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E3 2013: Bethesda Titles
Of all the multi-game appointments we attended, Bethesda was probably my favorite. Bethesda has always had good showings at E3, but this year their focus on 3 titles was very attention grabbing. Of the three titles, only The Evil Within was not playable. However, the presentation/demo we received in the theatre was pretty lengthy so I didn’t mind the lack of hands-on. The other two titles that were playable were Wolfenstein: A New Order and The Elder Scrolls Online. Here’s a nice, long audio of Paustinj and I discussing the three post appointment. So here we go on the written portion.
Talk about a creepy game. The Evil Within is making an attempt to take us back to the roots of the horror genre, when you had to realistically fear for your character’s life. I can definitely say that I felt that way watching this presentation and I wasn’t even the one playing. There’s the mix of horribly gruesome, mental games, and a distinct feeling of helplessness. Situations where having a weapon won’t get you out of a mess, like many other survival horror games have turned into.
The basic premise of the game is that you play as a police officer who is responding to a call of disturbances at an asylum. Officers had already been dispatched and when you arrive, things take a turn for the creepy. The driveway for the asylum is full of police cars, placed strategically, but with no sign of any officers. A browse as you work your way to the front door shows that all the guns and ammo are missing. Exploring the asylum entryway shows doctors, nurses, and police officers dead, thrown about with massive amounts of blood all over.
This game is more up Paustinj’s alley. While I enjoyed the presentation, it was definitely scary and I’m sure the people in the row behind us got to laugh at me jumping every few minutes. The few story elements they showed with us does have me wondering, but I’m not sure if I’d be able to make it through the gameplay elements to find out.
I’ll be upfront, I never really played the Wolfenstein games. So if you want a comparison of the new to the old, check out what Paustinj had to say during our post-Bethesda audio. He assures me that the game still follows the style and main gameplay elements of past Wolfensteins. I can say that the game looked quite interesting during the presentation and has me intrigued to jump into the franchise.
To set the story, Germany won WWII. Flash forward to the 1960s and you play as the Wolfenstein classic and main character, B.J. I didn’t get much more out of it than that, which I assume goes on further to playing as a rebel attempting to sabotage the German forces. I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed playing this new take on Wolfenstein.
The shooter mechanics are fantastic. The mix of weapons and ingenious ways they employ such things to add puzzle elements is fantastic. The gun with a blow torch setting is amazing and adds a fun element of figuring out what you can use it for. As Paustinj brought up, they set the game so that in the open areas of battle you can approach combat in a variety of ways. You’re not stuck to one method or another. Half the time, just running and gunning by itself won’t work.
If we hadn’t wanted to get time on The Elder Scrolls, I would have kept playing this instead. This game is slated for release later this year, so keep an ear out to hear more about it.
Let me say this, if they make it like GW2 or any of the other F2P MMOs, it will be brilliant (no confirmation one way or another on it being a pay to play or F2P at the moment). They did tell us that TESO will be coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One so console gamers, fear not. If you want to test your ability with an Elder Scrolls MMO but despise PC, your chance will come.
It plays like any MMO on a basic level. Hot keying your preferred abilities, taking on quests, getting involved in instances, and grouping with other players to take on areas you’re not quite strong enough for yet. I do agree that in some MMOs, the dynamics of combat force you to rely on special abilities and not the basic elements of combat (such as using a sword or bow and arrow). In this game, it felt like you could choose and weren’t really pushed towards those special abilities. Do they help? Without a doubt, but I could just as easily use the basic mage attack (a fireball) as the stronger powered special abilities.
What I think makes this game most interesting isn’t necessarily anything it does differently as a MMO, but the very fact that it is an Elder Scrolls game. They’re opening the entire continent of Tamriel to our wandering ways. This will include areas we’re familiar with, such as Morrowind and Skyrim, and regions that have so far not been seen. For those unfamiliar, Elder Scrolls games typically open one region (or in some cases island) for play in each game. While there may be references to other regions that have been visited in past games, you have not been able to travel between them. TESO will essentially open up the entirety of Tamriel to gamers.
Besides just the world you’ll exist in, TESO is created on the base that all Elder Scrolls games are. The appearance, the style, and the feel of being in Tamriel. I could easily believe that the game we were playing was an Elder Scrolls game, rather than just any old MMO. Now unfortunately, the 30 minutes we spent playing was a very short time to familiarize ourselves with an MMO. I can say that it doesn’t appear to have a high barrier to entry (MMOs have been getting better at that) and we enjoyed testing it out. Of course, Paustinj & I both have previous MMO experience sooo. Regardless, this game is slated for 2014, so there will be more information to come.
They are also already allowing sign-ups for closed beta, so head over to The TESO site to do so. It’s not just for PC, they’re also letting you sign up for PS4 or Xbox One. So, if you’re sure to pick up one of those two consoles you can help them beta test.