Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wolfenstein 3D: Episode III

Well, its time to go after the master of state. The fuhrer. The guy who has more portraits of himself in this game than there are secrets. As we learned last episode, that's a lot of secrets.
Capturing images of these guys is harder than it looks.
E3M1, Judas, Brutus and Cassius, what is this music? Is someone trapped in a Chinese music making factory and they're using morse code to send a message? Got killed by the lucky shot of a guard. I've got no excuse for this one, I should've shot him when he popped out of the door. We also get introduced to the officer, a fellow who shoots slowly and deadly. My first encounter made a joke out of him, and I would've said he was just a reskin, if I didn't know any better. If it weren't for this we'd be on a filler level.

E3M2, a bit of advice if you plan on doing any levels for this game. When you add your enemies, make it so they can and will sneak up on the player, leaving him without a safe places to hide in. Because of this, E3M2 is a marvelous level. Well, for Wolf3D. Also, make me feel smart for finding secrets, not like I'm spending twelve hours to find a single cross.
Did Monty Hall design this section?
E3M3, yeah, this is getting trickier. Gunfire seems to carry through walls in this game. While playing through this level, I wondered if anyone's ever done a video game where you learn German while shooting nazis. "Meet interesting Germans and shoot them". Probably a sign of the quality of this level.
The cast of enemies, seen here not moving.
E3M4, the officers don't really make these levels any harder. Sure, they do some damage if they get the first strike, but they usually don't capitalize on this, unlike the guards. In grounds I know to go for them first, since they're wearing bright outfits, like an officer shouldn't.
Maid service must be terrible in these kinds of bunkers.
E3M5, trying to be clever by hiding the enemies again. That'd be clever if they woke up after I kill their comrades. There's not much to say except the Chinese guy is back. When people talk about how neat morse code in a song is, they don't want a literal morse code thingy as the drumtrack. I also love the placement of deaf officers at the end. Literally just watched me gun down the other officer without doing anything from the doorway.

E3M6, someone woke the level designer up again. When you activate the first set of enemies, a hidden group of officers are woken up, but because you don't know there are multiple ones, you think there's just one hidden behind the columns in the first part. Almost got me. There's a maze on this part that basically involved multiple guards just waiting at the end of corridors for me. I'd like to see how the mission briefing for that went.

E3M7, eh, its all right. There's once again, not really much in the way of resistance. In fact, because I wanted to talk about the secret level, I actually had to cheat to kill BJ. The secret requires the player to move a secret block that moves in all four directions, making it possible to block off the exit. Behind it is a maze. It's okay, but it'd be better if you didn't hear a bumping noise each time you touched a wall.

E3M10, this secret is the maze from Pac-Man. It's certainly unique enough to be a secret, but it isn't exactly the most fun I've had in a secret. You have to dodge the Pac-Man ghosts, they'll damage you if they hit, but because of the way the level's larger than an actual Pac-Man level, they're not too much trouble. The problem with secret levels is that they either feel secret, or like a level. Not both.

E3M8, I should point out that I think required secrets is a bad level design choice. Secrets should give you a sense of acomplishment. I should feel clever, not, "Oh, so there's another required secret". I should be able to win the game with 0% secrets if I'm clever enough. Anyway, I had to do most of this level with a pistol, thanks to a poor choice at the start of M10. Lots of little mazes here that don't do anything but add time to your playthrough.
Is the suit goosestepping?
E3M9, no screwing around this level, eh? Straight off we get the gatling, makes it easy to start back up after getting gunned down by Hitler. There are some ghost Hitlers screwing around, mostly there to drain your ammo. When you get to the real Hitler, he's backed up by a couple of officers. I lose the first time, because I didn't realize there were three of them. So getting the officers this time, and the fourth one hiding by some medikits, I start the final battle. Fighting Hitler involves a lot of ducking in and out of cover. In his mech suit is loud, and thus easy to keep track of. He packs a little more firepower, but you shouldn't be getting hit to begin with. Out of it, he's sneaky and surprisingly squishy. I didn't even realize I killed him until the "Let's see that again" kill cam popped up.

Death Count: 4
Final Score: 494100

Next up, the prequel trilogy, The Nocturnal Missions. Some might think it qualifies as a mappack, but you could also buy Tomb Raider III with just the India levels. That doesn't make either a mappack.

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