CA! Radio E3 2017: Sony

CA! Radio’s E3 coverage continues with our recap and impressions of the surprisingly safe PlayStation conference, where we all found plenty to enjoy despite its lack of excitement. This became all the more jarring when we considered how action packed their announcements have been over the last two years.

Aside from the reveals of a full-on Shadow of the Colossus remake and the Monster Hunter series coming back to home consoles, everything shown was either expected, a bit too long-winded, or could certainly do with more narrative assistance on behalf of Sony.

Sadly, the most interesting reveals were reduced to the pre-show, like Yakuza KiwamiHidden Agenda and Undertale coming to PS4 and Vita. And while we all agree that Days Gone is nice to look at, we’re all struggling to find reasons to care.

I, myself, think it’s suffering from a bit of an identity crisis, atop two lackluster showings where the unexplained gameplay scenes treaded entirely too much familiar territory. I can’t shake the feeling I’ve played this game 100 times already and zombie fatigue set in many, many years ago.

But enough context. Let’s dig in!

Continue reading “CA! Radio E3 2017: Sony”

It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! So What are You Playing?

Since you gotta get down on Friday, sound off in the comments and let’s discuss our weekend gaming plans! Continue reading “It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! So What are You Playing?”

REVIEW: Street Fighter V – A Shadow Falls DLC

When Street Fighter V released with a bare minimal amount of content, casual fans took to the internet and ripped Capcom’s newest entry in their legendary fighting series to shreds. I’m not here to participate in said shredding, nor am I here to defend it, but rather focus on the game’s newly added story DLC, A Shadow Falls.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Street Fighter V – A Shadow Falls DLC”

New Street Fighter V DLC is Just Capcom Being Capcom

Street Fighter V crowned its first ever EVO tournament winner last night in Korea’s Infiltration, which just so happened to be shown live on ESPN 2. On top of that historic feat, the crowd witnessed one of the most emotional moments in the fighting tournament’s history with Long Island Joe being America’s sole representative in the top 8.

If anything, Capcom gained a ton of momentum and fanfare for Street Fighter V last night, but for whatever reason, they’ve decided to toss a stick in their own spokes by releasing the Capcom Pro Tour DLC today for the ridiculous price of $24.99. Yes, roughly half of the game’s price tag for a minimal amount of additional content.

This DLC nets you three costumes, two titles, 1 new color for each fighters, and the Ring of Destiny stage used throughout last night’s EVO 2016 Top 8 brackets. Granted, the stage is pretty entertaining with its dancing bear, fireworks, and rad music, but no. Just no.

Last night it was revealed that sales of the DLC will increase the prize winnings of the Capcom Pro Tour, but spending more money for others to make more money isn’t exactly an incentive I can get behind.

It’s not that I don’t want to support the fighters on the pro-circuit (LI Joe is my new hero), but I wish there was a better way than overpaying for what seems like content that would otherwise be free.

Thoughts?

 

BioShock: The Collection is Real, Coming September 13th

A BioShock trilogy remaster (or whatever you want to call these things) has been rumored for quite some time, with various leaks across the board. But today, it’s official.

BioShock: The Collection will release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on September 13th (in NA, 15th & 16th internationally) for the full retail price of $59.99. It’ll include all single-player DLC, along with commentary from Ken Levine himself.

It’s worth noting that BioShock 2’s multiplayer mode will not be included in the collection, and BioShock Infinite will not be remastered for PC, as 2K states “it already meets current-gen console standards and runs smoothly on high visual settings.

I don’t usually get excited about remasters, but the original BioShock and Infinite count among my favorite games of the last console generation and I eagerly await September 13th so I can revisit Rapture, Columbia, and the fantastic ride that is BioShock.

Thoughts?

