as the new Wolfenstein games, where the Nazis have robot dogs and jetpacks.
When the scant few neo-nazis of the world gather together, form an actual fighting force with munitions, hardware, bases, and so on, then declare war on us with the explicit intent of forcing us to become subjugated to their extremist ideology or die, then it will be okay to punch Nazis. I mean, if a Nazi assaults you, that’s also cool.
Point is, “punching nazis” is bullshit antifa talk. It’s far too common for antifa to tell people that if you oppose them, that means you are pro-fascism, therefore you are a nazi… and that means they can assault you, try to murder you, interfere with your rights, and break as many laws as they have to just to get their way.
Since Wolfenstein 2 was announced, a lot of people have been muddling this intensely stupid discourse further, but they tipped their hand in the process. Y’see, Wolfenstein: The New Order was careful to use nazi imagery, but not too much of it. There were no swastikas, for instance. I don’t think Hitler is ever mentioned, and even if he is, the main baddy/target is “Deathshead”, an amoral Doctor.
With Wolfenstein The New Colossus, all pretense has been dropped. They are Nazis, they have swastikas on everything, they go on about aryan blood and racial purity. Not exactly controversial, since the Wolfenstein series has always been about shootin’ nazis, and in this game, they are an oppressive occupying force that has invaded and destroyed a large part of the world…
But it comes at a time when so many people are looking to polarize everything into “good people” vs “nazis” and a game about shooting bad guys has become a rallying point for people to shout about how the world need to be more violent towards “nazis” all while people have devalued the word nazi in such a way that being slightly-right of extreme-left socialist makes you a nazi.
Correction: Most of the Nazi imagery was only removed from The New Order in the International version.
how do you write a good villain/antagonist? a villain like handsome jack where he's pretty comical for a good amount of time or a villain like deathshead in new world order where he's such a bastard that you want to punch his face in whenever you see him? any good examples or preferences of villains you personally like?
….okay, i’ll be serious.
you can do a mixture of the two or either one as long as you play it well or play it to the hilt.
Handsome Jack is engaging but he’s horribly inconsistently written because Anthony Burch is a hack, and if he says anything funny, it’s almost certainly because his voice actor improvised something.
Deathshead is a good villain because of those mentioned qualities and because of a sense you get in the final confrontation with him in TNO wherein he speaks like he honestly believes that he’s the good guy in this situation.
Other villains I like include Bowser and Vergil in Devil May Cry because at least with video games, they have to serve as a good contrasts to the player character, or at least be similar to the player character in meaningful ways.
Hetalia x Wolfenstein crossover where Alfred is BJ Blazkowicz, Nyo!Poland is Anya Oliwa, and Germany is Kommandant Ludwig (not a character in Wolfenstein and Deathshead didn’t fit him so I went for “Ludwig as Ludwig”)
Buuut this Ludwig has a little bit different from normal Ludwig
hey Doomguy, i heard that there were some reviews that were not so much positive about the game, saying the following: 1) it has SJW propaganda 2) too many cutscenes and the story is tonally inconsistent/mediocre/badly written 3) gameplay is not as exiting as the previous game. what do you think of those opinions? (i got those of the main two reviews i saw Gggmanlives and Worth a Buy and others)
1.) It has SJW propaganda
All of the political bickering around this game just seems silly as hell to me. I never thought I’d see people take Wolfenstein of all things this seriously. I didn’t feel there was any propaganda in this game at all other than “Nazis are the bad guys,” which has been the message since fuckin’ Wolfenstein 3D.
too many cutscenes and the story is tonally inconsistent/mediocre/badly written
Read my last post about there being “too many cutscenes.” As for the tonal inconsistencies - I believe that was deliberate due to reasons I can’t say without spoiling anything. I also thought the story was a really fun ride, though I’ll agree that the story was superior in The New Order, mainly due to Deathshead being the antagonist.
gameplay is not as exiting as the previous game.
Gameplay to me was an upgrade from the previous two games in about every way. The ability to upgrade your weapons and the contraptions made the combat way more interesting. I also felt like I killed a shitload more enemies in TNC which… is a huge plus in my book. TNC doesn’t even force stealth on you for some levels like TNO did, which I’m very grateful for. Also there are some really enjoyable challenge missions to unlock that add a nice chunk of gameplay.
I like to take ggmanlives reviews with a grain of salt. I find his reviews to be entertaining, but sometimes he complains about the weirdest shit.
I fucking love this scene. In this scene, the game makes clear a consistent message that exists throughout it: the Nazi’s weren’t some sort of unique evil, they were emblematic of human evil that existed without them, before them and after them. In this scene B.J. is confronted with the fact that the society he fought for oppressed and killed people just like the Nazis, with J going so far as to say “Back home man, you were the Nazis!” and “You’re exactly the kind of guy they called in come lynching time.”
That second statement conjures a powerful image. In this story and setting, where he has ended up on the wrong side of a massive edifice of evil, Blazkowicz is undoubtedly a hero. But in another time, in another place, Blazkowicz could easily be a KKK member or a cop with an attack dog. Blazkowicz may be the hero here, but in someone else’s story he is the villain. That is fucking powerful, and says a lot about the United States’ moral role in the war: the U.S. was arguably on the “good” side in World War 2, but only when you view it through a narrow lens that ignores the situation the U.S. maintained at home.
