Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot- Review
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot- Review The Wolfenstein franchise is something very dear to gamers hearts (myself very much included), considered to some the grand-daddy of the FPS. The latest series from MachineGames introduced a little more emotion and depth to the franchise – stepping out of the usual action shooter space to offer something more. While players waited eagerly for a sequel to 2014’s The New Order, the team offered a smaller engagement titled The Old Blood to fill that waiting period.
Flash forward to 2019 where we, again, are awaiting the next numbered release of the series, and MachineGames, along with Arkane Studios, has again provided us with ‘in-between’ engagements in the form of Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. The advantage of doing so keeps the brand alive during major development on the core sequels, but also offers the team an opportunity to try different things within the series. Where Youngblood has brought full co-operative gameplay to the experience, Cyberpilot provided players will a VR experience within the universe. Andrew has already reviewed Youngblood which can be viewed here, so I decided to put my pilot skills to the test in VR.
Cyberpilot puts players in control of a hacker infiltrating the mechanized artillery of the Nazi forces who have occupied Paris, with the intent of discovering what nefarious research is underway in the fortress titled Brother 3. Gameplay revolves around remotely piloting, over the course of the game, three of these war-machines to gun-down, burn and ram Nazi soldiers on the streets of Paris as well as in the Brother 3 installation. Controlling the Cyberpilot as well as the mechs can be done with either the DualShock 4 or PlayStation Move Controllers, the latter of which was used for this review and offered responsive feedback and fun gameplay when playing as the Cyberpilot. The game was designed for each of the robots to offer different playstyles: the Panzerhund to be used for up-close combat; the Zitadelle for ranged barrages; and the Drone for stealth-based infiltration.
However, the overall level design didn’t feel like it offered an opportunity for these mechanics to really shine, with only the drone sections highlighting its systems. This, coupled with the fact that players don’t get to choose which to use and when did make gameplay feel a little too linear. Having just finished Youngblood, I would have loved to have seen a little more variety in the stage design, giving players more freedom of movement or opportunities to try varying strategies. Youngblood‘s non-linear levels had me searching the alternate routes to try new combat tactics and I would have liked to see this applied to the VR engagement.
The PlayStation Move Controllers offered responsive feedback and fun gameplay when playing as the Cyberpilot.
As for the levels themselves, there are only four of them, so the experience overall is relatively short. There is a great mechanic that does take place between these levels which lets the players interact with the bunker in which Cyberpilot is based, whereby you travel between various floors while strapped to a control chair to view and hack units within the hangar, or research and construct an upgrade in the tech division. This provides a breather from the action-focused stages and introduces the tutorials for upcoming assaults.
It is also how the game delivers on most of the story, as radio communication with the French resistance provides the primary narrative and largely takes place during these between level breaks. The story doesn’t rock the boat by any means but does offer a motive for players to progress through the streets of Paris (other than to decimate Nazis), and provides reasoning to the state of Brother 3 as featured in the Youngblood story.
Overall, I see this more like a VR add-on to the franchise as opposed to a fully developed game, with the team experimenting with VR concepts – however, the price point reflects this as it is a relatively inexpensive title when compared to other VR-based experiences. I enjoyed a different perspective to view the universe from and found the controls worked well and integrated effectively with the full freedom of movement and turns shifted in controlled degrees. Sure, I could have done with a few more stages but for the few hours I did get out of Cyberpilot, I had a blast, and it is one of the few VR games I haven’t gotten motion-sickness from (which is always a plus). Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot- Review