Much like last year, Bethesda have gone and released a tantalising image to tease their E3 showcase this year.
The image tells us it’ll al kick off on June 11 at 1830 PT (0230 June 12 for us Brits), but otherwise the image doesn’t offer many hints. We see Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Prey, Quake, Doom and Dishonored amongst the cute art but nothing else. Oh well, we’ll have to wait for the inevitable E3 leaks then stay up way past our bed times to confirm it all when E3 comes around.
There’s been a lot of these novelty pinball tables for Zen Pinball 2. Game, TV and film franchises have seen their unique traits pinball-ised and gathered together on tables that faithfully represent the source material yet still function relatively realistically as far as pinball goes. However, it’s still a delightful treat to see some of these creations come to digital life, and the Bethesda set are some of the very best.
All three tables look, sound, and play splendidly. They are gorgeously rendered with aesthetic trimmings from their source games, realised in the semi-realistic style of Zen Pinball. Animated figures adorn the sides, top and bottom of the tables, interacting with other animated figures or the table directly. Meanwhile, the traditional pinball hazards are replaced with theme appropriate ones from the games they represent. In the Doom table a Cyberdemon fills the top right corner, the Lone Wanderer ducks and dodges at the bottom of the Fallout table whilst a super mutant wreaks havoc at the top, and the Skyrim table is teaming with dragons whilst a lone Dragon Born means to fight them from the left side. They all look terrific, sporting smooth animations and detailed textures, and some excellent sound effects. In some cases these details outshine their source, thanks to the wonderful Zen Pinball engine.
Every inch of each table has a little surprise for you, whether it’s the dragon that launches the ball on the Skyrim table, the bumpers on the Doom table unleashing the shotgun sound effect when hit, or the mini games played on a Pip Boy on the Fallout table. It’s all so charming, authentic, and in utter service of the games they’re based on.
It goes even further with their dedication to the games that inspired them with the tropes they invoke that have no right to be in a pinball table but gives these particular tables all the more depth. Both the Fallout and Skyrim tables have you generate a character, picking SPECIAL stats and your combat class respectively. In the Fallout table, trapping the ball in certain pits is analogous to entering stores allowing you to purchase Rad-X, Stimpacks, and gear with earned caps. Meanwhile, the Skyrim table allows you to equip your character with new armour and weapons, which are shown on your character’s figure. Losing all your balls isn’t the end either, as you can choose to continue as the same character in further play-throughs, amassing more gear and weapons. Additionally, both RPG tables lets you choose different companions and factions; it’s very much the core o the original experiences recreated in pinball form.
However, the RPG features do break up the otherwise fast pace of pinball, with frequent stops and starts. Fans of the source material may still find these trappings amusing and interesting, but the pinball enthusiasts that simply want the table setting may find it frustrating.
The Doom table is more pinball friendly. There’s weapon swapping on the character figure but it keeps to the fast paced action of pinball, which incidentally fits the FPS. Copious multi-balls, the super-heating of the ball to cause more destruction, and a heavy metal sound track represent the game wonderfully and add some extra aggression to the pinball.
The tradition of missions on Zen Pinball tables continues here, with things like shutting down the reactor on the Mars research station for the Doom table, completing jobs for the Railroad in the Fallout one, and even sleeping at the inn during the Skyrim table, which in turn advances the clock to give you a night-time version of the table. The mini-games are here too, tasking you with navigating a tiny dungeon with a ball by tipping the table, or bursting demonic sacks by bouncing the ball around a small arena with floating stones, or playing little games on your Pip Boy.
Indeed, the Doom table feels the most cohesive, melding the Doom FPS with the pinball mechanics harmoniously and creating a fast table that’s visually interesting but mechanically familiar. The Fallout table skews more towards the Fallout RPG experience than pinball but is tight enough to allow the pinball shenanigans to work in-between the stops and starts. The Skyrim table suffers from a harsh design that can easily cause the ball to tumble straight down the middle and in-between your flippers, making it more frustrating than fun.
These tables based on Bethesda games are remarkably clever. They take the two experiences – the source game and pinball – and attempt to meld them, and they are mostly successful. However, some annoyances, especially to the Skyrim and Fallout tables, do hurt the pinball action a bit. But, my word, are they visually spectacular.
The update also resolves an issue where rapid controller input caused unusually high shotgun damage. I wondered why I was so good at the game.
To celebrate the release of update 5, double XP is now available for multiplayer content, ending at 5PM GMT on the 12th of December.
But wait, that isn’t all.
Bethesda have revealed that the third and final DLC pack, titled Bloodfall, will be available from the 15th of December. With it, you’ll be able to turn invisible as the Spectre Pinky demon as you battle across three whole new maps.
It’s the season for giving, so with these new additions to the DOOM family, are you tempted to dip your armoured toe back in to the fiery pits of hell?
