Bethesda Softworks, best known for roleplaying games such as Fallout and the Elder Scrolls franchise, decided to try something a little different this E3. The Bethesda Showcase, the first conference lead by the publisher/developer, started off E3 2015 right with a look at some of their biggest properties including the much-anticipated Fallout4.
The show began with a quick look at the folks behind the scenes at Bethesda, thanking the fans for all their support but also reminding the wider audience that this is a company that really “loves what they do”. Let’s get to the meat of the show shall we?
Doom was a landmark title for not only PC gaming but the medium overall. The id Software original helped to establish the first person shooter as one of the most popular genres ever along with bringing a new level of speed and brutality to gamers everywhere. One of the major points emphasized in the reveal of this latest iteration of the Doom franchise revolves around the speed of the original being brought back. The game certainly lives up to the ultra-violence standards of the original with numerous ways to gun down demons along with brutal up-close finishers that range from chainsaw mutilation to ripping off limbs.
The gameplay shown looked rather smooth, featuring some sleek graphics and what appears to a definitive modernization of the classic gameplay one expects from classic Doom. Whether the game is as fast as its predecessors? That remains to be seen. It felt very similar to the treatment that Wolfenstein received with the New Order last year. A modern take on a classic that retained much of what made the original so damn good.
Doom‘s single player took precedence but they didn’t forget multiplayer and the long-lived community that has stuck with the game for decades now. Bethesda has decided to make its map editing tools, known as Doom SnapMap, available to players across all platforms (the game will make its way to PS4, Xbox One and PC). The footage showcased snapping map triggers, architecture, enemy placement and scripting with ease. It appeared to be very controller friendly with both Xbox and PS4 controller prompts featured heavily during the highlight reel.
Doom will send players to Hell and back in Spring of 2016.
Bethesda.net, a unified portal that spans all their franchises and brings together fans for discussion, uploading user-made content and the like, will also be launching soon. This brief snippet was followed by new footage of Battlecry. The game, a team-based battler that features up to 32 players, reimagines the turn of the 20th century entirely. The world is on the brink, and three factions are vying for dominance. This is an era in which soldiers no longer line up on battlefields as cannon fodder. Pre-determined areas known as WarZones are filled with groups of elite soldiers risking life and limb for the sake of their Nation. It is here that players will work together to not only bring their Nation glory but also brutally rip their opposition asunder. The game has a definite Industrial Age vibe to it that has a striking aesthetic. The Global Beta signups are available here.
Harvey Smith and Raphael Calantino from Arkane Studios took to the stage next to unveil Dishonored 2. It appears players aren’t done with Dunwall as of yet. The industrial city, full of danger and intrigue, will be traversed, explored and ultimately changed by two different protagonists this time. One of them, Corvo Attano, returns from the first outing while the other is a face we’ve seen before but never got a chance to play as, Emily Kaldwin.
The same mixture of dual-wielding combat, stealth, and player choice driving and affecting the narrative will make their return in this sequel. Nothing much to see here other than cinematic footage though it does look less stylized than the first game did with less of the pastel effect. No release date given as of yet though one other announcement came in the form of Dishonored: Definitive Edition. This will be a remastered version of the original for PS4 and Xbox One that includes the original plus all downloadable content. Good for those who missed the game the first time around which, judging by consensus, was quite a few. It is a pleasure to see Dishonored coming back as the first game was a delight to play with strong storytelling, great stealth action and yet another interesting and intricate world to explore.
Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
The console release of Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited just dropped as of last week and Zenimax Online, the studio behind the game, is hard at work on continued development of the game. They showcased, however, a few new additions including the Imperial City (Fallen City of Tamriel) and, well, loads of demons. This dovetailed into the announcement of a free-to-play strategy card game for iOS/Android and PC known as Elder Scrolls Legends. Not quite a tease for, say, the next single player Elder Scrolls game but there you go.
Studio director Todd Howard came out on stage for the big reveal of the night. The cinematic trailer was unveiled prior to this week and the hype train has been chugging down the tracks towards the Wastelands once again. Players will return to the post-apocalypse world once again though with some interesting new additions.
The speculation regarding player customization was put to bed right away with a video segment showcasing just how the protagonist could be altered, male or female. While peering into the bathroom mirror facial symmetry, eyes, hair, skin tone and the like can all be adjusted. The child of the protagonist and his/her significant other is generated according to the composition of the player characters. A Vault-Tec salesman at the door leads to initial stat allocation. We get a glimpse of the world before the bombs drop, and it is the same sort of 50’s style future art-deco that we’ve only seen hinted at before. Once the Vault is sealed, though, players will awaken 200 years later to find that Boston and its surrounding area are changed forever.
Howard also showcased some of the dog companion mechanics with players being able to issue basic commands and have the dog fight alongside you in combat. The VATS system is back though with some tweaks made to it. A robust crafting system also appears to be present with the ability to alter numerous sets of weapons a dizzying number of ways. This also includes base-building with defenses, the ability to scrap for materials and much more that is present but completely optional.
The Collector’s Edition of the game will feature a physical version of the famous Pip-Boy that allows users to actually mount their smartphones inside it. This will allow for a second-screen experience that syncs up with gameplay and allow for menu navigation via their Pip Boy screen. Pretty cool! It appears to retail for $119.99 if the BestBuy listing is to be believed. No confirmation as of yet on pricing. The game will launch for PC, Xbox One and PS4 on November 10, 2015.
Fallout Shelter puts players in the role of a Vault Manager! This means that one will need to oversee the well-being of any Vault dwellers but also worry about raiders from Wastelands bandits and mutants, building proper shelter and facilities, maintenance of them and more. Todd Howard cited XCOM, FTL, and The Sims as major inspiration for it along with a much more obscure game known as Progress Quest. It was a nice little addition to the festivities as those with iOS devices can download the game as of now.
Those interested in watching the entire conference, in full, can find it here:
Overall Bethesda started off E3 right with some big announcements, plenty of footage on deck and a whole heaping helping of Fallout 4. APGNation will continue to bring coverage of various publisher press conferences throughout the week. Stay tuned, folks!