Credit: Bethesda Credit: Bethesda Credit: Bethesda Credit: Bethesda Credit: Bethesda Credit: Bethesda Since 1981, the Wolfenstein series has taught us that shooting Nazis is fun. Not satisfied with just a cool premise, the series has constantly perfected the FPS genre. MachineGames took over the license and gave us the next iteration of the series with Wolfenstein: The New Order. A great story with a redesigned hero in a bleak, yet funny world. Wolfenstein: Youngblood is the passing of a torch, from hero BJ Blazkowicz to his twin daughters. Can they live up to expectations?Taking place roughly 20 years after Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Youngblood opens with series protagonist BJ Blazkowicz teaching his daughters Jessica and Sophie how to become Nazi killing machines. A quick cut reveals that BJ has gone missing with Paris being the only clue the girls have to go on. Bidding farewell to their mother, the girls leave for Paris to join the French Resistance, repel the Nazi invasion of 1980’s Paris and find their father.Watch the Wolfenstein: Youngblood launch trailer below:The previous titles did an outstanding job of building their worlds. The trenches of The New Order and returning to Castle Wolfenstein in The Old Blood were brilliant openers. Wolfenstein: Youngblood sees Soph and Jess infiltrate a Zeppelin on their first mission and chronicles their first kill. It’s a gory kill and they laugh and joke about the grotesqueness. This sets the tone pretty quickly. Jess and Soph are idiots, plain and simple. They whoop and holler at every opportunity and refer to themselves as “Bros”. This rebooted series uses humour well but here, it’s just annoying. For the first 10 minutes it’s fine but 15 hours later, you just want them to shut up. The rest of the cast are bland with a capital B but the biggest failure is the villain. The New Order and New Colossus had excellent villains but in this game you get a generic snarling bad guy. The plot itself is bare bones and never really goes anywhere. The ending hints at things to come but left me more worried than excited.Thankfully, the combat is almost identical to The New Colossus. Guns feel fantastic, each have relevant kickback and aiming feels responsive. The movement system is fluid yet retains a classic feel and double jumps and slides add up to make a wonderful locomotion system. Enemies have changed a little and now have an armour system. This means you need to pick the right gun for the right enemy. It’s like a rock-paper-scissors system and while it works well for the most part, it can get a little tedious, having to constantly swap weapons. Unfortunately, enemy AI seems to have taken a back-step, more so when playing solo. They can’t seem to pick what target to prioritise leaving you either getting obliterated or having to chase down baddies.Credit: BethesdaEach weapon has a handful of upgrades that uses coins found throughout the level or given as a reward for completing side missions (also available through micro-transactions). Upgrades are essential to best higher-level enemies as there is an RPG levelling system that forces you to take on side quests. Just running through the main quest is impossible without doing these extra quests. It’s generic padding that doesn’t feel as though you’re accomplishing anything. The level design is set up like Dishonored and while they are very well designed, it’s wasted by forcing you to run through them multiple times doing the same content. The perk system is implemented well, each perk makes you feel like you’re progressing. It’s not quite Far Cry but it’s good enough.This game is designed with co-op in mind. Playing solo is not the way to play this. As stated, enemy AI can’t decide what to do and your AI partner isn’t concerned with safety. The crux of the game is taking on Brother Towers, which are essentially bases. Getting to the final boss is tough enough but the final fight is challenging even with a competent partner. In solo mode, when you die in this battle, which you will, you’ll have to do the entire 20-30 minute mission again. The kicker is, is that you start with the ammo you died with, not what you had originally. This is infuriating to say the least and turned Youngblood into a nightmare. View some Wolfenstein: Youngblood screenshots in our gallery: Credit: Bethesda Credit: Bethesda Credit: Bethesda Co-op is better, the game uses a shared life system where you get 3 lives to use if you both go down but you can pick each-other up infinitely. What co-op doesn’t fix is the bad design. There is no loot to differentiate each-other with and you share the exact same abilities and weapons.On a visual front, Wolfenstein: Youngblood is gorgeous, as expected. Running on PS4 Pro, the dynamic resolution has little impact to performance and there is some great texture-work and character models. The lighting is incredibly impressive, giving off a HDR vibe. Performance in-game is an almost flawless 60fps though there were issues in cutscenes. The soundtrack and voice acting is pretty good on the whole, but the poor writing leaves a lot to be desired. There was a lot of hatred towards this and going in I was expecting the worst. The story isn’t as good as previous titles and Jess and Soph are utterly forgettable. This is saved by stellar combat….which is then marred by constant meandering and pointless back-tracking. The co-op system works well but playing this in solo is just awful. It’s another case of forcing a game to be something it doesn’t need to be. It feels like it has been designed by committee, which is sad. With a tighter focus on the story and more linear but thought out levels, they could have done away with the RPG elements and had a really great game. It’s not terrible by any means and at its discount price, you do get value for money. If you want a mindless co-op shooter to waste a few hours, Wolfenstein: Youngblood may not blow you away but it’ll fill that purpose.Wolfenstein: Youngblood was reviewed using a digital code supplied by the publisher.Publisher: Bethesda Developer: MachineGames, Arkane Studios Release Date: 26th July, 2019 Reviewed On: PS4 Also Available On: PC/Steam, Xbox One
