GWJ Conference Call Episode 577

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Super Mario: Odyssey, Assassin's Creed: Origins, Dungeons 2, Your Emails and More!

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This week Shawn, Elysium, Allen and walk-on guest David Heron take all the time in the world to talk about the big games this week.

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00:01:51 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
00:23:32 Super Mario: Odyssey
00:30:45 Dungeons 3
00:37:07 Assassin's Creed: Origins
01:07:48 Your Emails

If games cost between $80 to $100 US, that talk on AC:Origins would have put me off on buying the game brand new more than it already has.

I feel like I'm an apologist of the first Assassin's Creed not for its actual quality, but because by game number two it was like they forgot "Assassin" was in the title and the only missions involving being an actual assassin were relegated to optional side quests.

Origins sounds like it was designed by committee and I can only sigh and hope that the Ubiworld concept eventually burns to the ground.

Super Mario Odyssey, on the other hand, is the bob-omb, and I'm excited to play Wolfenstein II when it eventually comes to Switch in 2018.

When it comes to Shadow of Mordor, I have a feeling Monolith had this pitch for an open-world game with a Nemesis system and Warner Bros. Interactive said "This is great, but you should use our existing property and call it Star Fox Adventures Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor so it'll sell more copies". Even though I don't think the Lord of the Rings name is what generated as much sales compared to the hype for the Nemesis system. Even before the game released people were talking about it, and when the game came out that was pretty much the buzz. The Lord of the Rings setting was essentially a skin.

If anyone is on the fence about Mario I highly recommend it.

One thing I'm curious about Assassin's Creed: Origins that I didn't hear mentioned in the discussion: How much do I need to be familiar with the previous games' out-of-Animus stories to appreciate the story in this one?

JediK809 wrote:

One thing I'm curious about Assassin's Creed: Origins that I didn't hear mentioned in the discussion: How much do I need to be familiar with the previous games' out-of-Animus stories to appreciate the story in this one?

You don’t, really. Abstergo is a corporation secretly run by Templars and uses the animus to delve into the past to find hidden artifacts and rule the world because order.

Off you go.

JediK809 wrote:

One thing I'm curious about Assassin's Creed: Origins that I didn't hear mentioned in the discussion: How much do I need to be familiar with the previous games' out-of-Animus stories to appreciate the story in this one?

I’m waiting until next week for the X1X release to play Origins so I can’t speak directly but they killed off the “real world” character several games ago and the ongoing out-of-Animus story has been backgrounded quite a bit so you probably aren’t missing too much.

EDIT: what Certis said.

I was really surprised to hear the crew discuss Total War's campaign system so negatively. To me, Total War games are about the campaign with sometimes nice battles sprinkled in. A Total War game that was a campaign of just a series of battles and no overworld map and regions to manage would be immediately skippable. I don't mind the battles most of the time since sometimes they're fun, but I hate that I have to play out all of them since the autoresolve never yields results like playing them yourself. The most fun aspect of the series to me is probably what has turned most of the conference call crew to Paradox games instead: leveling up my generals/leaders and having them acquire traits and whatnot, building up my economy and military industrial complex, and maneuvering my armies and units around the map efficiently to achieve my strategic goals. Of the Paradox games, though, I've only played Crusader Kings II, not well, and even it is more impenetrable than I like.

"Videogames, why are we just getting to shoot klansmen now?"


I think there's a lot there. With the hoods they all look the same, so it's even an easier thing to program. No faces means you've already dehumanized it a bit. Later levels, you can make the robes red for stronger enemies. So I've been asking around. Theories I've heard this week:

  • Theory A: "Uncanny valley of evil" - Nazis, aliens, zombies, etc are all evil, but they're fantasy. Even Nazis were a thing from the distant past that our grandfathers dealt with. (Or they were in the distant past, but apparently they're coming back?) Klansmen are too real for a rampage fantasy.
  • Theory B: "Privilege" - White video game makers don't think about race much. Even the WW2 stuff tends to skip the genocide part.
  • Theory C: "Fear of backlash" - Given the history of anti-video game protests, Out of context video clips of klansmen using slurs, burning crosses, etc would have caused the video game to get pulled from store shelves.


  • But yeah, killing klansmen in games should be a thing. So what else are we missing? What are other things that are evil that we've forgotten to virtually kill?

Elysium - how would you compare Dungeons 3 to War for the Overworld? I like the dungeon-building aspects of Overworld, but I'm not crazy about the 'plant your flag' system to influence your minions, and the camera angle/field of view is not optimal.

Did Shawn really say that the Witcher 1 was isometric and then the Witcher 2 turned into 3rd-Person action? Did I misunderstand that part of the discussion?

Wr3nch wrote:

Did Shawn really say that the Witcher 1 was isometric and then the Witcher 2 turned into 3rd-Person action? Did I misunderstand that part of the discussion? :-)

I think I meant "more zoomed out" rather than a locked over the shoulder third person view. Heat of the moment