2018.03.04On Wolfenstein II


I am a late adopter of this title. I didn't really care too much about it at launch because I was so heavy into Destiny 2. But Destiny 2 is very heavy on Internet traffic, and my wireless connection to my console has been suffering of late... so I downloaded the insanely large Wolfenstein II. And wow am I glad I did.

It's a fantastic game -- I actually LOL'd and applauded the birthday scene -- and it plays much much longer than I thought it would... though there's one thing about it that makes me nuts: use of the Enigma terminal is very poorly explained and the interface is difficult to understand.

image credit: GameRevolution

Honestly, this part is awful and frustrating. Most people are going to burn through Enigma codes simply because the interface is difficult to understand. There are a number of posts online about it -- just Googling "Wolfenstein II enigma" was sufficient to return several. Three big notes I'd offer about using the terminal are:

  1. The interface is basically broken into two halves of the screen. Except for the progress bar at the top of the screen, the top half is the series of codes you must match, moving from left to right and numbered 01 through 07. Each code sort of resembles a domino piece, with a top and bottom series of dots.

    The bottom half of the screen is the confusing part: it is comprised of two rows of patterns -- an upper row and a lower row. Your task is to make the patterns IN THE CENTER match the numbered part of the code you're working on.

    So now I can describe the image above: the player has solved the first part of the code. The "01" section is comprised of three dots arranged diagonally on top of six dots grouped in two columns of three. On the bottom half of the screen, the player has aligned those two halves at center, which has completed that section.

  2. In that bottom half, your left thumbstick controls the movement of the upper series of codes, and your right thumbstick controls the movement of the lower series of codes. The game developers have reversed the directions the sticks report when you move each row. In other words, moving the left thumbstick to the left moves the upper row to the right, not to the left as you would expect; and the same is true for the right thumbstick moving the lower row of codes.

  3. Your time for solving each of the seven bits of the code is limited -- you only have a few seconds for each. My advice: if you're having trouble getting your bearings on the machine, it's better to return to the list of Ubercommanders than to burn one of your codes. On the XBOX ONE, you leave the decryption screen by tapping the "B" button. This will take you back to the list. Then go back into the decryption screen with your quantity of collected codes intact.
Surely, the developers wanted you to have to figure out the "enigma" as part of the gaming experience, but in my case, I burned through a lot of collected codes just in trying to understand the terminal. The terminal is important because it allows you to discover more precise locations of Ubercommanders, and to then perform missions to neutralize them. These missions allowed me to keep playing the game after I'd completed the story. But because I'd burned so many Enigma cards, I didn't get to some of the Ubercommander missions.

Now that I have a good handle on the Enigma machine, I'll probably go back in and start the game over again. I had a great time playing it.

Like it's predecessor, the game is hella gruesome... but there are some very, very funny scenes that make the experience richer. The funny scenes are funny enough that I'd want to share them with my family, but the gore is gory enough to really make me think twice about playing it in their company.



Image credit: Bethesda Software/MachineGames

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