E3 technically begins today, but last night Bethesda got in early with a pretty impressive showing for all its big upcoming games - and a few surprises. Here's everything that happened
- Things kicked off with the new Doom, which wants to recapture the feeling of being a "lone marine, beating back the forces of hell with a shotgun". It is... quite, quite violent. To the point where the chainsaw bits made me feel queasy. It's also got multiplayer, glimpsed briefly - we'll see more of that later in the year. Julian's more detailed impressions are right here for your perusal.
- New Doom also has a pretty comprehensive-looking set of creation tools for maps, modes, and more: Snapmap.
- Bethesdanet is Bethesda's version of Origin, uPlay, etc, uniting all Bethesda games and websites in one "network". Another password to remember.
- Shootin'-and-stabbin' arena multiplayer game Battlecry made an appearance and entirely failed to excite us, if we're honest. Then it quickly went away again.
- Some charming French men from Arkane turned up to announce Dishonored 2. Surprise, everyone! (Well, sort of.) It's got a new setting, new adversaries, and a choice between Corvo and a new female protagonist: Emily Kaldwin, the former princess from the first game. Pretty excited for this one - there weren't many more details, but here's what we do know. Here's a trailer:
- Dishonored: Definitive Edition is a remaster of the first game for Xbox One and PS4. That'll be out in Autumn.
- The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a card-game tie-in for Elder Scrolls Online, for tablets and mobile.
- Fallout 4 development began in 2009, said studio boss Todd Howard - before showing a slow montage of concept art, some artistic renders of terminal screens, and FINALLY some gameplay. It actually starts before the nuclear apocalypse, and we saw a new character creation system where you get to poke and prod the face of your male or female character in front of the mirror, which is pretty weird but also novel. After the apocalypse, the demo skipped to 200 years later, when the real fun begins.
- The dog in Fallout 4 can follow commands, fetch things, etc. So far, I give this dog 8/10 on the video game dog scale.
- The VATS combat system has not been ditched and is still satisfyingly gross. Ruined Boston looks... well, it look amazing.
- The in-game PIP Boy looks better than ever. You can slot chunky tapes into it to listen to audio or play mini-games, like on those terrible watches from the 90s. But then Bethesda announced that it is literally manufacturing real-life PIP Boys for Fallout 4's collector's edition, which you can slot your phone into - and an app to go with it that really works with the game. Now THAT is cool.
- Then there was something EVEN COOLER: a new touchscreen iPhone game called Fallout Shelter, which is like a little mash-up of Little Computer People, XCOM and Progress Quest, the game's inspiration. You run a little vault all of your own, watching all the little PIP people go about their business. I am now almost as excited about this as I am about Fallout 4. It's free to play, but evidently not in a shitty way. And by the time you read this, it should already be on the app store.
- Back to Fallout 4: you can create your own settlement. This is surprisingly in-depth: people will come join you there, you have to sort out generators and power lines, turrets, defences and things to keep attacking raiders out. There are "many" large sites in the game where you can build, and you can run brahmin caravans between settlements.
- On to weapon modifying! The crafting mechanic now incorporates every single one of the thousands of items in the game. There are 50 base weapons, and a whole load of modifications for each of them. You can also modify your own power armour.
- Finally, we got a release date for Fallout 4: November 10th this year. Nice.
And for those keeping score, we also made up a bingo card before last night's conference, and managed to get a few predictions right even though most of them were jokes.