Posts Tagged ‘Bethesda’

A Few Petty Grievances About Dishonored 2

I hate to be the Dunwall Downer, to be honest. Any other week I perhaps wouldn’t do this, but bloody hell, what a week. (Not you too, Leonard. Not you too). I desperately needed something to feel good about, and I’d hoped Dishonored 2 [official site] would be it. It still might be, but I’m one of those who is enduring a particularly bad dose of its increasingly notorious technical woes. A knock-on effect of that is that, because my immersion is generally and near-constantly disrupted by the shonky performance, design and presentation faults which might otherwise have been minor seem that much more glaring.
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Dishonored 2: Everyone Who Died In The First Mission Of My Non-Lethal Playthrough

I see you!

Ah, Dishonored 2 [official site]. A chance to right the wrongs with my approach to stealth in the original Dishonored. A clean slate where no-one has yet been massacred and no guards have been panic-killed and the guy in the chair in that room didn’t get accidentally stabbed because of a previous stabbing session which left me with a bit of a hair-trigger stab-finger. It was thus reassured that I have embarked on my non-lethal playthrough of Dishonored 2.

Six people have died so far.

I can definitely explain…

I’ve tried to keep the following spoiler-free but you might still want to leave reading it until you’ve played that first mission if you’re worried about accidental environmental spoilers?

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Dishonored 2 Is The Thief Successor We Deserve

I’ve been playing Dishonored 2 [official site] for nine hours but I’m not here to spoil any surprises for you, so don’t worry about precisely how much I’ve seen or what beans I might spill. What I want to do is to reassure you that developers Arkane haven’t fluffed their lines with this sequel. Quite the opposite in fact – they’re firing on all cylinders.

Even if the remaining levels are so badly designed that I find them intolerable, and there’s absolutely no reason to believe that would be the case, I’ve already explored enough beautifully realised and densely packed areas to see this as a sequel that understands what its predecessor did well, and knows precisely how to do it better. Here, with no spoilers, are my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far.

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Dishonored 2 Trailer Champions A Cutthroat Empress

I know how much you like slitting throats, so I got this Dishonored 2 [official site] launch trailer for you. It’s got a lot of your stabby bloodshed in it, but also some other powers available to the discerning murderer, including ‘annoying flies’, the ‘mini warp’ and ‘becoming a living avatar of chaos’. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before but there’s some bits of plot thrown in for good measure. Which is good because plot is your second favourite thing after slitting throats.
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A Strange Return To Skyrim

The Skyrim special edition hasn’t much moved me in terms of upgrades, but in fairness that’s at least partly because, the last time I played it, I had so many graphical mods installed that the place looked better than Bethesda could reasonably achieve with an update primarily intended to achieve 1080p on current-gen consoles. That said, I do keep firing it up now that I’ve got my old saves working. Read the rest of this entry »

Elder Scrolls: What The Next Game Needs To Fix

With Skyrim’s Special Edition managing to feel not that special, it’s put me to thinking about what it is I want from the next Elder Scrolls game. What are the features I would love to see in The Elder Scrolls VI: Hammerfell? What are the series’ tropes that could use a tweak? I’ve expounded on this below. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Get Old Skyrim Saves Working In The Skyrim Special Edition

It has been an odyssey. My most recent Skyrim save is three years old. I cannot in good conscience pretend to recall what my motivations were the last time I played it – what quests I cared about, what guild or weapon or house I was pursuing. But, for reasons that are part bloody-mindedness and part wincing at the prospect of having to redo so much armour crafting from the start, I have been absolutely determined to get my old saves and characters working in last week’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition [official site].

It has been a long and tiresome job, but I have achieved it. Here’s how you can do it too.
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Skyrim Special Edition Is An Underwhelming Upgrade On PC – But!

Though consolefolk are revelling in a spike from fuzzy 720p to crisp-textured 1080, on PC The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition [official site] is about as transformational as wiping the toilet seat (well, depending on who exactly used it before you did). Play it today and you’ll be lucky to feel there’s been any meaningful change. If anything, you might find that it’s a step down from your modded original Skyrim with the Bethesda high-res texture pack, and a dark return to the infuriating official interface to boot. A brand new, truly 2016 Skyrim this is not – but it might yet be.
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The RPG Scrollbars: The Elder Scrolls – One Tamriel

I make no secret of not having liked The Elder Scrolls Online [official site]. Believe me, I wanted to dig it, but nothing this side of Planescape Torment Kart could have felt more not like the game it was meant to be without being part of some fever dream. That said, I do admire the fact that the creators have spent their time since launch trying to fix it. The process hasn’t always been subtle. People hate the tutorial islands? Kill the tutorial islands! People won’t pay a subscription fee? Kill the subscription!

