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E3 2018 Day 2: Bethesda Press Event

By Shamus
on Tuesday Jun 12, 2018
Filed under:
Notices

 
 

I went into this presentation with a massive chip on my shoulder. I’m always sharply critical of Bethesda on a creative level, particularly when it comes to things like narrative, dialog, playtesting, QA testing, interface design, art style, pacing, combat mechanics, PC support, sound design, presentation, user choice, character design, system requirements, physics, scripting, animation, game feel, respect for legacy source material, enemy design, lighting, and Todd Howard’s annoying half-smirk. I was ready to hate on these guys for an hour and a half.

But when it comes right down to it, I think they won me over. I liked several of the offerings. I was genuinely excited about others. I even enjoyed some of the presentations for games I don’t care about. And in the end, I wound up laughing at Todd Howard’s jokes instead of laughing at Todd Howard directly. It was a good show, with solid titles, well presented, with just enough levity and self-awareness to disarm me.

If you watch the video, take note of how many times this happens:

Me, shouting at Tood Howard, “So are you guys going to finally get around to fixing [longstanding annoyance]?!?”

(5 seconds later)

Todd Howard says to the audience, “And yes, [longstanding annoyance] is no longer an issue.”

Me: “Huh.”

The text summary is below the video:


Link (YouTube)

#1 Ranked Publisher in the world

His job title is Global Senior Vice President, but his real job is keeping Todd Howard in check.

His job title is Global Senior Vice President, but his real job is keeping Todd Howard in check.

Pete Hines kicks things off by pointing out that their developers have the best aggregate review scores. This made me say, “What, really?”, because I was of course thinking of the jank-ass games that come out of Bethesda Softworks.

But really, this makes a lot of sense. The “Bethesda problems” I listed at the top of this post really only apply to their mainline Elder Scrolls and Fallout titles. Everything else is pretty good. This publisher doesn’t release many duds. And even their jank titles are insanely popular by way of offering a particular blend of gameplay that you just can’t get anywhere else.

They’re not hyperactive market reactionaries like EA, forever chasing whatever trend was hot two years ago. They understand genre boundaries and aren’t trying to turn everything into Call of Duty. When they do take a franchise into new territory (such as Elder Scrolls online or Fallout 76) they do so with spinoff titles rather than jamming unwanted stuff into the mainline titles. (As with Dungeon Keeper, SimCity, or the online shooter stuff in Mass Effect 3.) They’ve never plagued us with loot boxes. They haven’t inflicted any sort of Uplay madness on us, even though the popularity of their games certainly gives them the leverage to do so.

Yes, I have many creative criticisms with their offerings. But my complaints are focused on their art rather than their business practices. That puts them ahead of nearly everyone else by default.

Am I… am I a Bethesda fanboy?

RAGE 2

What if Mad Max Fury Road was a party?

What if Mad Max Fury Road was a party?

I love EVERYTHING about this.. except the protagonist.

This looks like glorious, chaotic fun. It’s wild, colorful, and dynamic. It looks like the best parts of DOOM 2016, Bulletstorm, and Borderlands 2, all rolled into one. Run fast, make explosions, and kill legions of screaming psychos with ridiculously overpowered weapons. Blast dudes into the air with exploding barrels and then shoot them a few extra times on the way back down. Hurl a guy into the air with your sparkle grenades and knock him into his buddies with one of your high-tech boomerangs. Jump, sprint, drive, and murder your way across a post-apocalyptic desert hellscape that still finds lots of ways to inject color into the world and make sure the bad guys stand out from the scenery.

But then the sneering po-faced protagonist jumps in and starts ranting about his dead parents and bringing justice to the wasteland.

Do you mind, buddy? We’re having a murder-party here and your complaining is really killing the mood.

He’s all wrong. This game is gleeful and insane, and the protagonist is completely dissonant with that. Worse, we’ve heard this kind of angsty bullshit a million times before. This is a game for a Serious Sam, a Bayonetta, or a Duke Nukem. Our protagonist should be having fun doing this. Arg.

It’s not too late Bethesda. You can still change this. We don’t need this Mad Max/Batman hybrid. Yes, I know the name of the game is “Rage”. But look. The Doomguy is never doomed, Bayonetta never uses a bayonet, none of the Final Fantasies are the final one, the Wolfenstein games only occasionally have anything in them called Wolfenstein, and you never see a single mirror anywhere in Mirror’s Edge. Don’t be enslaved by the title. Just replace this irritating mope before he drags your entire game down.

Elder Scrolls LEGENDS

Wait, this already exists? It’s a collectible card game based on Elder Scrolls? Whatever. Not interested.

However, I do appreciate that they made it a standalone game instead of jamming it into Skyrim and making you play it to gain “War Assets” for the Imperials vs. Stormcloaks.

Elder Scrolls Online

I honestly don’t get the appeal of this game. Then again, now that I’ve played proper action MMOs, the gameplay of ESO feels impossibly dull to me.

DOOM ETERNAL

THIS is what the world was expecting from Doom 3.

THIS is what the world was expecting from Doom 3.

YEEEEES.

In 1993, the end of Doom promised us a demonic invasion of Earth. And then we never got that. I guess technically Doom 2: Hell On Earth was SUPPOSED to be that, but the engine of the day wasn’t up to the task of depicting Earth. So instead we got crazy abstract monster mazes. They were fun, but it didn’t feel like EARTH. Then Doom vanished for a decade, and when it came back it was a survival horror title. But now, 24 years later, we’re finally getting to fight demons on Earth. Even better, they have twice as many monster types as the previous game?

I don’t pre-order games because there’s no need to reserve a copy in a world of digital goods, but I’m preordering this game in my heart.

Quake Champions

I completely lost interest in online PVP shooters when I hit 35, and I can’t imagine anything that would bring me back. But I still love to WATCH these old-school shooters being played by high-level players.

The eSports scene has been a bit barren for me over the past few years. I don’t care about MOBAs and I’m not into the modern military stuff that’s popular these days. I don’t care about CCGs. I’m burned out on StarcraftAlthough my favorite player won a major title this year and that was fun to watch.. But an old-school shooter with railguns, bouncepads, fast movement, rockets, and wild character designs? That sounds fun to watch. So this announcement that they’re pushing this as a major-league game is pretty exciting.

Prey

I hope the moon is insured.

I hope the moon is insured.

I know I already said this, but YEEEESSSSS!

Note that Prey was my GOTY 2017, and I even went a little fanboy-crazy over it. And now we’re getting a free update to the game that adds 3 new game modes: Story Mode, New Game+, and survival mode. Plus they’re rolling out some DLC called “Mooncrash” that’s sort of a… roguelike thing? With randomized layouts and permadeath?

On top of that, they’re also adding a game mode based on the idea of mimics in the game, and creating a 1 v. 5 PVP mode in the style of prop hunt. That’s inspired.

Activision and EA wouldn’t even greenlight a game like this, since this genre has never performed particularly well. Ubisoft wouldn’t make it a AAA title it because it’s not an open world collect-a-thon with a busywork crafting tree. And Valve wouldn’t make it because it’s a videogame and they don’t make those anymore. But not only did Bethesda greenlight this game, they gave it a respectable marketing campaign and now it’s getting post release support and free updates?

I am so happy right now.

Wolfenstein Youngblood

Yes, there was a 90s Rob Liefeld comic named Youngblood. I guess that's fitting, given how both works seem to be aiming for lowbrow mediocrity.

Yes, there was a 90s Rob Liefeld comic named Youngblood. I guess that's fitting, given how both works seem to be aiming for lowbrow mediocrity.

And now I’m annoyed.

You might remember that while Wolfenstein: The New Colossus reviewed well, I was very critical of it. My recent time with Destiny 2 has driven home just how tepid and unsatisfying the gunplay is and how bland the enemy designs and environments are. If I were to re-write my retrospective on TNC now, it would probably be even more negative.

This game jumps forward and has us play as BJ’s daughters in some sort of co-op type situation. The game is set in the 1980s. Normally I’d be enthusiastic about a premise like this, but after TNC I don’t have a lot of confidence in this team to deliver on something this ambitious. Their sketch of America was already vague and disjointed, and now they’re going to try to explore an America that’s even further in the future and at the same time develop two new protagonists?

At the end of my TNC series, I implied that maybe some journalists gave this game more credit than it deserved because it pandered to their current mood. I can’t look into the hearts of other journos and know what they’re thinking, but after seeing this presentation I have to say my theory sounds a lot more plausible. Twice the developers got enthusiastic applause by simply saying, “YOU GET TO KILL LOTS OF NAZIS!” Like that all by itself is worthy of praise.

Ironically, all this undeserved praise could ruin this series. See, these developers seem to have figured out that they can please the audience by slapping a swastika on someone and letting the player shoot them. Nothing in the critical reception of this game indicates their shortcomings, which means they have no reason to correct their many deficiencies with regards to gameplay, narrative, and environment design. Even if they realize on their own that TNC fell short of its predecessors, this room full of journalists is signaling to them, “WE DON’T CARE ABOUT CRAFT. WE JUST WANT MORE SOFTBALL PANDERING AND BRUTE-FORCE GRATIFICATION.”

Sooner or later the zeitgeist will shift and people will have some other boogeyman to worry about. Nazi-shooting won’t be an instant pass to the heart of your average game reviewer. And then what? Wolfenstein will be left with a lot of bad habits and a legacy of mediocrity.

Fallout 76

AND THEN THEY MURDERED EACH OTHER FOR NO REASON.

AND THEN THEY MURDERED EACH OTHER FOR NO REASON.

This was confusing. At one point Todd Howard said that you’ll be able to play the game “on your own”. But then all they showed us was an open-world gankfest. He kept describing it as being a fallout game with some vaguely-defined things to do, but everything they said and everything they showed us pointed to this being a betrayal simulator in the style of RUST.

I have heard this dream before. Many, many times. People are always dreaming of this open-world sandbox with friendships, alliances, betrayals, drama, and emergent community. They have this image in their heads that if you just hand everyone a weapon and let them alone that large structures of order will appear. People will build! They’ll protect each other! They’ll hunt down troublemakers! Civilization will emerge!

NO. You are dangerously wrong.