Bethesda are back at E3 for the second time and they have landed with a bang (albeit after a slight delay on the start time). A whole host of really exciting news has come out of the conference, here’s a quick round-up for you of the highlights.
Skyrim re-mastered for current gen consoles, yes the rumours where true. Skyrim is coming back in a fully remastered version.
Two additions for Elder Scrolls Online, the first is the Dark Brotherhood DLC out this week on Tuesday (14th of June) the second is One Tamriel, a level free mode where the whole world is open to you free from level restrictions, you can party with who you like and go where you want. Coming in fall this year.
Elder Scrolls Legends – a new game, this is a strategy card game for mobile devices.
Some more dlc coming in a variety of forms. The first named Contraptions adds machinery and more workshop options. A build your own vault and Nuka world, which looked like it may be a theme park of sorts, but we will have to see.
In conjunction with the work being done on Bethesda VR Fallout 4 will be released in 2017 on the HTC vive.
Snap map update with logic options single player additions and lots more.
2 new multiplayer modes, Exodus (a 1 flag CTF style game) and Sector a multi zone capture game
Unto the evil – the first premium dlc with 3 new multiplayer maps called Offering, Cataclysm and Ritual. A new playable demon called Harvester and a new gun, as well as new taunts and armour sets.
Dishonoured 2 announced with a big gameplay reveal and a release date of November 11th 2016, special edition collectors are available with some toys and additions for the big time fan, for a short time pre-orders will also get you a copy of the first game.
A reboot of Prey, set on a spaceship with a psychologically thriller twist, a very impressive trailer was shown but not what looked like in game footage#
Quake Champions – arena shooter coming to PC
fallout shelter – new enemy battle and more content and will be available to play on PC
Loads more conferences and news to come! Can’t wait to see what else comes up
Please be good, please be good, please be good…. Oh my god I want this to be so good. I’m excited, palms are a bit sweaty, head dizzy with anticipation. DOOM is finally here and it’s like Christmas for me, no wait…. Double Christmas.
It’s fair to say I am really amped for DOOM. It’s such an iconic, legendary series An icon. However, it’s also important to note a slight change in my mantra for a new game. It’s ‘please be good’ not ‘this is going to be so good’.
The distinction is important because it underlies my subconscious feelings on how the industry is going. No faith anymore. Now when I buy a game, even after absorbing reviews, trailers and promotional media, it’s still with bated breath as it might turn out to be awful. A plethora of sub-par titles, developers changing things last minutes, and a host of un-kept promises means that even the most anticipated games have come with serious issues. In fact, I struggle to think of any major game I’ve played that hasn’t had a problem. Destiny, The Division, Call of Duty, all of these have suffered major changes on the build up to release and some serious backlash from the community for it. If you want to see the backlash in action, do a quick search on Battlefield 1 vs Infinite Warfare. Do it quick now, I’ll wait for a second… As hilarious as it is it stands as an unfortunate but true overarching view of the games industry currently.
However, I digress. I’m here to tell you about the new DOOM game. And tell you I will. Its straight up, unadulterated brutality. And it’s great. The whole campaign was a pleasure from beginning to end. This game has walked a fine line between innovation and remaining true to the originals. All the elements of DOOM are here, from the maze-like map layout, to the coloured key system. It even captures the same feelings as when I played the original way back when; running around a map checking the auto-map constantly for the secrets contained within it, desperately seeking out some armour to survive the fight. Some of the doors even have the same audio as the originals. DOOM has exceeded my expectations in every way.
The game is extremely gory, with Glory Kills being an option on every demon (a lock-on kill mechanic you can access when you stagger and enemy and leave them stunned for a moment) it means there is always a temptation to wade through the swaths of enemy to reach the stunned enemy and rip it apart. Especially when it’s one of the bigger demons. There is something extremely satisfying about scaling a demon twice your size and ripping off its horn to stick it in its eye, and this is a general theme of DOOM: satisfying. It’s not an overly complex game. The collectables have been kept to a minimum and more than half of what you collect actually contributes to your character’s development. The codex entries are a good read and add more depth to the world as you learn about each entry, and the experience itself is great fun. Again, its fairly simple: get gun, see demon, kill demon. You fight through each level facing large amounts of enemies within arenas where you face off against bigger numbers and more difficult demon types.
Returning to my point, it’s all very satisfying to play, and fun too (oh my god the chainsaw, seriously… I challenge you to find a better way to kill demons than carving them up like a Christmas turkey). I loved it. Maybe my judgement is clouded by my appreciation of the originals, but I wanted to love Duke Nukem Forever and returned it with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat after two days of trying to get on with it. It was pants. Not DOOM, this game is awesome. It’s chaos, fast moving high-octane carnage, not for the faint of heart, with the amount of blood and guts that get sprayed around. I would highly recommend this for any shooter fan who wants a change from the norm of Call of Duty or Battlefield.
