Monday, Jun 15
The Elder Scrolls Online wasn't going to be the main event at Bethesda's big E3 press event this year, as everybody knew. The game had just gone through a paradigm shift from subscription-based monetization to buy-to-play, and while its launch on consoles just recently was notable there were no expansions or large content drops in the immediate future. Nevertheless, Bethesda couldn't just ignore their MMO on such a huge stage. So the publisher did a respectful nod to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Tamriel Unlimited launch and teased a bit of upcoming content. It was all very professional and well done.
The content shown should be something Elder Scrolls Online players are already aware of, the Imperial City. While the City's launch does not yet have a release window, way back at QuakeCon the content was shown and there are Youtube videos from the even showing of a tour of the ruined city. Today's trailer goes a step further and shows a mob-populated version of the city, an iteration on what was previously shown. It may not be the release date or window that The Elder Scrolls fans were hoping for, but it is a sign that it's well on its way.
The same can be said with the other sections of the trailer, including Orsinium, the home of the orcs, and the other bits shown in montage format throughout the rest of the trailer. It even ended with a teaser for The Dark Brotherhood, which Zenimax Online have confirmed are in the pipeline but don't have a release window yet. Again, disappointing for Elder Scrolls Online faithful, but a nod to new or potential players that the MMO is working hard on making new content to explore. Basically a "Don't forget about The Elder Scrolls Online!" in the middle of Bethesda's showcase of much more awesome stuff.
The Elder Scrolls Online is available now on PC, as well as on Xbox One and PlayStation. Buy the box and never have to pay a subscription to play. Of course, you still can for some fancy bonuses, because they've got to pay the bills somehow, but you don't relaly have to. Uhh, how about a free-to-play card game?
Rumors have been swirling about a Dishonored Definitive Edition for some time now, even within the Neoseeker community. Today's announcement during Bethesda's first annual E3 press conference made it official. Arkane Studios, while working on Dishonored 2, were able to port over the original game to the new platforms. As such, it only makes sense to go ahead and release them for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One packaged together with all of the DLC. If anything, it'll be a great way to prepare for Dishonored 2's launch next year.
That's a box that will cost $39.99 up front and come with the Dishonored base game as well as its two major expansions: The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches. Dishonored is one of those really great games that never really got the attention it deserved for whatever reason. Its mixture of exciting first-person action, stealth mechanics and really wonderful atmosphere storytelling are hard to find even in AAA games. The Knife of Dunwall and the Brigmore Witches add so much more to the experience as well. Updated for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it'll easily be one of the best titles available for the platforms.
This is how I would like to see more remasters handled. Bethesda didn't just say that they wanted to put the game out on the newer consoles just for the cash of it, or maybe they did, but the end result is that it was actually part of Arkane's process to develop Dishonored 2. The studio was better able to prepare their tech to work on the consoles as a result, and the release of the Definitive Edition just becomes a step towards putting out Dishonored 2. Plus fans are now able to revisit the first game in its entirety all with the sequel now months away from launch. Best yet, the Definitive Edition isn't being forced onto PC, as the game on PC is already naturally of higher visual quality and the DLC has all been on sale numerous times. Good show, good show.
Dishonored Definitive Edition will be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 25 later this year. Dishonored 2 is planned for release on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in the spring of 2016. Unfortunately I don't have any assets, but you can probably get the idea by looking up PC screenshots of the original Dishonored release.
Check out the ongoing discussion about the Dishonored Definitive Edition, as initially posted by @Ascii.
After BattleCry's reveal last year and subsequent months of absolute silence, it was rather clear that Bethesda would show the game in some capacity during their first annual E3 press conference. I think even BattleCry fans might've been a little disappointed with what was shown. The third playable faction of BattleCry was fully revealed for the first time, the Han Republic which is a play on the Chinese Han Dynasty it seems. Also, the game announced its plans to begin a Global Beta later this year, opening up registration on the official BattleCry website.