E3 2016: Ubisoft Talks Sequels, VR, and Brand New IP

The Ubisoft (correctly pronounced throughout the show as “ubi,” as in “ubiquitous”) conference began with an odd little dance routine to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” peppered in a bunch of F-bombs throughout the show, and ended their otherwise solid line-up of games with a new I.P. that didn’t resonate with me in any way, shape, or form.

Recurring hostess Aisha Tyler was great though, keeping things fun and entertaining between each of the interview segments that somewhat killed the momentum, so kudos to her. She gets a lot of flack on social media for her hosting duties, but I’ve always liked her. Plus she’s Lana in Archer, so there’s that.

My predictions:

  • With no new Assassin’s Creed in 2016, maybe a current-gen port of Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. Long shot, I know.
  • Probably show the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer, maybe twice.
  • Next year’s Assassin’s Creed confirmed to be a series reboot instead of a sequel. Long shot, but if any series needs it it’s this one.
  • New Splinter Cell.
  • New Blood Dragon spin-off for Far Cry Primal.
  • Watch Dogs 2 is the marquee title to close the show.
  • A beefy For Honor gameplay demo.
  • The Crew sequel revealed.
  • The Division DLC gameplay demo.
  • Very little talk of South Park: The Fractured But Whole.
  • Ghost Recon: Wildlands gameplay demo.
Just Dance 2017 gets a release window, even for Nintendo NX.

So it turned out that the weird dance number with the giraffe man and candy cane girls was a segue in to the confirmation of Just Dance 2017. Host Aisha Tyler confirmed the dance game’s release window as October, but perhaps the most interesting reveal is that she mentioned its arrival on the new Nintendo NX “next year.”

This marked the first time (at least to my knowledge) that the console had been referred to by its code-name at E3 2016, but it’s not surprising when you consider it’s the only Ubisoft game to really push units on a modern Nintendo platform.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands gets an official release date.

Wildlands opened with a cinematic trailer, which I felt was a little ho hum, but after a very business-like description we were greeted with a very lengthy gameplay demo showing off the game’s open world and tactical 4-player co-op combat.

It was confirmed during the demo that Wildlands can be played in its entirety on your own, if you’re the antisocial type. Either way there’s a tactical aspect to the game’s mission structure that allows you to decide how you want to approach their end goals. Do you run in with your bro-op partners guns blazing, hijacking cars and dirtbikes to make a quick getaway? Or does one of you provide sniper cover for a stealthy extraction?

The story was explained a bit, which read like a terrible action film wherein big hero America comes to the aid of a foreign country and liberates it from bad guys. In a nutshell, a Mexican drug cartel has moved in to Bolivia to take advantage of their natural resources and turn it in to cocaine. They’ve given the Bolivian townsfolk an ultimatum: join them and get money, power, and protection, or die. Pretty cheesy shit, right? I fully expected Vin Diesel to provide voice acting and mo-cap work.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands will release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on March 7th, 2017.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole gets an official release date and a nice pre-order bonus.

I figured Ubisoft would talk very little about the new South Park RPG, but boy was I wrong. Not only did they do an on stage interview with show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, but they showed off a brand new trailer, the newly revamped combat system, the superhero class system, and announced a pretty sweet pre-order bonus for those of you who’ll go the digital route.

There was also a truckload of F-bombs dropped over the course of about 15 minutes.

Hostess Aisha Tyler commented after the fact that if you were playing a drinking game at home, taking a shot every time the word “fuck” was said on stage, you’d have been asleep by the end of the South Park segment. Xbox opted to edit out the curse words during their Gears of War 4 demo (which was weird), but Ubisoft (for lack of a better term) gave no fucks. So fuck yeah to them.

The classic turn-based combat system of Stick of Truth has been replaced with a tactical turn-based system, similar to those found in The Banner Saga, Disgaea, or Final Fantasy Tactics. Though perhaps not as deep, you’ll be able to maneuver around the combat zone a set amount of tiles, attack those around you, and use the power of farts to alter the attack order of everyone involved. Some attacks, like magic, can be used over obstacles in the environment, while other brute force abilities can knock opponents back a tile or two.

