17 Jun

E3 2015 Bethesda

E3 2015 Day 1

My thoughts on video game press conferences in general is that they’re a big waste of my time. Not that they’re a waste of everyone’s time, because clearly they create buzz and excitement, but watching developers and executives awkwardly introduce their games is not how I want to spend my time.

That being said, I did watch the guys from Kinda Funny do their pre and post conference livestreams all day on Sunday and Monday, so I must have some interest in these press conferences.

Anyway, I’ve watched and read all that I need to know, and so I’m separating the announcements from each publisher into three categories based on how much they matter to me. Your results may vary.

Major Announcements: Things that I care about or that I feel are important to gaming as a hobby.

Minor Announcements: Things that I may be interested in, but don’t have any deep feelings about, or things that might be interesting to a large segment of gamers who are not me.

Inconsequential Announcements: Things that have no interest to me and will probably only interest a small subset of gamers.

Bethesda

Bethesda’s first ever E3 press conference was a success due to one of the biggest and most anticipated announcements of the year, Fallout 4. Sure they had a couple of other announcements that might get some people excited, like Doom & Dishonored 2, but for the most part it was all about Fallout.

  • Major Announcements

FALLOUT 4 ARRIVES NOVEMBER 10TH
The rebooted Fallout series was one of the breakout hits on the last generation of consoles and the announcement of a new entry will give many next gen RPG players something to look forward to once they’ve tired of Witcher 3.

I grew a bit tired of Fallout after playing all of Fallout 3, twice, and all of the DLC, twice. I grew so tired that I never did open my copy of New Vegas. However, this announcement has rekindled my interest in guiding a hopeful young vault-dweller out into the wastelands for a whole new adventure.

The addition of crafting is exciting because one of the disappointments I had in Fallout 3 was my inability to have a large impact on the world, except during story missions. I also like crafting as a solution to the junk problem that Fallout games always suffer from. The junk is neat, and shows the remnants of a destroyed world, but collecting it just to sell it for pennies (caps) was always annoying.

Overall, this is probably the biggest single game announcement of the entire conference, and it happened on day one.

-DOOM REBOOT IN SPRING 2016
We saw some Doom. Doom is back and it’s Doom-like, but my enthusiasm is not high. I played Doom back in the day when it was revolutionary, but ever since that day the entire genre has been racing ahead of this franchise to prove how much better every game is than Doom.

Shooters now have stories, and physics, and characters, and realistic guns (oh, the guns!), and they have advanced further in terms of technical achievements than any other genre. So, going back to a Doom-style Doom game seems a bit regressive.

Maybe that’s the point though. Maybe we’ve reached a point in video games where the arrow-straight and constant march of progress is bending into the more cyclical shape shared by other mediums. Where things that were old and passe suddenly become retro and hip after a generation has passed.

Today we see strategy games returning to their turn-based roots. We see the return of platformers and side-scrollers that seem directly descended from games of the late 80’s and early 90’s. So why can’t shooters go back to their run & gun origins? Doom is the perfect shooter to jump on this retro gaming bandwagon. I just hope it fares better than the ill-fated Duke Nukem.

Also, there will be level creation and modding support.

  • Minor Announcements

DISHONORED 2 IS COMING
Dishonored was not a game I played in 2012. I thought about playing it. I had it on my Amazon wish list. I never could pull the trigger on buying it, though, and I’m not entirely sure why. It looked like an interesting game set in an interesting world, but the gameplay just didn’t hook me. I’ve just never been a huge fan of the sneaky-sneaky, murder-murder, type games. I had enough of that playing Splinter Cell.

I know you could go through missions without murdering people if you tried hard enough, but it still doesn’t interest me enough to get real excited for a sequel. The footage they showed at the press conference honestly looked like more of the same, just now with demon limb powers and land mines. I guess that’s cool, but still not enough for me.

The original game is on sale right now on Steam, so maybe I’ll give it a try. Maybe.

Also, you’ll be able to switch between playing as two characters, original Dishonored protagonist Corvo Attano and his ward Emily Kaldwin. So, that’s kinda neat.

  • Inconsequential Announcements

THE ELDER SCROLLS CARD GAME
The Elder Scrolls Legends will most likely be Bethesda’s take on Hearthstone. The free-to-play strategy card game is coming to PC and iPad at some point this year.

A FALLOUT MOBILE GAME LAUNCHED NOW
Fallout Shelter is essentially just advertising for Fallout 4.