“Atom Bomb” by The Five Stars
“We make the games that we want to play,” announced one of Bethesda’s developers in the video that began one of the best showcases E3 has ever experienced.
They make the games I want to play, too.
Despite numerous rumors and leaks, Bethesda’s first ever E3 showcase was the most exhilarating 2 hours I’ve experienced in a long time. Even going into the press conference knowing what would be announced, my heart was racing and my adrenaline was pumping. Bethesda really blew me away.
Here’s my breakdown of the event!
“This is Doom.”
The Showcase kicked off with a gameplay demonstration of Doom, run on the IDTech6 game engine (lovingly referred to the IDTech666 by its developers). Doom will take place primarily in a UAC research facility on Mars, and the player will be tasked with some good old fashioned demon slaying.
I haven’t personally played any of the games in the Doom franchise, and I’m sure if I had this would have been a lot more interesting to me. But as an outsider to the franchise, it felt like a generic action-heavy sci-fi horror game that gave me a lot of Dead Space vibes from its appearance and the gratuitous amount of aesthetic, borderline unnecessary gore. While it looked visually very nice, the game itself didn’t seem particularly groundbreaking.
Bethesda then went on to announce that Doom would feature multiplayer described as “fast-paced, arena-style combat in locations from UAC facilities on Mars to the depths of Hell” with “awesome guns, skill, and unique power-ups.”
Doom is set to release in Spring of 2016.
The coolest thing about Bethesda’s presentation of Doom, in my opinion, was the Doom Snapmap, a way for Doom players to create their own
experiences. Created with the intention that the player will “never run out of fun or imaginative gameplay,” the Doom Snapmap will be an easy-to-use tool that anyone can pick up, regardless of their past experience modding games. The player can easily customize & create maps and gameplay, even going as far as to create and edit game logic to make new gameplay modes. Another really cool thing about this feature is that it’s cross-platform: players using an Xbox One can play maps created by users on PC or PS4, and vice versa.
Despite the new, interesting Snapmap feature, I can’t help but feel that Bethesda put the most boring game first so that I’d be forced to sit through it waiting for the real meat of their press conference. I mentally banged my fists on my desk demanding Fallout 4 and Dishonored as I watched more Doom gameplay footage followed up by a trailer for a Team-Fortress-esque meelee shooter called Battlecry.
And then a familiar theme song began to play, and those familiar chills ran up my arms as the next game was unveiled.
“It will be fun watching this unfold.”
Despite a small leak the other day spoiling this sweet surprise, the announcement of Dishonored 2 had me absolutely giddy. I really adore Dishonored for being one of the few games I can play over and over again. Its gameplay is downright fun and its world building (and art style) is exquisite. The chance to explore more of that world, even without any badass new features (of which there will be plenty), is one I’ve been dying for.
Anyone who’s ever discussed Dishonored with me has probably had their ear talked off about how badly I want a grown-up empress Emily Kaldwin to be the protagonist if Dishonored were to get a (much deserved) sequel. WELL, there is now a sequel! And…
My notes on the press conference at this part are me screaming “IS THAT….!! IS THAT!!!” and then, “IT’S EMILY KALDWIN!!! IT’S EMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!” in all caps, with not enough exclamation points to express the actual enthusiasm of my thoughts.
I’m still not over this. I am not sure I will ever be over this. I am so excited about this amazing turn of events and ecstatic that my (and many others’) prediction turned out to be true, despite my doubts. I’m not sure anything else at E3 is going to come anywhere close to how absolutely overjoyed I am about this.
Here’s all the information we know so far about Dishonored 2:
- The player will choose to play as either Corvo or Emily. Once they choose, they’ll play as that character for the entire game. Say hellooo to an even more replayability than the original!
- The game is set 15 years after the original Dishonored.
- It takes place in the Southernmost state of the Empire of the Isles, Serkonos – specifically the city of Karnaca, Corvo’s home, which features a “big silver mine.”
- Emily will use Corvo’s sword, will have her own unique crossbow, and will have a “different, non-overlapping“ set of powers from Corvo, including a blink-like power called “far reach.”
- There will not be co-op in this game, as Arkane wanted to focus on the single-player experience.
- Arkane studios believed their story would be more interesting told from both genders’ points of view, but “their energy is behind Emily.” This put a wide smile on my face.
- The developers wanted to give the player two distinct “flavors” of gameplay. The same campaign will be told with two characters whose ages and perspectives on the world are vastly different.
- Emily and Corvo will move differently (they’ll have different animations), act differently, assassinate differently, and think differently.
- Dishonored 2 is set to release in Spring 2016 on PC, Xbone, and PS4.
- I cannot wait.