What you will ALWAYS end up with is a group of 5 griefers murdering the never-ending stream of newcomers. Everyone will betray and murder everyone else as soon as possible, because the dynamics of a videogame are fundamentally different from that of the real world. Everyone turns into a sociopath, because empathy and the human conscience don’t operate the same in gamespace. You don’t feel pain, you don’t stay dead, and even if you’re virtuous you can’t count on anyone else because the odds of betrayal are so staggeringly high.

You don’t get emergent order, you get never-ending chaos.

The only non-combat activity Howard showed us was that you can build a base. But why? Why build a sandcastle in a world where the only purpose of a sandcastle is to get kicked over?

So maybe you’ll add a karma system? Or mutual ratings? Player behavior records? Nope. That all gets folded back into the meta-game and becomes another tool that griefers use to harass or confuse newcomers.

Even EVE Online – possibly the most anarchic MMO ever made – has a big section of protected space around the newbie zone, lots of things for newbies to do in that zone, and lots of ways for players to join or establish complex organizations before they push their way out to Gank Space. On top of that, the choke points of the jump gates offer some degree of protection for the underdogs. As far as I can tell, Fallout 76 has none of this. From what they’ve told us, it will quickly devolve into a pointless waste where you step out of the vault, walk for five minutes without seeing a single player, and then get sniped.

I have no idea what this team is thinking. If every single person is controlled by a player, then how can the game have shopkeepers? Who will give quests? Who will tell the story they keep hinting at in these trailers?

AND THEN THEY MURDERED EACH OTHER FOR NO REASON. AGAIN. EMERGENT GAMEPLAY!

AND THEN THEY MURDERED EACH OTHER FOR NO REASON. AGAIN. EMERGENT GAMEPLAY!

Creating a real emergent player-based society that rises above “confusing, poorly-paced, unbalanced open world deathmatch” is insanely difficult. It’s so difficult that amid dozens of attempts, only one company (CCP Games, developers of EVE) has really pulled it off. Nothing Todd Howard says here makes me think they understand the problem they’re trying to solve.

What a waste. At least it’s a spinoff title and not a mainline Fallout game.

Having said all that, I really enjoyed Todd Howard’s talk. He got me to laugh a few times, he made some good observations about E3, and he seemed to be having a good time.

And despite all my criticisms above, I really do believe that Fallout 76 is coming from a genuine creative spark within the company. This isn’t like when Andrew Wilson slithers out on stage and tells us he’s only putting loot boxes in the game because we demanded them. Howard was keenly aware of the concerns the audience would have, and he spoke to many of them during his talk. I think the design sounds misguided, but I believe they made this game because they wanted it to exist, not because they thought it was an optimal way of making money. And so I find myself repulsed by the design of Fallout 76, and yet also hoping it finds an audience and does well.

Elder Scrolls Blades

It’s a game you can play on your phone, with one hand, in portrait mode, but also a game you can play on the PC. And in VR. Crazy. Visually it looks like Oblivion and in terms of gameplay it looks awkward as hell. I’m not sold on this, but I am curious to see more.

Starfield

Ah! It’s a space game. The teaser just showed a planet, a space station, and played some deliberately Trek-style music.

That’s it. That’s all we get. And yet, I’m excited. I’ve been hungry for a space game since Mass Effect imploded in dysfunction. The world needs this.

I need this.

Whatever it is.

The Elder Scrolls VI

No information no location no concept no scenery no gameplay.

No information no location no concept no scenery no gameplay.

That’s it. All they do is show us some fantasy mountains and the title. We don’t even get a subtitle to tell us where it’ll be set.

This seems like a meaningless announcement but I think it was important to include this anyway. At this point Elder Scrolls has an MMO, a card game, and a mobile game, but still no proper follow-up to Skyrim. I think they needed to let fans know that another mainline title IS coming, or we might assume Elder Scrolls had dissolved into spinoffs.

This was a really good show. Easily the highlight of E3 for me.

There’s one press event left for me to comment on. I’ll post the Ubisoft show tomorrow.

Footnotes:

[1] Although my favorite player won a major title this year and that was fun to watch.


 
 
Comments (159)

  1. Infinitron says:

    I thought it was the end of Doom 1 that promised a demonic invasion of Earth. Doom 2 was that invasion.

    • Shamus says:

      You’re right.

      Sorry, it’s been decades. I’ll edit the post.

      • Zekiel says:

        Not really relevant, but Doom 2 was one of the very first computer games I ever played. And I still remember the (text) line: “You are now the only human being left on earth”.

        (This was after you managed to evacuate the ENTIRE SURVIVING POPULATION of earth from a spaceport somewhere. Can you guess who you did it? If you guessed “by shooting demons and collecting keycards” then you get a cookie.)

  2. TheCheerfulPessimist says:

    What? No comment on Skyrim: Very Special Edition? Or was that earlier in the show?

  3. Milo Christiansen says:

    No mention of the “Skyrim Very Special Edition” that actually exists?

  4. Zaxares says:

    Yeah, I have a feeling that Fallout 76 is gonna devolve into a gankfest filled with trolls, griefers and possibly hackers within a few weeks. I really, really hope it succeeds, but only because I have friends who are SUPER fans of the series and I’d hate to see their dreams of “rebuilding civilisation” get crushed.

    I was not expecting Doom Eternal, and while the concept is VERY interesting to me, I’m also wary because I did not like the gameplay style that Doom 2016 went with. I much preferred Doom 3, as a matter of fact, because it adhered more to the classic games that were more about using mobile gunplay, the environment, and resource management to survive. Doom 2016 was more about keeping the kill count going like a non-stop carnage train. I guess I’ll put this one on my “wait and see” list.

  5. Viktor says:

    If I were in charge, Fallout 76 would work like Minecraft. Play on your own OR pick a server to play on, the server may be running a custom mod list, the server owner may have specific rules enforced either by moderators or by options in the menu(disable Friendly Fire etc), probably include some randomized effect to guarantee that the world is never fully explored no matter how long the server runs(think Breath of the Wild’s blood moon, but localized to respawning overworld monsters and resetting dungeons). You could really let people tune their game experience that way.

    I am not in charge, and this game is going to be griefer heaven.

  6. Galacticplumber says:

    Wait wasn’t Bethesda also doing that thing with deliberately holding back review copies to the last minute and having two separate paid mods fiascos? Yeah, they’ve less shitbaggery than the literal scum of the industry. This doesn’t make them innocent.

  7. J Greely says:

    I wanted to like Fallout 76. I still want to like it. But I remember when Ultima Online launched, and the back of the box promised “play alone or with as many friends as you want”. Then I walked out of the city gates and got ganked, repeatedly. I’ve hated PKing (excuse me, “player versus player”) ever since, and refuse to have anything to do with it.

    Todd Howard did promise that you could play alone or in small groups of friends, while still saying something like “you won’t even see servers”, so I think they’re going to make it default to open sewers, and make you work to connect with just your friends.

    But with no NPCs, no mods, no companions, no pause button, no adjustable difficulty, no save/restore, no console, etc, I don’t see what you’re going to actually do in the game besides gank noobs and collect launch codes so you can nuclear-gank everybody at once.

    And unlike an Elder Scrolls or Fallout game, there are going to be nerfs and rollbacks and other “game balance” issues as people find exploits that allow them to destroy your carefully-crafted shantytowns. Hell, just dragging a pile of mobs through while you’re building a home would be enough grief.

    “Excuse me, Mr. GM, could you please restore the city that I spent all my caps on, that was utterly destroyed by the ‘launch-code duping’ bug?”

    -j

    • Steve C says:

      “open sewers” … freudian slip?

    • Jennifer Snow says:

      I think it can be done, but they’d have to throw out a ton of ideas that seem common in how such games work.

      The very first idea that *needs* to be thrown out is that you should start out as a nekkid chump anybody can one-shot and wind up an invincible god. Newbies should be *durable*. What they should lack is OFFENSE and RANGE. They start in a vault, after all. Everybody should start owning basic power armor. The trouble is that there aren’t any fusion cores just lying around for people to pick up–someone has to BUILD a fusion generator to make cores, which is high-level stuff. You have to WALK back to the vault for a recharge and repair. (No fast travel, unless you build it, which is high level etc. etc.) Maybe even make it that you have to turn a handle for a while to charge your power armor.

      The vault should have a permanent settlement of its own with invulnerable cannons (kinda like The Citadel in Fallout 4–if you’re in range, it’s death) that aggro on anyone who launches an attack within range and just destroys them. And the aggro should stay on for 5-10 minutes EVEN IF YOU RESPAWN. This makes newbie-ganking prohibitively expensive within range of the vault (but not impossible). It’s just boring, because you probably die (either to cannons, or to annoyed newbies with eternal power armor) and then have to sit around for a while.

      The game should be cheap and easy when you’re “low level”, and difficult and full of attrition when you’re “high-level”. Yeah, the lowbie gear breaks quickly and does little damage, but it’s lightweight and very cheap to repair. Yeah, the highbie stuff does more damage, but it’s heavy as death and super-expensive to repair–you have to build and upgrade high-level stuff, which means investing a lot of resources into building a base, which means investing even MORE resources into DEFENDING that base, etc.

      Your would-be gankers should have to spend the vast majority of their playtime just maintaining their base, and even then, they’re going to be heavily outstripped by more cooperative players–who can build THEIR base within the vault Aegis of Death because THEY don’t attack each other.

      Basically, you have to make ganking a *really expensive lifestyle* and make newbies running around in power armor your cheapest and most effective resource.

  8. Blork32 says:

    Elder Scrolls VI: Skyrim

    Porting Skyrim to the sequel!

    • Pete_Volmen says:

      But… how coudl we make a Skyblivion out of that?
      How can we keep to the tradition of making the previous Elder Scrolls game(s) in the new one?

      • BlueHorus says:

        Wait, have any of those remakes ever actually seen the light of day?

        I remember getting pretty excited about SkyWind being make…about two years ago.
        It’s still not even in beta.

        Pipe dreams are all well and good…

        • Agammamon says:

          You’d think that Bethesda Softworks – a publisher that otherwise knows how to pick winners – would get some third party studios out there to remake the older games. Sure, about 90% of the work would need to be redone but BGS did all those games when they were a sub-200 person studio. There’s got to be some some decent studios that could take an already scripted videogame and create assets and rebuild quests in Creation.

          Morrowind, Oblivion, FO3, and FNV – remade. A freaking gold mine but they want to sit on them.

