Posts Tagged ‘Bethesda’

The weirdest thing about The Evil Within is that pooping snail

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You probably know what to expect when you load up a game called The Evil Within [official site]. There will be a bunch of logos before you get to the menu and at least one of them will involve barbed wire, splattered blood and sinister fonts. The logo for the first game turned some of the letters of the title into a nail that was variously plunging toward an eyeball or piercing a brain. Of course it did. That’s what horror games do.

When the horror games in question are made by Tango Gameworks, though, there’s something else in between all that noisy violence. A cheeky cartoon snail…doing a poo?

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Bethesda’s Hines on VR: “It’s something all of our studios are looking at and talking about”

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A couple of weeks back – when I also went hands-on with both Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and The Evil Within 2 – I goggled up and gave the upcoming VR version of 2016’s Doom a spin, as well as bearing witness to other folks’ flailing and giggling in Skyrim VR and Fallout VR. Bethesda’s triptych of 3D ultravision spin-offs are due before the year is out, with Skyrim only available on PSVR at least initially and Fallout and Doom only officially supporting HTC Vive, for obvious reasons. Their arrival is a pretty big event for a technology that so far has leaned far more heavily on brand new things rather than established names.

Curious about what this means for the technology and for Doom, Skyrim and Fallout, I picked Bethesda VP Pete Hine’s brains about the whys and wherefores, and what it might imply for the future of their own VR efforts. Also below: my own quick impressions of Doom VFR [official site].

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Cool coats, comedy copulation and cyber-cats – Wolfenstein: The New Colossus wants to do everything

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In the surprisingly, refreshingly excellent 2014 shooter reboot-o-sequel Wolfenstein: The New Order, it was the eyes that captivated me. The sad, aged eyes of BJ Blazkowicz, a war-weary he-man forced to take up arms yet again – tirelessly heroic, sure, but those windows to his haunted soul revealed his longing for an end to all this suffering. I could not look away from those eyes, even as he battled Mecha-Nazis and Moon-Nazis and Soul-Transplanted Ultra-Nazis and whatever else this unrepentantly preposterous game threw at him.

In Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus [official site], a sequel which continues the alt-history, steampunk Nazi occupation of America tale, it’s BJ’s sports jacket that I can’t stop staring at.

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How The Evil Within 2 tries to be an open world b-movie

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Let me qualify that title statement, for fear it merely conjures images of a game in which you’re supposed to be endlessly surprised to find more zombies lurking behind the next hedgerow. A good (or, indeed, bad) b-movie is not someone sprinting aimlessly around and being constantly jumped by monsters, but rather it’s scene-by-scene situational. What fresh horror awaits in the basement, what tricksy traps and obstacles must be overcome to make it out this house alive, and oh no what just happened to that helpful man in the sensible pullover?

In an hour spent playing Bethesda’s upcoming survival horror sequel The Evil Within 2 [official site], I found a game that was striving to be a cat’s cradle of micro b-movies, spun across a freely-explorable, monster-blighted town. I also found a game that was trying so hard to be scary that my only true fear is that it isn’t scary at all.

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Watch an hour of The Evil Within 2’s butchery, nightmare dinners and basement portals to other realities

Last week I popped off to play Bethesda and Tango Gameworks’ upcoming survival horror sequel The Evil Within 2, which adds open world elements to its stomp through a town filled with science-gone-wrong monstrosities. You can read what I thought about it in my Evil Within 2 impressions here, or alternatively you can watch what I did and how many times I got killed by snickering things in the hour-long video below.
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Wot I Think – Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

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Me: someone who believes that gothbro apparent trickster god The Outsider is the worst thing that ever happened to the Dishonored games, and thus positively relishes the chance to kill the blighter.

Also me: someone who is absolutely determined to play Dishonored games without causing even a single fatality.

