Too long have I been playing games about people who almost look like me. No longer, now that Prey has been announced.
RPS Feature Thank goodness.
Skyrim doesn’t feel old enough to have a shiny new edition with enhanced bells and whistles, but that’s exactly what’s coming on October 28th. It’ll be released on current-gen consoles as well as PC, and if you own either the Legendary Edition of the original, or the base game plus all DLC bought separately, you’ll receive a free upgrade to the new hotness. You can see it below.
Bethesda started big. When the lights and music dropped, the giant screen at the E3 showcase showed a DOS prompt. After fiddling around directories for a moment, the unseen user typed one small word: QUAKE.
The game is Quake Champions, an arena-based shooter pitting “diverse warriors with unique attributes and abilities” against one another. It has been designed for “world class esports play at every level” and contains big Stroggy bastards and a blue-haired lady.
When Raphaël Colantonio took to the stage at Bethesda’s E3 showcase, I figured he’d be talking about Dishonored 2. He’s one of the creative directors of the studio, alongside Harvey Smith, and we knew we were going to see more of their stealthy sequel.
Instead, Colantonio said he’d be working on something else, with a second team within the studio. A game in the same tradition as Dishonored – an immersive sim – but with an extra pinch of horror. It’s Prey.
Fallout Shelter is the post-apocalyptic management game that Bethesda slid onto tablets and cleverphones last year. I haven’t played it myself but know people who spend commutes and late nights in front of the telly tapping and swiping as they help their survivors to thrive. Or exploit them for kicks. The game is coming to PC in July and DLC for big momma Fallout 4 is coming thick and fast as well. Most notably, Vault-Tec, a build your own vault expansion, in July.
Bethesda’s E3 showcase wrapped up this evening (LA time) and I was there, in an enormous hangar, as new things were announced (Prey! Quake!) and more details of the games we’ve already played or heard about were released. The pick of the crop was Dishonored 2 [official site], which had that rarest of things: an E3 showing that involved an actual dev walkthrough of a mission and the new character abilities. Beats even the shiniest of trailers. You can see a trailer below, captured in-game, along with thoughts on the wonderful time-twisting mechanic.
If I’m honest I’d totally forgotten that The Elder Scrolls Online [official site] is a thing that still exists. ZeniMax haven’t, though. In fact they’ve just launched the latest DLC for the MMORPG: Dark Brotherhood.
If you have even a passing familiarity with Elder Scrolls games you’ve probably worked out that the Dark Brotherhood stuff is about trying to join the franchise’s guild of assassins:
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
We’re all doing Macauley Culkin faces about how good DOOM turned out to be despite high suspicion to the contrary, but let’s not forget that, under Bethesda’s stewardship, olden id games had already been treated surprisingly well. Wolfenstein: The New Order [official site] was a sprawling, spectacular singleplayer shooter of the kind we so rarely see in these MP-focused times, and it somehow managed the impossible too: making BJ Blazkowicz a real human. A real human in an entirely absurd world.
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RPS Feature The best shooter of 2016, or I'll eat a Cacodemon's hat
I feel sorry for the guys down the metaphorical hall, working on Fallout 4. There they are, stuck making Team Post-America with an ancient engine and the puppety, stilted shooting that seems to entail, and then, from the same stable, there’s DOOM. A new epitome of speed, motion and combat. The fastest gun-game in the West. Press V for VATS? No, press F to rip a demon’s head in half.
I never would have believed it, but DOOM is back.
RPS Feature Two hours into hell
Doom 4 DOOM [official site] is out in most places as of this morning, but I managed to squeeze in a few hours of Bethesda’s demon-botherer last night by catching a private jet to New Zealand, where it had launched a little earlier. Naturally, I flew straight home afterwards to write the following thoughts.
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Are you trying to punch Hell in the face? Here are some quick and easy tips to make your DOOM [official site] experience a little smoother. By adding the commands below to the game’s launch options in Steam, you’ll be able to skip those pesky intro movies (particularly useful for me since they run really slowly even though the game runs fine), unlock Nightmare difficulty without completing the game on a lower level, and reduce the mouse smoothing that may make your journey through Hell a little too gloopy.