The other week saw by far the biggest change to the game – indeed, one of the biggest to any MMO I can think of since Square took Final Fantasy XIV back off the shelves to rebuild it and make it good. It’s called ‘One Tamriel’, and it finally opens the world up to be the kind of free-roaming RPG The Elder Scrolls is known for being. Can it make it the game I wanted? Unlikely. But hey, this is TEScO. Every little helps!

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The Beautiful Cruelty Of Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2‘s fourth mission is supposedly about infiltrating the home of Kirin Jindosh, a sadistic inventor who must be bumped off or “neutralised” before he unleashes an army of automatons upon the world. But what you’re really doing in the Clockwork Mansion is invading a brain. Having already seen excerpts from a developer playthrough, I had a sense that the building’s rearrangeable mechanical layouts might reflect the character of its architect, much as Bioshock and Portal’s labyrinths do GlaDOS and Andrew Ryan. I was unprepared, however, for how extravagantly Jindosh’s neuroses infest the place, or for how cruel it feels to slip through the cracks in his amazing creation – past the velvet drapes, beneath the lacquered facades and into the whirring schematics of his subconsciousness.

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Hone Your Skills With Creative Kills: Dishonored 2

Have a whale of a time with…no. These creative kills are whale-y good. Oh no no no.

I understand the appeal of playing a game like Dishonored 2 [official site] without killing a single person, I really do, but Arkane are sorely tempting my no harm, nn foul-festering-bloodfly-feeding-frenzy policy. A new video shows both Emily and Corvo using their supernatural skills to create deftly calculated carnage. There are doppelgangers, body-swaps, blink-kicks that send people flying through the air like footballs, and combinations of time manipulation, razor traps and vertical violence that make a stab to the back seem so simple as to be uncouth.

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Older Scrolls: Daggerfall Is Twenty Years Old Today

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of one of the greatest roleplaying games ever made. Set in a world so vast that you could combine almost every open world game released since and cram them all into one of its regions, and allowing the freedom to buy real estate within that world, it remains one of the grandest games of its type.

It is The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall [official site] and I have loved it for two decades.

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Dishonored 2: QuakeCon’s High-Chaos Corvo Info

Dishonored 2

Looks like Dishonored 2 [official site] got some new gameplay footage at QuakeCon. Not being at QuakeCon and with the footage not having leaked (that I can see, anyway) I’m making do with GIFS! and a DESCRIPTIVE BLOG ENTRY! in order to get a feel for a high-chaos Corvo playthrough:

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends Now In Open Beta

Elder Scrolls: Legends

The Elder Scrolls: Legends [official site] – the digital card game based on the Elder Scrollsiverse – is now in open beta. I’ve already downloaded the game launcher and am currently going through the fun thing where you have to get Bethesda to remind you of your username and then, when you have your username, reset the password which you also can’t remember and none of the reset emails have arrived BUT! I’m sure I’ll be hurling nirnroots at a board before long…?

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This Is How You Will Shoot The Bad Things In Prey

Bethesda are at Quake Con, showing off their new toys to people who love to shoot guns and bunny hop. One of their most intriguing toys is Prey [official site] (a re-imagining of the original) which is being made by Arkane Studios, the folks behind the Dishonored games. They announced it at E3 a couple of months ago but now they have finally given us a glimpse of what it would be like to shoot all the things. Come have a gander.

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Impressions: The Elder Scrolls – Legends

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the team behind The Elder Scrolls: Legends [official site] must be great fans of Hearthstone. Much of this new collectible card game will be instantly familiar to those who’ve played Blizzard’s Warcraft-based equivalent. There’s a gradually increasing pool of magic points with which to play cards. The same attack value and health stats, with most creatures being unable to strike on the turn they’re summoned. A slew of common special abilities that break the base rules, such as allowing for an attack immediately after being played, or having a one-hit shield to protect them from damage. Sure, everything has a different name, like “Guard” instead of “Taunt”, but the initial sense of deja vu is overwhelming. Thankfully, that fades.

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How Doom’s Glory Kills Maintain Momentum

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Doom [official site].

Doom, the new one, has one heck of a sense of forward momentum. It’s a game of aggression and constant movement. You’re the Doom Marine: you move like the wind and your shots are unbroken by the need to reload.

At the heart of how Doom creates this response in players is a single feature which, paradoxically, is all about pausing your interaction with the game, pressing you so close to the enemy that they often fill the screen. It’s a feature, after all, that was intended to capture something special about the original Doom that had little to do with movement, but it turned out to trigger all kinds of secondary effects. The feature was:

THE MECHANIC: Glory kills

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