After traversing the difficulties of British transport I eventually arrived at the Media Day of Quakecon 2019 The Year of Doom. This time the event wasn’t just held in Texas but they also had a European front based in London, with people from over 37 countries attending Quakecon Europe alone. I also want to take this time to highlight the amazing staff and ambassadors who were on hand and demoing the games for all their help in dealing with my accessibility needs, truly a fantastic human experience.
Onto the meat and bones, the games. I will be covering my hand on impression with Doom Eternal in another post however I will say that the game lived up to and exceeded my expectations. During the keynote, Bethesda also revealed the Doom Multiplayer mode Battlemode. This mode is a 2v1 asymmetrical mode that pits the Doomslayer against two Demons who have access to a variety of powers and spawns to overcome and defeat the other player. There will be a total of 5 playable demons at launch but more maps and demons will be coming post-launch for free.
Keeping on the Doom track I got to mess around with some Bethesda VR this included Doom VFR previously I had written this experience off due to the VR element clashing with Doom’s run and gun high-velocity gameplay but having actually played it I’m pleased to report that after getting used to the gameplay it became second nature and I was navigating and blasting away demons in no time. I spent a good while with it and completing the first mission or two and as someone who is highly skeptical of VR’s place in the gaming ecosystem (due to an admitted personal bias), this showed the potential of controller and VR blending in a great way. Additional BethesdaVR games where Skyrim which looked impressive, and the recently released Wolfenstein Cyberpilot.
From one Wolfenstein to another this being the co-op RPG light spinoff to the mainline Wolfenstein Games The New Order and New Colossus respectively. Shout out to Aaron who buddied up with me for some co-op Nazi ass-kicking, we played a level aboard a blimp and whilst the new RPG elements where cumbersome at first the increased time to kill was mitigated when we would team up and decimate a room full of enemies. My favorite aspect of Young Blood was synergizing our plays with active camo being used for stealth and the other unleashing lead into a variety of enemies made for interesting engagements that didn’t get stale. There was also a mix of Doom Esque platforming coming into play witch helped vary the gameplay unfolding and a somewhat deep emote system that whilst throwing my partner a two sweet/devil horns before we charged head-on was fun the fact this also provided a buff helped further that mechanic. I left my demo feeling like I wanted to experience the full thing and definitely came away loving the interplay between the two main characters who are instantly likable and on many levels more relatable than BJ.
Moving into the apocalypse there was an area set up for Rage 2 which after beating the game 100% and enjoying I thought there were more pressing things to attend, but Bethesda are still keen to support the game offering more free content drops as time goes on.
We then get to talk about Fallout now the controversies surrounding Fallout 76 are well documented but actually getting to play their battle royale mode was surprisingly refreshing and was definitely worth a try. Whether this is enough to justify investing in Fallout 76 I’m still skeptical but an announcement of Vault raids shows the games not done, not by a long shot which is commendable. That wasn’t all on the Fallout front though they were showcasing an array of the Fallout miniature game which as a lapsed fan of 40K seems like it could be the gateway miniature game to get me back into things.
Finally capping off my experience was The Elder Scrolls section which featured the switch port of Elder Scrolls Blades which unfortunately was my only low point of the day the game just didn’t click with me and it was something I was quite hopeful for going into it and was let down coming out of. The main problem was the controls and interactivity just didn’t feel visceral like in other games there was a disconnect between what I wanted to happen and what did which was frustrating and ended up just spamming basic attack to progress. But all was not lost Elder Scrolls Legends was waiting and one of the more interesting digital card games to be on the market. Taking the Hearthstone formula and applying almost a MOBA lane mechanic to it that can change the tide of battle really takes the card game into its own unique genre. It still has all the trappings of a free to play card game but this definitely offers enough to at least tryout, especially if you are a fan of The Elder Scrolls. My hope is one day this expands into other Bethesda IP but as of right now there’s still so much ES lore for them to mine.
Two games I didn’t check out was The Elder Scrolls Online and Quake Champions mainly because I ran out of time and Arena was PC only but from what I saw looks like that classic deathmatch experience and those who played it had a blast. If you would like to see a full walkthrough of the event check out the OutofLives facebook page where I did a Facebook Live walkaround tour.