In the meantime, Dishonored Definitive Edition (a next-gen port of Dishonored) is set to release sometime soon. It will include all the DLC (Dunwall City Trials, Knife of Dunwall, Brigmore Witches) and will be released for Xbone and PS4.
I just want to say: It’s so fantastic to see that while we’ll have the choice to play as either Corvo or Emily, Arkane & Bethesda chose to use Emily in the trailer.
Most publishers who create games with this sort of gender choice usually don’t choose to do this (coughs at Fallout 4), instead featuring the male player character as the “default,” and I feel that this trailer alone is a step in the right direction for the game industry. It warms my heart a little bit as I watch the trailer again for the… 6th time?
I’ve actually lost track at this point. It was a great trailer.
After this announcement, anything short of amazing fell pretty flat to me. I don’t think I would have been too impressed by an Elder Scrolls card game a-la Blizzard’s Hearthstone in the first place, but after being all riled up by Dishonored 2 I was just eager for the next big announcement. The other one we’d all been waiting for.
“Let’s go, boy.”
Todd Howard walked onto the stage. The excitement was palpable.
“Games can do things that nothing else in entertainment can,” he said. “They can transport you to new worlds. They can give you the true wonder of discovery, and often the pride of accomplishing something yourself in a game… it’s a wonderful moment.
And in the world of entertainment, there are very few things… as good………… as Fallout. ”
Once again, my notes on the press conference at this point are mostly me just exclaiming “FALLOUT 4!!!! FALLOUT 4!!!!” in all caps, over and over. The crowd at E3 was definitely feeling this, too. I agreed with every word of what Todd Howard said. That is exactly why I am so in love with games, why I believe they’re the ultimate medium for telling compelling stories. And Fallout is pretty awesome. I was so pumped that I didn’t even realize how long the Fallout 4 demonstration was (a whopping half hour of game footage).
They showed us concept art and character creation, thankfully debunking a rumor that Fallout 4 would only feature male player characters, and demonstrating a pretty neat new character creator that’s a vast improvement from the previous one.
And, of course, there’s the dog.
“You can play it in first person, you can play it in third person, you can walk away [from dialogue] whenever you want, you can shoot ’em in the face if you want.” According to Todd Howard, Fallout 4 is all about letting the player have customizability and the flexibility to play however they want. There was so much new information in this part of the press conference, but here are the highlights:
- The game begins before the game’s eponymous Fallout.
- The game is confirmed to take place in Boston, MA.
- Both female and male characters are fully voiced.
- The voice actors for both male and female player characters have been recording their dialogue for 2 years, and each recorded over 13,000 lines of dialogue for the game.
- It is unclear at this point whether your player character can be married to someone of the same sex at the beginning of the game (though, knowing Fallout, I have to say I highly doubt they won’t give the player that freedom).
- The game will create a baby based on your characters’ appearances.
- Your player character will be lowered into the vault, and will emerge the sole survivor 200 years later. It is unknown at this time how you managed to survive for 200 years.
- You get a dog. He is beautiful. You can issue commands to him seamlessly in the game. He can fetch. He is amazing.
- VATS makes a return, this time slowing things down rather than pausing the game.
- The game will feature a layered armor system, in which you can choose which pieces of armor go where on your character’s body.
- There is an intense new crafting system with 50 base weapons and over 700 different weapon mods.
- You can perform critical hit headshots with teddy bears.
- You can create & modify your own power armor.
- You can scrap and rebuild elements of the environment however you want.
- You can build your own house.
- You can build your beautiful, sweet dog a house.
- You can build a settlement, which will attract enemies, traders, and other NPCs. You can also build turrets, etc. to ward off enemies.
- This massive building feature of the game is entirely optional, and not an essential part of this “very large” game.
- The player character receives a new Pip-Boy.
- In-game, your Pip-Boy has minigames that you can play!
- There is an identical Pip-Boy that will be released with the Pip-Boy (Collector’s) Edition of Fallout 4, and it retails for $119.99. You can put your phone in it and use it like a real Pip-Boy with an app that interacts with the game. It’s awesome and I want one. You can pre-order it here.
- Fallout 4 will be released on November 10th, 2015!
In addition to Fallout 4, Bethesda also announced Fallout Shelter, a game that Todd Howard claimed was perfect specifically for touchscreen devices like tablets & phones, and no other platform. Fallout Shelter “puts you in control of a state-of-the-art underground Vault from Vault-Tec. Build the perfect Vault, keep your Dwellers happy, and protect them from the dangers of the Wasteland.”
As a surprise, it was released on iOS immediately after Bethesda’s press conference (and is set to be released on Android sometime soon).
And with that, Bethesda concluded their Christmas-morning-in-the-evening-in-June. They really set the bar high this year and I’m excited to see if anyone else will be able to meet it.
Thoughts? Agree/disagree with me? Just generally as excited as I am? Comment below!