      • Agammamon says:

        That’s simple. The tradition is making the older games in the new engine – and never actually finishing the job.

        So we’ve got Moroblivion, Skywind, Skyblivion.

        Now, while those ports are still in development, we can get Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim ported into the *next game’s engine.

  9. Daimbert says:

    At the end of my TNC series, I implied that maybe some journalists gave this game more credit than it deserved because it pandered to their current mood. I can’t look into the hearts of other journos and know what they’re thinking, but after seeing this presentation I have to say my theory sounds a lot more plausible. Twice the developers got enthusiastic applause by simply saying, “YOU GET TO KILL LOTS OF NAZIS!” Like that all by itself is worthy of praise.

    Extra Credits did a video on how “B” games like Wolfenstein TNC need to discuss issues because AAA games like Call of Duty are too scared to. Since I’ve been mining their videos and some other things to generate blog content, I did a post on that video. I spent most of it quoting you and following it up with “They aren’t discussing issues at all!”. So, yeah, your take seems pretty credible.

    Also, you get to kill lots of Nazis in games like Call of Duty as well, and isn’t killing Nazis table stakes for a Wolfenstein game?

    What you will ALWAYS end up with is a group of 5 griefers murdering the never-ending stream of newcomers. Everyone will betray and murder everyone else as soon as possible, because the dynamics of a videogame are fundamentally different from that of the real world. Everyone turns into a sociopath, because empathy and the human conscience don’t operate the same in gamespace. You don’t feel pain, you don’t stay dead, and even if you’re virtuous you can’t count on anyone else because the odds of betrayal are so staggeringly high.

    In theory, it should be possible to make this work, but in practice no one needs other players enough to avoid griefing. If they could give bonuses, say, for the most populated Vaults — by player, not by character — and have things that can only be achieved by numbers, then there’d be massive competition to recruit newbies — requiring the Vaults to treat them well — and they’d be protected from griefers as a way to ensure that they recruit them and the players stay in the game. Of course, this would open up all sorts of new scams, and I’m not even sure you can offer anything that matters that much, but it seems to me that these games focus too much on creating ways for players to compete and not enough on ways or reasons for them to co-operate, but it’s the latter that’s actually going to make the game work out the way they promised it would.

    It’s a game you can play on your phone, with one hand …

    I’m leery of any game that makes that last part a selling point …

    • Preciousgollum says:

      I’m leery of any game that makes that last part a selling point …

      Careful, whatever it is you mean, Todd Howard will call you a Degenerate, on multiple occasions, because E3 cringe.

    • Agammamon says:

      I think the problem in their testing is that everyone playing the game are professional adults *who mostly know each other in real life*. Bob ganking you can be annoying-funny the first half dozen times but at the hundredth you can corner his arse at the watercooler and let him know, face-to-face, how you really feel about it.

      Knowing this, Bob reins himself before it gets to that. Some dude in Uzbekistan who doesn’t even speak English is going to give approximately zero fucks that he’s ruining your game. What are you going to do to him? Yell racial slurs into the microphone? That’s his win-state.

      Its why these games tend to fall apart once they’re released into the wild.

      • Daimbert says:

        I wonder if part of the problem with testing, as well, is that they know precisely how co-operating benefits them and how it’s more efficient. That may not be as obvious for new players, especially in an environment where others are already griefing.

        Also, problems with this should be seen in Beta, although perhaps there they have more players who are interested in the game itself and less in simply griefing other players.

  10. Preciousgollum says:

    Right, let’s tackle Wolfenstein Youngblood.

    1. Obvious female representation is obvious. We don’t even know that these characters look like, and they are bodies with a question mark for a face. And power armour. Thus far, they are ciphers. It is about sticking nubile 20-something females in the video games, because that is the demographic to court. Where is the game that includes playing as Helga the fat German vs Nazis, Catherine the older lady, or the black lady from Wolfenstein 2? DLC?

    2. This outcome spoils the prospect tension in a ‘Wolfenstein Trilogy, because the mere announcement of it means that the twins must live, even if the mother (Anya?) doesn’t. Tension is dead. And we know the revolution of WSII isn’t going to go that well… Where is Wolfenstein III? Were they making ‘Youngblood’ at the same time, and is this why WSII was left under-developed?

    3. MachineGames got praises got making Old-school games that didn’t have modern political commentary, and then the franchise moves onto making ‘Co-op shooters’, which were the bane of 2009-2013 game design. Ironically, MachineGames & Bethesda have gone from old-school philosophy to one of THE most abrasive trendy politicking and advertising examples in the business – Double down: Pete Hines has managed to turn belief and good sense, into a slogan campaign to sell product.

    4. Bethesda aren’t well known for having co-op in their game, so will it even work? What is the design of the co-op experience?

    5. Once again, a marketing tease and vapid buzzwords about ‘diversity’ hide the lack of details available, and allow for the minimal amount of information for the most ‘excitement’. It means that a concept is being sold to people who are proponents of ‘diversity’ in gaming, before they even know what game is. All trailer. All talk. No substance.

    6. Neo- Nazis become NEON-Nazis, because somebody thought this was a funny joke at some point… clearly. Because 80s nostalgia?

    • Henson says:

      I mean, yeah, the trailer was lacking in details about these new characters, so I can see why you see them as cyphers…but is that really any different from most game trailers this far ahead of release? I think we shouldn’t assume the intentions of the developers until we have a lot more information on this project.

    • Olivier FAURE says:

      Do we really have to point it out every single time a publishers makes a point of having diversity / female protagonists?

      This feels like the people who are complaining about new Star Wars movies having too many female protagonists, because every time there’s a female character it’s somehow “pandering” or whatever.

      • Daimbert says:

        Do we really have to point it out every single time a publishers makes a point of having diversity / female protagonists?

        Well, if they’re making a point of it, then yeah, it’s probably useful to point that out, especially if the characters or work suffer because of that …

        I personally would probably wait until I saw how they worked out or until it was clear that the move made no sense, but since the people supporting those moves don’t usually wait until then it’s not really reasonable for me to complain too much about someone who doesn’t generally like those moves starting early, too.

    • Redrock says:

      I don’t know, I’m pretty fond of 20-something females, especially “nubile” ones. Are you sure the developers aren’t pandering to me, a 20-something male? Like they’ve been doing for ages now? Food for thought.

      • Distec says:

        In 2018, young 20-something hotties get to be both strong forward-thinking statements AND sexy titillation for the young men, inevitably converted into Source Filmmaker porn.

        We all get to eat our cake.

        Seriously though, I feel like this is an act we should all recognize by now. It’s not a mystery as to why creators in ALL mediums seemingly default to Sufficiently Attractive Badass Lady (bonus points if lesbian) when they’re grasping for any kind of progressive touchstone to include. As far as “transgressive” content goes, that is the safest thing you could possibly do. And yet some people think showing a lesbian kiss at E3 is brave and unprecedented.

        It makes the back-patting displays of some of these companies simply offputting.

        • Cubic says:

          “Oh yeah. We went there.”

        • Shamus says:

          I can certainly understand the desire to be suspicious of the Wolfenstein team. It’s easy to assume that if they think they should get a pat on the head for “fuck Nazis”, then maybe they’re also looking for bonus points for female protagonist(s). On the other hand…

          What if they’re just doing this because it’s a cool idea? From our vantage point, how could we tell the difference at this point? Certainly the final product will reveal if this was done in the name of craft or crass pandering. (Either kind.) While I’m happy to predict “this game will probably be bad” for some titles, I’m a little more reluctant to ascribe bad motives to individual creators at such an early junction.

          I know this sort of representation really means a lot to some people. In fact, it often means a lot even if it’s done poorly and for the wrong reasons. I remember how much my daughter’s eyes would light up when she saw a game announced with a female protagonist. A lot of us don’t care one way or the other about the gender of our main character, but for some people it’s REALLY important.

          Honestly, I could give the team a pass for any of this as long as they deliver a quality game. Even their smug “WHO ELSE HERE DOESN’T LIKE NAZIS?!?” crowd-pumping efforts would be a lot more charming and a lot less obnoxious if they were making solid games.

          • Redrock says:

            I dunno, Shamus, I feel that a lot of the smugness actually comes from the, ahem, journalistic community, and not the developers. The developers couldn’t have possibly foreseen that by the release of the second date a big chunk of game pundits and a relatively smaller but still vocal chunk of gamers in the USA would be seriously comparing arguing with people on Reddit about politics to, y’know, living under actual frickin NAZIS during the war. Sure, the developers and Bethesda rolled with it, but most of that pathos was created by the media, I’d say. The poor fellas had to choose between playing along and doing whatever Ubi tries to do when the politics of their games are brought up. I honestly don’t think that European developers could really account for the rapid politicization of, well, everything in the last two years. Hope that’s abstract enough to not break the “no politics” rule.

            That being said, what the developers need to do, is take a big step back and really think about what they are doing with the shooting in those games. Because there is a problem that’s going undiagnosed in there. Basically, they need to either move towards guerilla style action – and that means reentering stealth at will – or towards better run and gun, with less incoming damage and more mobility and control over the battlefield. I’m fine with either, but the current thing just doesn’t work.

            • Shamus says:

              “I dunno, Shamus, I feel that a lot of the smugness actually comes from the, ahem, journalistic community, and not the developers.”

              A large portion of my peer group is made of journalists and I’m very fond of many of them. They’re good people. (Er. Most of them. I mean, every group has its jackasses.) So I really can’t comment too much on this without it feeling like I’m talking about my friends behind their back, and possibly breaking the “no politics” rule myself.

              So I’ll just say: I totally get where you’re coming from.

              • Preciousgollum says:

                So I really can’t comment too much on this without it feeling like I’m talking about my friends behind their back, and possibly breaking the “no politics” rule myself.

                Hi Shamus.
                I respect the idea of the ‘no politics rule’… as it would make life so much simpler. I used to see games as a respite and haven from worrying too much about politics.

                However… as various non-games media (and media which ostensibly covers politics at that) see the size of the games industry, they now have their stories needed to enter into the games debate… through politics.

                So, I do predict a future where controversy will be used to sell games through mainstream media, through the use of a political lense. For example, The Last of Us: Part 2 had the money-shot (we know which one…) that media was absolutely falling over itself to cover, as if the video game had demonstrated an affirmation of a particular way or lifestyle.

