Today we’re going to hit the highlights of a few of the E3 shows, namely Bethesda, Square Enix, and Devolver Digital.
Let’s get started with Bethesda. There was a lot of rumor swirling about the studio leading up to E3 after leaks of Fallout 76 hit. In the days before the conference they had confirmed a lot of what was going around and peaked a lot of people’s interest making theor press release one of the most anticipated.
Rage 2 was the first game on their agenda. Bethesda presented it in an… Interesting way. Look, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Andrew W.K.. He seems like a great guy (I really enjoy his advice column) and he’s a talented entertainer. But when I think gritty, violent, over the top shooters I don’t immediately think of him. Based on what was shown, Rage 2 looks to continue on like it’s predecessor with fast paced shooting action and a detailed post apocalyptic world, albeit a little more colorful than usual for the setting.
Elder Scrolls Online announced it’s road map for new DLC with both a dungeon based and a lore based expansion on the horizon. Bethesda stated they are looking forward to expanding the game into areas requested most often by fans.
DOOM Eternal was announced but very little was actually revealed, instead stating that more information would be available at Quake Con. However, we were told to expect more guns and demons in the next entry of the rebooted franchise.
We also got a look at Quake Champions. Maybe I’m missing something here but the game didn’t look especially impressive. With all the advances made since Quake 4, the last mainline entry, in 2005 you would think that the game would be on the same visual level as the other games announced. Graphically it looked fine but the game play and the combat arenas looked uninspired at best.
One game that did look good was Prey, namely the new DLC: Mooncrash. Making the most of the games variety of play options, Mooncrash puts you in the shoes of five different survivors attempting to escape a moon base overrun by aliens. Each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses as well as unique escape options. The game also varies some aspects so that multiple runs feel fresh.
Another long running franchise is getting a change up with Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Playing as the twin daughters of the series protagonist is opening up the option for co-op play. Solo runs are still viable as well for the less sociable players.
Elder Scrolls: Blades is an upcoming mobile title that will use procedurally generated dungeons along side hand designed encounters and some town building options. You can also play in portrait or landscape mode. Todd Howard was a lot more pumped than you would think someone would be so maybe it’s a bigger deal than it sounds.
And now for the three biggies: Fallout 76, Elder Scrolls VI, and Starfield.
We’ll start with Starfield. It’s a sci-fi game. That’s about all we know.
Next: Elder Scrolls VI. It’s an Elder Scrolls game. That’s about all we know.
Third, Fallout 76. It’s a Fallout game. That’s all we kn… Oh wait we know things now. So it will be an online, multiplayer Fallout game with co-operative Outpost building. The game play looks like it still remains a lot of the changes Bethesda has made to the franchise while continuing to improve the sans-V.A.T.S. gunplay. I still have my reservations but so far it looks promising.
Let’s move on to Square Enix!!
Things kicked off big with a look at Shadow of the Tomb Raider aka Sneaky Stabby Jungle Boogie. The gameplay demo revolved around creeping through a dense jungle and brutally murdering people in a variety of ways which looked solid, though not necessarily groundbreaking. The games director, Daniel Chayer-Bisson, also talked about the new mobility mechanics such as grappling and wall running. He then said the hub section will be the largest ever created for the franchise. This seems to be following the grand, and fundamentally incorrect, tradition of believing bigger is better. Hopefully they remembered to put good content in there as well.
Next up was the trailer for the newest expansion for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood. It looked very… MMO-ish. I’ll have to ask fellow Bro Seriously contributer Calebrin what’s going on there.
They also teased a crossover event between FFXIV and Monster Hunter World. It appeared to be on the FF side of things but MHW has been solid on new content so I wouldn’t be surprised to see something pop up on their side.
Dontnod Entertainment revealed The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. Set in the Life is Strange universe, the game will tell a new story about a young boy named Chris and his father Charles as they cope with the loss of Chris’s mother. Although not directly connected with Life is Strange there will be tie ins between the two. Despite a somber subject, the game seems like it will be an interesting look at the imaginative nature of childhood. The game will be available for free on June 26.
Dragonquest XI Echoes of an Elusive Age wins my vote for oddest game title at E3. The trailer looked like another traditional entry in the long running franchise featuring characters left over from a Dragonball game. Seriously, the main character is Trunks with brown hair. Go look it up.
Nier: Automata will be bringing it’s hot robot on robot action to Xbox.
Octopath Traveller will be realesing on the Nintendo Switch in July 13th. A turned based JRPG with a job system, the demo (available now) shows a lot of potential. Should be a good investment for fans of the genre.
If anyone understands their audience, it’s the developers of Just Cause. The fourth title in the series is introducing a variety of new mechanics, vehicles, and modifications targeted at one thing: giving the player new ways to creatively destroy everything in sight. New grappling hook options to chain multiple objects, or people, together. New vehicles including construction equipment. They’ve even added severe weather situations to add to the mayhem.
The Quiet Man was teased, saying more information will be available in August. Going of what was shown though, you will play a deaf, semi emo teenager who punches gamg members. I’m cool with that.
Last, but certainly not least, was Kingdom Hearts 3. The long awaited sequel is finally getting ready to launch and more details are coming out all the time. Spanning a variety of world’s from Frozen’s Arrendale to Monsters Inc to Tangled’s kingdom of Corona. Though not confirmed to be the final story in this long running arc, KH3 seems set to tie up a lot of the myriad plot threads spread across the two mainline games and numerous spin-offs. Combat looks to have been expanded to allow more freedom of movement including wall running and world specific mechanics. Sora, Goofy, and Donald will compromise the core team though there will doubtless be a variety of interesting tag along characters as you just from kingdom to kingdom.
Lastly today, let’s take a look at Devolver Digital.
Let me start by stating an objective fact that is beyond reproach: Devolver Digital puts on the absolute best show at E3. Period. End of story.
They take the piss out of all the ridiculous bullshit in the gaming industry with a level of brutality that I am in awe of. Especially the flamethrower part.
Also, I may or may not be in love with Nina Struthers. Don’t judge me.
Their first game was Scum in which 64 convicted criminals fight to the death in an attempt to escape. Players can earn fame points by thrilling spectators and can build up encampments for defense. So what is projected to be the primary method of handling criminals in the U.S. prison system by 2030.
Next up: My Friend Pedro. A 2D bullet hell side scroller combines the agility and grace of ballet with the massive body count of ballet. I’ve never seen an actual ballet. But this game looks like a blast. The twin gun controls will probably be a nightmare to get a handle on but based on the trailer the results look worth the effort.
To close out their show they chose Metal Wolf Chaos XD. For those that don’t know what this is, you’re not alone. Released in 2004by From Software, Metal Wolf Chaos was a third person shooter mech game in which the vice president leads a coup to overthrow the sitting president. The president responds in the most sensible manner: he gets in a mech and single handedly fights to save our great nation. Updated for modern graphics and staying true to the original frantic gameplay, this reboot for a new generation seems like the antithesis of cynical cash grabs. You can tell this is a labor of love for a great classic game.
Okay, so that’s a lot and I’m tired now. So that’s all for today. If anyone needs me I’ll be asleep. Don’t bother me unless Robo-Nina is calling.
A very special thank you to Leonard French for the behind the scenes look at Devolver’s press conference. You can see that on his blog here.