The supporting aspects of the game are very strong too, there are in-game rune trials that unlock extra perks for your guy. The music is a fantastic mix of heavy metal and hard electronic music that perfectly matches the pace and mood of the game. The graphics are great and you can really appreciate the spilling guts and organs as they descend around you whilst you destroy things.
However, this game won’t be for everyone. If you want something with depth and substance you’ll be disappointed with DOOM. The gameplay stays the same throughout, whilst individual mechanics are added as you play (like boost boots) it stays within the realm of just killing and shooting. The secrets add something different as a bit of puzzle and detective work are needed, but it’s a small break in the carnage. If I were to liken it to a film, this would be the Expendables. It doesn’t have a love story and the hero isn’t lauded by the world for saving it, but I don’t watch the Expendables for the feels and I don’t play DOOM for the underlying message, I play DOOM because shooting demons in the face has never been better.
The multiplayer, in a nutshell, is a fun, fast paced, arena slayer, but I’m not sure how widely it will be played. It’s a tough one because it could go two ways. Initially I thought its very old school in how it plays, the movement style is very Quake and Unreal, fast paced sliding ground movement with some modern mechanics like clamber and boost thrown in. It reminded me of playing Halo Combat Evolved too. There are some elements that have been added in-line with many current shooters; there are hack modules that are short-term player boosts, taunts for when you win or just want to rub it in someone’s face in-game. But, it still had a very classic feel and I’m not sure how current gen gamers will take to it. Then I thought, “actually, it’s a lot of fun” and it’s very different from everything else. People bored of the same tripe rolled out again and again under new skins are likely to find something interesting here. Maybe it will be popular. I sat down to trial it and didn’t move for 5 hours, and that’s the kind of session length I would have thrown down in the days of CoD 4 or Battlefield 3. Now I am definitely not saying this multiplayer is bad, its not, I had fun and so did the friends I played with. One of them said he was going to go and buy it and the other said he’d play the single player but wasn’t so drawn in by the multiplayer. He still said it was fun though. We also discussed the season pass, which seems a touch pricey at £28 for only Multiplayer updates.
So, now I’m back to it being a toughie. It’s fun, but is it fun enough? Well, I don’t know, and only time will tell. At a guess I’d say it will be popular with the older gamer who played Quake, Unreal, etc. but may struggle with current gen competition on the multiplayer circuit. Oh, and one other thing, multiplayer is loaded up as a separate game from the campaign, and takes a while to load. I imagine with time it may start to grate, but it’s a small annoyance overall.
As an overview I recommend this game, the single player alone is worth it. it’s great fun, something that has been lost in the gritty realism of a modern shooter campaign. It’s all about blood and guts, but you know, in a playful “Check it out, I ripped off its arm and beat it with it” kind of way.
In conclusion, and answer to my opening mantra: “Thank you for being good”.
Thanks to Xbox and Bethesda Softworks for supporting TiX
There’s no shortage of beta opportunities on Xbox One at the moment with Doom, Gears of War 4, Overwatch and Battleborn all set to start their beta sessions soon – but when will each run and for how long? Major Nelson is on hand with what you need to know.
Another open beta from Bethesda and ID announced via the DOOM twitter this morning. For the DOOM mulitplayer this follows on from the closed beta at the wekend. It’s great to see them opening up these beta’s, as someone who has longed for this game every taste I get is good. Each day we step closer to release and the portal to Hell opening up once more. I am seriously looking forward to this, its very faced paced action and it harks back to classic shooters, whilst implimenting some of the more modern mechanics that go into new shooters. I Already love it!
Who’s excited that classic shooter, Doom, is drawing closer to its release date? With the latest multiplayer footage it shows off its classic Doom style and finesse with a few hints of Quake and Unreal Tournament. If you’re one of the lucky few who can take part, you’ll get to dominate everyone in your path inside the fast paced arenas with big guns, more big guns and unique power-ups. These will allow you to turn into a raging demon, run around the arena as this crazed nightmare of a creature and take everyone out in quick succession with your bare hands. Gripping stuff.
Starting March 31st and running through until April 3rd, players that pre-ordered Wolfenstein: The New Order and redeemed their Beta code will gain access to the Multiplayer Closed Beta on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Doom is scheduled for release on the 13th of May 2016 and can be pre-ordered here.
Doom does not arrive till May 13th 2016 but if you can feel your trigger finger itching then get your BFG’s ready because pre-orders for Doom have now gone live and for a limited time period you will also receive Doom I and II via backwards compatibility absolutely free. The codes are expected to be sent out within seven to ten days after pre-ordering on Xbox One.
As well as these great classics you will get access to a slew of other content;
Demon Multiplayer Pack, which includes one, unique Demon-themed armor set with three skin variations, six Hack Modules—one-use consumable perks—six exclusive metallic paint colors, and three id logo patterns that can be applied to weapons and armor.
With such a great incentive will you be pre-ordering Doom for Xbox One?