Not to say the addition of the third faction isn't great -- it is. Yet the Han Republic was already discussed at last year's reveal, along with concept art showing off some of the warriors. So the big deal should have been the Global Beta, but if they're only opening registration and not officially confirming a start date then that feels kind of lame as well. Okay, so maybe the new gameplay trailer will make up for it. Ehh, this doesn't exactly seem like the best way to show off your game to the world.
I feel kind of guilty saying it, but BattleCry definitely felt like the low point of the Bethesda press conference. And I say that as someone who knows that the gameplay of BattleCry is actually quite exhilarating. Hopefully that becomes a common thought after folk are able to play BattleCry on the E3 show-floor. Bethesda will definitely have the opportunity to pull people in to play as attendees wander over to see if there's any Fallout content to be found at the booth. Just lure them in with that awesome Fallout cinematic and then push them onto a computer.
BattleCry, a free-to-play team-based multiplayer shooter, will be out on PC in 2016. A Global Beta test will start later this year, with registrations open now on the official BattleCry website. I'd recommend hunting down some gameplay which is sure to be available later this week, but for now the latest trailer shown during the Bethesda press conference will have to do.
Sunday, Jun 14
The only Elder Scroll character I remember the name of is fus-ro-dah
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a free-to-play strategy card game. That's it! That's practically everything that Bethesda has said about their card game, which they announced during their first annual E3 press conference. There are a few more loose details, like that The Elder Scrolls: Legends is targeting a launch later this year, but aren't clear on whether that will be a Closed Beta or a full launch. As for platforms, the card game is planned for release on both PC and iPad. Yes, Bethesda specifically says iPad and not iOS or Android. Take that for what you will.
There's very little else to say about The Elder Scrolls: Legends. Bethesda says the game will, "bring together the rich lore and exciting worlds," in The Elder Scrolls, but all I think that means is that we'll see content torn from all previous Elder Scrolls titles. It'll be cool to see some modern references to games like Arena and Daggerfall, not to mention Morrowind and Oblivion. I'm not sure if The Elder Scrolls titles have as many of those iconic characters as, say, Warcraft does, but maybe I just need to see the cards and it'll all come back to me.
The more I think about it, the more it seems like Bethesda is trying to recreate the success that Blizzard has found in several different spaces. They also announced a new online service named Bethesda Net that will serve as a hub for all of their games. Sound familiar? The connection that I made was that it seems very much like Blizzard's Battle.net. Then, add in a free-to-play strategy card game to boot and Bethesda is very clearly trying to compete directly with these guys on PC. Should we go further? Free-to-lay Shooter: Overwatch vs. BattleCry. MMO: World of Warcraft vs. The Elder Scrolls Online. Bethesda is able to clearly demonstrate their console domination, but PC is another matter. Interesting to think about, though. Hopefully they don't make a MOBA next.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is planned for release on PC and iOS, perhaps in Closed Beta, later this year. Hopefully we'll hear more about it in the months to come, but if they didn't talk about it more during their E3 press conference then it may be that they just don't have much else to show for it just yet. These things take time.
Excuse me, Bethesda, but I had work to do this week
I was planning on working for the rest of this E3, but now that Bethesda has announced and released their iOS game Fallout Shelter I think we can all agree that work comes secondary. Seriously, Bethesda Softworks' Todd Howard comes on-stage to talk about Fallout 4 like we're all expecting, and then he goes and reveals this awesome Pip-Boy Edition collector's thing as well as this Fallout Shelter must-have mobile game. Just who does he think he is? Making me do all of these things I wasn't prepared to do this morning. I like him.
Fallout Shelter is a 2D vault simulator; it's as simple as that. Once you've downloaded the app, you're become a vault overseer and expanding your shelter buried deep beneath a mountain. You do this by building room after room, each different and useful in a number of different ways. Then you fill those rooms with wasteland survivors, each of them also different and useful in a number of different ways. See, these survivors each have their own statistics which make them proficient for different jobs, including going out into the the wastes for supplies for the vault. You can even play Cupid and have two of your vault survivors mate, because you can do that when you're the overseer.