Since The Fractured But Whole picks up where Stick of Truth left off, your douchebag-turned-king is now a douchebag again, and finds himself in the midst of a civil war between the kids in South Park. Gone are the fantasy classes as well — it’s all about superheroes. Your douchebag can choose between three starter classes, like a Flash-like Speedster, or a heavy hitter.

Pre-ordering the digital version of South Park: The Fractured But Whole on any platform will give you a free download for South Park: The Stick of Truth. Seeing as how The Fractured But Whole is only releasing on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, yes, that means that Stick of Truth has been officially released on current-gen consoles.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole will officially release on December 6th, later this year.

The Division’s first two DLC packs lightly detailed.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is clearly a huge success, at least in terms of sales, and DLC has been planned for Ubisoft’s open-world shooter for quite some time.

The first DLC pack, Underground, presents you and your squad with an underground network of procedurally generated sewers to explore and fight the good fight. The trailer itself explained very little, and while I could go ahead and Google the details, that’s not the point of this write-up.

What I do know is that all who own the Underground DLC pack can redeem three new costumes on the Ubisoft Club shop as an added incentive. These are all themed around popular Ubisoft IP, like Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, and Ghost Recon.

All of The Division’s DLC lands on Xbox One a month ahead of its PS4 counterpart, so Underground is set to release on Xbox on June 28th, with a PS4 release following on August 2nd.

The 2nd DLC pack, Survival, was only given a cinematic trailer. The environment is under the barrage of a massive blizzard and it appears that resources are scarce. Like Underground, the trailer did very little to explain the DLC’s contents, so whether or not this is a Dark Zone-only thing, or a new mode that takes body temperature and hunger in to consideration, is beyond me.

Survival was only given a “coming soon” release window.

Ubisoft enters the realm of VR with Eagleflight and Star Trek: Bridge Crew.

The presentation then shifted toward the realm of VR, as Oculus Rift’s own Palmer Lucky took the stage to take part in a 3-on-3 capture the flag match in Ubisoft’s Eagleflight.

Eagleflight is just what it sounds like — you’re all eagles and you fly around doing eagle things in a multi-player setting. Dubbed “capture the prey,” this mode pit two teams of three against each other in typical CTF fashion, but instead of a flag there’s a dead rabbit. Looked like it could be fun if you had 5 friends who could all afford an Oculus Rift, but since that’ll never happen in my lifetime I quickly lost interest.

Eagleflight looks pretty damn ugly and arrives on all major VR platforms this fall.

Their next VR showing was for Star Trek: Bridge Crew, which featured a behind the scenes trailer with Star Trek alumni Jeri Ryan, LeVar Burton, and Karl Urban playing the game for the first time.

In Bridge Crew, you choose one of four positions aboard a star ship and work together to complete objectives. Similar to a 3D version of Love in a Dangerous Spacetime, no job is more important than the others, and everyone needs to contribute to be successful.

As LeVar Burton excitedly questioned during his on-stage interview, “what’s more Star Trek than that?”

He seemed really happy with how the game turned out, and as many on social media were quick to point out, Ubisoft received a lot of praise for featuring two people of color discussing nerd culture on the grandest stage in video games. Kudos to them.

The game looks pretty awful, at least by a graphical standpoint. Even my girlfriend, who’s a huge trekkie, said “wow, that game looks like shit.”

I’m sure it’s fun for fans of the source material, but it’s definitely not my cup of tea.

For Honor’s lengthy gameplay demo looked pretty damn fun.

Ubisoft Montreal’s For Honor showed a beefy gameplay demo in which the vikings entered an island off the coast of Japan to battle samurai on their home turf. What a fucking game this is shaping up to be.