Hmm. Standalone expansion Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider [official site] makes life pretty tricky for me, then. Read the rest of this entry »

Humble adds some of Bethesda’s best to the End of Summer Sale

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As you may have spotted, Humble has been running an ‘End of Summer Sale’ over the past few days to ring in the Autumn and, well, discount a bunch of games. The sale only has a few days left to run and the final wave of titles has been added as of today. This batch is entirely from Bethesda and features some of the company’s best stuff – from Doom to Wolfenstein to Call of Cthulu. Just me on that last one? (it did sneak into our list of best horror games! – ed).

You have a few days left to pick up this range or any number of discounts (like Hitman’s entire first season) before the sale is gone for good.

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Evasion of the bodysnatcher in Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider

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Here you will find the curious case of the politician who broke his neck then went for a nice walk as if nothing had happened.

I’ll be along early next week with full thoughts in our Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider review [official site], but seeing as it’s out right now I want to bend your ear about the most interesting of its new sneak-o-magicky powers: the ability to temporarily assume of the appearance of almost any other character in the game. ‘Semblance’, as it’s called, puts a little Hitman into Dishonored’s whalepunk fantasy – only instead of borrowing someone’s clothes, you take their face. It’s a new tool in the series’ stealth armoury, but more importantly it’s another gonzo way of solving problems.

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Bethesda: Fallout Creation Club “is not paid mods”

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Bethesda VP Pete Hines strikes me as a man grown weary of discussing mod controversies, like 2015’s paid Skyrim mods hullabaloo. In less than a week since its release, Bethesda’s Creation Club, which lets you buy mods for Fallout 4 [official site] with credits that cost real cash, has drummed up a fair amount of them. Hines, however, not only seeks to assuage fears that these premium mods were heralding something terrible, but also disputes the very idea that the Creation Club constitutes ‘paid mods’.
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“If you treat them as the enemy, it’s not going to be a good relationship.” Obsidian’s Feargus Urquhart on publishers

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Since its foundation in 2003, Obsidian Entertainment has worked with seven different publishers. Commencing with LucasArts on Knights of the Old Republic II, Obsidian has since signed contracts with Atari, SEGA, Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft and most recently, Paradox Interactive. In fact, up until Pillars of Eternity [official site], every single game Obsidian had made was funded and distributed by a different publisher.

This is a highly unusual state of affairs, and has proved precarious more than once in the company’s history. But it has also provided Obsidian with a unique insight into how the world of publishing works, and how the relationship between developer and publisher has changed in the last couple of decades. This topic is especially pertinent today, as new methods of funding and distributing games have seen a significant shift in the power dynamic between developers and publishers.

I spoke to CEO Feargus Urquhart about how it all works (and doesn’t).

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Have You Played… Prey (2017)?

This is possibly premature, but I’m worried that Prey might have fallen through the cracks. I don’t hear it talked about that much now. Don’t wait for a sale. Don’t dismiss it because it looks a little sterile in screenshots. Prey is exactly the game that long-time RPS readers have been praying for, for decades. (Pun possibly intended). Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Elder Scrolls: Legends

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It’s a card game! As discussed on this week’s podcast, I’ve been somehow saddled with the reputation of being “the collectible cards game guy” at RPS. This is partly my own fault due to my Duelyst-ing but also partly due to my fellow journos typecasting me, like some kind of grubby-fingered Bryan Cranston. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Remember when I became “the tanks guy” because I once asked too many questions about tanks?
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Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talk replayability, Slime Rancher and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

The hosts of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, know neither respite nor shame. This week we have a chat about “replayability” – what games are the most replayable? Why do we always go back to our “comfort games”? Exactly how many hours has Adam spent in Crusader Kings II? Hint: QUITE LOTS. Meanwhile, Pip attempts to cultivate the excrement of wet monsters in Slime Rancher, Adam tells us about his cowardice in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, and I am slumming it with another collectible card game, this time The Elder Scrolls: Legends. We’ve also got some reader questions and comments, all based on replaying old favourites. It’s a theme! Read the rest of this entry »

Arkane’s founder on why he’s ready to leave Prey devs

Raphael Colantonio, president and founder of Arkane Studios, announced that he was leaving the company earlier this week. Colantonio started Arkane in 1999 and was most recently the creative director on Prey [official site]. Today, at Gamelab Barcelona, he reflected on his time at Arkane and what prompted his departure.