Todd Howard says the app is available right now on iOS devices, with Bethesda's Pete Hines' Twitter account saying that Android versions of the game will be coming later this year. The app is free to download and while it does have microtransactions, Todd says that it's intended to be played without having to pay a dime. It's inspired by several other incredible games like XCOM, FTL and others. Apparently Bethesda just made this thing, I dunno, while they were getting coffee in between making Fallout 4 -- one of the biggest looking games I've ever seen. What's up this this studio, man?
I haven't been able to download and try the game yet, but I have a hard time believing it's not at least a little bit frustrating to play without putting money into microtransactions. Todd can say it's not that kind of game, but even Bethesda has to turn a profit on the things it puts out. Then again, maybe it's just Bethesda's way of making sure the Fallout hype carries on throughout E3 and in the months ahead. Maybe Todd means it when he says it doesn't have the usual mobile BS. I guess we'll find out.
Fallout Shelter is downloadable right now on iOS devices with iOS7 or later. It's optimized for iOS 6, 6+ and iPad Air 2 specifically, though, which makes it sound rather intensive. And as said earlier, Bethesda is working on Android and will hopefully have an update for us soon. Fallout 4, meanwhile, will be coming out on November 10 later this year.
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Please wear this in real life Pip-Boy so I know who the awesome people are
Fallout 4 was hugely impressive, which I hope I was able to convey in my write-up of the game's reveal during Bethesda's E3 2015 press event. Maybe there were some who didn't expect it to be that impressive, the unbelievers. Most people probably knew it'd be pretty great. Yet there were definitely a couple of surprises that no one could have expected. One of those was the reveal of the Fallout 4 collector's edition, which Bethesda is calling the Pip-Boy Edition. The $119.99 special box comes with a working freaking Pip-Boy, which you plug your smart phone into and works as both a secondary screen for you Fallout 4 game and as just a what Pip-Boy would be like out of game.
"Are you serious?" Those were the first words out of my mouth when I first I saw the Pip-Boy included in the Pip-Boy Edition. It's just a giant arm computer with working buttons and everything. The fact that it will work with smart phones running an app that just does everything your in-game Pip-Boy does makes sense, but it's not like I ever thought Bethesda would actually make the damn things. What phones will fit in the thing haven't been officially listed, but Bethesda says it will work with a large range of them and will have foam inserts to make sure they don't wiggle around.
Oh, and even if you don't pre-order the Pip-Boy Edition, your smart phone will still be able to run the Pip-Boy app. The app itself will be available to everyone. That way you can mess around on your Pip-Boy when you're taking a break from the game or making a sandwich. So don't feel forced into buying the special edition just for the app.
Sure, it's still only something that a huge Fallout fan would ever buy. It's a giant weird looking arm computer, for god's sake. And sure, it's so unwieldy that it's not going to comfortably fit on anyone's arm realistically. Like that even matters. No one's going to buy the thing so they can look cool at high school, unless they're trying to impress their equally as nerdy friends. Folk are going to buy it and wear it while playing the game so they can feel like a freakin' wasteland bad-ass. That's what they're going to do and that's why Bethesda is awesome for making it happen. It's awesome-dumb. Dumbawesome.
$119.99 is still a high price and not everyone can or should buy that. For those who have the money, I'd recommend pre-ordering now, because you can. These things are going to sell out fast, so the only way to even give yourself a chance to get one is to go and preorder ASAP. The listings are already up on Amazon for all platforms, so go to it. That'll give yourself a good five months to think over whether you can either afford the thing or whether you actually want this giant plastic arm computer.
Fallout 4 will launch on November 10 for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Every time I say it'll come out in November, I still believe it. Fallout is really coming out in November. How awesome is that? Pip-Boy or no Pip-Boy, how exciting.