                … meaning that the discussions of games will become inseparable from politics. I’ve experienced the medium of video games for about 20 years, and, while games have often brushed up against political controversy, it now feels as if the two entities are in the same boat, as those edgy rebellious people who were once Id software, taking risks, are now ‘the guardians’ to an extent: they have become the norm. The people have grown up, and the companies have got bigger.

                Politics beckons the industry.

            • Distec says:

              I think Redrock has it right here. As a game on its own, I don’t think Wolf2 was all that preachy. Lacking in coherence and consistency in many places, and guilty of unearned indulgence (see Bloody Anya). But very far from the eternal battle between Agendas and Throats a lot of people like to invoke.

              Then a considerable number of journalists decided to pee in the pool. And Pete Hines and the marketing machines decided to willingly dunk themselves in it, and found the temperature just fine. Now I’m either annoyed with or wary of everybody involved.

              For clarity: I’m not all that suspicious of MG’s motivations. Or if I am, I don’t care enough to act or pontificate at length on them. I generally assume that if a game has a female PC (or otherwise not a standard white male), that the creators have their good reasons. And diversity/representation can definitely be one of those reasons! If I’m annoyed at anybody, it’s the talking heads.

              • Dan Efran says:

                Not to pick on you specifically (really!) but your phrasing here speaks to something I’m noticing: I feel like this whole discussion (on this site and beyond) still has an undertone of White Male being the “standard” for a PC and the developers “needing a reason” to expect you to play as anyone else. Sure, diversity and representation can be overdone or pandering or insincere in some cases, but aren’t we supposed to be past the point where simply stepping away from the “standard” white male PC at all isn’t a political statement? Having, say, a female protagonist should be exactly as notable as having a male one…not news! Shouldn’t need to be justified by a “good reason” – if anything, a developer should work harder by now to justify writing another Angry Joe Gunwhite instead of someone new.

                • Preciousgollum says:

                  if anything, a developer should work harder by now to justify writing another Angry Joe Gunwhite instead of someone new.

                  What if ‘Angry Joe Gunwhite’ is replaced by ‘Angry Jane’, in mad-libs fashion?

                  This allows for publishers to keep coming out with same types of ‘combat-oriented violence game’, under a character reskin, or ‘bold narrative direction’, while holding the belief that they are ‘elevating the medium’.

                  … But, I’m gonna stop now, because this is getting into a different topic.

            • Viktor says:

              I mean, the US government is currently setting up camps where they send people that the president deems less than human, government death squads execute minorities in the street for imagined crimes, and not-insignificant chunk of people wear the title of Nazi proudly, so I don’t think it’s games journalists’ fault that “Fuck Nazis” is now a relevant political statement.

              (I’d apologize for violating the “no politics” rule, but the first post in this thread did so, so it’s fair game now).

              • Shamus says:

                Context: The original poster was pretty damn close to the line, and I did indeed linger over Preciousgollum’s post trying to figure out if it should stand or not. But at least they were talking about the game. You just went full on fight mode with maximum-strength rhetoric for American Politics. If the the first poster was over the line, you just blew past the line at 100MPH. Shit man, you obviously spend some time thinking about this stuff. You know exactly how your adversaries are going to reply. What makes you think you’ll get a different result this time? And what makes you think I want to moderate it?

                “so it’s fair game now”

                You don’t get to decide that.

                Well, I know where this thread will go next and I’m too busy for that nonsense right now. Everyone should consider the entire topic closed, all the way up to Preciousgollum’s original comment.

                • Preciousgollum says:

                  My apologies, and I see what comment you mean. I actually meant that to appear at the end of my previous post, but sort of messed it up and it got posted in the wrong place – and looked out of place.

                  The original aim was to test the theory, and I’m going to use a Simpsons example here:

                  Whether this current trend of re-orienting the industry towards ‘strong female protagonist’ is the Lisa- Lionheart doll, or Malibu Stacey with a new hat.

                  In other words, are we being sort of ‘fooled’ to some extent, but we don’t want to realise it…
                  …because, as the end of The Prestige says: “We want to be fooled.”

                  So, thank you all for your patience.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Yeah,we should keep in mind that this is after all just a marketing gimmick and reflects 0% at the actual quality of the game.The obvious marketing buzz words could actually be implemented well into the game,and they could be implemented badly.And at this point,its a crapshoot,because we had FUCK NAZIS implemented well in the new order and we had FUCK NAZIS implemented badly in the new colossus.

        • Olivier FAURE says:

          And yet some people think showing a lesbian kiss at E3 is brave and unprecedented.

          I wouldn’t say it’s brave, but isn’t it unprecedented?

          Maybe I’m missing something, I don’t remember any other AAA game having a lesbian protagonist.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            What about shepard?She bonked a few of her female shipmates.In fact,wasnt shepard x liara one of the controversies back in the day?

            • Olivier FAURE says:

              I forgot to add “leaving aside RPG where you choose your gender and orientation”, but point taken. Leaving those aside, I don’t think there’s been a AAA game where you played a canonically LGBT character with a LGBT kiss yet.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Not even from japan?Im not that big of a fan of japanese games,but I do know that their anime is not as constrained as that in the usa,so it wouldnt surprise me if some final fantasies or metal gears or whatevers had canonically gay people in them.

  11. Vinsomer says:

    I think you’re being very optimistic if you think Bethesda can make a better Mass Effect than Bioware. In recent years, Bethesda have copied Bioware and Bioware have copied Bethesda and it has resulted in worse games from both studios. I’m expecting Starfield to be Skyrim by way of No Man’s Sky. Which is fine. That would be a fun game. But it wouldn’t be Mass Effect.

    But the Fallout 76 thing, I agree. The core of the problem with these survival grief simulators is:

    1. There are no stakes. The world is so brutal that nobody can actually build anything decent before someone takes it from them. And you can always respawn when you die. There is no endgame so building doesn’t progress you towards a win condition, it just makes you a target and gives you something to lose while engaging in the most threadbare mechanics of the genre. So players have very little in terms of resources to lose upon death, no gameplay incentive to seek anything other than the death of other players (especially when killing others guarantees more resources for killing), and no negative effects that carry over. This is why Battle Royale games let players team up before the game: because it just doesn’t happen with strangers.

    2. These games focus so much more on combat mechanics than anything else, so is it any surprise that combat becomes the typical way in which players interact with others? The trailers all talked about ‘rebuilding the wasteland’ and time will tell how committed the game will be to that idea but it doesn’t look good. There was no indication of any mechanics, beyond actual building, that would actually approximate ‘rebuilding society’. No building factions, or forming large communities, or managing people and workers, or acquiring and utilising land, and even the combat was focussed on aggression, not defence. You can argue that those things aren’t necessarily ‘fun’, I’d argue that they were integral to the experience of previous fallout games and they can be fun if you make them fun, as other games do. Fallout 76 seems to have a very narrow and literal view of what ‘rebuilding society’ actually entails which makes me question both the initiative and the honesty of the developers.

    • Agammamon says:

      One of the reasons they justify in having no NPC is that ‘its 25 years after the war and very few vaults have opened’. Which is weird – unless they’re saying that the majority of the people (raiders included) are from vaults and not survivors of the war. It just seems like it was used as an excuse to ‘streamline’ another mechanic out of the game in order to ease development.

      And that’s not necessarily a wrong choice on their part. Hardly anyone will say that there’s any meaningful story and few rememberable characters outside of Far Harbour. Everyone seems to like just building and shooting in FO4. Now they can do that with friends.

      • Vinsomer says:

        I mean… I guess that narratively, it makes sense, but the doylist explanation is that they came up with the gameplay concept far before they nailed the setting, something supported by Schreier’s leaks (I’m going to watch the NoClip doc on it soon to see if he’s right, but he was right about everything he said so I don’t doubt him). Narrative coherence when it comes to things like this isn’t that important. The game could reasonably be set in almost any post-war area and period and nobody complains about all the inconsistencies and holes in, say, Super Mario games. An otherwise good but at times dissonant narrative is better than a bad narrative or no narrative, at least when it comes to this franchise.

        From the trailer, it looks like most non-player enemies will be irradiated monsters. Which is cool, I feel that Fallout 4 didn’t have as many, or as interesting creatures as NV and 3. Too many raiders and Super-Mutants. ~If anything, I expect Fallout 76 to have the best combat yet.

        I also don’t think Fallout 4 having a bad story is a good reason to ditch the story altogether. Most players want a better story, not no story. After all, those who don’t care about the story just ignore it anyway. That being said, Fallout 76 is a spin off and should be free to do its own thing, regardless of how radical that may be. I just don’t think that it’s thing will be a good thing.

  12. Roofstone says:

    From the biome, visuals, layout of the world aligned with the map, and the trumpet music. I wanna say that Elder Scrolls VI is in High Rock, and I hope to god it is. I have always wanted to revisit High Rock properly.

    Not necessarily because of the location itself. It is certainly not the most varied province. (but it does have it’s own fair share of varying biomes.)

    But you gotta focus on what is in High Rock.

    On the surface Breton society is very standard feudal europe. But this is the birthplace of politics. This is where you go to war with another country on a whim. It is where you “[…] find a hill and form a kingdom”. It is a place where royal assassinations is a national pastime. Where court intrigue is a daily occurrence.

    And the people themselves are super interesting as well! It is a country of people naturally in tune with their magical prowess. It is a country in which each state and even towns have their own chivalric knightly order.

    It is a country filled with adventure and intrigue!

    • BlueHorus says:

      So…I see your argument and say this: AFAIK Valenwood, the home of the Wood Elves, is a massive forest with magical migratory trees. Now that sounds like a different, weird setting for a game. Make the forest REALLY dense, have settlements in the trees…
      (…doesn’t WoW already have a setting like this?)

      While High Rock might be fun, it doesn’t sound interesting to me. It may well be full of politics and magic, but if said politics and magic are written with the grace and depth of Skyrim’s…

      Sadly, the video of Random Fantasy Mountains doesn’t look much like it’ll have migratory trees.

    • Redrock says:

      I honestly don’t much care about the setting of a TES game. What’s more important to me is that they bring back a more complex faction structure, like the interplay between Houses and Guilds in Morrowind. The fact that you can become the head of most factions in Skyrim always annoyed me.

