With all the leaks and teasers leading up to the event, there’s been some excitement and disappointment as to what announcements there’ll be this year. We now have due dates for new games and expansions to existing IP, which promises for a hyped up end to 2016 and and interesting future for Bethesda as a games developer.
Quake Champions has been announced as a competitive arena-style PC shooter, with single player and multiplayer modes, which appears to be a spiritual successor to the original Quake franchise. This boasts the same fast-paced shooter elements of DOOM which is bound to have its own unique twists and turns to gameplay. It’ll be interesting to see how this game comes to fruition, as it seems to be following closely in the footsteps of DOOM. A revival of the franchise has long been awaited after the last release in 2007; Quake was an enjoyable FPS series that challenged players to “git gud” amongst a vast amount of online players, which I enjoyed on PC for a number of years at LAN parties and internet cafe’s.
With Prey we see a remake of the game that originally launched way back in 2006. The setting alone is enough to make any Sci-Fi nerd throw their wallet right at the screen. It looks like a deep, dark psychological thriller in the style of Dead Space with possibly a bit of System Shock thrown in there as well. Of course we’ll have to wait for another announcement later in the year to get more information on the game itself. The gameplay we’ve seen for this title has me absolutely psyched for its release in 2017, and I doubt it’ll fail to deliver an insane amount of shadowy jump scares.
Fallout 4 took the stage despite almost being a year old, with game updates for the latest Far Harbour DLC and the new items for settlement construction and contraptions, which for some players is a vital crutch of gameplay. The new additions such as elevators, weapon racks, armour racks, conveyor belts and creating your own Vault will surely make the game more immersive and add a few more hours as you explore new and interesting combinations to make huge and fantastic settlements for your NPC friends and create a more personalized world.
The new DLC also adds the massive new landmass of Far Harbour, which is available for players already but the coverage given by presenters is sure to spark an interest for those not already playing (WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE!? – Ed). Mods are also now available on not just PC anymore with a sizable number making their way to current gen consoles, enabling gamers on multiple platforms to enjoy the hard work and dedication of talented modders. In other Fallout news, Fallout Shelter has added a new combat system, new locations to explore, rooms for crafting items, a day and night cycle, new weapons and armour and new characters including Old Longfellow (the new companion from Far Harbour). I’ve enjoyed the Fallout series since Fallout 1 and 2, and to see these new iterations of the world further develop the story, provide new types of gameplay and introduce new players to a franchise that I love, it makes me happy that Bethesda has taken these steps to ensure the survival of this series.
With Dishonored 2 we see a return to the Empire of the Isle’s fifteen years after the event of Dishonored, with all new gameplay for combat, supernatural powers and the choice of switching between Royal Protector Corvo Attano and Empress Emily Kaldwin. In stark contrast to the original game, both playable characters are fully voiced with their own thoughts. We will see the connection between Corvo and Emily as father and daughter, but also as they fight for their lives against a new alien threat. The new Void engine creates stunning visuals and can provides exploration rich areas; not to say that Dishonored didn’t have that in 2012, this is just a moer advanced graphics engine. This game looks like an exciting sequel to its predecessor, allowing greater exploration of the space above the streets and therefore more routes to your target expanding the already large maps. From what has been shown thus far, Dishonored 2 looks like a gorgeous blend of the original gameplay and Mirror’s Edge parkour system. The original game had a lot of replayability and the sequel looks like it’ll uphold that with the exploration of an amazing steampunk world, which has me eager to play to find out where the world is at now. The new array of powers, weapons and ability to choose characters is bound to create a unique play-through each time. As usual there is an amazing Collector’s Edition available, which has some fantastic items for fans of the series. Dishonored 2 is due out in November.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a fantasy strategy card that features creatures, characters and lore from across the history of The Elder Scrolls. The game features a full single player campaign, quick skirmishes and a lengthy gauntlet of foes in its arena gamestyles. You can build a large collection of allies, armaments and magic AND you can level up your cards to make yourself a true legend! This game seems oddly reminiscent of Magic The Gathering with its colour pools and reliance on magic points to cast more powerful cards, but its ability to upgrade your deck the more you play is what will separate it from Magic and other similar games like the ever-popular Hearthstone. In other Elder Scrolls news, Skyrim is getting a remastered edition for PC and console. Being completely honest, this looks absolutely stunning and with the addition of mods for consoles it will be like exploring a whole new world. Skyrim Special Edition promises to come out in October for consoles or as a free update for PC players who have already invested heavily in the original. Skyrim was already a beautiful game on PC upon release in 2011 but this promises to bring it into the big leagues of current graphics, hopefully recapturing the escapism of the original release which is something that had me poor 400+ hours into the game.
Bethesda made a point to mention that DOOM has been a continuing success, and will be getting new content with the addition of new Hell visual themes, props, objects, weapons and items and further improvements to the Snapmap’s feature’s logic options and functionality. Multiplayer mode is also getting Classic Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Capture & Hold game types, as well as the first premium DLC pack Unto The Evil with three new maps, a new demon to play as, new weapons, armour sets and more. These improvements will only spice up the already fast paced gameplay of DOOM, it already completely blows the original and sequel games of DOOM out of the water, and with the way that Bethesda is using communication with their audience to make said improvements this game should quickly develop into one of the stronger shooters of 2016.
As reported on previously, Bethesda announced Bethesda VR that promises to hold up to the latest AAA games, such as DOOM and Fallout 4, and provide a fully immersive world for players to experience. This release is scheduled for 2017 on the HTC Vive system. It’s an intriguing move for Bethesda to get onto the VR bandwagon, but this is excellent news for the VR industry. I for one am looking forward to seeing where this moves on to; will more AAA companies begin to develop the necessary support for VR? Will this support help truly launch us into a VR heavy gaming age? Who knows? This is certainly a step in the right direction to get VR to pick up the pace and go beyond indie developers.
And last of all, it is worth mentioning that plenty of the presenters during the Bethesda showcase wore proudly upon their chest a rainbow ribbon in support of the Orlando shooting the day prior. For a company as big as Bethesda to take a stand and openly support a community that is constantly targeted for harassment, I am truly happy that this has happened. This kind of support shows that gaming is for everyone, and no matter what you do you can support a cause worth fighting for.
With all of these announcements, what are you most excited for? What did you think of Bethesda’s announcements? What games are you looking forward to playing?