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    Entries in bethesda softworks (25)


    Dishonored: Six Million Ways to Die, or Not

    News, screens, and footage of Dishonored never fail to disappoint. I haven't seen any other game that looks like it might come close to Arkane's first person stealth action affair except for maybe Halo 4, and I only say that as an extremely biased champion of the Halo series. Last week, Bethesda offered us two sizeable clips of how metal-faced terrorist Corvo Atano gets down, so I wanted to make sure you are all on alert for this wild ride of teleportation, possession, and stabbiness.

    Dishonored allows the player to act as they see fit and solve problems with a soft step or the sharp end of a sword, with various means to each end. Feeling stealthy? Teleport up a building and mosey through an open window. Or, possess a freakin' fish and swim in through the sewage system. If living the piscine life doesn't sound appealing, stop time and put a crossbow bolt through 3 simultaneous faces. Or, stick a grenade on a poor sap and gust him out a closed window, showering the world below in shattered glass and flaming limbs. Or just summon a pack of rats to do your bidding. Either way, options are good, and you will have plenty of them come October 9. 

    Pre-order Dishonored from Amazon


    Dishonored Shows a Gory Victorian Futurism

    Bethesda and Arkane's next shit has graced us with two bloody handfuls of Dishonored gameplay, which has me pumped to assassinate masked guards in me-mode! Little known fact: I'm head over heels for the way under utilized first-person slasher genre. 

    Though the graphics aren't really wowing me, Dishonored looks to be a whole lot of cut throat fun with its roof jumping, sanguine gushing, magical power wielding, Victorian futuristic craziness. And the star of the show is of course that incredible collapsible butterfly sword. Hey Bethesda, pack one of those things in the Collectors Edition and charge $200 for it. You'll have my Benjamins thrown at you instantaneously! 


    Vampire or Slayer? Skyrim Goes Gothic in Dawnguard

    Here's a look at Dawnguard, the upcoming expansion to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which looks like a whole chain of events somewhat similar to the Companions quest line, except focusing on vampires rather than werewolves. Also, horseback combat and giant fucking frost trolls. You know, Game Jam shit! 

    Vampirism was a total pain in the ass in Oblivion, and I didn't think it was worth the trade off of not being able to travel in daylight without taking damage. And if you wanted to reverse the curse, you had to spend hours upon hours toiling through a quest that you may or may not have enough focus to complete. As that was a throw-in and this is an actual entire mass of downloadable content, I'm hoping it's a little better implemented and runs deeper than just faster regeneration and shit. From the looks of it, transforming into a true beast of the night is an option, which is a step in the right direction.


    Do We Really Need The Elder Scrolls Online?

    The logo is heavily influenced by The Human Centipede

    It was just last week. I was screaming at Skyrim along with fellow OBG conspirator Eric B., when we began to flesh out the details of an online Elder Scrolls game. You create your character, choose your race, and start in a predefined, racially logical area of Tamriel. You begin your quest learning the ropes on your own, and as you gain experience, you venture out farther in the world. Before long you meet with fellow players to systematically destroy whoever and whatever you want in the open world fashion that has endeared The Elder Scrolls series to us for all this time. As it was detailed, we pictured this title in the fashion of Borderlands, or Left 4 Dead; more of an online co-op experience than a massively multiplayer affair. You could enter instanced towns with hundreds of others to find a group of adventurers, or enter player-vs-player areas across the world. It is brilliant stuff, and I was convinced the idea would make us millions. Until it was pickpocketed. I'm absolutely convinced that Microsoft and ZeniMax have tapped Kinect mics, taken our idea, made some lawyer-proof changes, and pushed this thing out to the public in what I imagine to be two sleepless nights. Stolen Game Jam?! Nah, not really.

    The Elder Scrolls Online has been in development since 2007 and is set for release next year, far eclipsing any timetable I could have imagined. I'm not worried about the time and effort placed into TESO, but rather the impact it will have on the future of Elder Scrolls games. If this online title is a hit, it's not a stretch to say future sinlge player Elder Scrolls games could suffer. MMOs are a time, money, and power-sink for everyone, dev and player side. If this title kills and becomes Zenimax's golden child and cash farm, all their focus could possibly go into upkeep and creating additional content, causing all other single-player games to suffer a lack of Skyrim (see: awesomeness.) Tamriel is a massive, lore-filled world ya know. On the flip, what if The Elder Scrolls Online burns to the ground like a fallen Blood Dragon? It's ashes scattered across the gaming world in the form of talented employees being absorbed by other studios like a soul of its former host. These situations do happen in worst case scenarios, and in these days of tight pockets, failure of a heavily invested MMO can be defined as a worst case. Of course, it's too soon to assume any failures or successes, but it can't hurt to speculate right?