      My dream? A TES game where you step off a boat/out of prison with only one main quest, the only one people care about at first: make it in the world. And only once you become the local Archmage, the leader of an Assassin Guild or an established fixer in a Great House do you get contacted by some Blades or whoever for a great quest. Exactly because of your renown. And your first big accomplishment gets set in and recognized by the game. No more guards adressing the Archmage as a common adventurer.

      • Daniel says:

        I have no problem with being able to become the head of all the guilds at once. Saves me from having to have multiple playthroughs to see all the content. I play one character for 100’s of hours, don’t force me to create another to do it all. If anything, add a user option to allow or disallow this.

        On your second point…having the start of the game not introduce the main quest is an interesting idea. Most of my time in these games is spent avoiding the main quest in favor of doing all the side stuff. You could do some great world building by having the character actually accomplish something before they become the world’s best/only hope. If any game could get away with something like this, it would be TES.

        • Viktor says:

          There’s 2 separate points here. One is that certain guilds interacting with each other is good world-building and opens up storytelling options. If the Fighters Guild is muscle for the local mob, and the Thieves Guild is at war with the mob, it forces the player to actually make an in-game relevant decision about which to support. Each guild being completely isolated makes it all feel very fake.

          The other point is that I don’t care whether or not you just saved the College of Mages from certain doom, that in no way makes you qualified for the day-to-day bureaucratic tasks that go into actually running a school and research institution.

        • Redrock says:

          I think that’s exactly why they did it in Skyrim – to accommodate for a single playthrough. Still, though, my idea was that you’d actually be able to complete most of the quests of most factions, but after you start leading one, in case of the others that would be to earn their loyalty or whatever. So you go through the same quest line as a favor to them, but don’t get put in charge.

          Also, my idea for the main quest of the new TES? The Dwemer are back. And they are ANGRY.

          • djw says:

            The “single playthrough” thing is silly though. Who plays those games all the way through? I’ve only ever finished the main quest in ONE play through of ONE of the games (it was Oblivion) and in all the others my 1000’s of hours in game involve many many restarts after I finish one of the guild quest lines and get bored.

            Maybe I’m just a weirdo, but I have a feeling I’m not alone in this.

    • Hal says:

      High Rock could be very interesting.

      On the other hand, Cyrodiil was supposed to be very interesting. The Empire was supposed to be this eclectic mix of Roman and Japanese influences via the Akaviri (i.e. snake people).

      Then we got Oblivion, and Cyrodiil was . . . bog standard generic pseudo-European medieval fantasy.

      It’s kind of why people want games set in more exotic places like Elsweyr, Black Marsh, or Valenwood. At least there’s a chance that with such fantastic, alien settings, we’ll get something remarkable that might have the appeal and longevity that Morrowind still holds for a lot of fans.

      I’m not gonna hold my breath on that, though I’ll play it either way.

      • Roofstone says:

        Yeah the depiction of Cyrodiil always bothered me, Tamriel already had european feudalism; it is in High Rock.

        And I think that every province is a good place for a game really. But personally I just really love feudalism, it is an area of interest! So I have long been hoping for High Rock, and I hope it is what we get.

      • JBC31187 says:

        I’d really like something weirder in my fantasy games. Or at least a game with interesting colors and set design. I bought Oblivion and Amalur at the same time, and they’re both fairly generic medieval fantasy realms, but Oblivion caves are grim gray slogs, and Amalur caves are filled with glowing mushrooms and cracks in the roofs where sunlight pours in and trees sprout and strange green fogs over bottomless chasms. And now I want to play Amalur again.

  13. Preciousgollum says:

    TLDR:

    Nubile 20-somethings are now an example of ‘gender diversity’, and are not in any way an attempt for the games industry to re-engage in sexual pandering while claiming it as ‘Art’.

    Actually, the whole situation reminds me of that South Park episode… ‘Bro-dWay’.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      This is a really weird comment, dude. You barely see the characters and you’re out of the gate with “nubile sexual pandering.” That’s on you, not the devs until they release footage of latex bodysuits and rubber combat armor with boob plating. It’s like… you want to hate the game for having women playable characters, but you’ve tried to cloak it in this bizarre framework to where the DEVS are the creeps for… having women characters in the game.

      • Agammamon says:

        I look at the picture in this post and I see the rear of two nubile twenty-somethings in rubber form-fitting combat armor.

        • Shoeboxjeddy says:

          It’s not made of rubber at all, it’s the same body armor the male protagonist wore in the earlier games. But now it’s sexual pandering because it’s a woman wearing it?

          • Preciousgollum says:

            It is some sort of pandering at least. There is no need to pretend that modern Wolfenstein is incapable of pandering.

            So, one of the main people who wrote modern Wolfenstein, is a Swedish man. He talked about a wave of Neo-Nazism and fascism in the 1980s in Sweden. Remember that point.

            Sweden was a neutral country during World War 2, and has a ‘complicated’ history as a result. The founder of Ikea, for example, used to be into fascism as a youth (and then later expresses regret)
            Norway, for example, had a kinship with Germany, but felt betrayed when the German children of World War I, who had fled to Norway for safety, and then returned to Germany, came back to Norway as occupiers in World War 2.

            Ergo… Wolfenstein goes away from World War 2 as a setting, for the first time in almost ever. That is already quite a difference… and was OK when they were cribbing from Half Life 2 ‘Dystopia’, but has had… mixed success when branching out into social commentary via grindhouse with WSII.

            So, if the writer(s) of modern Wolfenstein want to then fantasise about fantasy wonder-twins, their entire personality so far seems to be tough, agile, ‘Daddy’s Daughters’ who “must embrace the suffering”, saving the 1980s…

            … (Paris, this time) from a wave of fascism, then fine, I guess, but it is branching off to become one of the more esoteric fantasies out there.

            Was definitely not on the prediction bingo, and ‘Jumping the shark’ definitely comes to mind.

            But there is no reason for any ‘hatred’. I’m just pre-emptively gonna roll my eyes at the Internet if the phrase ‘strong female character’ keeps being thrown around to the point that it ceases to matter, and becomes a meaningless industry buzz word… like ‘Aiden Pierce’s ‘Iconic’ baseball cap’ from the collector’s edition of Watchdogs.

            Here is a riddle… when does the work of Quantic Dream to entertain the masses end, and at what point is the audience simply viewing the ‘meditations’ of David Cage?

  14. GoStu says:

    I’m not touching Fallout 76 with a bargepole. It looks like they’re focusing on the settlement-building and crafting aspect… so it’s basically Sandbox Game.

    Except that the multiplayer focus means it’s Sandbox Simulator where they’ve included:

    – Having to cooperate with your stupid sibling.
    – The asshole that kicks it over for laughs.
    – Probably some annoying limits on the amount of sand(?!) you have.

    Even without a bunch of dicks trying to nuke your town (a feature they’re proudly advertising), can you imagine Fallout 4 with all the fun of “You ran out of steel, because your co-op partner just finished his twenty-foot-tall steel dick sculpture”. Oh sure, you might be able to get it back, but he can also go take down your defensive grid to add some pubes to the base of HIS work. FUN!

    • BlueHorus says:

      If only anyone would put that much effort into building a giant steel dick sculpture in this game. More likely they’ll just scream “COCKFACE!” at each other while fighting and wrecking everything, because it’s quicker gratification.

  15. Bloodsquirrel says:

    I don’t think the idea behind Fallout 76 is quite that doomed. Games like Ark Online have shown that you can have more than just a free-for-all murderfest. It just requires the game systems to reward cooperation more than they reward random murder. If large guilds need lots of players to get the resources they need to build their empires, then they won’t be incentivized to drive away new players.

    However, I do appreciate that they made it a standalone game instead of jamming it into Skyrim and making you play it to gain “War Assets” for the Imperials vs. Stormcloaks.

    Hey, it worked with Gwent.

    • BlueHorus says:

      Does Gwent affect the wider game of Witcher 3, though? I mean sure, you can win in-game money playing it, but that’s it.
      If the fact that I completely ignored Gwent in my first playthrough contributed to me getting the Bad Ending, I will be most wroth.

      ME3’s War Assets (and the fact you couldn’t get the good single-player ending without playing the goddamn multiplayer – before that ‘feature’ was patched out) were a completely different kettle of fish.

      But yeah – when I think of an online game that works well at co-op, Left 4 Dead comes to mind. You have to make players both want and need to work together, or they just won’t.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        1) Gwent has no effect on the ending whatsoever. Other than the quests to play Gwent it does show up in a quest or two but I think even then playing the game is the most straightforward rather than the only option to progress.

        2) How quickly was that patched out in ME3? I believe I got the best ending playing the game right after release and I definitely did not touch the multiplayer. I did import an “everybody lives” save so that might have also mattered.

        • BlueHorus says:

          So (according to a Mass Effect Wiki) the DLC is what tipped the balance. Extended Cut lowered the number of Assets needed to get all the endings, and all the others added bonus Assets that the player could earn.

          …How much time did you spend on side-quests in your game? I remember quite a few fetch-quests that I ignored that were tied to War Assets.* Though I think your ‘everybody lives’ save probably did help.

          Anyway, whether or not it was if it was technically possible is (almost) beside the point. It’s such a classic EA move of trying to push the player into doing something rather than persuading them to, that irks me so much.

          *No, Mr Random Turian Sitting Around On A Sofa In The Citadel, I will NOT go to the ass-end of the galaxy just to find you a banner so you can motivate your buddies. There’s a war on – get off your backside and find it yourself!

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            I’m not sure I did `100% but I did every single thing I could find, it was definitely before the DLC and before Extended Cut. I also got the best possible result on most thing (such as the Geth-Quarian conflict or the Rachni).

            To be clear, I do not disagree with you far as EA policy is concerned, just from your statement I assumed you were under the impression it was outright impossible to get all the ending without multiplayer, which my experience contradicts.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        There’s at least one major quest that relies on it.

        Minigames are nothing new in RPGs. I actually think we need way more of them- they add to the depth of the world by breaking up the “dating sim & combat hallways” design that Bioware devolved into. Just because Bioware would do something stupid and reductionist doesn’t mean that the core idea doesn’t have merit.