Organized Retail Crime Associations: The Complete ListLP Magazine‘s comprehensive list of organized retail crime associations is designed to be a helpful resource for retailers and law enforcement.By Jac Brittain, LPCThe number of organized retail crime associations (ORCAs) has grown steadily in recent years, with a primary emphasis on assisting law enforcement, retail investigators, and prosecutors with the identification, investigation, and prosecution of those involved in organized retail crime.- Sponsor – In response to the scope and severity of organized retail crime concerns across the country, there has been an increased effort on the part of retailers and law enforcement agencies to share information regarding organized retail crime at the local, state, and regional levels.Organized retail crime associations have helped provide that vehicle, opening doors to improve legislation, enhance investigations, and build cooperative relationships in the battle against organized retail crime… Read the full article.Offender Perspectives on Self-Checkout TheftThrough interviews with dozens of shoplifters with recent self-checkout theft experiences, researcher Stephanie Lin explored their shoplifting behaviors, methods, and the thought process behind why they chose to leverage this method to conduct theft.By Stephanie LinThe convenience of self-checkout has made the service increasingly popular among customers in recent years. Retailers also take advantage of the self-checkout technology to reduce labor costs and speed up the checkout process.Unfortunately, this convenient option is popular among genuine customers and fraudsters alike… Read the full article.RESEARCH: Retail Theft and Loss Prevention AnalyticsBy David Speights, Ph.D., Daniel Downs, Ph.D., and Adi Raz, DBAAccording to the 2016 National Retail Security Survey, US businesses lost around $45.2 billion in 2015 to retail theft, more than 1.38 percent of overall sales, making retail theft one of the leading issues facing retailers today.According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (2006), more than 9 percent of consumers are shoplifters. They are apprehended, on average, only once in every 48 times they shoplift. There are many types of retail theft, which can be measured by calculating the loss from employee theft, shoplifting or organized retail crime, administrative errors, vendor fraud, and return fraud.Who shoplifts? There is no typical profile of a shoplifter. Based on our experience of interviewing offenders, shoplifters can be male or female, of any race, as young as five or well into their seventies… Read the full article.How to Catch Someone Stealing without the Use of Excessive ForceBetter scenario training can help loss prevention officers understand how to catch someone stealing without creating risk to all parties.By Garett SeivoldUse of force by LP agents is a persistent concern for loss prevention executives. With it, comes the potential for excessive force, a lawsuit, and safety risks to all parties—LP agents, store associates, perpetrators, and bystanders.In The Handbook of Security, Read Hayes, Ph.D., CPP, director of the Loss Prevention Research Council, describes the stakes. “Because of their role in deterring and apprehending dishonest customers, store detectives can either add value to an organization or create serious liability, making detective selection, training, and management very important.”… Read the full article.Why Do People Steal? Examining the Robin Hood ComplexWhy do people steal, and what does the Robin Hood complex have to do with it?By Mike Giblin, LPRCInterviewing active shoplifters is the most interesting part of my job. For an hour, I speak as seldom as I can. I listen, and I observe. What they have to say is fascinating. Their actions and mannerisms weave together with their words like a code waiting to be cracked. Why do people steal?The interview starts with me doing most of the talking. I attempt to make them comfortable and fill them in on on what I’d like to know, were I in their position. I speak and I watch carefully as they try to decide whether I’m an authority figure or a guy who just wants to shoot the breeze and hear about their craft. Jokes help. Compliments help even more. I make it clear that this isn’t a confessional. They don’t need to apologize to me, or fear me, or even try to impress me… Read the full article. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
IT spending on outsourcing is being pinched and Gartner has lowered their forecast for growth in IT outsourcing to just 2.88 percent for 2013, bringing the total spend on outsourcing in 2013 to $288 billion.Bryan Britz, Gartner Research Vice President, said that “we continue to see overall market growth being constrained by near-term market factors, such as evolving ITO delivery models, economic, political and labor conditions, and service provider financial performance. Mature Asia/Pacific and Western Europe are the regions where the outlook is most tempered, partly due to currency but also reflective of our view that 2013 is likely to be similar to 2012 in these regions.”The main outsourcing areas that are seeing growth are cloud and data centers, driven primarily by small and mid-sized businesses adopting IaaS infrastructures. Emerging markets are where the largest growth is being seen: Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Greater China, where growth rates as high as 13 percent are being forecast in 2013 and 2014.A separate report by the Information Services Group found that hundreds of global outsourcing contracts are expected to expire in 2013 — contracts worth about $21.2 billion — and about 75 percent of that was IT outsourcing.
HP Pavilion Notebook Rs 58,000The notebook’s imprint finish of high gloss resin sports a unique wave pattern and keeps the black cover scratch free.It comes loaded with a 1.3 megapixel webcam over 14.1-inch hi-definition display. You can play CDs without booting up the computer.Direct access to the DVD drive is,HP Pavilion Notebook Rs 58,000The notebook’s imprint finish of high gloss resin sports a unique wave pattern and keeps the black cover scratch free.It comes loaded with a 1.3 megapixel webcam over 14.1-inch hi-definition display. You can play CDs without booting up the computer.Direct access to the DVD drive is through the ‘Quickplay’ buttons. Graze over the buttons even in the dark, shuffle through songs like an MP3 player and control the volume without going into the media player.