In another scene, Set Roth says (as the camera lingers on a concentration camp commandant beating a dead prisoner with a stick) that “For me, in everything there must be doubt, otherwise there is no room to question. To learn. This place is the fruit of unquestioned conviction. This is where absolute certainty leads.” For him, Nazism isn’t a German problem. The problem isn’t even confined to Nazism, it’s bigger than that. Set reinforces the most important message the game has about it’s villains: Nazis were human beings, and any group of human beings is capable of grotesque savagery when they don’t think critically about their beliefs and actions. Nazis weren’t evil because they were Nazis, Nazis were evil because they were human.
In an age where even documentaries use deliberately grandiose language to describe the Nazis (a few titles on Netflix: Nazi Temple of Doom, Nazi Mega Weapons), it’s really refreshing to see any piece of media really get Nazism. Nazism was a way of thinking not unique to it’s time and place, and the path that led them to atrocity still lays open for the peoples of the world. It would have been easy to make a game with cookie cutter villains with no characterization and just say to the player “they’re Nazis! Just kill ‘em!”. But instead MachineGames have really tried to communicate why you should be killing Nazis, and why Nazism is more than a black uniform and a swastika.
Prompt: Solas doing Lavellan against a wall in an elven ruin. Poetry prompt: Here is the mirror / but don’t put your hand out (Lock Down, Ish Klein)
Title: placing hands
Grit or dust is grinding in his teeth as his jaw works; he tries to reach out with a light touch across the Veil, looking for the sense of her magic pulling from the wellspring of the Fade. The bones of the shattered corpses trip him, tangle at his feet. He stumbles. A dry reek puffs from rotted clothes on the skeletons and a deathshead moth unfurls from one desiccated nose. It flutters, huge and eldritch, shining like its wings are wet with blood, bobbing behind him through the moonlight.
“Inquisitor! Pangara, Pangara!”
He cannot keep the edge of panic from his voice. This will be his downfall, he knows; he knows he must moderate his feelings. He must quiet his mind and center his emotions. But he had heard her scream and then he had heard nothing.
He lunges around a corner, hand trailing on the wall to sense for any runes tied to traps beneath the tiles.
“Solas,” her voice again, more distant this time. He backtracks, turns the other way.
A statue of Mythal in her seat of power looms before him.
He almost walks past, but then a hint of fear tremors in his throat. An instinct; a memory? He walks closer to the statue and ignores the part of his brain shouting that he must run, he must find her.
The statue is perfectly nondescript. It is as any other of the mildewing relics of this sundered world. Its mimicry of flight is nauseating in this age, diminished to totem. And ever still a balm for him. Even now, a bittersweet icon of succor. And of desire. The walls are crumbling and there are no clouds over the stars.
The ground is cold.
He pushes aside a cluster of vines and his hands are scraped by its many vicious little red-tipped pins. They are already touched with blood. And then he sees it in the moonlight: the once-glassy surface tarnished, its face like a riffle in a stream. A mirror. Or at least, a mirror is what any mortal of this age might mistake it for. And of a magic he had thought long-lost to this realm.
That the nobles entrusting their eternities to Ghilan’nain would have chosen to bind their magicks to such a cruel net? That was her nature at the end; her gifts corrupted. Her powers shifting and angry. The surface seems to blister as he stares at it. He leans close.
He whispers, “Pangara.”
And she is revealed to him at once, the colors around her sickened and the trees around her dripping their leaves to the earth like ichor.
“Solas.” She moans. Not to him.
The creature that his holding her looks like him.
It crouches over her, tracing her breast with its fingers, pushing his touch between the bone buttons of her shirt.
It has wings - terribly twisted and mangled, covered in the sludge dripping from the canopy that rots above them, but even when Pangara reaches around and touches its back, when she grasps around the protrusions and caresses them, she gives no sign of alarm, no tell of conscious thought.
“Solas,” she says again, and kisses the thing’s bottom lip, its chin, his cheek. She traces her nails across the jawline that mimics his.
But in her whisper, can he hear the start of fear?
He does not say anything because he knows now she cannot hear him. He sets to his work. She is in danger and the portal to the dreamplace set into this plaque at the base of Mythal’s statue would only trap him, too, if he reached straight in for her.
He must find a way to come at it from the side.
Or better yet, the top.
He springs away and searches the ground for a stone. Finding one of correct weight and shape (and it takes too long, it takes too long), he brings it back in front of the mirror. He can see Pangara and the creature through the flush of thorns. He sits cross-legged. Its long fingers (just slightly too long, and the nails now black, now clear) drop to tug at her breeches. Solas reaches out to the Veil and then does what he must.
Calling on a reserve of mana that is still too weakened for this sort of trial, he takes his conscious presence of the Veil. He studies it. Pushes at it. And then, a clean swipe cutting his own mind as certain as any surgery; Solas removes his mind’s protections, and he ceases to perceive Fade’s wall.