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Prey’s creative director and founder of Arkane Studios, Raphael Colantonio, steps down

Raphael Colantonio, the founder and president of Arkane Studios and creative director of recent fuzzy alien basher Prey, has stepped down from the studio after 18 years. “It is time for me to step out to spend some time with my son,” he wrote in a statement, “and reflect on what is important to me and my future.” Colantonio was also the co-creative director on Dishonored, and the man who once referred to us grubby journalists as “press sneak fucks”.
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State of the Art: The monsters of Prey

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I’m only a little way into Prey [official site] at the moment but one of the most interesting aspects for me is the monster design. I love pausing the trailers to peer more closely at their glitchy, weird forms without worrying about being killed. The monsters in question are these hostile lifeforms which all come under the bracket of “Typhon” but there are different species of Typhon within that.

The differing shapes, sizes and movements make it easy to distinguish one species from another. There are the scuttling spidery, crabby Mimics, the tentacled, floating Telepaths, the humanoid Phantoms… But there’s a common visual thread – all of them are these glitchy, threatening oilslicks whose forms never quite settle. Even when dead their surfaces ripple and shimmer. Emmanuel Petit (lead visual designer) and Jason Timmons (lead visual effects artist) offered their expertise so we could unpack the design of these writhing oddities. Read on to find out why the idea of colour palettes makes the team laugh and how they repurposed foliage tools for monster silhouettes! Read the rest of this entry »

Golf things into existence with Fallout 4’s ‘creation club’

Hurr hurr. Inspired by the name of Bethesda’s upcoming method for selling bespoke mods, the ‘Creation Club’ is a weapon mod for Fallout 4 in the form of a golf club that spawns random items, enemies and NPCs when you swing it. It’s a silly jape taken to its logical conclusion – one that the golf club’s creator says isn’t intended as a criticism of Bethesda’s plan. “This mod is based on a pun,” he says, “A wordplay… It’s just a simple joke.”
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The compassion & cruelty of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

The early stages of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus [official site] show the same blood, guts and heart that were key to the first game’s success. Described by Bethesda’s Pete Hines as “fucking bananas”, it’s a game of extremes, but it’s the care that it shows for its characters and setting that stand out as unique in the field of alt-history Nazi war-shooters. Alongside the silliness, the gore and the pulp fiction roots, there’s a core concern for humanity and its loss.

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Dad Schlock: The Evil Within 2’s gameplay trailer

The Evil Within [official site] clicked for me the second time I played it, which makes me regret my slightly sniffy review when I read it back. It’s a schlocky tour through all kinds of horrors, riffing on director Miyakami’s own Resident Evil past as well as a host of other subgenres and tropes. Even though there’s a central plot underneath all the reality shifts, it almost feels like an anthology.

Yesterday’s cgi-heavy reveal trailer didn’t tell me a whole lot about what to expect from the sequel, but today’s “gameplay trailer” gives a better idea despite using some of the same scenes. It looks gorgeous, in that grisly, grimy sort of way.

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Dishonored 2 New Game Plus mode coming today

Exciting Dishonored 2 [official site] news arrives in the form of an update that adds new stuff to the game rather than fixing what is already there. First of all, there’s a new game plus mode, allowing you to start fresh with all the abilities and bonecharms you’ve discovered at the end of a playthrough carried across into the next one. In a wonderful turn of events, you can play as either character in your new game plus, but will have access to both Emily and Corvo’s powers, allowing you to mix and match. The update will be available in beta later today and launches proper on Monday.

In January, a second free update will add a mission select screen, for replaying your favourite areas, and customisable difficulty modes. Read the rest of this entry »