This year’s E3 festivities were kicked off earlier than average with an evening press conference from Bethesda. The event, dubbed the #BE3 Showcase, was the company’s first ever and to put it mildly… holy shit. In five years of covering E3, none of us here atNerdy Show have ever seen a crowd-pleasing blockbuster unveiling of this magnitude. The rest of the publishers had better have some tricks up their sleeves if they can even hope to match the awesomeness delivered by Bethesda: Doom, Battlecry, Dishonored 2, new Elder Scrolls Online content, Elder Scrolls Legends, and of course, megatons ofFallout news. Here’s what went down.
First, we’ll do the more minor announcements. Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is nothing truly new, though they showed off the realm of orcs, Orsinium. Meanwhile, there is something new in the form of the digital card game Elder Scrolls Legends, but not a drop of gameplay made it to the screen, or even a hint at what it would look like. I played Battlecrylast year and it hasn’t changed much with the exception of a new faction, The Han Republic. As before, it’s still a fantastic-looking multiplayer game with a fun, unique style. If it’s not on your radar, make it so – the global beta is available for sign-up.
Dishonored 2, though almost guaranteed to be impressive when it comes out, was only represented by a pre-rendered trailer. That said, several exciting features were highlighted including the ability to play as Corvo from the first game or a fully grown Emily Kaldwin – the young girl you were trying to save. Each have different powers and skills. As an added bonus if you missed out on the truly fantastic original game the first time around, it’s being re-released for the current gen as Dishonored: Definitive Edition – due out in August.
Cool stuff, but let’s cut to the meat of the conference: DOOM. We were treated to a stunning and surprisingly long gameplay demo that showed a true return to form for the series. Though the remarkable visuals likely weren’t live and there’s no chance in Hell they’d look as good on PS4 or XBOX, it’s the heart of what they showed that matters the most: fast-paced, action-packed graphic violence – the way it used to be. Hordes of imps teleported in, throwing flames while jumping around as other enemies charge at you. There’re incredible melee attacks and death scenes for all enemies, and yeah… you too.
Doom is an incredibly badass experience filled to the brim with what made classic FPS games the stuff of legend – even the multiplayer looks straight out of Quake 3 Arena; rocket jumping and all. However, they haven’t stopped at the classics. The game features a mindblowing new feature called Snapmap that allows anyone to create fully customized maps and gameplay to share with the entire Doom community, cross platform. Want to create a level where you earn money and gain stats? No problem. Want a level filled with traps and hordes of continuously spawning enemies? Sure! All this and it’s not even the best they have to offer.
We all knew Fallout 4was going to be a topic of discussion, but truly we had no idea the scope of what we were about to witness. Bethesda took us on a journey beginning with a montage of concept art that fans are sure to pour over with a microscope leading up to its November 10th release date. Highlights included a zombie seagull and a mutant wearing power armor. (Will this seagull be in the game? I don’t know, but I hope so!) We then got an abbreviated version of the game’s opening; set for the first time prior to the apocalypse! The sequence includes a fun take on character customization and a hilarious scene where you set your skill points by talking with a door-to-door Vault-Tec salesman. Fallout 4‘s new spin on an old premise is that this time your character is less of a silent protagonist, has somehow survived 200 years in the vault as though no time has passed, and remembers the way the world was before.
The game looks absolutely beautiful and allegedly weren’t pre-rendered. In standard Bethesda fashion, the facial animation could use some work, but it’s the environments are the real character of the game. This time around you’re in post-apocalypse Boston; complete with ruined cityscapes, overgrown forests, and very new terrain like rock quarries and airships. At this point in the show, they’d said and shown plenty – but they weren’t even close to done. Case in point: an IRL Pip-Boy.
The game will launch with a limited collector’s edition that comes with a wearable Pip-Boy made fully functional via a free phone app that fits into the gauntlet, which you can actually use to play your game. No joke. A fully interactive prop for an asymmetrical gameplay feature that’s actually worth a damn. The Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition costs $119 and you can pre-order it now.
Are we done? Not even remotely! A free Fallout mobile game was announced and it’s out right now (on iOS anyway, Android coming soon). The game’s called Fallout Shelter and it’s basically The Sims inside of your own custom-made vault. Once again, we’re getting ready to wind down but Bethesda says, “oh no, you fools haven’t seen shit yet!” They close out the show by showcasing Fallout 4‘s all-new ludicrously detailed customization features. Scrap any item found in the game and use it to build other objects – but not just weapons and armor: houses, villages. Heck, power generators too, which you can then hook up to computers and switches and turrets. Build an entire community with NPCs, gain super rare items and merchants, and keep on building basically anything you want. Want to build more than one neighborhood? Can-do! You can trade between your estates using Brahmin caravans. And like any good Bethesda game, this is all completely optional. But the icing on this cake, which already has a previous cake topped with several layers of icing… is that weapons and armor customizations also defy expectations. 700 different customizable features just for weapons. Armor has multiple parts now instead of just one and each can be fully customized. Among a ton of freaky hybrid weapons, we saw a baseball bat with 2 buzz saws on it. Glorious! Oh and the game has jetpacks and helicopters you can call in to get a lift or air support.
So mark your calendars – November 10th – the day your life is ruined forever improves.
How can Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, EA, or Nintendo hope to top this show? We’ll find out! Keep watching for our E3 coverage all week long.