We’re just a little bit over a week from one of the biggest video game trade shows around, E3. Publishers and developers are readying snipitets of their upcoming games for a select few to go hands on with. Before the madness ensues, Bethesda Softworks (Elder Scrolls, Skyrim) took it upon themselves to make a major pre-show announcement earlier this week. Meanwhile, Telltale Games revealed they won’t have much to demo at E3, but teased something big for Walking Dead fans. Finally, Microsoft wants to bring the general public a slice of E3…Let’s Go!
The creative force behind popular games such as Skyrim and Elder Scrolls confirmed the long rumored next chapter of the Fallout game series. This past Wednesday Bethesda Softworks officially announced Fallout 4 and dropped the game’s first teaser.
The only things certain about Fallout 4 is that it won’t be coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360. This one will be a modern console and PC only game. But from the trailer we can deduce for certain a return to Vault 111 with some good ol Nuka Cola, oh and it’ll have a dog and well that’s about it. More details about the game will be revealed during Bethesda’s E3 showcase on June 14 at 7pm PST. Fans can watch it live on the developers YouTube channel here.
Since the trailers debut the Internet has given Fallout 4 the scrutinizing response many a film and celebrity have enjoyed. Some have said “it doesn’t look as good as it should”, while others have made fun of the Baahston setting with Fenway Park. Bethesda’s previous entry, Fallout 3, was a technical and visual achievement for previous gen consoles. In this current shiny 4K era, visual achievements are few and far between. The room left for evolutionary leaps rests in the gameplay mechanics. If you enjoyed Skyrim on a PS3 or Xbox 360, then it’s fun to imagine what Bethesda’s mind could do with the power of this new generation of consoles, maybe even giving the game an online capability it’s never seen before.
What’s most interesting about the rumors still swirling around Fallout 4 is its possible release date. The Bethesda online store suggest it could be this year. Its estimated ship date is listed as “TBA 2015,” both before and after Fallout 4 is added to your cart. This could certainly just be a placeholder date because “dates subject to change” is always a thing. If gamers do indeed see the next chapter of Fallout in 2015 then it means Bethesda have pulled off something rare in today’s spoiler filled world. They’d have to have been working on Fallout since 2012 and kept it a secret from the public and press, something I didn’t think possible this day in age. Which will also mean we’ll see a heavy PR campaign bombard mainstream media and your favorite convention this Summer.
How mind-blowing would it be if Bethesda went on stage and said “pick up Fallout 4 this August”? The only thing that could top this is if Gabe Newell from Valve came to an E3 press conference and said Half-Life 3 is on STEAM today, then he Gallagher mallets an old Atari and walks off. Man I could go for some watermelon right now.
Just when we think we’ve got all the answers; Telltale Games changes the questions. While the award winning developers of story driven game adaptations such as Fables, Borderlands, and Game of Thrones won’t have a large presence on the E3 show floor; it doesn’t mean they won’t make waves. This past Tuesday the company’s Director of PR, Job J Stauffer, tweeted the following.
While they’ve previously made it clear their Walking Dead series would not get a season 3 in 2015; they haven’t said what fans will get in its place this year. Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman will be on the official E3 YouTube live stream to help make whatever this announcement is. You can watch it go down here Monday morning.
Also, fans of Minecraft expecting details on Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode game will have to wait till Minecon in London, this July 4-5.
Kirkman has always spoken highly of simply having Telltale come up to him with the story and letting the developer run with it. With Robert on hand for the official announcement it could mean the developer’s first move into synergy with other Walking Dead properties. With AMC well into production on the upcoming Fear The Walking Dead spin-off we could see a game prequel that leads into the show’s debut.
Also, some have criticized Telltale for not showing Minecraft: Story Mode at E3. It’s actually far from a mistake. Minecon is the perfect setting to build a media frenzy with fans who are all but guaranteed to go crazy for the game in a market that often needs more push than the US. Telltale have been more questions than answers as of late but when they do peel back the curtains they have a knack for picking the most opportune time.