    We know The Elder Scrolls games come from a long line of successful titles, filled with action, adventure, and the open world before you. The Elder Scrolls Online is confirmed to be fully voiced, which is a positive notch in its belt. As a Star Wars: The Old Republic vet, let me tell you that a fully voiced MMO really lends to the immersion. We also know that ZeniMax Online Studios will be foregoing Skyrim's free and open battle system in place of a more typical hotbar system that most massive multiplayer titles use. Ooooh, not a good move here, guys. Part of what made Skyrim so exciting is how wonderfully combat was handled, and being able to do just about whatever you wanted to a ill-fated frost troll in real time. The point-and-click hotbar model will strip all that good and could make this title just another MORPG in an M market. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the open world and the affect the player has on it will be completely marginalized in the online realm. Previously, if I didn't like the room offered to me by an innkeeper, or the tone of voice a villager was giving me, I could snuff them out. Forever. Two years later, that innkeeper would still be dead, and that villager's wife would still be widowed. Or maybe, the widow married the innkeeper's husband, and had become the inn's de facto owner. That was the beauty of the game: the randomness, the finality, and the long-standing impact that came along with it. In a world co-owned by hundreds of thousands of other players, this type of dynamic is impossible. How will I be able to permenanty end any non-player character that glitches at me, when the Breton Mage aptly named Ishartedmyself needs that character to complete a faction-specific class quest? If these mechanics were allowed, Tamriel would be knee-deep in NPC corpses, and populated with nothing but players. Of course, if that were the case, the player base could be responsible for every facet of the world's success or failure, but that's a completely different discussion.

    Early TESO concept art and screens. World of Warcraft, is that you?

    To be completely fair, it's too early to say whether or not The Elder Scrolls Online could exist in a market that's already saturated with massive multiplayer online games. To be a complete dick, the departure of this title from the roots of whence it came could be a deal breaker. Sure, ZeniMax inherits the valuable online gamer's coin, but in doing so they stand to alienate the Elderly Scrollers who have been with the series since Daggerfall, and the newbs who fell in love with Oblivion and Skyrim. Failure here could cause a catastrophic ripple effect through the ranks of one of my favorite series. So please, don't Wabbajack this up, guys.

    Do you guys think MMO is the way to go? Leave your thoughts below.


    Well Hello There, Dishonored to Meet You

    Disclaimer: The following trailer contains absolutely no gameplay footage. Those of you who will view this clip and immediately write it off for containing no gameplay should save some time and not even bother. Me? I'm just about ready to cream over this shit. 

    I'm a huge fan of just about anything that has Bethesda's name on it, either Softworks or Game Studios. In fact, perhaps the only action of theirs I disagreed with in recent memory was the beef with Notch, but that's beside the point. I always enjoy Bethesda's creations and publishings, and Dishonored ain't no different. What would you say about a game that mixes Half Life, Assassin's Creed, Thief, and BioShock? I'd say best game evar! Too soon? 

    In all seriousness and without jumping to nonsensical conclusions, Dishonored has the style, elements, and pedigree to open the eyes of the blind, turn water to wine, and blow some motherfucking minds. New IPs are always exciting, even moreso when they're not a run-of-the-mill first person shooter, which this appears not to be. I'm excited, and you should be too. 


    Skyrim Turns 1.5

    Bethesda has today announced the availability of Skyrim update 1.5 on Steam, as an opt-in beta. What does 1.5 include, you ask? Game Jam features including ranged and magic kill cams, new melee finishing moves, and a host of bug fixes which I can't be bothered to list. Bug fixes don't get trailers, son!

    For a detailed list of the bug fixes, and exact instructions on how to opt-in to the beta on Steam, check out The Elder Scrolls communty site. The update is currently not available on consoles, but will be soon.

    While we're talking Skyrim, I want to take this time to share something written by OBG contributer Eric Blackwood over on his space:

    So, I was doing the quest In My Time Of Need:

    The barmaid at the Bannered Mare in Whiterun is apparently a fugitive noble from Hammerfell. She claims that she is on the run from assassins sent by rival houses in her homeland and needs someone to stop them before they find her.

    I weighed the options of either surrendering Saadia, or saving her. I chose to save her, which led me to speaking with a Whiterun prisoner, a member the Alik'r assassin clan aiming to kill the barmaid. I go to the dungeon in Whiterun, thinking that I would have to break this guy out. I locate him and pick-pocket a key off of one of the guards. But before I decide to open the assassin's cell, I speak to him through the gate. The prisoner tells me that he will reveal his clan leader's location in exchange for my posting his bail. I figure it's less of a hassle than breaking him out so I pay the fine. I tell him he's free and he tells me where Kematu, his clan's leader, is hiding. As I'm walking away, I hear the prisoner call the guard over to explain that I had paid his fine. The guard reluctantly acknowledges but then tells him that he can't free him because he can't find his key.