This segment was made even better by the presence of Ubisoft Montreal’s creative director, Jason Vandenberghe. When this guy talks, I pay attention. He has one of those deep Elder Scrolls barkeep voices; the kind that draws the eyes of anyone within earshot, and I could’ve sat there and listened to him wax For Honor for the next twelve hours.

The demo showed off the game’s single-player campaign, which played a bit like a slow hack-n-slash (or musou, if you’re familiar with the term) when the muscular viking took his axe to hordes of insignificant samurai. Once the one-on-one battles began with the high-ranking officials though, it became more tactical — Dark Souls-ish, I guess you could say.

The on-screen queues showed the player using the right analog stick to change their posture and defend the left, right, and top portions of their body. Blocking in the right direction rewarded the viking with invaluable opportunities to counterattack, but there’s also abilities that break the defender’s guard and leave them vulnerable instead.

Some well-placed blocks ended the fight in a matter of swings, while others showed off some of the game’s environmental kills — shoving the attacker in a to a spiked rampart, or shoulder ramming them off the side of a wall.

For Honor received an official release date of February 14, 2017, making it the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. You can currently register for the game’s next alpha test by going to forhonor.ubisoft.com.

Grow Home sequel Grow Up confirmed.

Last Year’s Grow Home was a pleasant surprise to me, ending up in the #10 slot on my favorite games of 2015 list. I wasn’t sure how successful the vertigo inducing platformer was, so imagine my surprise when its sequel, Grow Up, was revealed during Ubisoft’s E3 presentation.

Graphically it looks exactly the same as Grow Home, which is fine. More Grow Home in a significantly larger environment is a game I’d be happy to play, and that’s what we’re getting. Rather than grow a giant plant to get B.U.D. from ground level up to your space ship, you’ll be connecting planets and going all the way to the damn moon. THE MOON!

I felt like I was going to barf in Grow Home’s smaller scale, so I’m sure I’ll be white knuckling my controller for the duration of my playthrough.

Grow Up will release this August for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Trials and Blood Dragon make sweet love to birth Trials of the Blood Dragon cross-over.

Two dudes dressed like 80’s wrestlers in full Zubaz attire took the stage (props to the one rocking “The Boss” Sasha Banks’ Legit Boss rings!) to talk about something that wasn’t a new Blood Dragon spin-off, which was more depressing than it has any right to be.

Instead, the folks at Red Lynx and Ubisoft Montreal confirmed they’re working together on a new Trials cross-over, entitled Trials of the Blood Dragon. They showed a pretty good trailer with the kind of humor you’d expect, but no matter how much I adored Blood Dragon, I don’t like Trials.

Trials of the Blood Dragon has the aesthetic of Blood Dragon with the physics-based gameplay of the Trials series, but there seemed to be some 2D platforming segments sprinkled in for good measure.

Trials of the Blood Dragon is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC… RIGHT NOW!

Assassin’s Creed the mov– …sorry, I fell asleep there.

I’ve said it before, but I love the Assassin’s Creed series despite its franchise fatigue setting in a while back. I’m also genuinely interested in seeing the Assassin’s Creed movie.

I’m not, however, interested in listening to someone talk about the movie. For 10 minutes.

Granted that someone is the film’s producer, Frank Marshall, whom you may know from the likes of Indiana Jones, Jurassic World, and Back to the Future, but it dragged on for what felt like an eternity.

The Assassin’s Creed film hits theaters on December 21st, later this year.

Watch Dogs 2 looks like big dumb fun, and I want it now.

The crowd erupted as Aisha Tyler was interrupted by a well-made Dedsec propaganda film. They’re definitely eating up Watch Dogs 2, and so am I. The sequel to 2014’s underwhelming open-world hack-a-thon seems like a drastic improvement in every way imaginable.

Ubisoft showed a very lengthy gameplay trailer, in which new hacktivist Marcus Holloway used everything in his arsenal to infiltrate a corrupt politician’s heavily guarded home and extract valuable information locked away on his hard drive. This was the perfect scenario for Marcus to take cover behind a myriad of environmental objects and take out the armed guards for good, but instead the entire playthrough is non-lethal. Color me impressed.

