Alarra's BE3 2016 Impressions
Just like last year, I watched the livestream of Bethesda’s E3 presentation, chatting with Damon and RobinHood70 in the wiki’s IRC channel as we reacted to everything (join us in the wiki and forum channels sometime, everyone’s pretty cool and most of us don’t bite.) Here's the entire BE3 presentation if you're interested in watching the entire thing.
And here’s my own summaries and impressions of everything that was revealed. We've got a little bit of news from all their current games, two newly-announced games, and more:
“Pre-pre-show”: This was clips of various fan-videos of Doom, Fallout 4, and Skyrim, and a goofy video of Bethesda’s employees, interspersed with various trivia questions about Bethesda games. It was also 15 minutes late, and they really should have skipped it, or trimmed out the trivia questions or something.
Pre-show: Hosted by Morgan Webb and Adam Sessler. They showed the Fallout 4 “Far Harbor” trailer, showcased some Fallout 4 mods, showed the Legends gameplay trailer and the Dishonored 2 trailer from last year, and talked a bit about each one.
They jumped right into the actual presentation with Quake Champions, then had Pete Hines came on stage welcoming everyone and recapping the past year, then continued with the presenting.
I’m not familiar with Quake aside from the name, so I was watching this without any prior impressions. The trailer, which you can watch here, basically just shows four characters fighting. I kind of liked the style of how they did the trailer itself – having the gun blasts in time to the music and all – but it didn’t stand out a lot to me or get me interested enough to want to play. It’s an arena-style first-person shooter for the PC, and they’ll give more info at QuakeCon.
They revealed the opening cinematic of the game. A Moth Priest named Kellen, a spearmaiden, and a Khajiit have evidently stolen an Elder Scroll, and Kellen insists upon telling a story despite the other two wanting to run. His story takes place during the Great War when the Third Aldmeri Dominion captured the Imperial City, and a “forgotten hero” changed the course of history….
They also announced that it will be coming to Mac, iPhone, and Android tablets and phones. The only thing said about release is “later this year” (though we all know how that went last year.) More beta invites are being sent this week.
Judging by comments everywhere, people still don’t seem to realize that this is by Dire Wolf Digital, not Bethesda Game Studios, and mistakenly think that it’s slowing down ES6 and are hating on it for that reason. Sigh. So if you see someone claiming that, please set them straight.
They showed two add-ons: the Contraptions Workshop Add-on with elevators, armor/weapon racks, track kits, sorting machines, and conveyor belts – it said it’s coming next week – and the Vault-Tec Workshop, which lets you build your own vault, and is coming in July. Afterward it showed what appears to be a hint to another DLC: appeared to be a theme park that said “Nuka World” and said August 2016.
Major update coming that will allow you to send dwellers on quests, visit new locations, adds new enemies, new combat system (appears to be that you actually can tell your dweller which enemy to aim at, and can order them to flee or whatever), new characters. Also, it’s coming to PC. This all arrive in July. I’m not too enthused about the updates to the game – I’m fine with it currently being just a casual game, checking my vault and explorers once in a while, not having to control every detail. I guess we’ll have to see how exactly the updates work, but I hope that controlling the combat at the very least is “optional” and that it still defaults to it working the same way as before. It’s good that it’s coming to PC; it’s just kind of hard to manage on a tiny mobile screen, and not all mobile devices have the required 1GB RAM yet.
Skyrim Special Edition
Skyrim’s getting a remastered version on October 28th of this year. The graphical updates include “Remastered art & effects, volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, screen-space reflections, new snow shaders, and new water shaders”. It’ll be higher-res than the HD texture pack. For consoles, it’ll also include mod support. Of course, they’re aware that mods on PC can already do everything the graphical updates of the new edition can (and more), so they’re offering the Special Edition free to any PC players who have all the DLCs or Legendary edition on Steam.
One thing to note is that they didn’t remaster it just for the sake of remastering it; they made gaming news last year when they said that they’d brought Skyrim to next-gen as part of Fallout 4’s development, in order to familiarize themselves with the technology and see how their Creation engine works with it. Again I’m hearing it get misblamed as taking time away from ES6 and being a cash-grab, so it’s important to note that they’re just releasing something they basically already had done. Another frequent comment is “why not Morrowind or Oblivion”: aside from the whole FO4 thing being the reason they did it, those games are old enough and on different engines so that remastering them would take a considerably larger amount of work – like, potentially almost-new-game levels of work (especially for Morrowind), and I imagine they’d rather put that sort of effort into Fallout 4, ES6, and other future games instead.
