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Wolfenstein: Youngblood finds fresh ways to make killin’ nazis a riot: “It’s quite different to what we’ve done before”

Wolfenstein: Youngblood shouldn’t have been that big. Wolfenstein 2: A sequel to The New Colossus, this sequel is the prelude to Wolfenstein 3 (called a “trilogy” by game developer Wolfenstein Machine Games, but hasn’t been officially announced). : The spiritual successor to Old Blood. .. But the game of the same name is a cover of something more remarkable. This entry in the series adopts oldies execution and gun formulas, pushing the boundaries by incorporating the very famous flexible and open-ended gameplay by Youngblood co-developer Arkane Studios.

In Freddie Mercury’s words, “I want to be released,” the game captures the atmosphere of the young blood of the 80’s. MachineGames is the main developer and franchise manager, but including Arkane Studios, famous for creating games that accept choice and freedom like Dishonored 2 and Prey, adds a new dimension to shooters. This will shake things.

New approach

“We’re taking a different approach this time,” says Jerk Gustafsson, executive producer of Machine Games, sitting and chatting. “In fact, this is the first game we created with non-linear progression.”

Previously, all shooters in Machine Games used storytelling directly through action. Linear flow. When I see the giant’s DNA still there in a story set 19 years after New Colossus, and BJ Blazkovich and Anya Oliwa’s twins Jessica and Sophia take over as the next generation of resistance to the Nazis in Paris. How do we live it? Fixed.

“It’s my first time to have an open structure, so play the first map crash first and then go to the headquarters in Paris, the headquarters of the Resistance, and you’re free to play. Mission. In any order you want. , It’s pretty exciting for us. ”We’ve digged a little deeper into this new free version, with maps and levels more open than previous Wolfenstein games.

There is also a map of the Paris region. These are vast and discoverable, from which you can explore side quests and activities. “This is one of the great benefits of working with Arkane on this project. They brought a lot to the table with their level design skills, and we do something really powerful in that sense. I think I have it, “says Gustafsson. Youngblood sees the MachineGames team trying something new and bringing the Wolfenstein series online in one direction. “Multiplayer is very new to us. Of course, there are overlapping multiplayer components that are essential for Riddick and The Darkness games, but this is the first time we’ve had an experience to share with others,” Gustafsson said. Says. ..

Adopting collaboration seems to be perfect for Machine Games and Arkane Studios. Play around with lots of multiplayer games while keeping the team’s focus on the known story. And it was difficult to find the truth. “Complexity,” Gustafsson says, asking what his biggest challenge is by adding a co-op to Wolfenstein’s hip shooter. “The narrative games we’ve created so far have a lot of complexity, but in many ways they have different levels of complexity. New issues arise and the difficulty of having a companion as a companion IA is” new. There are a lot of things. In many ways, looking at the steps from New Order to New Colossus, I think the steps from New Colossus to Youngblood were much more important. It’s Youngblood, not just co-op. ” There’s a lot new, as we’ve added a progression system and more RPG elements to give players more opportunities to customize their experience. .. Exciting and a little scary. “

Blazkowicz twins have different personalities, but have the same basic abilities. If you select Jessica or Sophia at the beginning of the game, the AI ​​or friend will get the other. Initially, you can only select specific equipment, abilities, weapons, and upgrades for the twins, but as the game progresses, unlock new merchandise and begin customizing how you play. “The game has enough tools, weapons, and abilities to complement each other well,” Gustafsson adds.

Extra hand pair

The idea of ​​teamwork is a flow that goes through all of Youngblood. There is a subtle difference between doing things the old-fashioned way, running around with a gun, and remembering that you have a partner. This is evident from the use of abilities and the RPG elements that Gustafsson hints at. A new element is the hiding skill of the Da’at Yichud power suit. These upgrades span three skill trees, 16 for 1 and 12 for 3, allowing you to combine your playstyle with your partner.

Gustafsson explains how it works. “We have the ability to be suitable for stealth spray, but also for more run-and-gun play styles. Therefore, take a more defensive approach and while someone is running or shooting. You can complement yourself by staying behind the line. The reverse also works, one secretly kills the enemy before setting up the other. Therefore, it’s long for the two to complement each other. There’s a way to go. Of course, for this approach to be successful, you need to keep your sister alive, so the idea of ​​”living” was introduced to Youngblood. The new Wolfenstein game does not hesitate to adopt the classic video game mechanics and welcomes the resurgence of health packs, and this new shooter continues to trend.