E3 2015: Fallout 4 is huge and arriving Nov. 10 this year, adds customization, crafting and town building
I'm still trying to catch my breath after that Fallout 4 introduction
Update: I lied. Bethesda just released their full press conference online. Jump to one hour and six minutes if the embed doesn't do it for you.
Tragedy! Let's admit it straight away - Bethesda has not released their gameplay reveal for Fallout 4 online just yet. Trust me when I say that I'll put it in this thread when it's up, but for now all we have are early details in text and a good twenty four screenshots to tear apart. Tear apart the screenshots, that is, not me. It's not my fault Bethesda is holding back the video footage! You know, the video footage that confirms Fallout 4 will be released on November 10 later this year on all platforms. The footage that shows extensive character, weapon and power armor customization. The footage that shows how you can build your own freaking settlements out of whatever you want. How dare they hold that hostage.
Before we get into all those cool new features, Bethesda would want me to start at the most important thing: that the key to Fallout 4 is and remains freedom to do whatever you please. That includes talking to an NPC, walking away and never returning to an NPC, or shooting an NPC in the face without seeing if they know how to talk in the first place. Boson is entirely open for exploration, factions are willing to discuss your application, and everything can and will die if you shoot it. But only if you want to. It's all up to your choice as a player in Fallout 4, as it should be. As it will be.
Okay, let's move onto the good stuff now. Contrary to some of the more sillier rumors, players will be able to customize either a male or female protagonist to play through the game. That character will have their own voice, unlike previous Fallouts, but Bethesda insists that this is important to telling a better story. Yet they'll make up for it in other ways. The brief example shown allowed the player to twist the protagonist's face into whatever shape and color they please. Then the player customized their very own stats and teased just a bit of the boons the player will be able to pick for themselves as they progress. And that was just a brief introduction. You can bet Fallout 3 will pale in comparison.
Other old systems shown again include the player's Pip-Boy, which of course will be making a return. That in turn led to the reveal of VATS being back, though it too was skimmed over rather quickly. It looks like they've smoothed out the process of activating VATS and selecting a target/target's body part. The rest of the combat in the trailer was all moment to moment with no pausing. I think that's probably what most players wanted to see.
The best features were those that had not previously been announced, however. Fallout 4 now features a disgustingly robust crafting system. Break down and salvage practically anything and then turn around and build practically anything. This includes huge structures with different sorts of walls, beds, stairs, chairs, lights, power sources, self-defenses, shops for NPCs to move into -- it's disgusting! How Bethesda can even justify showing off the new system without letting us then play it forever right afterwards. How dare they. I'm going to build an ice cream shop that actually serves grenades. I wonder if I can do that. I'm pretty sure I can.
This high level of customization is also the foundation for an all new crafting system in Fallout 4. Over 50 weapons and 700 upgrades or improvements are in the game, and every one of them is craftable and applicable to whatever weapon you prefer. Take that one gadget and put it on your pistol, rocket launcher or whatever that huge fan-shaped gun is. I'm sure it will murder in a new odd way as a result. Sorry, NPC-run ice cream shop, I'm taking your grenade making functionality and putting it in my baseball bat. Oh great, now my baseball bat makes ice cream. How does any of this even work?
What I'm trying to convey is that Bethesda showed us several extremely impressive systems and features without really establishing the limits on them. As such, it's hard not to be extremely excited about testing each and every one of those system's limitations. And that's what Bethesda's games do so well, right? They let you experiment and explore, figuring out just what's allowed and what isn't. The discovery process is as much or more fun than taking tyour toys out to play. And with that in mind, Fallout 4 is going to be a hard game to beat for Best of Show at E3 2015. We're one press conference in and I'm already calling it. It was really that impressive. Bravo, Bethesda. Todd Howard is really good at these press conference things.