Fallout, Fallout Shelter, and Skyrim remaster video can be found here.
New game, developed by Arkane Studios. They showed a trailer in which a computer voice talks to someone in a futuristic apartment in 2032, they’re told that “we have some tests to run through”, and then they’re shooting at shadowy creatures. This is a first-person game in which you are the subject of an experiment to alter humanity, and your space station is overrun by an alien threat. Interesting tidbit: they chose “Morgan” as the character’s name because it’s gender-neutral and you can choose to play as a male or female character. Anyway, it’s coming next year on XB1, PS4, and PC. I’m not particularly interested in this one.
Snapmap will have free updates, with new construction modules, themes, weapons, and items. Next month there’ll be 2 new modes for multiplayer, and later this summer there’ll be 3 new free-for-all-style modes. These updates will be free to all players, and will be playable on all maps. The first DLC is coming next month, and will be called “Unto the Evil”, containing 3 new multiplayer maps, a new playable demon, and more. They’re also offering the first level of Doom for free for the rest of this week for those who have not tried it yet. I don’t think I will; again, shooters just aren’t really my thing. Video from the presentation can be found here.
Matt Firor came to talk about it. He thanked everyone, and showed a video recapping moments since launch. On June 23rd the game’s getting a Japanese server. They showed the Dark Brotherhood DLC launch trailer. The biggest news here is an update, coming this fall, called “One Tamriel”: it gets rid of level restrictions by scaling the player to the content (similar to how DLC works), and players will be able to group with any other player regardless of Alliance. More information on that can be found here – looks like it’s going to be a pretty major change.
Sounds like Doom is already available(?), and Fallout 4 is coming on the HTC Vive platform in 2017. In-person attendees of the event got to try it out.
This game takes place 15 years after the first game, and the plot involves Corvo and Emily fleeing to the city of Karnaca. You can play as either Emily or Corvo: both are fully voiced and have their own powers. Corvo’s are the same as the first game but upgraded, while they showed some of Emily’s: Mesmerize (distracts enemies so they don’t notice her), Far Reach (pull enemies toward you, and I believe also lets you move to out-of-reach locations), Domino (what you do to one person will happen to the others), and Shadow Walk (which can be seen in the announcement trailer, she sort of crawls on the floor as a shadow and is able to attack like that). They showed a bit of gameplay, including a mission where you use the “Outsider’s timepiece” to swap back and forth between the past and the present at will. They announced that there’ll be a collector’s edition, which comes with Corvo’s mask and Emily’s ring, and is already available for pre-order. The release date is November 11 and it’ll be for PS4, XB1, and PC. A gameplay trailer can be found here.
Since the last E3 I’ve gotten a chance to at least start and get a couple hours into the first Dishonored. It was enjoyable, I’m just not sure if I’ll ever finish it or get around to the second what with all the wiki work and the other things on my to-be-played list. The mechanics of the second look interesting, and the game looks very pretty too: it’s in their new Void Engine. Damon, RobinHood, and I discussed the possibility of the next ES being in this engine, but from what Rob found it sounds like Void doesn’t do well for large open spaces, so it sounds not so likely that they’d use it for ES6. Hopefully they come up with a nice shiny new engine for a new ES, then.
Afterward they had another 45 min or so of discussion with devs on the various games, but I didn’t watch it super-closely.
Overall thoughts: Definitely a less flashy E3 for Bethesda than last year, but I don’t consider it “disappointing”: they did show a lot and it’s still interesting stuff – just not stuff I’d personally be interested in actually playing, for the most part.
I don’t mind (am happy, even) that we didn’t get any ES6 news since it’s just way too early - and we have plenty of work to do on the wiki anyway, with ESO’s constant updates and Legends coming out this year. I’m completely fine with them taking more time to make a fantastic game. Between ESO, the upcoming Legends, and Skyrim’s remaster, we’ve got plenty to play to keep us occupied until the next game – and that’s just within the Elder Scrolls series itself, not to mention everything else out there.
Good to see Bethesda’s doing well, and their E3 presentations are fun to watch. Hopefully they’ll keep it up in future years if they’ve got good stuff to show.
Comment from: akb [Member]
I feel quite the same. Although they can’t really top the year before, could they? You simply can’t pull a Fallout 4 out your hat every year.
06/20/16 @ 00:11