  16. Smejki says:

    Todd Howard is such a masterful presenter… and I am extremely allergic to him. Because he knows how to misguide, how to sugarcoat a lie so that it’s more palatable. “Attention to details!” was his opening line of the reveal of Fallout 4, with dozens of concept arts of machie control lights shown on the screen (which is like the easiest concept art to do in large volumes). Bethesda games are anything but. There’s a freaking globe featuring Mediterranean sea as land mass (because it’s a texture done by a dumbass in 10 second using Photoshop’s magic wand on some googled earth image). One should always pay attention to the negative space of Todd’ss presentations. It’s what he doesn’t say and show that usually carries the crucial info you actually need. So regarding Fallout76 he says that you can play it solo. What he didn’t say is that you can opt-out of forced PVP.

    Also Shamus. You were wondering about the reason for creating anything of value in F76 if you likely get killed every 10 minutes. I don’t know about base building, but from what I understand you don’t lose “progress” of you avatar. That might include your inventory. But then again, how would newcomers survive in a place where everybody already owns a garage full of power armors?

    Also. The fucking nukes.

    • Preciousgollum says:

      Todd Howard is such a masterful presenter… and I am extremely allergic to him. Because he knows how to misguide, how to sugarcoat a lie so that it’s more palatable.

      Yea, Fallout 76 is rumoured to be an onine multiplayer game, THEN presented by Todd Howard in the Microsoft conference in a manner that seems like it will be a single-player game… AND THEN presents it AGAIN in the Bethesda Conference, only this time, after talking about it in a ‘Single-player’ way, it is then revealed to be MULTIPLAYER haha.

      … and the whole problem is that nobody actually knows to what degree Fallout 76 will be single player vs multiplayer (although it sounds that the answer is ‘less than ESO), because Todd Howard DIDN’T explain it properly. Twice.

      Todd Howard is either a magician, or a munchkin that escaped from Oz. FOLLOW THAT YELLOW BRICK ROAD, PEOPLE!

    • Nessus says:

      “There’s a freaking globe featuring Mediterranean sea as land mass (because it’s a texture done by a dumbass in 10 second using Photoshop’s magic wand on some googled earth image).”

      That sounds like a brilliant little Easter egg rather than a mistake. There was an idea being floated around IRL in the 40s and 50s of damming the strait of Gibraltar and draining the Mediterranean Sea to create a whole new expanse of arable, cognizable dry land.

      It never went anywhere, of course. Partly because of the sheer engineering scope and cost, but mostly because the nations that actually border the Mediterranean sea were NOT cool with the idea (IIRC it was also one of those grandiose “public works” projects that Hitler had on his to-do list).

      However, since Fallout (or Bethesda’s Fallout, at least) is all based on a 50s-inspired retro-future history, it’s super-easy to say that the draining and colonization of the Mediterranean DID happen in that world

      …Which now just makes me really want to see a Fallout game that takes place in the Mediterranean basin (think of the scenery potential!), where the main plot conflict is who gets to control the now dangerously unmaintained Gibraltar dam, and whether they want to fix it, destroy it, or use it as leverage.

      • TheJungerLudendorff says:

        Draining the Mediterranian sounds like some kind of super-villain plan.
        Drain a whole sea to kill all the fish and make everybody starve while raising the global sea level enough to cause widespread ecological damage.

        And then Captain Planet shows up with a very large bucket.

        • Nessus says:

          Oh, totally. There’s ALL kinds of problems with the idea (“Wait… farmland,? Won’t all the soil be, y’know, completely saturated with salt?”). And considering that Hitler was one of its big proponent’s (and possibly the closest to being able to actually attempt it, not that he was actually close in any absolute sense), it was quite literally a supervillain plan for a while.

          BUUUT:

          A) This was the 30s-50s, a time when PROGRESS and INDUSTRY trumped silly little unmanly considerations like “social and environmental consequences”.

          and

          B) This is Bethesda Fallout, which for all its faults, isn’t opposed to lacing their romanticizing of the 50’s with continuations/extrapolations of the crapsack parts of that era. I could totally picture such a game being filled with worldbuilding detail showing all the various problem with the idea, and how they weren’t so much as overcome as swept under the rug.

          Better yet, while were’re dreaming, lets have Obsidian do it instead of Bethesda. They would REALLY dive into all that stuff.

        • Daniel says:

          …he’s a hero. Gonna take pollution down to zero.
          He’s our power, magnified, and he’s fighting on the planet’s side.

          Sorry for that, but you just brought back some fond memories of Sunday mornings in my youth.

      • Agammamon says:

        That might be the case – were it not for Canada still being, on that globe, an independent country.

        • Nessus says:

          I feel like I’m missing a joke or something here? I have no idea what Canada being an independent country or not has to do with any of this.

          • Ciennas says:

            Story Time!

            Towards the tail end of the Sino-American war just prior to the Great War of Fallout’s backstory, America straight up annexes Canada, on account of all the war machines and materiel that was being driven through it full stop. Also, all those delicious natural resources weren’t being turned to fighting the Red Menace, so that had to get nipped in the bud.

            This ended poorly for everyone, and may have eventually culminated in getting shot twice with a doomsday laser, unless they have the good sense to pretend mothership Zeta is non canon.

      • Smejki says:

        Except the globe texture feature more obvious mistakes. It’s obviously a half-assed job. Also Bethesda admitted it’s a mistake, iirc, in some reddit thread regarding this “issue”. The counter-argument you’ve posted was used there as well.

        Here’s the globe BTW.
        http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/fallout/images/d/dd/Map_of_Europe_in_Fallout.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160525072556
        Issues:
        – Black sea is land
        – Caspian sea is land
        – The state borders are from before 2011 (south sudan is not there)
        etc.

        This is not a Fallout universe map. This is a hackjob

  17. Axebird says:

    “Fun” fact: Elder Scrolls Online actually does have loot boxes. And half the items you get out of them are useless crap consumables.

    • J Greely says:

      And Fallout Shelter is built around loot boxes filled with disappointing random crap. Fortunately it’s an offline game, so you can use a save editor to hack in as many as you want. (or you could, anyway; haven’t looked at it for a long time)

      -j

    • Michael says:

      Yeah, the crates are all either consumables or cosmetics. And, I do mean, all.

      I suppose on the loot box complaint, the strongest argument is probably Legends, with its card packs. Though, at the same time, it’s a digital CCG, so card packs are kinda to be expected. But, still.

  18. Preciousgollum says:

    Doom Eternal (i.e Doom 2016…2) is the game that I thought was quite obvious as an E3 announcement. Still, glad to see it.

    However… no footage of gameplay. Not that games should be expected to have gameplay these days… snark snark.?

    • Redrock says:

      I mean… it’s pretty certainly going to be a “more of the same” kind of sequel, which is great for the fans, but not so great for E3. If they used gameplay footage, the reaction would’ve been “looks just the same”. Which is, again, good in this case, but would’ve sounded bad among all the E3 hype.

      • Preciousgollum says:

        Yea, but E3 is for games and I want to know if the game exists or not;
        there is no need to string it out and have Bethesda ‘encourage’ me to watch ANOTHER conference.

        Back before Halo 2 came out, I got a chance at ‘early look’ by waiting in line for up to 2 hours. 10-15 minutes play. Halo 2 was in quite an unfinished state about 6 months before release. Bungie are constantly pointing out in their developer diaries that it was ‘touch-and-go’ that the game got shipped on time at all.

        So, hype is a poor indicator.
        The motto is: show me the game.
        Remember Assassin’s Creed: Unity…

  19. Henson says:

    As I’ve noted, Fallout 76 seems very much like Bethesda’s version of Don’t Starve Together, with PvP.

    I imagine this is truly a different game experience than your core Fallouts: no NPCs, only quests that you stumble upon, and probably no overarching plot. No raiders. A story which, through audiologs and robots, delves in the discovery of what happened in the old world prior to, and immediately after, the bombs fell…perhaps? I imagine many people will be disappointed by the lack of RPG elements, but this is really just Bethesda playing to their strengths.

  20. Nick says:

    “But an old-school shooter with railguns, bouncepads, fast movement, rockets, and wild character designs? ”

    What about Overwatch? It is not really Old School, but it has the rest of it

    • JakeyKakey says:

      Overwatch has very fun mechanics at first, but it’s pretty much the worst kind of homogenised “everything is too balanced and everyone gets a trophy” kind of experience in terms of maps and gameplay.

      I know it’s a bit silly to say that the game doesn’t hold up after triple-digit hours, but boy does every game start feeling the same.

  21. Grimwear says:

    The Fallout 76 just reminds me of the Age of Conan video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29skQN9C4fo&t=0s

    Where one man gets pissed off, farms for hours, just to summon a giant Cthulhu demon for 30 seconds to completely destroy an enemy base. And that’s what we’ll get in Fallout 76. One person with more time on their hands gets annoyed or just plain sees a giant base he wants not to exist anymore, goes and farms a code, then just blows it up.

    Actually managed to find a group to have fun with and build your ideal base? Log in and it’s gone. Or just mind your own business and you’re dead. Sure the first time it will be hilarious. But when it gets to the 10th you sit there and say why am I playing this freaking game.

  22. Asdasd says:

    Even if they realize on their own that TNC fell short of its predecessors, this room full of journalists is signaling to them, “WE DON’T CARE ABOUT CRAFT. WE JUST WANT MORE SOFTBALL PANDERING AND BRUTE-FORCE GRATIFICATION.”

    Which ironically is the sort of thing that same gilded caste has been sneeringly accusing the audience of the CoDs, GTAs and other ‘bro fest’ games of for a decade or more.

  23. Christopher says:

    Hey, if you wanna know some more about that Fallout 76 Noclip just put out their second Bethesda documentary. It’s mercifully shorter than the first one.

  24. Redrock says:

    I’m a bit dissapointed by the Mooncrash DLC for Prey. Or maybe a lot. I was hoping for a big story-based expansion/quasi-sequel, along the lines of their DLCs for Dishonored. This…I dunno. Prey was great, but a lot of that came from the atmosphere and level design, that sense of place that comes from having a small persistent semi-open world. I’m not sure its mechanics are polished and kinesthetically satisfying enough to support a roguelike.

  25. BlueHorus says:

    Twice the developers got enthusiastic applause by simply saying, “YOU GET TO KILL LOTS OF NAZIS!” Like that all by itself is worthy of praise.

    This does indeed reflect badly on the journalists present at E3.
    IT’S A WOLFENSTEIN GAME YOU CLOWNS OF COURSE YOU SHOOT LOTS OF NAZIS

    The correct response is a simple nod, or possibly an ‘of course’. If it didn’t feature shooting nazis, it wouldn’t be Wolfenstein would it?