The demo showed off Marcus’ drone, which was used to tag enemies and profile them like he does with his cellphone. He also used his RC car to maneuver around the house and hack the objective away from the prying eyes of the politician’s hired help. Rather than run and gun his way to victory (or death, I suppose), they portrayed Marcus as the hacktivist he’s supposed to represent in-game — he was smart, clever, and agile in his execution and getaway.

So far I’m really enjoying everything I’ve seen about Watch Dogs 2, which releases November 15th. I know the original game set the bar pretty low, but the idea of an open-world stealth game with interesting ways to complete my objectives is already a huge selling point.

Ubisoft confirmed that a Watch Dogs film is on the way, thanks to a partnership with Sony. I’ll just watch Hackers for the 100th time instead.

Watch Dogs 2’s DLC will arrive first on PS4, one month ahead of its Xbox One and PC counterparts, which makes sense considering the film partnership.

Steep, a new open-world IP about sharing extreme sports stunts, isn’t even remotely interesting.

If I were Ubisoft, I would have ended the conference with Watch Dogs 2. The crowd ate it up. They LOVED it.

They instead closed with their newest IP, Steep, an open-world (noticing a trend here, folks?) game taking place in the Alps where players can snowboard, ski, paraglide, and use wingsuits to create challenges and share footage of their stunts.

Did this excite anyone?

This seems like a glorified tech demo of sorts, but maybe I just don’t see the appeal of such a simple idea. Folks hop in to the mountains, do stunts, and share them with friends. You can all snowboard down a slope together, or just paraglide around and enjoy the beautiful landscapes, and I don’t really see that being enjoyable for longer than an hour or two. Fuck, I’m bored just talking about it.

I’m all for developers and publishers trying out new IP, especially a developer who’s heavily relied on sequels as a crutch, but I found Steep severely underwhelming and don’t really see the appeal of such a game outside of VR.

Ah well, best of luck to them. I’m sure there’s a market out there somewhere.

You can sign up for the Steep beta at steepgame.com, though no date was given.

So how was it?

Although I felt that Ubisoft spent a lot of time talking about their games, they did an excellent job showing them in action. I was more than a little puzzled by the lack of Division gameplay and explanation, but I left the presentation with a general idea of what their future holds in the next year or so.

The momentum screeched to a halt during the Asssassin’s Creed movie bit, but of course they want as many people to see it as possible. It was an understandable segment, but it could’ve been just the behind the scenes trailer and given more time to show off The Division’s DLC or Watch Dogs 2.

I’m extremely confused by Steep’s existence, and for such a niche game I’m pretty shocked they decided to make it their marquee title. Ubisoft is known for ending their conferences with new reveals, so I guess it’s not totally surprising, but they could’ve ended with Watch Dogs 2 (which had a great gameplay demo) and been okay.

What did you think of the 2016 Ubisoft press conference?

E3 2016: Bethesda Revives, Reveals, and Updates

Last year Bethesda had quite possibly the best presentation in all of E3 2015, and that was pretty impressive considering it was their first conference ever. This year’s presentation may not live up to last year’s standards — revealing Fallout 4 and a new Doom will do that to a publisher — but there’s a lot to look forward to for fans of their games.

Side-note: I thought it was a nice touch that each of the presenters sported a little rainbow ribbon, paying tribute to the tragedy that occurred in Orlando, Florida without bringing it up verbally. Good on you, Bethesda.

I do wish they’d have shown more gameplay instead of cinematic trailers. No one at this conference seemed comfortable talking in front of a live crowd either, aside from Tim Willits from id Software.