While we all knew Sony is sure to show more Uncharted 4 at their upcoming press event. PlayStation let leak the expected news of an Uncharted PS3 collection port for the PlayStation 4. Bluepoint Games, a studio with a portfolio full of stellar ports is tasked with bringing Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection to the PS4 on October 9, 2015.
In addition to the full 1080p 60FPS and texture upgrades, the game not only brings the story modes but includes all the previously available multiplayer goodness. Buying the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection grants you exclusive access to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End multiplayer Beta version.
Sony has put too much of its resources on ports. The ratio of good new PS4 experiences to ports is dismally lopsided. I love my PS4, but when I go long periods of time without turning it on… I start to wonder why I even bought it in the first place. Admittedly, when you consider that the PS4 console sales lapped the PS3 within its first year; it translates to an audience of Xbox 360 converts who might not have previously played Uncharted. In a way it makes them a necessary evil towards the success of a triple-A title like Uncharted 4 by removing any kind of high wall putting a #4 on the end of a game might place in consumers minds.
On a side note, Sony would be wise to include the six issue mini-series published by DC Comics as part of the Uncharted collection. Either as a bonus or on disc digital. Cause you know… comics!
Electronic Entertainment Expo or as it’s commonly known, E3, is the biggest trade show in gaming. It takes up the entire Los Angeles Convention Center and overwhelms the senses more so than SDCC ever could. So many have growled about it not being open to the public, but most trade shows typically aren’t for fans. While that’s not likely to change anytime soon, many developers and publishers that contribute to the spectacle of the show throw orbiting events the public CAN attend. Microsoft is taking full advantage of this.
Xbox want to bring Los Angeles gamers as close to the action as possible. While their social media guru, Major Nelson and company, will be delivering content from the show floor all week on the Xbox YouTube channel, the company is also putting together Xbox FanFest: E3 2015.
Xbox will give 500 lucky fans a one-of-a-kind ticket for E3 week, the gaming industry’s biggest showcase. The Xbox FanFest Ticket will include:
- Entry into the Xbox E3 2015 Briefing on Monday, June 15th, 9:30 am PT, at the Galen Center in downtown Los Angeles.
- Invite to the exclusive Xbox FanFest Party, Monday afternoon, June 15th, where fans will get to play the best exclusives and biggest blockbuster games this holiday and beyond.
- VIP access to the Xbox esports Celebrity Challenge & Twitch Party sponsored by Xbox.
- Meet-and-greet with some of the industry’s top developers, leaders and influencers.
- Even more surprise events during the week.
To be one of the lucky 500:
Fans can begin lining up at Microsoft at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles, starting at 10 p.m. PDT on Saturday, June 13. This Microsoft store is located at 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, though the line will start near the LensCrafters on Avenue of the Stars.
Tickets will be distributed on a first come first served basis beginning at 11am on June 14 at the Microsoft Store at Westfield Century City.
In order to be eligible, fans need to be at least 21 years of age with a valid Xbox Live gamertag (Gold Membership not required)
Want to know a bit of insider info? Jeff Rubinstein of the Xbox team is a former part of Sony’s PlayStation Blog team. If you previously followed their E3 events, he was primarily responsible for all the run of the mill gamers getting into E3 every year they threw an event. Sony’s followers would line up like it was SDCC in front of the LA Sports Area to try and ensure their entrance into the press conference and be rewarded with a complimentary exhibits pass to E3. How the man did it, I have no clue.
So to anyone considering trying to be one of the 500, do it. Last year those at the Microsoft event had to go through a lottery to try and win their way in. From what I heard, 200 Xbox fans were granted entrance to the Xbox press event and access to the E3 show floor. Jeff’s highest number with Sony was 250, could he top that this year with Xbox? If you’re an LA area SDCC Hall H veteran, you’re no stranger to this and the loot is worth spending a summer night in an LA mall to find out.
With one week left till E3 don’t expect much in the way of major announcements in the next few days. If you’re one of those people that kills time on social media follow @Comicsbeatlive on twitter for some of the sights and free energy drinks of E3. Follow the Instagram account as well for blurry pics from the show as my finger partially covers cameras all week. How can I get fire on this iPhone again?