Monday, January 21, 2019
Gaming

E3 Coverage: Bethesda Press Conference

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an avid gamer. I started playing back in the 1980s, way before gaming was as big as it is today. I continued to game, partly because it was good for my muscles/to keep my fingers nimble, and partly because I love it. I have been covering E3 since 2007, and this is the first year that I am not writing specifically for a gaming website.

I have to say that I was initially underwhelmed by the first conference Bethesda has ever held at the conference. I think that what many game companies struggle with is finding something new and fresh. All of the games that they featured were a part of a game series. I was really looking for some fresh new ways to shake up new games and old series’. Unfortunately, I felt like, for the most part, we were offered a lot of the same old, same old… with a few exceptions.

Doom Screen

I never really played Doom, though I remember when it was popular, back in the early 90s. Even then, I was more of a console gamer. I never really got into the series, at all, so while I really like the weaponry of this new release, I was waiting to find what made this game different than other first-person shooters. I felt like the environment could have been anywhere in any other game. I even felt like I’d seen the option to create maps and offer them online to other gamers, done better in other games before. They presented Snapmap as if it was something that was innovative, but it’s not.

The only cool part seems to be using the weapons with the sickeningly sweet graphics the game offers, but I’m not sure if it is worth purchasing for $60 or $70. Sure, it looked pretty awesome as the live demo showed a chainsaw slicing demons down the middle, and blood splattered everywhere, but that can only be so entertaining. I feel like, maybe if I had played the other games in the series, I might feel more invested, but I don’t. I was expecting something a little more exciting from id Software.

Battle Cry reminded me of a cross between a Japanese fighting game and one of the many games I’ve played with a sword. The spot for it wasn’t that long, and I’m not that great at multiplayer anyway, so I didn’t feel personally invested in this game either. If it were available for more than just Microsoft Windows, I might be willing to check out the beta, to at least give the game a try. If you have Windows then you should, too, by signing up at the official website. For those of us with Macs, we are SOL.

Battle cry Game Screenshots

Fans of the Elder Scrolls and Skyrim, who also like card games, may be down for Elder Scrolls Legends, which combines the world of the popular game, with a card game. I don’t really care for card games, so thus far Bethesda is 0 and 3, when it comes to impressing me. I mean, I am sure some fans of the series will be excited for the game, which they can play on their PC or iPad, but I would rather just wait for the next incarnation of the actual series.

By now, I was wondering why I was even bothering with the press conference, when something caught my eye. I really enjoyed the first Dishonored game. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of playing first-person stealth games, and I thought the first game was very well made. When Arkane Studios took to the stage, I already knew they would be announcing Dishonored 2, but this is the first game that caught my attention. After all the BS that was GamerGate, I was really hoping we would see some strong looking female protagonists, and Arkane did not disappoint.

If you watch the trailer, you can see that the original protagonist shown is a female, and she is not your typical, big breasted sexpot, that we’ve come to expect of female heroines in games. She is, in fact, Emily Kaldwin, the heir and daughter of the Empress from the first Dishonored. Granted, Emily was young in the first game, however, it appears she is all grown up and she has the mark of the Outsider. You can switch between her character and Corvo Attano,but she will have her own unique powers.

Let me just say the adult Emily looks pretty kick ass! A lot of her moves reminded me of Assassin’s Creed (and made me long for a female protagonist when they announce the new game in their series, tomorrow). Besides, Emily is not a cookie-cutter female protagonist. She was wearing a suit in the trailer, and her stylish short hair gives her an almost boyish charm.

By now, I was thrilled that the press conference had not been a total bust, and then, it continued to get better. We all knew, going in, that the star of the conference was going to be Fallout 4. I’ve been waiting for this game, for so long, and it looks absolutely stunning. Sure, as a New Yorker I was kind of hoping for a world set closer to home, but considering the ballpark has been obliterated, I think I’ll enjoy traveling around post-apocalyptic Boston.

Fallout 4 City Vista

In the most awesome move, you can also play as a female In this game, as well. The demo followed the male character,but you also get to customize the look quite a bit, to suit any look you want. Usually, when changing race or ethnicity, most games tend to over color characters, but the engine behind the character design is really quite intuitive and beautiful. The characters were quite realistic, no matter how you decide to design them.

You have a canine companion, if you so choose, and the coolest feature was the ability to re-builds settlements, which can be attacked. You can add electricity, build your own home, decorate it, and set up your defense, with weapons and guards. This part of the game really appealed to me. One other kind of weird, but awesome thing is the fact that a real-life Pip–Boy has been developed, which actually works to house your phone and has its own app to utilize features similar to those used in the game. I think it looks a bit clunky, but you got to admit, it would look awesome in cosplay. You can get your very own, with a special edition of the game.

All in all, I can hardly wait until November 11, for this game!

Finally, the best thing I saw all night was a free app, which I’m going to download as soon as I finish this article. It is for the most adorably wicked looking game, Fallout Shelter. You are in charge of the shelter, and you get to do everything from name the new babies that are born to help defend against invaders. This game was obviously made with love, because not only is it free, but it looks amazing!

Now I have to go play my new game. Let me know what you thought about Bethesda’s first-ever press conference. What games have you the most excited? Leave a comment below letting me know!

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Dominick
Dominick is a director/filmmaker, activist, writer, advocate, FTM transman from the Midwest who lives in New York. Follow his film career and join his weekly Twitter chat on film and disability by following #FilmDis. He received his BFA in Film Production in 2014.