A rift (small, perhaps too small even for this) slams open in the air above the portal. It keens and glimmers. The sounds singing from the tear are almost loud enough to drown out her mounting gasps. He hates himself for how much of a relief that is. He feels the whole of the Veil around that point shudder, his sense of song coalescing as he works to sew together the pieces of his mind he’d torn to make this rift appear. And at the same time, quickly before any wandering spirits may be drawn to this curiosity in Ghilan’nain’s Hollow, he raises his hand flat before him. He breathes down upon his palm.
The floating green vision of the Fade swirls and yawns. He blows harder on his palm. The sides of the rift puff out, bowing just slightly.
A strangled, inhuman cry from the creature and then her voice, raised in fear and rage, snarling at and rejecting her attacker. He hears the sound of flesh impacted, but it is followed by a tinny echo that sets his teeth on edge - a mutilated noise of something wrongly grotesque. He breathes deeply again and blows steady and hard into his open palm.
The irassalan had been crafted from both waking and dreaming. Places of imagination and physical weight, they had been interiors of both brick and the minds of the architects of Elvhenan. Solas thinks on the fate of such places with a swell of that familiar guilt. One such architect, he is certain, fights with Pangara now: a thing driven mad by the mutable nature of its surroundings while for centuries its soul sang and sobbed for waking and flesh.
A spirit comes near the rift.
And he knows it on sight, but still he must keep widening the cut. And he begs, silently, trying to reach out with his aura. Turn back, turn back, leave this behind.
But the spirit is Remorse and he has drawn it here unthinking. Sloppy and careless. It can do nothing else than walk slowly towards him from the other side, raising one hand in a melancholy, old familiar greeting.
The irassalan were paths made of dreams and waking. The one in which Pangara is trapped is adjacent to the realm of this Spirit of Remorse on the side of the Fade. As Solas weakens the Fade by touching this physical realm to its borders, the mirror at the base of the statue starts to glow. The sounds of Pangara fighting the beast grow louder. Solas’ ears are glutted with the downpour of harsh whispers from the rift, yells and animal snarls, and the deep throbbing hum of Remorse coming slowly closer.
He whispers words of power into the last breath from his lungs. The words touch and flame on his palm: a new rune created from the seared raising of his flesh, and he smacks his palm down onto the stone in front of him. The mark burns true into the rock. And Remorse is smiling at him, ghostly and sad, from the other side of the rift, and he must get Pangara here to close it - quickly, before the spirit can come through - and he hurls the enchanted stone at the mirror at Mythal’s feet. The portal shatters. The sound of it claps through the room and his ears are bloodied by an ethereal screech.
“Solas!” He hears her shouting, and he lunges forward, the little rift forgotten above him. He catches both her hands in his.
“I’ve got you! Climb!”
She struggles to pull herself up his wrists, arms, her body squeezing through the portal, her clothing and hair covered in foul-smelling flesh and sludge. He hauls her through the dwindling door and as she falls onto his chest he holds her close, then fumbles at her left hand. “Quickly,” he starts, hoarse, but the howl behind him tells him it is too late.
Confused by the tiles on the floor, perhaps. By the solidity of the ceiling. By the stone face of Mythal, even. By all the stars, stationary above.
Remorse becomes Anguish, the spirit twisting in its madness, and it tears itself apart.
“Let me up,” she rasps, and he realizes that his arms are far too tight around her.
She seals the rift.
They sit together. She pushes out of her sopping, blackened coat and he melts ice over her hair, washing the ichor away with cool water. She touches his fingers, but it is a long time before she will look at him again. And when he bends to kiss her wrist she shudders, so he does not touch her for many hours and warms the ground beneath them. It is morning when she reaches out and grasps his hand.
She watches the magic knitting the rune back into his flesh.
She says, “I thought you had me.”
“I thought I’d lost you.” He admits at the same time.
Turns out the KKK impressed the Nazis so much that they've been assigned to the last remnants of the Supernatural research division, now that Deathshead is gone and the Nazis need a new edge in the fight against BJ. And by "Assigned to", I mean "Cannon Fodder in case they summon a horrible demon again."
And this is where new Doom and Wolfenstein finally connect! The KKK accidentally summons demons!
Wolfenstein 2 was an improvement on The New Order in every way except possibly the story and ESPECIALLY the villain. While Frau Engel was a good antagonist, Deathshead was practically a demon wearing human skin. One of my favorite antagonist in all of video games and easily B.J.’s true arch-nemesis.
I want Doom 4 to take place in the Wolf: TNO timeline. I want there to be references to the “fall of the Nazi World Order” confirming that B.J. and the Kreisau Circle ultimately succeeded in toppling the Nazi empire.
What would be even more awesome is Deathshead makes a return as a boss because Hell made him a demon (Spider Mastermind maybe?) because he’s so fucking evil. He could be the one that helped Hell to create all of the cybernetically-enhanced demons. Deathshead is a awesome villain and facing a demonic version of him that’s trying to take vengeance on B.J.’s descendant would be amazing.