Fallout 4 will be released on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 10, 2015. I can hardly believe it'll be out this year myself, but it will be. Who really needs videos when we know how close we are to having the damn game in our very own hands, right? Okay, all of us do. We need it now. Come on Bethesda, let me share it with everyone who missed your bloody press event.
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Doom gameplay was promised for E3 2015 and Doom gameplay is what we got. When id Software took the stage at the Bethesda E3 2015 press conference, the audience was already hyped. All it took was an introduction that led with the classic Doom logo shifting to the sleek new one as id walked on. From there it was as if the hype melted away and the event just turned into straight fun. id showed off a ton of gameplay, including a huge amount of Doom's single player, a taste of multiplayer, and the introduction to Doom's SnapMap (which is better fully covered in another article).
Doom's single player was shown in two different clips. The first was a gameplay introduction where we see Doom Guy putting on his mask and fighting room after room of demons with only a starting few weapons. There's the standard, automatic Shotgun, the Super Shotgun, the Plasma Rifle, and the Chainsaw towards the end. The action was fast, the movement precise, and oh the gore -- the gore was suffocating. Doom has added a new finishing move feature where heavily damaged state where the player can run up and perform a finish move. This often involves tearing limbs off, twisting heads too far, or beating enemies with their own torn off limbs. These limbs, they were not intended for the things you use them for. Please stop, you, it is disgusting.
Hell is where things really start to shine, however. The early moments are a nostalgia trip, teasing moments from Doom II and its shifting walls and armies of demons as well as Doom III with its poorly lit hallways and bloodstains leading into scary places. This Doom reboot looks to balance between these two generations of the franchise. Hell though, Hell is something entirely new. The same old faces were there -- Cacodemons and Revenants and the invisible pink guys. Yet they poured out of structures unlike anything we've seen before. Huge demon statues towered overhead, dark tunnels lined every path, and fire burned in every direction.
Multiplayer was, admittedly, a bit of a shift in direction. The gameplay trailer was rather brief so it was difficult to get your bearings in the first place. More than that though, it just is so hard to compare Doom multiplayer to Doom single player. It's more like Quake, isn't it? Some specifics are pretty easy to go over, at least. id mentioned Domination, Freeze Tag and Clan Arena specifically, as well as the UAC Facility multiplayer map. In the trailer we were shown power-ups included a Demon Sigil which can transform the player into a very strong demon. The revenant specifically was shown, flying around and firing rockets as he pleased. A lot more multiplayer was insinuated in Doom's SnapMap mod feature, including co-op Horde Mode maps, Counter Strike-esque maps where you earn money with kills and much more. Expect it to be expansive.
A lot remains to be seen of Doom, I think. When the demos ended, I knew that it was a gorgeous game and the action was absolutely intense. I still had no idea if the game has an actual story or not. I couldn't tell if id was aiming for more Doom II or Doom III, which is important I think because only showing a bit of both types of game makes it seem like the new Doom is rather directionless. I think the mod ideas they have with SnapMap is great, but at the same time I know they tried to charge people for mods just the month past. I'm not willing to dedicate my excitement to Doom just yet, but I will admit it has plenty of potential. Just see for yourself.
Doom is scheduled for release in spring 2016 on the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The multiplayer beta, oddly enough, does not yet have a release window. While gameplay was shown in all of its glory, discussion on when a beta would hit was completely avoided.
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Arkane Studios took the stage at the Bethesda E3 2015 press conference and everyone knew why they were there. It didn't matter. It still blew the house down when Arkane president Ralph Colantonio said the words Dishonored 2. Yes, it's now official. Arkane Studios is working on Dishonored 2. Corvo will be returning, but new for Dishonored 2 will be the option to play entirely as Emily Kaldwin. For those who played the first Dishonored, Emily is the Empress' daughter that plays a significant role in the game.Yes, Dishonored 2 has both a male and a female protagonist. More important though, it has tons of magical spells and assassination tools. They are all awesome.
