This year has been a good one for Bethesda fans, especially with the news that the publisher would be presenting its first ever E3 Showcase. With Fallout 4 already announced, what else did Bethesda show? Could they top their Fallout 4 news? Is something new coming? Well, in the words of Bethesda’s Peter Hines: “I don’t think you guys are fully prepared for what’s about to happen.”
Hit the jump for our recap.
After that great line, Hines started the Showcase, promising blood and guts and a lot of fun. Those three items were delivered shortly, as the conference went straight to the upcoming Doom.
Marty Stratton, executive producer of Id Software, took to the stage to hype up Doom‘s badass demons, big effin’ guns, and moving really fast. He wasted no further time and jumped straight into a video of the game running in the gorgeous Id Tech 6(66) engine. New gameplay mechanics to the series were quickly shown off, including double-jumps, scalable objects, and visceral kill-moves. Ever wanted to kill a demon with its own foot? Now you can! It’s far more action-centric than Doom 3, although there were some creepy and tense moments.
After the video ended, Stratton went on to explain the multiplayer aspect of Doom, praising it for fast-paced, arena-based action with power-ups. Stratton also announced: “Doom Snapmap”, a way to quickly create maps and game types, then share those creations. Neat…
All in all, there seems to be a great mix of old-school FPS gameplay with modern technology. Naturally, the crowd went nuts throughout the presentation, especially when they picked up the Super Chainsaw. You’ll have to wait a little for Doom, as it’s confirmed for release in spring (our autumn) 2016, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Coming off the fanfare was the announcement of Bethesda.net. This’ll act as a unified platform connecting Bethesda’s games, including user-created content and forums. Whether or not there will be some kind of store hasn’t been confirmed, and there wasn’t much shared about this.
Battlecry then took to the screens to announce global beta sign-ups, in case you wanted in on the game. Head to battlecrythegame.com for more.
Then Arkane Studios took to the stage and dived straight into a glorious CGI trailer for Dishonored 2. There isn’t much to go on yet, but Arkane confirmed that players can choose to play as either Corvo Attano, or Emily Kaldwin, the grown-up daughter of the Empress from Dishonored. There were a few new weapons and mines shown off, as well as Emily’s supernatural powers that allow her to zip from rooftop to rooftop, or become some kind of smoke-monster. The release window is a vague Q1-Q2 2016, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
The guys from Arkane then confirmed the rumoured Dishonored: Definitive Edition for current-gen and PC. The Definitive Edition bundles all the DLC for the game, will launch sometime later this year, and should be enough to tide you over until Dishonored 2.
Next up was a short trailer for upcoming features and additions for The Elder Scrolls Online, which just recently launched for consoles. Upcoming zones include The Imperial City, and Orsinium (Realm of the Orcs). There was also a teaser for the Dark Brotherhood faction of assassins, which will hopefully add some troll-worthy PvP shenanigans to the mix. Also announced was Elder Scrolls Legends, a strategy card game for PC and iOS. That’s all we have so far, but more information will hopefully be released soon.
Yeah, Fallout 4 gets its own sub-heading. Todd Howard, game director for Fallout, took to the stage to talk about Fallout 4. In line with recent online speculation, the game does indeed start before the bombs fall. What’s clearly the intro of the game starts off peacefully, with character creation taking place in the bathroom mirror, and your SPECIAL Stats chosen during an interview with a Vault-Tec representative. You’re given two characters to create, and a unique child is generated based on your appearances. Players will be able to name their characters, choosing from a choice of over a thousand names. Playable female characters were also confirmed, and the innovative character creator seems far more advanced than anything we’ve seen in Skyrim and previous Fallout games.
The trailer confirms that your pre-war character will wake up 200 years later as the sole survivor of Vault 111. Two new features include your fully-voiced (and quite chatty) protagonist, as well as a completely reworked dialogue system. The game is running on a modified Creation Engine, but it’s far and away from the engine that powered Skyrim. The level of detail hinted at in the reveal trailer is fleshed out more, and the world of Fallout 4 looks gorgeous. The gunplay looks vastly improved, and the VATS system now slows down time instead of stopping it.
There’s a new Pip-Boy here too, which displays animated images of your inventory. There’ll also be collectable mini-games to be found in the game, so you can play a Fallout-themed Donkey Kong. Todd Howard then confirmed a fully function physical version which will be bundled with the collectors edition. ALSO, the Pip-Boy will be compatible with a new second-screen companion app that lets you manage your inventory. Howard called it a stupid gimmick, but went on to specify: “This is the best f**king one”.
The Fallout 4 news just kept coming, and a massively-detailed world-building system was announced. You don’t just decorate; in Fallout 4 you custom-build entire settlements that are populated over time. Your construction options include houses, walls, ceilings, decorations, power generators, sentry-turrets, guard towers, farms, and even pixel-art billboards. You can also craft multiple settlements, allowing for brahmin caravans between them.
The item crafting system goes deep as well, with over 700 weapon modifications available. Weapons can be modified EXTENSIVELY, with mods crafted from components harvested from in-game items. You also get a personal suit of power Armour, and that’s fully modifiable too. Your Power Armour looks to be a huge part of the game, and wearing it changes your HUD and gives you a jet-pack. There are doubtlessly other customisations available besides the jet-pack, but who honestly says no to jet-packs?
And all of this is playable on November 10th, 2015. Better start saving for that Pip-Boy edition.
A new smartphone game was also announced called Fallout Shelter, currently exclusive to iOS. Shelter looks a bit like a combination of The Sims and XCOM. Players take the role of a Vault Overseer, managing every aspect of their Vault. You’ll build rooms, customise Vault-Dwellers’ outfits, manage their stats, and send them on missions. By the time you read this, the game will have hit the Apple store. Once downloaded, it won’t need an internet connection to play, and Howard promised there would be no paywalls.
Bethesda brought big guns to the stage, and their first E3 Showcase is undoubtedly worth waking up at 3am to watch. Stick with NAG Online throughout E3, because there are still many Showcases and announcements to come.
Oh, and here’s the Showcase in its entirety in case you don’t feel like reading this article. Come to think of it, I should have probably posted this first…