    Ah! It’s a space game. The teaser just showed a planet, a space station, and played some deliberately Trek-style music.
    That’s it. That’s all we get. And yet, I’m excited. I’ve been hungry for a space game since Mass Effect imploded in dysfunction. The world needs this.
    I need this.
    Whatever it is.

    Now that…that is a dangerous sentiment. Even, dare I say it…not a Shamus thing to say?

    Well, I’m sure if it turn out to be a dud you can still fit it into a series of articles.

    • Shamus says:

      I think there’s a pretty big difference between applauding a developer for expressing an obvious and nearly universally held opinion, and applauding a developer because they’ve just announced they’re entering an under-served genre. One is a moral agreement, and the other is based on a coming product. “EVERYBODY” hates Nazis. NOT everybody is making space opera.

      I don’t see this enthusiasm as “dangerous” at all. I think my Mass Effect series has firmly established that I’m not going to blindly embrace the game and ignore the craft. If anything, I’m sure I’ll be more mercilessly critical of Starfield than all those people reflexively applauding for “fuck Nazis”.

      • BlueHorus says:

        Of course. I’m just surprised that you’d such a small trailer with so little actual information can get you excited: going by that trailer, Starfield could be, well, lots of things. It didn’t fit my image of you, is all.
        And I’m definitely not worried about you ignoring any of the eventual flaws the game has/doesn’t have because you liked the trailer.

        Anyway. Be excited about whatever you want, of course.

        • Asdasd says:

          The way I see it, the inchoate phase of a project is the only time Shamus can allow himself to be excited, when all is potential and the developers have yet to provide him with the inevitable truckload of flaws to complain about. Were he to allow his excitement to cause him to ignore the problems a game demonstrably had, that would as you say be un-Shamus-like.

          There have always been plenty of critics in the games media who fall prey to the temptation to cheerlead. It’s only human nature for raw enthusiasm to drown out or dampen the critical voice, and that’s before you factor in the unhealthy financial dependence games media has always had on publisher marketing spend. Which is understandable – it is, after all, an enthusiast press, and it’s not like there’s no such thing as fanboy-or-girl-ism among the wider community.

          Fanboy-ish passions for the varying genres and platforms still run as diverse among the press as ever, but publishers seem to have realised that, away from that, there are other areas in which the critical class are much more alike than they are different. This is providing vectors by which they can to stoke the fires of enthusiasm and bypass the critical faculties en masse. Anti-Nazi sentiment is one such example. The father-child bond is another.

          I say this all as somehow who doesn’t like BGS games, and doesn’t like Sci Fi, and maybe doesn’t even like games any more(?!) if the spectacular grumpiness I’ve felt all E3 long is anything to go by. The only thing that’s gotten me excited this year has been 1) Yakuza on PC and 2) how much the facial animation in the new Smash Bros. makes it look like a Pixar film (and I’m not even a graphics guy.)

      • Preciousgollum says:

        I’m presuming that Bethesda are anti-nuclear war, and would want to impart this message, so one would think that Fallout 76 should run with the marketing slogan: #F**kNukes & #MakeTheWastelandNukeFree.

  26. A few things for people to keep in mind, these are facts as per this writing (I hope I did not screw any up).

    Elder Scrolls Blades

    Elder Scrolls Blades will be a free game, gamespot was so busy hearing their own voices they talked over Todd Howard and Pete Hines when they said it was free and instead argued that they’d wait and see the price point first. *facepalm*

    There will be a endless dungeon with procedural content/crawling. A arena where you can do PvP. You can rebuild/customize the town which is your base for quests and stuff, and you can invite your friends to visit your town. No word on microtransactions. I’m assuming the business model will be similar to Fallout Shelter.

    Fallout 76

    Fallout 76 will have a typical “60 dollar” price tag. DLCs will be free. There will be microtransactions for cosmetic stuff, but you can also earn these while playing.

    Fallout 76 was originally a Fallout 4 multiplayer idea they had kicking around, but they decided to put it on the backburner until Fallout 4 was finished.

    If you die you do not loose your progress. The camp you make will follow you when you log out (I assume you have to deploy it when you log in, which would solve the issue of login into another camp). Camps can be packed up and moved. What was seen in the trailer is pretty much it, there won’t be settlement building so those calling it a sandbox simulator are just wrong.

    There will be mods in “Private Worlds”, but they have not planned out how that’ll work yet. Just like all their previous games so far it will launch without mod support. Todd did say that he believed that modding was the reason for the longevity of their games, so there will be modding, just not at launch.

    You can craft in the game (stuff like food and ammunition). You can sell what you craft. If you see a sign that says “Ammo for Sale” then that is a player placed sign. Caps will be the means of currency. You can have robot’s in “stalls” selling for you while you are away/not present. Those skilled in crafting can make things like food that gives special bonus buffs to players.

    Radiation can cause mutations, some mutations may be visual but many are smaller statistical tweaks to your stats. Some are temporary and can be gotten rid of (Radaway?) while others can be made permanent (how is not disclosed yet).

    High level/endgame stuff is the chase for the nuclear launch codes for one of the many nuclear silos on the map. You can get the codes solo or find others that has the missing pieces and thus collaborate with them. You can choose one of multiple places to target. Or you can enter a Cold War if desired.

    The batlike beasts can’t easily be killed (high level monster) and they have nests under ground, a nuke is needed to wipe out the nest/close the opening.

    If a nuke hits an area the landscape changes, animals and plants will mutate. Rare resources will become available (I seem to recall lead mentioned as a example). You need power armor and good protection to enter the radiated area. Over time nature will reclaim the area and it will become safe again. This is cyclical so you can’t wasteland all of Virgina.

    You can see all players on the map (similar to GTA Online), 24 to 32 players is their current target for player population per matchmaking “server”.

    You can play solo and do quests and level skills and such, or team up with 3 others to make a 4 persons squad (this number may change), 12 vs 12 death match was also mentioned.
    There will be a way to easily avoid/get away from a PvP situations if you do not wish to fight (how was not disclosed).

    I got all this info from the E3 trailer, Todd’s presentation, and the interviews Todd have done, plus the interview with Todd and the Noclip guy as well as the first Noclip documentary on how Fallout 76 was made.

    Starfield
    Bethesda have never announced this until just now, the only thing they did prior was register the trademark in 2013, the rest was just internet rumours.
    This is a passion project of Todd Howard. He want’s to say more but he won’t. Bethesda’s E3 2019 presentation will probably have a game reveal.

    It will be singleplayer storydriven “offline” game. There might be some online social stuff though but Todd wasn’t sure on this (could just be steam overlay for all we know).

    Elder Scrolls VI
    Bethesda have never announced this until just now, the only thing prior to this was internet speculation and Todd saying in at least one interview “of-course we’ll be working on the next thing” (regarding Elder Scrolls).

    No full title yet but we did get some teasing footage. Elder Scrolls VI: Hammerfell is one plausible name the internet have come up with.

    Elder Scrolls VI will be singleplayer storydriven just like Skyrim and Fallout 4 and Starfield.

    Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI was probably planned for reveal at E3 2019 and 2020 (Elder Scrolls VI?)
    But due to how different Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls Blades was they wanted to re-assure fans that they where working on the type of games fans loved and expected BGS to be working on.

    All in all, I’m intrigued by Fallout 76. It’s probably not my cup of tea. Blades on the other hand seems more interesting, I may skip the arena part but the town re-building seems nice, wish I could build a castle though (but that’s probably in Elder Scrolls VI instead).

    I’m really excited for Starfield though. Could this be the game that fans of “Mass Effect” and “Knights of The Old Republic” and “Frontier: Elite” might crave?
    An exciting space opera RPG romp across the galaxy, building a ship, suit/weapons, assembling a crew, making a space station, making ground bases, establish trade fleets?
    Todd and his staff loves dynamic game systems/mechanics. Could they be going in a direction not too far from what EGOSOFT did with their X3 games?

    Todd did say in (the documentary I think) that if Bethesda hadn’t bought the Fallout franchise then “Starfield” would have been the game they’d have worked on instead. So instead of Starfield we got Fallout 3, Oblivion, New Vegas (albeit outsourced), Skyrim and Fallout 4.

    With the engine improvements seen in Fallout 76 (which will benefit Starfield, Elder Srolls VI, and Fallout 5), I’m kinda glad really on how things/events turned out.
    With todays tech BGS should be able to create a really awesome space/sci-fi game.

    And I can’t even imagine what the modders will later do with Starfield, that’s just gonna get nuts.

    • Shamus says:

      Thanks so much for the additional info! I’ve been soaking in this stuff for four days straight and I still feel like I’m way behind the curve.

    • Nessus says:

      A sci-fi space game in the tradition of and with the moddabilty of a Fallout/Elder Scrolls game would be goddamned GOLD. It’s nigh impossible for me to muster excitement for game releases these days, but if that’s what they’re making, this’ll be the first time I’ve been legit hyped for an upcoming game since…. shit, probably the PS2 days.

    • Liessa says:

      I do like the idea of Starfield, but I’ll need to see more than a five-second trailer before letting myself get hyped up about it.

    • Crimson Dragoon says:

      Thank you for the clarifications on Fallout 76. I love the idea of playing this game with friends, but the potential for forced PVP, like in Rust for example, was already scaring me away. To know that they’ll have “private worlds” as you call them is much more reassuring.

  27. Ramsus says:

    I’d like to see a retrospective on this post once all (or most) of these games are out. I realize that probably won’t happen though since it’s not like they’ll all come out in the same year or two of each other I’m sure.
    For good or ill, it’d be interesting to see what future you has to say on present you’s thoughts here.

    • Zekiel says:

      I agree. I’ve been looking at some of the E3 coverage of years past (on this site). Its quite interesting.

      But then you kind of get this already in Shamus’ year-end retrospectives.

  28. I just realised something. While Skyrim on Alexa may seem like a meme joke made real, it will actually make Skyrim accessible to gamers that couldn’t play it before.

    Those who are blind can now give voice commands and hear the outcome of their actions.
    I’m also guessing that people that are not blind but are physically unable t play may also enjoy it.