My predictions:

  • Skyrim remastered with mod support, instead of Morrowind
  • Wolfenstein 2 revealed
  • The Evil Within 2 revealed
  • Dishonored 2 is the marquee game and we finally see gameplay
  • Doom DLC and multi-player revamp discussed
  • Fallout Shelter coming to PC and consoles (Vita please!)
  • A very boring TESO presentation
  • TESO core game will be free-to-play

Quake is back.

Bethesda opened up with the reveal of Quake Champions, a competitive online multi-player game exclusive to PC. The cinematic trailer did little to wow me, showing off different hero types and their (assumed) exclusive abilities to dash, warp, and shield themselves. My guess is that it’s their take on Overwatch.

I loved Quake and Quake 2 growing up, so the thought of playing a new Quake with the same quality as this year’s Doom release hyped me up pretty fast. Then that whole “competitive online multi-player game exclusive to PC” bit popped my party balloon. I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but give me campaign or give me death. Looks like I get death.

Bethesda will reveal more info on Quake Champions later this August at Quakecon. Judging by the smattering of applause from the audience, there wasn’t much interest in L.A. You have to take in to consideration that most of the crowd was press on their phones and laptops taking notes.

Elder Scrolls Legends is shown. Again.

Elder Scrolls Legends is Bethesda’s free-to-play mobile card battle game that takes place in the Elder Scrolls universe. The opening cinematic was mostly storyboards and still shots with a voiced narrative briefly explaining the goings on.

I’m not sure if it’s the IGN stream I was watching or the actual stream itself, but the trailer cut out 20 seconds in and went dark for about 10 seconds before resuming. Just E3 being E3.

The 2nd trailer of the show, and the 2nd to be nothing more than a cinematic. They did briefly show a little gameplay, which looked a bit like Hearthstone (another Blizzard game). Not my thing at all.

Elder Scrolls Legends is currently in beta, and you can sign up at Bethesda.net.

Fallout 4 getting three new DLC packs.

A video of Todd Howard is shown, thanking fans for the colossal amount of support the series has received since last year’s E3. I always like when developers and publishers thank their fans. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Fallout 4 just received new story DLC in Far Harbor (and a recent price fuck-up, courtesy of Xbox), but Bethesda isn’t done yet. The open-world RPG is getting three new DLC packs over the next 2 months.

Contraptions Workshop expands on the polarizing base building mechanic of Fallout 4, adding things like elevators, armor and weapon racks, track kits that don’t seem to do much of anything, conveyor belts, and sorting machines. The DLC will be available next week.

Vault-tec Workshop also expands upon the base building mechanic, but allows players to build their own vault. The only other thing mentioned in the DLC trailer was that you can experiment on dwellers, but it just showed them taking a spin class or something. Vault-tec Workshop will be available next month in July.

The third DLC pack opens up a new amusement park zone called Nuka World, but there were no details given aside from its August release window. The park appears to have a roller coaster, something resembling Seattle’s space needle, and a snow-capped mountain.

I really didn’t care for the base building mechanic, and without any details on Nuka World, none of this makes me want to revisit Fallout 4 anytime soon.

Fallout Shelter coming to PC, getting significant update.

Fallout Shelter has apparently been played by over 50 million people worldwide, according to Todd Howard. That’s a lot of micro-transactions.

The mobile vault building game will receive a pretty significant update. Players can undertake quests, by selecting a quest card and sending out a team of dwellers to complete it — meaning they just won’t be available for a given time frame. This is eerily similar to World of Warcraft’s Garrison system, which would make this the third Blizzard game that’s inspired Bethesda. I’m noticing a trend here.

The update will allow you to build vaults in different locations, like under a Red Rocket or the Super Duper Mart, and toss in new enemies and characters to spice things up. It’ll also revamp the combat system, allowing players to target specific enemies instead of watching their dwellers run around aimlessly during raids. Combat in Fallout Shelter right now is random and boring, so this is a welcome change.