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This is where Young Blood’s co-operatives are really starting to get tricky. The way you play together affects your progress and even where you can go. Some areas of the map are closed and can only be accessed when working together. It’s as easy as opening heavy doors together to find hidden objects, or fighting together to win co-op bonuses to recharge your life. The more you work with your allies to balance your abilities, the more maps you need to explore.

“I think players will see a lot of similarities to the level design of Dishonored games, so the experience in that sense may be a bit different, but especially if it’s to find something different. Things that can benefit the game .. How to approach war scenarios and general missions, “says Gustavson.

Fundamental partnership

“The open structure and collaborative aspects make storytelling a bit more difficult,” explains the producer. “I think we have a powerful story, which is quite different from what we did before. Not only tons, but also the amount of content is a bit lighter. This is the previous one. I think it’s a big change from the game. The campaign will be a little shorter, but the game time will be longer. “

Earlier Wolfenstein games marked 10 to 15 hours in the campaign, but Youngblood’s story seems to be delayed. But, as Gustafsson suggests, this shooter goes even deeper and guarantees that it’s important to play the same way you play in this world. The influence of Arcane continues.

“Players will be able to stay in the game longer,” Gustafsson hints, explaining that Youngblood will be a useful end. Once the story is complete and the twins are able to reunite with their father, they can return to the center and enjoy additional content. “Once the campaign is over, we’ll add side missions and new challenges. You can perform more activities and side quests than in previous Wolfenstein games.

This article was originally published in OPM. Don’t forget to subscribe to the print or digital editions of MyFavouriteMagazines to get better features than what you just read.


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Wolfenstein: Youngblood finds fresh ways to make killin’ nazis a riot: “It’s quite different to what we’ve done before”

Wolfenstein: Youngblood wasn’t meant to be so important. On paper this spin-off sequel to Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, a prequel to Wolfenstein 3 (while not officially announced, the Wolfenstein games have been referred to by developer MachineGames as a ‘trilogy’), is a spiritual successor to Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. But the play on its namesake is cover for something more remarkable. This entry in the series is taking the run-and-gun formula of old and pushing back the boundaries, embracing the open-ended flexible gameplay that Youngblood co-developer Arkane Studios is so renown for.
It’s a game that – to paraphrase Freddie Mercury and embrace Youngblood’s ’80s mood – ‘wants to break free’. While MachineGames is the lead developer and still the franchise runner, the inclusion of Arkane Studios, famous for creating games embracing player choice and freedom like Dishonored 2 and Prey, adds a new dimension to the blood-soaked first-person shooting. This will shake things up.
A new approach
“We do have a different approach this time,” says Jerk Gustafsson, executive producer at MachineGames, as we sit down to chat. “This is actually the first game that we’ve ever done that has a non-linear progression.” 
Previously all of MachineGames’ shooters have been a straight narrative run through the action; a linear flow. While the dev’s DNA is still here with a story that takes place 19 years after New Colossus, and sees BJ Blazkowicz and Anya Oliwa’s twin daughters Jessica and Sophia take over as the next generation of resistance fighters against the Nazis in Paris, how we experience it has shifted.
“This is the first time we have an open-ended structure so when you play through that initial shock of maps at the start and you get to the hub, which is the Resistance headquarters in Paris, then you are free to do missions and play them in whichever order you want, which is pretty exciting for us.” We dig a little deeper into this new, freer structure. The maps and levels are more open than those in past Wolfenstein games. 
There are also Paris district maps to nose around, too. These are broad and explorable, and from here you can discover side-missions and activities. “That’s also one of the great things about working together with Arkane on this project. It’s that they have brought a lot to the table with their level design skills, and I think we have something really strong in that sense,” explains Gustafsson. Youngblood sees the MachineGames team trying something new and taking the Wolfenstein series in an online direction. “Multiplayer is very new to us. Of course, we do have some tacked-on and forced multiplayer components in the Riddick and The Darkness games, but this is the first time that we have ever done something that is an experience you share together with another player,” Gustafsson reflects.

