Electronics Entertainment Expo E3 2015: Bethesda
By Sean Molloy
The Electronics Entertainment Expo was kicked off last night at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles,. Bethesda Studios opened the weeklong show with the company’s first press conference. Under the leadership of Pete Hines, Bethesda showed off with what is going to be argued as the conference of the show and in all likelihood presented gamers’ first look at what is to be the game of 2015.
Opening the conference was the newly imagined, fourth iteration of Bethesda and iD software’s perennial, demonic shooter, Doom. Marty Stratton was on hand to show off just what the team at iD has been working on ever since the behind closed doors demo at Quakecon last year. The new Doom is going to be running on the new iD6 engine and, “is going to be inspired by the original Doom games, making a game that is made up of 3 things…bad ass demons, big effing guns and moving really fast.” The single player demo consisted of the now nameless, space marine moving through a factory that is full of those previously mentioned spawns of Satan. During the short demo, several weapons were confirmed such as favorite like the double barrel shotgun, the plasma rifle from Doom 3 and at the very end of the demo, the audience favorite, BFG made its triumphant return. Of all my years in covering E3, this could have been the bloodiest demo I have ever seen and you know what? That’s what made it so damn fun to watch. iD is making a game that knows exactly what it is; big, dumb, violent and full of over the top machismo. Did I mention that you can literally pull apart demons after cutting them in half with a chainsaw? Because yeah, you can totally do that. Doom comes out Spring 2016 for the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Arkane Studios was the next developer under Bethesda to show off what they have been hard at work on, a sequel to its 2012 predecessor, Dishonored 2. The game takes place 15 years after the events of the original, as Karnaca, another city in the Empire is now under the rule of a unnamed usurper. The players have the choice of playing as Corvo Attano, the masked hero from the original or the new female lead, Emily Kaldwin. This new character is also possessed by the powers of the Outsider and must track down her enemies to bring justice to the Empire itself. It’s interesting that with Dishonored 2, the player can switch between characters on the fly, and play the game in the usual “choose your own actions” kind of way. This opens up multiple possibilities of gameplay over the two characters, potentially giving over 4 completely different outcomes to the story campaign. Alongside the announcement of Dishonored 2, Arkane also announced the Dishonored Definitive Edition for the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. This new remaster will be a graphical leap up for the original game and will come bundled with all DLC when it hits this fall. No release window was given for Dishonored 2 however. Expect the game in 2016 at the earliest.
Even with these massive game announcements, the entire audience in house and those watching online were here one thing and one thing only, Fallout 4. Todd Howard has been responsible for some of the biggest gaming events in recent history. He was in charge of both The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as well as the previous entry in the Fallout series and what he brought to us on the eve on E3, could very well be the game to end all other videogames, Fallout 4. In a bold and concise statement, Howard explained the series itself as, “in the world of entertainment, there are few things as good as Fallout.” Unlike other games in the series the player gets to finally witness the nuclear detonation that plunged the world into this post-apocalyptic society. When the player first takes control and for the first time, he or she can choose to be just that, male or female. Fallout 4 does not feature typical sliders that go along with customizing your characters physical attributes. Rather, the active sculpting mechanic allows for a deeper kind of creation tool. Also, for the first time in the series, the character you send down into the shelter is going to be voiced, not a nameless survivor. Like all games in the series, Fallout 4 this is going to have a real emphasis on the freedom to do anything and everything you want. Easier seen than explained but needless to say everything from playing mini games on your personal arm computer the “pip boy,” to giving your canine companion, dogmeat, contextual commands to do exact as you ask him to. You can also switch between first and third person perspective on the fly like in Skyrim. The VATS combat system is also making its return to the series with an added focus on the precise placement of your shots into enemies. Another first for the Fallout series is going to be dynamic weather affects, long gone are the days of a green tone throughout the entire landscape. Rain, clouds, blue sky and more are all adding a significant depth to the Fallout 4 world. Speaking of, Fallout 4 has the player moving around the real city of Boston. Fallout 4 is also unveiling several new features that add in a whole new level of customization for the player. At any time, you can scrap materials to create your own house and town to dwell in. Think of the feature like The Sims, but with Fallout. You are in charge of everything from the strength of the walls in your house, to finding a decent enough energy source to power the town and protecting your new settlement from the raiders that also roam the land. Along with your home front, the level of weapon customization is also about to be changed forever. Every single item the player picks up around Boston has a purpose. There are no more throwaway items that bear no use for your character. Depending on what items you want to use at that certain time, your guns can be modified using them. And I’m being serious when I say that literally every single item now has a specific purpose. What Todd Howard is doing with Fallout 4 is completely revolutionary in the gaming medium and the best part? Because the entire team at Bethesda Game Studios has been great at keeping secrets, the game is much farther along than anyone realizes. Fallout 4 comes to Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 10, 2015.
Tonight all eyes were on Bethesda as they came out of the game with a stellar conference. Pete Hines said it best at the beginning of the conference itself, “Bethesda is made to have one common goal, to make great games.”