As I mentioned in the header there, Fallout Shelter is, indeed, coming to PC next month in July. Sadly there’s no mention of a console port, which is a shame since this would be awesome on Vita.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is a thing and has mod support on consoles.

Todd Howard closed out his segment by confirming the existence of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition. He segued in to the trailer, saying something along the lines of “you asked, and yes, we’re working on it.” When I heard the music, I was really hoping for the next Elder Scrolls reveal, not Skyrim Remastered.

Considering the same team makes Fallout and Elder Scrolls, that was highly unlikely.

I really, really don’t care about Skyrim Remastered, which is essentially the PC version that’s been available for 5 years, but with mod support on Xbox One and PS4.

The trailer does a great job comparing screenshots from last-gen and current-gen consoles, so it definitely looks like Skyrim running on a good PC with some new textures, but this whole thing seems totally unnecessary. If you’re excited, that’s cool, and I’m glad you’re getting something you want.

The crowd seemed pretty jazzed by it. I just kept wishing it was Morrowind HD instead.

Prey 2 is now Prey, and a totally different game.

Prey 2 was revealed a couple of years ago, looking like a third-person Mass Effect style shooter. When that developer went belly up though, the fate of Prey 2 was up in the air. Arkane Studios, developer of Dishonored, has given the reigns to their Texas branch, and oh boy does Prey look different.

Oh, right, I should clarify. Prey 2 is now just Prey, which is a smart move, and it’s now a first-person psychological thriller that’s part narrative shooter and part Groundhog Day without Bill Murray.

The trailer shows the lead character, Morgan, waking up to relive the same day over and over again — getting dressed, making coffee, checking out his fucked up eye that appears to be more bloodshot with each awakening. Turns out you’re being experimented on, and your space station has just been overtaken by an alien life form. Fantastic.

This was a pretty great cinematic trailer, and not at all what I expected Prey 2 to become. I’m genuinely excited, but I’m keeping my expectations in check until I see some actual gameplay. There were a few quick moments of gunshots and the cinematic was in-game footage (not CGI), but it didn’t give me much to work with.

Still, this was my show stealer for Bethesda. More Prey will be shown at Quakecon in August.

Doom’s free and paid DLC revealed.

Marty Stratton from id Software begins the presentation by thanking the fans for making Doom’s launch such a success. Warm, fuzzy, etc.

Doom’s Snapmap feature is getting free updates, including construction modules, props, objects, hell visual themes, and the ability to create single-player adventures with improved logic and the inclusion of the game’s weapon wheel.

Next month Doom will receive two new multi-player modes: a CTF mode called Exodus, and a domination mode called Sector.

Later in the summer Doom will get three new free-for-all modes, including classic deathmatch. Again, these modes are all free. Good on you again, Bethesda.

In July we’ll see Doom’s first premium DLC pack, Unto the Evil, which is, of course, not free. Unto the Evil includes three new multi-player maps (Offering, Cataclysm, and Ritual), a new playable demon in The Harvester, a new gun, armor sets, taunts, and “more.”

Pete Hines then reveals that for the next week anyone can download Doom for free and play through the campaign’s first level. Not a very expansive demo for being a limited time offer, but hey, free is free.

I’m glad Bethesda is continuing to support Doom, but I wish they’d show the same love to those of us who enjoyed the campaign. Story DLC would be nice.

The Elder Scrolls Online gets a leveling overhaul and a new Dark Brotherhood expansion.

Matt Firor, the MMO’s director, immediately thanks the fans (yay!) for making TESO one of the best selling games of 2015, and mentions the game has had over 7 million players worldwide. I’m willing to bet that’s 7 million accounts created, not an actual representation of their current playerbase.

For what it’s worth, I own the game on Xbox One and I’ve never seen anyone on my friend list play it outside of its launch month — even when it goes on sale. I also own a PS4 and have yet to see one of my friends logged in to TESO. 7 million is just a large number for them to throw around, but I’m glad there are people out there enjoying it. It just wasn’t a good MMO in my opinion.