    I really hope some news outlet picks up on this.

    https://www.polygon.com/e3/2018/6/11/17448080/skyrim-alexa-iphone-android-how-to-play

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/8q6xx4/it_was_not_a_joke_now_available_for_amazon_alexa/

    SunbroAnon on Reddit claims this is how his gameplay was

    I promised an orc priest I would avenge him by cleansing the evil of a forest nearby. I encountered a bandit before entering the forest, blocking my path. I attempted to attack him with my dagger and frostbite spells, but they had little effect for my skills were level 1 and still weak. I then decided to end his life in glorious fashion by shouting “fus” blasting the bandit into the air, and watching his limp body crumple upon reentry impact. “That’s what you get for messing with the Dovahkiin” my hero remarks. I loot an iron greatsword from the bandit’s body. Oh shit son, I am undefeatable now. Upon entering the forest I am greeted by a mudcrab, which I swiftly “cleave in half.” Weapons skill increased. I am saddened that I cannot stop and eat mudcrab legs for lunch, so I press on. I come to a clearing and fight a flame atronach, which deals considerable damage to me. However, it is no match for my magical prowess, as I freeze the atronach solid. Magic skill increased. I return to the orc priest having cleansed the forest, and he rewards me with an iron key, but does not inform me what the key opens. I press on in my adventure, optimistic and undeterred.

    If this is how it plays….I… kinda want to play this now.

  29. DarthVitrial says:

    Personally I’m most excited for the ESO stuff because I actually genuinely adore that game, but the Prey announcement has me interested in finally trying that game out…

    • Michael says:

      Yeah, I’m freakin’ psyched about Wolfhunt.

      I get that it’s not Shamus’s thing, and that’s cool, but the game has come a long way since 2014. I did not expect to still be playing it when it originally launched, and actually let my sub lapse during the first year.

      That said, having now met parts of the ZOS team, they’re definitely in the camp of people who make games because they love doing that, and not in the camp of making games to make money.

  30. Armstrong says:

    Does anyone else find the name “Starfield” unintentionally funny? I don’t know why but it sounds like a parody to me.

    Maybe my brain just connects it to Battlefield for some reason.

  31. Agammamon says:

    Do you mind, buddy? We’re having a murder-party here and your complaining is really killing the mood.

    That’s what Rage 2 should be. Play as a raider. Kill other raiders. Kill non-raiders. Or don’t kill them. Maybe help them a bit. Then extort resources from them. Whatever.

    No more moron who is single-handedly going to bring justice to the wasteland.

  32. stratigo says:

    Just, as a note, you can, and many games do create online societies that are not horrible gank fests. You usually need to curate them somewhat, but not THAT much.

    But I am a roleplayer and play on roleplay servers for games like I suspect fallout 76 sill be (not that I currently intend to get it as I am no fan of survival games on a mechanical level). But Age of Conan works quite well when the players can dictate the servers. Low level of griefing tends to be self defeating.

  33. Zekiel says:

    Am I… am I a Bethesda fanboy?

    It has slowly been dawning on me that I kind of am. Between Wolfenstein: The New Order, DOOM and Dishonored 2, Bethesda have published about half of my top games that I’ve played in the last year. (And Prey looks really good too.)

    Weird.

    • Redrock says:

      I’ve always had a soft spot for Bethesda, personally, when it comes to their publishing approach. I do get tired of first-person games occasionally, and right now I’m back in Sony’s embrace, but I always return to Bethesda like an old, old friend. That said, both Wolfenstein 2 and Dishonored 2 fell kinda flat for me, in the end. But not before I sank an ungodly amount of hours into both.

  34. slipshod says:

    Starfield and Prey. Because ME:A is not being continued. The rest? Don’t care.

    All of the above naturally only secondary to: HOLY SWEET SHITSNACKS THAT CYBERPUNK TRAILER.

  35. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Hang on…fallout shelter is being PLAYED by people?But its essentially and idle game,no one is actually PLAYING it.And why are people excited about that crap being ported to stuff?

    That mobile skyrim thing however,I can see potential in that.I doubt theyll do anything actually good with it,because Ive seen a ton of similar promises that did not get fulfilled.

  36. ColeusRattus says:

    As you mentioned lootboxes in regards with Bethesda: one can play quake champions right now and it is filled to the brim with lootboxes and buttons prompting you to buy them.

    And every “champion” has a unique special, so it has a very deliberate “we want to be Overwatch” vibe to it.

    And, to add insult to injury, it looks like it fills the ranks with bots, which are not marked as bots. In fact, they get “realistic” looking profile names. I won my first (and only) 4v4 TDM match with most kills by a large margin, which I cannot beleive is achievable for me, having played quake the last time about 15 years ago…

  37. djw says:

    You know what would be funny… What if Bethesda hasn’t even decided which province TES6 will be set in yet. I mean, all of those provinces have mountainous coastlines ***somewhere***. This could be a massive troll.

  38. Jabberwok says:

    I think Bethesda is pretty good at trailers. I remember being excited for Skyrim because I thought the trailer was promising me a bunch of cool innovation that it actually wasn’t. Then I played it and realized I was totally wrong, and what I had seen was just carefully edited to look like decent gameplay.

  39. Scourge says:

    Some stuff about Fallout 76

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi8PTAJ2Hjs&feature=youtu.be&t=19m1s

    (I am just copy apsting from someone else already)

    1. There wont be large clans and such. You can only play up to 4-player co-op.

    2. The servers will only have a couple dozen people on a map that is 4 times the size of Fallout 4, not hundreds of people. So you won’t run across a play every couple minutes of play. (Unless you all choose to run straight to a missile silo.)

    3. Todd has said it will be difficult to get all the pieces to a nuclear launch code. So Nukes will not be going off 24/7.

    3a. Which I don’t think he has really explained how it will be difficult. But I think it would be cool if you and your friends couldn’t get all the code pieces to drop and had to cooperate with randoms to get the rest and decide where to drop it. (Especially since you wont drop loot when you die, so you couldn’t just kill the player and take the piece for yourself.)

    4. Nuking a location is meant to be a means to the End-game content. The location you nuke will be filled with High Level Enemies and High-End resources.

    4a. The high-leveled enemies and rare resources and loot will vary depending on which of the many different regions on the map you decide to nuke.

    4b. Radiation will still give stat buffs or debuffs depending on how much radiation damage you take. That you will be able to get rid of or keep if you decide too.

    5. Once the radiation from the nuked location dissipates. (this is a video game after all, so the radiation wont last an extremely long time.) Todd has said you will be able to rebuild the structures in the nuked location.

    6. Then for your player-built bases you build. You can pick it up all in one chunk and move it to any location on the map by saving it as a Blueprint.

    7. And if your base is destroyed. You dont have to rebuild it from scratch, you will just walk up to each different piece and repair it.

    8. Your player built bases are connected to your Account, so once you log off your base will disappear with you. And then reappear once you log back onto the game.

    8a. Since there might be overlapping with someone else’s base when you come back online. Your base won’t spawn there. It will instead be packed up in your inventory to be place somewhere else of your choosing.

    9. Todd Howard has said that if you die from another player. You won’t drop any loot. So trading with players as merchants will be a viable gameplay mechanic. –Todd Howard has said they are making sure griefing isn’t a large problem in this game and so far he has been doing interviews on all these aspects on how griefing wont really do much harm to your own gameplay.

    10. Killing other players will just reward you on some bottle caps and some xp. If you do want to try some occasional PvP.

    11. Private Servers with Mod capability will be added to Fallout 76 at a later date. At launch you will have to play on a shared server with a couple dozen people because it is an Always Online Game.

    12. Todd Howard has said that all players on the same server will be visible on the map to each other. (Not sure how I feel about this one.) 13. The story and Quests in the game will be given out by robotic NPCs and the Overseer of your Vault.

    13a. Although you wont see the overseer, the overseer’s quest will be given out though a terminal like an online Mission Board.

    13b. There will be NO Human NPCs, any Human you see in game will be played by another Online Player.

    14. A version of V.A.T.S will be in Fallout 76, but since its an Online game, there will be no slow-mo. You will be quickly selecting body parts in real-time.

    15. You will still pick your S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats before you leave Vault 76. Which will affect game mechanics for you and your friends. For example when you do a Mission/Quest, Charisma will affect how many caps and items/materials you will get for completion.

    16. Fallout 76 will get Free dlc and Updates.

    16a. But those will be funded by cosmetic Microtransactions. Bethesda though stressed that these microtransactions would be completely obtainable through gameplay for free.

    • Jabberwok says:

      I’ve never really understood why they keep VATS around. Obviously, it was in F3 as a nod to the franchise’s roots. But we are so far off base from that now, and I’ve always felt that using it made the game less fun.

      I wonder…if skills level up the same way, does this mean we will be even more at the mercy of whoever’s been on the server the longest? Not only do I spawn onto a map with a player decked out with high-powered rifles who knows where I am at all times, but he also has 100% guns skill and can use VATS to headshot me from any distance without even aiming?

      • J Greely says:

        The specific justification for VATS in the interview is to improve PvP for people who aren’t good twitch gamers. Not sure I buy that, but I’m not sure how much anything said today will show up in the release.

        -j

        • Jabberwok says:

          I’m curious about that, because VATS makes sense as a crutch in single player. But giving everyone that crutch in PvP, I’m not sure what will be improved exactly. It does not give you an advantage over your enemies as it would in PvE, and it partially negates the test of skill that’s usually the whole point of first person PvP. I dunno, maybe good skill and resource management can provide the competitive hook. I mean they are the ones presumably playtesting it, so what do I know. It’s difficult to envision players using it against each other in real time, though, without it feeling weird and arbitrary.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Thats when you buy the helpful loot box drug(tm) for real moneys and even out the odds.

  40. Preciousgollum says:

    Sorry to do this, but like Socrates, I know that I do not know.

    We don’t know the names of the sisters in Wolfenstein: Youngblood.

    They’re just: “Twin Sisters”. “BJ Daughters”. “Twin Daughters”. Hmm. What could it mean!?
    Would be nice for the presenter to give them both a name at least. For character reasons. Story reasons. A visible face. Hey, my eyes are up here.

    It’s probably going to be “Anya” and “Zofia/Sophia”, but if it’s that obvious, then why not reveal it? Perhaps they’re customisable characters (which would make sense) but then why not make this clear?

    Argh the double standards are painfully non-sensical.
    Somebody please point out This Dumb Industry.

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