Embracing co-op feels perfect for MachineGames and Arkane Studios. It ensures the story-led focus the teams are known for remains intact while playfully experimenting with shades of multiplayer. And it’s been hard to get right. “The complexity,” says Gustafsson when we ask him what was the biggest challenge in adding co-op into the Wolfenstein shoot-from- the-hip gameplay. “There’s a lot of complexity in the narrative-driven games we’ve done before, but it’s just a different level of complexity in many ways. We have encountered new problems, and just the difficulty of having the companion be an AI companion, that’s been a challenge for us. “It is a lot of new things. In many ways, if you look at the step we took from New Order to New Colossus I think the step we’re taking from New Colossus to Youngblood is a lot bigger. It’s not only the co-op aspect of it but also the open-ended structure. We have added a level-based progression system in Youngblood and a lot more RPG elements and a lot more opportunities for players to customise their experience, so there’s a lot of new things for us. It’s both exciting and a little bit scary.”
While the Blazkowicz twins vary in character they remain similar in their core abilities. At the start of a game you pick either Jessica or Sophia, and the other will be taken by AI or a friend. Initially you’re only able to select a set loadout for your twin –a specific ability, a weapon, and an upgrade – but as the game progresses you unlock new goodies to begin personalising how you want to play. “There are enough tools and weapons and abilities in the game for you to complement each other well in gameplay,” adds Gustafsson.
An extra pair of hands

The idea of teamwork is a current that flows through everything in Youngblood. There’s a subtle tug- of-war between doing things the old way and running in guns blazing, and remembering you have a partner. This is evident in the way the abilities are used, and those RPG elements Gustafsson alludes to, a new one being a cloaking skill for your Da’at Yichud power suit. These upgrades are spread across three ability trees, with 16 in one and 12 in a third, enabling you to mix and match styles of play with your partner. 
Gustafsson explains how it works: “We have abilities that are suitable for stealth play, but also for the more run-and-gun playstyle. So you can complement each other through one taking a more defensive approach and staying behind the lines while one goes running and gunning. The opposite may work too, with one going in and taking out the enemies in stealth prior to setting up the other. So there are quite a few ways for the two to complement each other.” Naturally for this approach to be successful you’re going to need to keep your sister alive, which is why the idea of ‘lives’ has been introduced to Youngblood. The new Wolfenstein games haven’t been shy about embracing classic video game mechanics, having previously ensured health packs made a welcome comeback, and this new shooter is continuing the trend.
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This is where Youngblood’s co-op really begins to get complicated. How you play together affects how you progress, and even where you can go. Certain areas of the map are gated and can only be accessed if you work together. This can be as simple as opening a heavy door together to find hidden items or fighting in tandem to earn co-op bonuses that refill your lives tally. The more you work together and balance abilities with your ally, the more of a map you can explore.
“I think players will see a lot of similarities to level design in the Dishonored games, so in that sense it can be a little bit different as an experience but it can be for the benefit of the game, especially when it comes to finding different ways to approaching a combat scenario or a mission in general,” says Gustafsson.
A radical partnership

“The open-ended structure and co-op aspect has made it a little more difficult when it comes to the narrative,” highlights the producer. “We do think we have a strong story, but it’s quite different to what we have done before; it’s a little bit lighter, not only in tone but also when it comes to the amount of content, and I think that’s the big change when it comes to previous titles: the campaign is a bit shorter but the amount of gameplay time is greater.”
While previous Wolfenstein games have hit the 10- to 15-hour mark for their campaigns it sounds as if Youngblood’s story will fall short of this. But as Gustafsson suggests, there’s more depth to this shooter, ensuring how you play in this world is as important as what you play. The Arkane influence lingers.
“Players will be able to stay in the game for a long time,” alludes Gustafsson as he reveals Youngblood will have a purposeful endgame. Once the story is complete, and the twins are, perhaps, reunited with their father, you can re-enter the hub and enjoy extra content. “We’ll add additional side-missions and new challenges once the campaign is completed. There’s a lot more activities and side-missions that you can do than in previous Wolfenstein games.”
This article first appeared in OPM. For more excellent features the one you’ve just read, don’t forget to subscribe to the print or digital edition at MyFavouriteMagazines. 

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