Trying to burn through my backlog a little 'cause goddamnit October is rapidly coming to an end already, before we know it we'll be balls-deep in GOTY chat, so, let's mosey.
: I put a couple hours into this last night, which according to the stats page was enough to hit almost 30% story completion? But I also unlocked the main hub which has a bunch of sidequest stuff so I guess that's where the meat of the length/replay probably comes from. That's fine - I like short games, I have other stuff to do, at least in theory
Anyway, having not played the previous new-continuity Wolfensteins yet, starting with this one is certainly An Odd Choice considering it retains that continuity while also dramatically shifting its protagonists and setting. I got little or no context for returning characters, references, or story beats. I'm not sure it matters much though; the Sisters Blazkowicz are super fun and charming and pretty much carrying the whole thing by themselves. Their banter is almost... Third Street Saints adjacent sometimes, which is working for me far better than I ever would've expected. Even if Youngblood doesn't crack my top ten or drops the ball in other ways, Jess & Soph will probably still appear in a Best New Characters category, and their first kill might be a Best Moment.
The 80s-ness of Youngblood also feels much more natural here than it has been elsewhere lately with plenty of other games running all that stuff into the ground ever since... Hotline Miami and Far Cry Blood Dragon, probably. The nostalgia play here comes across as way more interesting, thought-out, and purposeful, given the alternate universe take on it definitely required more than a little worldbuilding - it's closer to Fallout's retro-future in terms of effort, actually. They didn't just drown everything in a neon colour palette and a vapourwave soundtrack and call it day.
The game does keep throwing video memory warnings at me despite running at a very pretty near-constant 1080/60FPS with no signs of stability issues or crazy spinning fans, so that's odd. Moment-to-moment shooting and traversal is fine or better-than-fine but I don't particularly enjoy how the menus function with keyboard/mouse. (Quick note: my mouse is kinda busted and my keyboard is trash, so there we go.) Playing a co-op game solo also means the Army Of Two/Kain & Lynch/50 Cent Blood On The Sand two-player hooks often feel pretty goofy. As it would even if I were playing co-op, maybe.
I'll probably finish it, I'll probably continue to enjoy it, but I doubt I'll get too involved in the side material or think about it too much after I'm done, aside from the sisters themselves. A good choice for an honourable mention.
Sumatra: Fate of Yandi*
* Brought To You By Layfield™
(I'll try to hit those sooner than the others)
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