I am lagging behind a bit in my posts since I am still limiting myself to one of these a day… and whatever I happen to be able to write during my normal morning writing period. Bethesda is traditionally the gaming showcase that I look forward to the most during E3. In the past they have announced a lot of really awesome stuff like Fallout 4… and then turned around and announced that they were going to release said game within six months. Bethesda traditionally is the master of the hype cycle, and while there might be rumors swirling around a game… it won’t actually be confirmed until it is nearly ready to launch and there is a clearly defined pathway to release. This year however it feels like a lot of the amazing announcements were lacking. There were several items that were mentioned at other shows… for example they talked about Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind… that was just literally released on the 6th so it doesn’t feel like that really counts. Similarly Quake Champions was one of their big reveals for last year, and it has been in some state of beta for awhile now so it also feels very “been there done that”. Some of their big announcements this year… were also things we already knew about Doom VFR and Fallout 4 VR. The problem with both is… I don’t have a VR setup nor am I really planning on getting one in the near future so that doesn’t terribly interest me. If I was getting something in the VR space it would probably be the PS4 VR option given that it is a hell of a lot more plug and play and seems to have a wealthy of interesting titles developed for it. Similarly Skyrim Switch was announced… more or less during the Switch reveal, but we finally got some real details and confirmation I guess. Here is a run down of the things that I did think were worth mentioning from the show.
The Evil Within 2
If you have ever wanted to be afraid of milk… watch this trailer. I own copies of Evil Within but I have never actually gotten around to playing it. It is on that long list of things that I want to play but never seem to find time to actually do. In theory I should have been using this time when my wife is travelling to play a whole slow of immersive single player games. Whatever the case this game looks really awesome, even though I had hell actually following what was happening. It seems like this is a continuation of the events from the first game. If you are into that sort of thing it seems like this might be right down your alley.
Dishonored Death of the Outsider
At first we thought this was a DLC sort of like the previous two that were released for Dishonored, however this is apparently an entire stand alone game. Once again it follows the Daud side of the story, and apparently brings back Billie Lurk. I am thinking maybe we will see the same sort of options that you have with Dishonored 2 where you can focus on playing either of the characters, but I might be wrong. Not a whole lot of information is actually out yet about the game, but what we were treated to was a really awesome teaser trailer. It seems like we are going to go Outsider hunting, since they blame that entity for all the chaos that has happened. I know I will be playing it, because I loved Dishonored… but I have also found that I don’t get into the non-Corvo games nearly as much as the mainline series. It is kinda cool though that we are functionally taking two paths at all times to this story… the Story of Corvo and the Story of Daud.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
This title release has been a hotbed of conversation among the AggroChat crew… namely in that I am amped as can be and Kodra and Tam are disappointed. Me getting into the reasons here is going to be super spoilery about the first game… and since I still think everyone should play the first game… I am largely going to refrain. Suffice to say I am pumped in every possible way about the release of this game and it pretty much gave me everything I could ever hope for going going into it. The thing about New Order that I enjoyed the most was seeing this jacked up re-imagining of the world. I am a sucker for alternative history novels, and this game fed right into it… especially given the what would have happened if we lost World War II thing has been played so many times in fiction. On the other side… I have been playing Wolfenstein since 1992 and have played through every iteration of the game including all of the parts of the actual chronology leading up to this game. For those who are curious… and want to start at the beginning… best as I can piece it together you have Return to Castle Wolfenstein > Wolfenstein (2009) > The Old Blood > New Order > New Colossus. The only one I really have hell placing in that order is Old Blood… and it could fit directly before New Order or could even be before RtCW. Anyways the whole point is I am deeply invested in this franchise and have been for years. New Order was a strict departure from the largely mindless kill all the Nazis gameplay, but definitely in a good way. It introduced a compelling story to wrap around the core of the game… but in the end I was still largely there for that core gameplay of leave no one standing. Generally speaking all I am looking for out of a sequel is a chance to dust off the characters I have bonded with… and take them out on another adventure. If New Colossus provides me with this… it is going to be everything I could have hoped for.
I am supremely uncertain of how I feel about this announcement. Bethesda has been working on a way to sell mods for awhile now, and even though they claim this is not paid mod support… it is definitely paid something. Time will tell what this actually looks like in the final version, and what the economy is like. However immediately it is reminding me of the paid creator system in the SOE games. That actually produced some really awesome stuff that allowed talented 3D artists to sell new and interesting weapons. The prime difference there is… that was a previously closed game that was opened up through their creator system. Bethesda games however traditionally are open to mods and if you have the will you can find pretty much anything already for the games. You want to run around Fallout in Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine armor? Sure there is a mod for that. Things like that however cannot officially exist in either the in game mod support or the creation club, because no one has consulted with the license holder to pay for offering that. It seems like Bethesda is damned determined to make this system happen regardless, so I suppose we have to take a wait and see approach on it. I do think it would be nice of the mod creators themselves have a way to actually get paid for their work. In World of Warcraft there are lots of addons that I have chipped in a few dollars to support the author in creating it, because their work greatly improved my game play. Similarly I have no problem chipping in some money to support a Fallout or Skyrim mod… but I would prefer that the money go to the creator and Bethesda not get to take a cut.
PC Gaming Show
The PC Gaming show since its inception has been this really awkward show that never really felt like it could hang with the big kids. That is not to say that Sean ‘Day’ Plott does not try super hard to steer the train and keep it from completely falling off the tracks. This year however… felt almost like a proper show. There were a lot of changes that happened this year that maybe lead to that. Firstly it happened during the middle of the day instead of being something happening relatively late in the evening. Secondly they swapped the primary sponsor from AMD to Intel.. and potentially Intel cares way more about a polished presentation. Thirdly the number of support as far as medium to big reveals went up significantly. Now for me personally… there was not a lot about the show that I cared deeply, however there were definitely some reveals that I could see going over well. Firstly the release of a remaster of Age of Empires seemed to get a bunch of notice, but for me personally I never played the games in that series that much. Similarly there was the reveal of a new Xcom 2 expansion… but that also is not really my style of game. A whole bunch of people seemed to be really happy with the reveal of Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord… but again not exactly my type of game. I have never wanted to be a single soldier in the middle of an otherwise RTS style battle. The trailer that did stand out to me that I was the most interested in… was Ooblets which seemed to be this weird amalgam of Pokemon and Harvest Moon and adorable as hell. The Last Night seems awesome… but I won’t be buying it because I don’t want to support anything that creator does after the bullshit he has caused in the past. Ylands also looked kinda cool.. but I feel like I have an overabundance of good sandbox games. It is going to have to do a hell of a lot to stand out from the pack for me. Battletech… I was a backer and am purposefully trying not to play it until it officially releases.
This show… was like the parody anti-show of E3. They didn’t actually announce anything… or in truth show anything. It was sort of the Tim and Eric of E3 Shows and while I personally found it funny there are a lot of people who did not seem to be in on the joke. Among the AggroChat crew it was less in on the joke but instead that they simply didn’t appreciate the style of humor. Buckets of fake blood are not their thing. For me I found it entertaining and watched the entire thing…. but they were trying super hard to be edgy. I wouldn’t suggest actually tracking down the video and watching it since it really ads no value other than an attempt at shock.