“This isn’t Doom 4. This is actually Doom, straight up, from the beginning.”
That’s part of the introduction to an hour-long walkthrough of DOOM‘s singleplayer campaign. The video divides into three main sections, with the player jumping forward to later levels in order to show various features, and the whole thing has commentary. The combination of that commentary and the video itself has eased my concerns after the disappointment of the multiplayer beta. I want to play this. I’ve explained why below, as well as providing handy links so you can jump to interesting points in the video rather than watching the full thing.
Fallout 4 [official site] just got a lot more interesting. The Creation Kit – which Bethesda say is “the same tool that we used to create Fallout 4” – is now available to download via the Bethesda.net launcher. The modding tools have now moved into open beta and you’ll need to follow some simple instructions to get them working via Steam. Once you’ve opted in, you’ll be able to browse and install mods from within the game.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [official site] turns five this year [that can’t be corre- oh my god, we are so old -ed.], but that’s not stopped its dedicated community from expanding its dragon-bashing, Thu’um-shouting, knee-shattering boundaries with mods, updates and overhauls. The latest pick of the ever-multiplying crop is Galandil’s Holds The City – an ambitious overhaul that adds new settlements, architecture and characters to Skyrim’s towns and cities in a bid to increase its population and weave new tales into its existing lore. Come see a trailer after the drop.
RPS Feature Slough of Despair?
Doom [official site]! It’s the bloodsoaked new game with the demons and the rocket skeletons and the telefrags and the shotguns and the multiplayer levelling and the character customisation and the class-like loadouts and the double-jump. Yeah, you know Doom.
Hmmm. Some of those things are more familiar than others to a seasoned Doom player like myself and I fear change more than I fear a sextet of Cyberdemons. The multiplayer beta for id’s latest opened today and, determined to face my fears, I’ve been playing for most of the day.
Back in my day, a Doom protagonist wore a bright green uniform with a little window cut out around his midriff to show off his sixpack. Sure, a demon just happened to rip off that particular patch of armour but we all know that was part of the design. These days, the marines have discovered fashion though. The latest video for Nu-Doom [official site] might as well be a combative catwalk, packed as it is with fancy armour modifications, patterned weapons and people exploding into fountains of blood and body-bits. It’s fashion week in Hell and the open beta is live right now, so you can show off your duds.
RPS Feature Blunderdome
Wasteland Workshop is the second serving of Fallout 4 [official site] DLC that offers players new settlement items, crafting options, and the chance to capture wild creatures before pitting them against one another in purpose-built arenas. Beyond that, there’s not much else to it, no quests, no story, which is a fact reflected by its modest £3.99/$4.99 price tag. But is it worth your time? Here’s Wot I Think.
It’s been too long since I last slept, which is a problem because it’s the only way I can save my last hour of tentative progress in Fallout 4’s survival mode. I’ve finally completed a routine quest for some man-child ghoul who wanted to wear some superhero uniform, and need to hit the hay somewhere, anywhere, lest some unforeseeable bullet or head trauma insta-kills me. I skirt my way around bandit camps, pick off the occasional super mutant (only when absolutely necessary) with single silenced headshots, and am barely a hundred feet from the safe haven of Goodneighbor.
It’s a cruel, cruel mode, is survival mode, and I’m not yet convinced that I like it.
Keen observers of my writing habits may have noticed that I didn’t produce many words on the subject of Fallout 4 [official site]. I played Bethesda’s latest and, as with so many of the studio’s games, I failed to find the hook that kept me in its world. Fallout 4, sad to say, left me as cold as a perfectly chilled Nuka-Cola.
All that may be about to change. The game’s Survival Mode looks like an entirely different game, with loads of new features including “no fast travel, saving only when you sleep, increased lethality, diseases, fatigue, danger and more”. You can download the beta of the new mode through Steam right now.