    I just kept walking.

    The guard must have figured it out because a short time later, three hired thugs were sent to teach me a lesson. And I found a note on one of them.

    I can't think of a better way to sum up Skyrim. Random perfection in its finest form. If you haven't played it yet, what the hell are you waiting for? If you have, 1.5 is a perfect excuse to get back into it and cook yourself up a new character to take advantage of the new features. I'm finally going to get around to rolling that Mage I've always wanted to disintegrate people with. 


    Rage: Beautiful Decay

    is fucking gorgeous. I haven't seen many games look this good on console (I played on 360). Though the first half of the game takes place in a literal wasteland, the world is deliciously depicted through the id Tech 5 engine. Towns - even the drab desert city of Wellspring - are teeming with personality, in everything from their denizens to the bills posted on the job board. Once you move on to the city of Subway Town later in the game, prepare for an amicable assault in the most visual sense. Fucking gorgeous. The main drawback here is the frustration inducing texture pop-in that afflicts most every area of the game. Look, I don't know much about the development process, hardware limitations, or 3D modeling. But a game as pretty as Rage shouldn't be affected by such a dumb design drawback as pop-in. It's annoying to be completely entranced by this artificial world only to be taken back to reality when you notice the textures around you take a split second or slightly longer to load in. Sure, it may not sound like much, but it's noticeable, and it sucks. Though pop-in aside, Rage is best looking game I've played all year.

    Click to read more ...


    Productivity Be Damned! Twenty Minutes of Skyrim

    Hey you there! I know you, and odds are you should probably be doing something productive as opposed to browsing lesser known games journalism sites (but we thank you for your hits). What should have been a quick bit of peruse is about to go right down the drain, and with it, any notion of accomplishing something at this point of the day, whenever it may be. So fair warning, if you have a deadline to meet, a date to be at, or some other time sensitive matter, turn back now. Otherwise, enjoy the next 20 minutes of pure bliss, courtesy of Skyrim.


    Notch to Bethesda: COME AT ME BRO

    Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, creator of Minecraft and head of game dev company Mojang Specifications is a little bit of a badass. Following the success of the indie hit Minecraft, the Mojang team has moved on to their latest project, named Scrolls. A trademark of the title has been seen by Bethesda has infringement on their Elder Scrolls trademark, thus litigation ensues. Notch, in true Phoenix Wright form, has some objections to that. Like most normal people, Notch doesn’t want to get caught up in courtroom proceedings, be it for financial issues or time investments. His solution? Quake 3.

    "I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors.” Yup, he just took it there. Notch’s terms would have each side select a map, and have the order randomized. After 20 minute matches, the team with the highest frag count would be declared the winner. Should team Mojang triumph, Bethesda must drop the lawsuit. If team Bethesda emerges victorious, Notch must change the title of Scrolls to something Bethesda won’t get ticked off at.

    I’m sure Notch is aware that Bethesda is in cahoots with id Software, creator of the Quake series. For him to lay down a challenge, and possibly face the creators of his chosen playing field is ballsy indeed. As awesome as it would be, I would be surprised if Bethesda took him up on his offer. Big mistake on their part, if they live streamed those matches, imagine the hits and publicity? Regardless of who loses, everybody wins!

    via The World of Notch


    Prey 2 Ditches the Native American in favor of Boba Fett

    Shortly after the release of the surprisingly well received Prey, it was announced a sequel was already in development by Human Head Studios. After the announcement, Prey seemed to have gone dark, until earlier this year when a live action viral was released to stir up some interest in the series. With E3 in full effect, you better believe we have a trailer and gameplay. 

    Prey 2 does away with some of the staples from the original; portals, the Native American influence, and protagonist Tommy. You play as former Air Marshall Killian Samuels, a bounty hunter with access to an impressive amount of alien tech and weaponry, to be employed while tracking bounties, both dead and alive. The world is a beautiful neon-soaked piece of the future, with terrain that's as tricky as it is modern. Navigating via parkour is your second best friend, right behind your armaments.

    As of now, Prey 2 looks like just another first person shooter. The aspects that made the original so unique have seemingly been stripped from the sequel, so I'm unsure about what will make it stand out from the crowd. Regardless, the art and weapon design look to be getting things right, which is a step in the right direction.