Reactions to Bethesda's E3 Conference: The good and the bad
First of all, wow. Not bad for your first E3 con, Bethesda!
Second of all, I personally have been feeling a bit in the doldrums when it comes to games. There was little I was really excited for, nothing I was really waiting to come out. Well, Bethesda changed all that.
I've never played a Doom game in my life. But when I saw Doom guy yanking the Chainsaw out of a partially eviscerated demon corpse like a deisel-powered Excalibur, even I was feeling the nostaligia. Like the brilliantly reimagined
Like the brilliantly reimagined Wolfenstein: New Order, idSoftware appears to have done it again: given us an lightning fast, flexible, and orgasmically violent FPS masterpiece that mixes old and new in perfect harmony. It gave me something I never knew I wanted, but now I definitely do. I want it. I want it, I want it, I want it.
Sadly, they didn't put nearly as much heart into the presentation with this one. The team couldn't be there, saying they had to be at the studio to support the launch. A good reason I suppose, but this didn't leave nearly as big an impression on me as the Doom trailer did.
I had never heard of this game before I saw it at the conference, and what I saw just looked like a faster-paced Chivalry or War of the Roses. Didn't look that exciting to me, but I'm the kind of guy who would rather gush over stupid violence rather than tactical team-based stuff like this. Not as much a fan.
Holy crap, you can play as Lady Emily now!
Like the first Dishonored game, Bethesda released a theatrical trailer before anything else, so we got no actual gameplay footage.
But you can play as Emily, all grown up and poofing around like Corvo did! Who, by the way, you can also play as. And both of them have totally different move sets and abilities!
The story looks very similar. There's a plague; the kingdom is ruled by a bunch of crooks who slandered you, now go and kill them or get rid of them bloodlessly. Kind of disappointed in the similar storyline, but I guess you've got to call it Dishonored again for a reason.
Good start. All they have to do is make it as good as the first one, really. They have some big shoes to fill there.
Elder Scrolls: Tamriel Unlimited/Legends
For this one Bethesda decided to announce two games under the same banner: Elder Scrolls: Tamriel Unlimited and the new strategy card game Elder Scrolls: Legends.
Neither of these excited me. Sorry, I wasn't planning on getting an Elder Scrolls MMO, and they showed absolutely nothing of substance with Legends, besides describing it as a cash-in on the sucess of Hearthstone. Yawn.
Oh my God! What did they not announce about this game that was not amazing!?
They introduced so many things that I could have written an article based entirely on their presentation of this game. But I'll run down a few as quickly as I can:
- You can sculpt your character directly! You don't have to spend an eternity jiggling sliders around anymore, you can pinch and pull the face like the Super Mario 64 3D Mario head until you have what you want. THANK YOU.
- They expanded the crafting of weapons out the WAZOO. You don't have a short list of weird weapons anymore, you can make whatever crazy custom weapons you want now. Imagine the weapon-crafting system of Loadout, but you make the weapons out of whatever wasteland crap you can find. You can make a scatter laser rifle, or a scoped pipe pistol, or a basball bat with circular saw-blades on it. I know the first thing I'm going to try to make is a Mad Max-style sawn-off.
- You can make your own settlements. Out of everything you can find. In the footage they showed, you can dismantle an entire empty house and rebuild your own, Hearthfire-style. You set up defenses, lights, defense posts, Brahmin caravans, the works. What's even cooler is, it's all entirely optional.
- They animated the Pip-boy menus. Cute!
- VATS is back, baby!
- CUSTOMIZABLE. EXO-SUITS. YES.
- The most amazing of all: in the Collector's edition, you get a Pip-boy peripheral. You can snap your phone into it, load up the Pip-boy app, and actually use it as an actual Pip-boy on your actual gosh-darned wrist as you play. WHAT.
Make no mistake, these guys are out to make the greatest open-world adventure of all time. It looks like they've got what it takes. Fallout 3 is one of the greatest WRPGs, if not greatest games of all time. I have loved it for years for all the great decisions and design elements that went into it. So I say with complete honesty: Fallout 4 is making that game look like a chump. Coming out in November, it's going to be a long wait.