In an interview after the show, Arkane discussed further their choice to choose both Emily and Corvo to be dual assassin protagonists in their game. Corvo is this pillar of the franchise with a rich, unexplored history both personally and throughout the nation in which Dishonored take place. But they say that their passion was always behind Emily being the sequel's protagonist. After all, her character is so dramatically influenced by Corvo's choices in the first game. The only correct decision for the developers, the fans, and the game itself is to allow both.
However, after picking a character you will not be able to switch back. The reason is because the story of the game is tied irrevocably to the assassin you pick. From the first moment of the game, the story will dramatically shift because of the protagonist. Add on top the returning choice to either carve your way through the story or to take the path of the pacifist and Dishonored will have an even more involved and complex story than ever.
What's the core thing about Dishonored 2 to be excited about? What am I super excited about? It's just more Dishonored, in the long run. More stealth assassin missions, more really wonderfully built levels to sneak and climb through, more spells and tools to perform your dark deeds, and more exciting characters to meet and discover the secrets of. I love both Emily and Corvo and the opportunity to meet them again and get to know them even better than ever is just so... exciting. I am very excited.
Dishonored 2 is tentatively planned for release in spring of 2016 for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Expect more information on the first-person stealth game in the months to come.
Check in your tickets here, all aboard the Fallout 4 hype train
Who else is ready for E3 2015 to start properly? This year, Bethesda's rocking their very first E3 press conference and lucky them, they'll be first to open up the craziness that will be next week. The show officially begins at 7:00PM PT, 10:00 PM ET, so check out the Twitch livestream below and jump into our live chat as well. Bethesda has an amazing line-up in store and who know what other surprises they might have left. Hell, even if they don't have any surprises everyone should be plenty happy with everything they'll be showing. Ah, E3 2015, I think I already need a nap.
What does Bethesda have line up for their press conference? Why, let me share with you everything we've heard up until now:
- Last week Bethesda officially announced that Bethesda Studios was working on Fallout 4, showing us a cinematic trailer and revealing the first in-game screenshot. Their current plan is to show the first look at gameplay for Fallout 4 during the press conference, so don't spill your bottle caps when the logo pops up on-screen.
- Next, they've revealed that the first in-game footage of the DOOM reboot that id is working on will be debuting during the press conference. Wolfenstein owners are probably hoping they'll reveal the starting date of their multiplayer beta, too, since it came with a code giving access.
- Next up is BattleCry, the free-to-play shooter from Bethesda's newest studio, the inspired BattleCry Studios.
- Then last but not least, last night Bethesda accidentally leaked a potential Dishonored 2 announcement. Act surprised when Arkane's president comes on-stage though, okay?
Don't be surprised if The Elder Scrolls Online shows up at some point during the evening, but up until now Bethesda hasn't said anything about the MMO appearing during E3. It's doubtful that Wolfenstein pops up, but maybe MachineGames has another expansion, or potentially a sequel announcement.
That's enough of me rambling on. There's not much else to say except how excited I am for E3 to start so we can see all of these amazing games in motion. These games we've been teased with for what feels like forever. Show us the money, Bethesda. And then we'll show you the money.
Bethesda will be the first of eight scheduled E3 2015 press conferences. For a full schedule of the remaining seven, check out this post I made earlier. It's going to be a long couple of days before the E3 show floor opens and that's only the beginning of it all.
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- Neoseeker's Best of E3 2015 Awards: Game of the Show 
- Steam, under community pressure, adds refund system 
- Skyforge, F2P MMO collaboration between Obsidian and Allods, starts Open Beta on July 16 
- Extended Uncharted 4: A Thief's End E3 2015 demo reintroduces Elena 
- Driveclub PlayStation Plus available June 25, offline only to start with online rolled out 
- Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games hitting the slopes on Wii U, very cool 
- PlayStation Plus in July adds Rocket League on PS4, Geometry Wars 3 on PS Vita 
- May NPD Number Crunch: Witcher III hits first month sales milestone for RPGs on PS4, Xbox One