Judging by the five people cheering in the audience, I’m not sure the audience was in to it either.

After a sizzle reel trailer comedically touting 578 million mudcrabs were killed by the community, Firor reveals that TESO will expand with its release in Japan on June 23rd.

We’re then given our first look at the upcoming Dark Brotherhood expansion. Unfortunately it’s mostly an in-game cinematic, but I’ve always loved the Brotherhood’s quest lines. I wish they would have gone a little more in-depth, honestly. This did very little to make me want to reinstall TESO.

The Elder Scrolls Online will get a bit of a revamp this fall under the One Tamriel initiative, addressing my main complaint — it’s just too damn difficult to group with friends who aren’t on the same quests.

One Tamriel removes the MMO’s faction restriction and will automatically scale your level to the level of the zone you’re exploring and questing in. I assume you’ll still level up as normal to obtain skill points, but being able to group with your friends regardless of their level, explore whatever zone tickles your fancy, and not sweat the whole faction lock-out thing is pretty sweet.

Matt Firor claims this is the “first time this has ever been done in a multi-platform MMO,” but apparently no one at Bethesda has played Final Fantasy XIV. You can group up with anyone of any level in FFXIV and everyone will be scaled accordingly during dungeons and optional world events. This isn’t something new, but it’s certainly a welcome change.

Blink 182 will be performing live.

And no one gave a shit.

Doom and Fallout 4 get the VR treatment.

Doom’s virtual tour of hell was available for attendees to experience, as well as Fallout 4. Fallout 4 will be available on the HTC Vive VR platform some time in 2017, under the new Bethesda VR initiative.

Dishonored 2 coming 11.11.16.

Dishonored 2 was confirmed during Bethesda’s E3 presentation last year, though we only saw a cinematic trailer. This year we’re given a new cinematic trailer, as well as two new gameplay segments showing off the game’s mobility, locomotion, Victorian-era visuals (described as “a painting in motion”), the new city of Karnaca, and a host of Emily’s new powers.

Players can also choose to play as Corvo or Emily, both of which are fully voice acted and have their own skill trees and abilities.

The environments in Dishonored 2 look fine, even great at times, but the character models are off-putting, stiff, and have weird movement animations. The gameplay demo ran pretty poorly, with plenty of frame dips and stuttering, rough combat animations, and the same weird animations on behalf of the NPCs.

I’m honestly surprised it’s ready for release in November when the demo ran so poorly, but there’s no telling how old the footage was. Dishonored never really clicked with me, and while this definitely looks like a new and improved adventure, it seems unpolished and doesn’t really have my interest.

Pre-ordering Dishonored 2 digitally on any platform will grant you a free copy of Dishonored Definitive Edition. There’s also a collector’s edition that includes Corvo’s mask and Emily’s ring, which they suggested pre-ordering (because of course). No one clapped.

They also closed the Dishonored 2 segment with a new trailer using in-game footage and a pretty great cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman.

So how was it?

Overall, Bethesda certainly had a lot more substance than EA did earlier in the day. A lot of their available games are receiving updates or releasing on additional platforms/territories, and I always like to see a developer or publisher support their game after launch.

That being said, Prey was the only interesting announcement for me. I had heard rumors that the revamped Prey 2 would be shown, but I had no idea the change would be this drastic. I don’t want to get too excited over a cinematic, though.

Dishonored has its fanbase, and I hope for them that Dishonored 2 lives up to their expectations. The demo was rough, as I said, but we have five months until it hits store shelves. Kudos to Bethesda and Arkane though for showing off a ton of gameplay.

I was mainly interested in a new Wolfenstein and The Evil Within, and surprisingly neither were mentioned in any way. This wasn’t a boring conference by any means, but it didn’t build much excitement for any of their projects outside of Prey. However, I sincerely hope that everything their fans are happy about is everything they want and more.