Nerdwatch Episode 2.30: Murder with Class

Ah yes, the classic “you’ve been captured and now you need to get your gear back” device. I’ll be honest, though: it feels a little hokey when you’re brought in and interrogated by Marburg when you’re still wearing full body armor. Snake had to do the exact same thing without a shirt and only a really slow, clunky three-hit combo move for defense.

Also, fun fact I discovered the other day: Conrad Marburg was apparently the name of a 13th century German Inquisitor, known for his over-the-top brutality. Obscure, Obsidian… but oddly fitting.

Nerdwatch Episode 2.29: Nobody Gets Shot in this Episode

I love dialogue-heavy sections in RPGs. These all-dialogue missions are a refreshing change of pace that give you a brief respite from running around and shooting people in the face a lot. In contrast, these two conversation encounters eschew combat in favor of character development and driving the plot in a way that doesn’t involve Mina talking into your earpiece while the world explodes around you. Granted, in order for these sections to work the dialogue needs to be pretty good, which is why I think the talk with Marburg is far superior to the one you have with Madison; it’s not that the dialogue in the Madison conversation is bad, it’s just that confronting Marburg is far more captivating. With Madison you’re just extracting information from a clueless secretary, while dealing with Marburg feels more like you’re in a battle of words where one wrong move might earn you a sniper bullet through the head. This may not be the case, but that feeling of being on edge the whole time is still there and it makes this one brief exchange feel far more compelling than any gunfight the game ever throws at you.

Nerdwatch Episode 2.28: Tuxedos in the Shade

Seriously, why did Thorton bother putting on a tuxedo when he was just gonna skulk around in the bushes all night? It’s not like if security stumbles upon this man scoping out the guests with an M40A1, they’re just gonna let him go on his merry way because he happens to be wearing the appropriate formal attire for the event. It makes me think that there was more originally planned for this mission and it was eventually scrapped due to time constraints, with nobody bothering to change Thorton out of the tux in the cutscenes.

Nerdwatch Episode 2.27: Gelateria di Spie

I keep thinking about it and I *still* don’t understand what the hell this gelato man mission was going for. 

This is supposed to be an NSA substation, right? And it is holding information on its servers that is apparently pretty darn important, otherwise you wouldn’t be trying to obtain it, right? So presumably the NSA, one of the most important intelligence organizations in our government, would want to protect it, right?

So then why is the sole resident of this substation a greasy, moronic idiot? Is this the best operative the NSA can assign to the servers here? Is he not an NSA agent at all and is seriously just a guy selling gelato? If that’s the case, then why is there no one else there? If it’s really just a gelateria, then why would there be servers storing valuable NSA data on them in the back room? Why would a gelateria even need servers at all?
And these are just questions relating to the presence of this one incompetent. There are other problems, like why the game possibly thought that you would shoot this poor loser there at the end when he’s obviously not a threat and didn’t make any kind of aggressive move whatsoever.  And then you have to wonder if the NSA just didn’t notice that their data was accessed without anyone giving any kind of approval for doing so. It’s a very sloppily written segment in an otherwise fairly well-constructed game (at least in regard to its plot) and it really just leaves you walking away from it shaking your head in confusion.
Sure, there’s the weird theory of “Gelato Man is behind it all!” that has that weird non-hint displayed at the beginning of a veteran playthrough, but I don’t think that’s really solid enough to forgive the bizarre nature of this mission, especially if that’s the only explanation.