Believe the hype: Fallout and Doom prove Bethesda is in the big league

By Matt Martin, Monday, 15 June 2015 06:33 GMT

The publisher of Fallout 4 and Doom kicked off E3 on just the right-side of cocky, confirming the hype was justified, says Matt Martin.

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“Fallout 4 will close out 2015 on a high and Doom starts 2016 by kicking the doors in.”

Bethesda opened E3 today with confidence and class, going large on its biggest games to reveal hot new footage of two of the most exciting video games currently in development. It’s wanted to stand head and shoulders with Ubisoft and Electronic Arts for some time now, and this showing at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood cemented its position as one of the top three third-party publishers in the game business.

It stands proudly with two other companies that have the balls to stand in front of the E3 crowd and do their own thing. Professionalism helped cover up a handful of weak moments that don’t really matter because we won’t really remember them. Battlecry still looks flimsy and limited compared to a Fallout that offers customisation and base building. Todd Howard and Pete Hines’ chatter about pleasing the fans and creating games because ‘we’re gamers first’ seemed genuine even if the delivery was a little stiff. But picking on a few niggles misses the point.

The point is Doom and Fallout 4. An opener that looked stunning visually and reassuringly familiar. And a closer confirming a release date for the most anticipated game of the year. Fallout 4 will close out 2015 on a high and Doom starts 2016 by kicking the doors in. What we saw were two much-loved franchises back and on top form.

Besides the two stars of the show, there were also some classic PR moves to assure us all that Bethesda has plenty of other games. Fallout Shelter is available on the app store and made the cynical world of mobile games look interesting for once. Putting it live now ensures the Fallout name is being discussed from E3 until that November 10 release date for the real deal Fallout 4.

A remastered Dishonored is a worthy game for the repackaging treatment and the Dishonored 2 confirmation was enough to keep us all ticking over until we see more of it next time. The Elder Scrolls Legends was a curiosity but one that’s sure to find a niche, at least in the early days. If it just turns out to be a Hearthstone clone, well, there’s probably space for a Hearthstone clone with the right heritage.

Handing out free cute figures was the icing on the cake. At that point Bethesda became everyone’s favourite video game publisher, at least for today. When the dust settles on E3 at the end of the week we may see it differently, but for now Bethesda looked very handsome under the spotlight and it deserves the recognition and hype it’s been working hard to cultivate.

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