Top 10 Games of E3 2015

02. Fallout 4

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The next major chapter in the venerable Fallout series, Fallout 4, has been created by game developer Bethesda Game Studios and is being published by Bethesda Softworks for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One with a firm release date of 10 November 2015.

The game is a massive open-world fusion of stealth, shooter, and action role-playing game, but it may very well be that a new genre needs to be created to help finely define what this games - and the previous pair in the series - are best defined as. Action-Saga? Dystopian Triumph? We will have to work on that.

Created as the fifth installment in the main Fallout series, Fallout 4 is actually the third title to be released in the present form, which is that of the switchable first-to-third person view format that is popular with shooter-type games. In fact it is fair to say that at least in terms of game esthetics, both Fallout 3, New Vegas, and Fallout 4 fully embrace play in both views.

It is very difficult to find where to begin this, especially due to the huge increase in information that has come available as the result of a combination of press briefings and the demo and briefings from the E3 floor. But we will take a stab at it!

Prior to the pre-E3 and E3 exposure of the game Bethesda has been very successful at keeping the game details secret. But then Bethesda as both game developer and game publisher has always been very good at keeping secrets.

In the weeks leading up to the major E3 reveals the studio released a pre-release game trailer that featured a mixture of prepared concept footage and actual game play footage - though it was initially very difficult to tell one from the other until the E3 content helper to clarify it.

In a move that was very unusual for Bethesda, an entire series of calculated reveals was planned and executed that began, as noted above, with that game trailer that in addition to offering a hint at the look and feel of the game, also pretty much confirmed that Boston, Massachusetts and its environs was the official setting for the game.

The first in what has developed into a strategic and well-planned and executed series of reveals took place at the official Bethesda pre-E3 press breifing, which was held at the Dolby Theater in LA on the Sunday before E3.

At that briefing a treasure trove of game play footage was presented (well, it was a treasure trove considering how little of any content was leaked or released propr to it) that again confirmed the location of the game setting, but also revealed some surprising elements of the player-character in the game, beginning with the fact that they SPEAK - which is a first for the game series.

The confirmation that a canine companion - in Fallout 4 that is a German Shepard named Pal - would be part of the game practically from the start was complimented by a series of carefully orchestrated incremental reveals that focused around the Mr. Handy home butler-bot that belongs/belonged ot the player's character.

After the bombs fell the player is tucked away into one of the vaults that was classified as a society preservation vault - a fact that can be glimpsed from the markings on the outside of the main vault door when the first trailer is examined frame-by-frame.

Over the course of the three days following the press briefing and preceding E3, a carefully choreographed series of reveals for Fallout 4 began to play out, some mundane while others were shocking. From that expertly executed PR campaign we learned the following:

Initially at the official press briefing on Sunday Bethesda Game Studio Director Todd Howard confirmed the Boston setting, the inclusion of a dog companion, and the basic format of the game, which is consistent with both Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

He also confirmed that the CE version of the game would include a Pipboy device that would accept most smartphones, and that a second screen companion app was planed for launch with the game.

During Microsoft's press briefing on Monday in addition to seeing alternative views of most of the information that was included in the Bethesda briefing, we learned from Howard that the game included both male and female protagonist, details about the first-person combat and VATS scheme, and game play footage of a previously unrevealed mission at the Boston History Museum.

Power Armor was revealed and demonstrated, as were some of the heavier weapons in the game, and a selection of the more dangerous enemies. The big news, however, was the bombshell announcement that the Xbox One edition of the game would be receiving full and free compatibility with the PC Mod community, allowing gamers to transfer, apply, and play any modes created for the PC edition of the game.

If you were expecting to see another presentation at Sony's briefing, well no... Instead the next phass of the Bethesda plan was the show floor itself, where in addition to the previously released footage they offered some background information on the game design, the open-world focus, and companion play.

In the final analysis while the E3 content exposure was huge compared to what we had before - which was really very little - the wealth of game play footage allows for a very accurate assessment of what playing the game will be like - and what it will be like in simple terms is awesome!

The period environment and nostalgic soundtrack, combined with an overall impression that is very much consistent with the New Vegas experience (despite those games originating at two different studios) speaks volumes for the effort that was undertaken to retain the by now well-established basic flavor of the game.

Posted: 22nd Jun 2015 by CMBF
Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC,