What You Missed: Bethesda E3 Conference
Bethesda’s E3 press conference was highly anticipated by everyone and their mother in the games industry. Fallout 4 was almost going to be a given after the trailer last week, and the DOOM remake had already been confirmed, but what else were we going to see? Some were hoping for Dishonored 2, others RAGE 2, a lot of people wanted The Elder Scrolls VI. Here’s what we actually got, in chronological order:
Bethesda’s first ever E3 conference kicked off with Pete Hines, the vice president of Bethesda Softworks, introducing the DOOM remake they and id Software have been working on for some time.
They introduced us to the new DOOM universe with a gameplay trailer and boy does it look impressive. Even games like Mortal Kombat X will be put to shame by the amount of gore and violence shown, some of the executions and finishers were intense. Splitting bodies in half with chainsaws, ripping arms off and punching heads clean off will be a regular occurrence. Combine this with how the game looked graphically and we’re in for a treat, provided there are no graphical downgrades prior to release of course.
They also showed off a variety of weapons including the Super Shotgun, Plasma Rifle, and Heavy Assault Rifle. They look pretty impressive and pack a powerful punch… except for the Plasma Rifle. It looked weak and unimpressive compared to the other weapons on the show, although it goes without saying the game is still in development. Nevertheless, DOOM appears to be a lot of shoot-em-up monster action!
They also introduced on a new feature for DOOM, called Snapmap. It appears to be DOOM’s version of the popular Forge mode from the Halo franchise, allowing you to edit and create your own maps and arenas, while also controlling how the game responds to individual actions. An example they showed in the footage was placing down a piece of armor, then as soon as your player character picks the armor up, it spawns an enemy in front of you. There seem to be a lot of different possibilities that could lead to some unusual creations, especially since they announced content created on SnapMap will be compatible with all versions of the game.
Multiplayer was also announced and shown off; it gives off a lot of Quake vibes. Fast paced, high octane action, there’s not a lot else to say! It’s what everyone expected for DOOM multiplayer, and they didn’t disappoint. They confirmed the game will be releasing on PC, PS4, and Xbox One next Spring.
Before launching into the next game, they announced Bethesda.net, a new centralized hub for all of Bethesda’s games. Not a lot was said on the functions of the site, but the Bethesda blog states “will be the home of featured content you’ve come to expect here on Bethesda Blog, revamped community forums, and powerful tools for sharing game stats and content.”
A gameplay trailer for BattleCry by aptly named BattleCry Studios was shown, announcing the beta is now open for public signups. BattleCry plays as a third person tactical team-based online game, with a striking similarity to Bethesda’s failed 2011 title, Brink. Three factions have been announced so far: The Imperial Marines, The Cossack
Three factions have been announced so far: The Imperial Marines, The Cossack Empire, and The Han Feudal. If you sign up before June 18th you receive exclusive in-game content, while the beta itself will go live in the fall. You can register here: BattleCryTheGame.
The game everyone was hoping for but hadn’t been confirmed made its appearance next: Dishonored 2. It started off with Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio of Arkane Studios talking about the original and how grateful they are it did so well before launching into the official Dishonored 2 trailer.
It’s confirmed to take place 15 years after the conclusion of Dishonored 1, with the ‘good’ ending being canon. Each mission will give you the option to play as either Corvo, the protagonist from the first game or Emily Caldwin, your daughter and the girl you have to save in the original. She also has various powers and abilities, but they’ll all differ from Corvo’s, allowing plenty of options and routes through a mission.
No release date confirmed. However, they’re aiming for Spring 2016. They also announced the Dishonored: Definitive Edition, a re-release of the original with all DLC included for the latest consoles. You can grab that on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 this Fall.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
Nothing much here, just a new trailer as the game has just launches on consoles, and two new areas are available: the Imperial City and Orsinium, Land of the Orcs.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
Following in the footsteps and aiming to emulate the success of Hearthstone, Bethesda also announced there will be a collectible card game with an Elder Scrolls theme called Legends.
It’ll be free to play on iOS, Android, and PC.
This is the big one really, isn’t it? And boy oh boy, Bethesda did not disappoint. Here’s a rundown of all the features and interesting things they mentioned:
They started off by mentioning it’s been in development since 2009. That’s a long time, since before New Vegas came out and only a few months after 3. Let’s hope it’s been worth the wait!
Fallout 4 starts before the bombs fall, on a beautiful sunny morning where you get to design your character and pick his stats from the comfort of your own home. You rush to the vault, somehow manage to survive the bombs, and then emerge as the sole survivor of Vault 111.
Character creation has taken a new turn with the ability to drag various parts of your face to the exact proportions you want them. Playing as a female is also confirmed, as is being able to change your ethnicity.
They’ve announced it’s running on a new-gen version of the engine and dialogue is now dynamic. Not feeling the conversation anymore? Simply turn around and walk away. Or blow their head off, if that’s more your style. On top of this, the protagonist is no longer a mute! Devs also claimed to have recorded over 1000 different popular names for people to use when referring to you by your chosen name.
The German Shepherd shown in the trailer is confirmed to be your companion. You’re able to command him to pick things up and bring them to you, stay where he is, go somewhere or attack an enemy. It also showed his name as Dogmeat. However, the dog's name is likely customizable.
VATS is back, with it only slowing down time now rather than stopping it completely. The armor system is now layered for more protection while you’re also now able to sprint, although it does drain your Action Points. Power armor also now appears to be limited in use, with the player seen to climb in the back of it and place down what appears to be fuel of some kind. It’ll likely be rendered immobile once you run out of fuel.
Your Pip-Boy is able to play different tapes, audio logs you find scattered across Boston and the surrounding wasteland, along with game tapes that enable you to play simple, old school 2D games on your Pip-Boy.
You can now build up your own settlement and defend it! It looks similar to The Sims building mechanics, you can craft and place furniture, build up a house, entice NPCs to come and make your settlement their home. You’re able to fortify it with turrets and barricades, which will end up being necessary as raiders are able to lay siege upon your home. If you have more than one settlement, you can also run Brahmin Traders between them.
All that useless junk in the previous games, toy cars, glue etc. It all has a purpose now! You can break items down into individual components to craft useful things such as furniture and weapons.
Various types of enemies were shown, ranging from Deathclaws living in the sewers to a huge Mirelurk Queen trying to rip your guts out. Super Mutants are also confirmed to be back, along with the Brotherhood of Steel.
There’s two smartphone apps! The first one is a Fallout 4 companion app for iOS and Android that will release at the same time as the game. It basically enables you to use your phone as a Pip-Boy, which is useful for the collector’s edition, which comes with a real life Pip-Boy holder to go on your arm for you to then place your phone in!
The other app is called Fallout Shelter and is available now on iOS only with Android coming at an unconfirmed later date. You are the Overseer of a vault, with the goal to grow and expand your vault to become the King of Overseers! It’s pretty much a Fallout themed management game as you get your vault dwellers to exercise, go out hunting, cook food and make love. Nothing revolutionary however the initial response seems to be okay! It’s free to play with some microtransactions.
Fallout 4 will be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 10th, 2015.
There we have it, the end to Bethesda’s very first E3 conference. They definitely didn’t let us down, with Fallout 4 exceeding all my expectations along with DOOM and Dishonored 2 being the icing on the cake. Just five months to go until Fallout 4!