Our first day on the floor I made sure to book an appointment with Bethesda first thing. Those who frequent Shogun Gamer know I'm a huge Fallout fan, so I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this and Brink. In terms of booth design, it was very similar to what we saw at E3. The big T-Rex vegas statue was back, but this time Brink was being shown off as multiplayer matches, instead of E3's single player 20 minute demo. Below you can check out my thoughts on both titles and get a taste for what's in store from Bethesda.
Fallout: New Vegas
Now, story aside (Since this hasn't totally been revealed), The newest Fallout can really be summed up quite easily. Fallout 3 in Vegas, with new story, characters, weapons and a few new features. As a fan of Fallout, I can accept this, but the more I play New Vegas pre-release the less excited I am about it. It doesn't feel like a new game, or even a Part 2 really. It feels like a massive DLC.
Changes in New Vegas from Fallout 3 are minimal. There's a fantastic new ally wheel that allows you to dish out commands on the fly, as opposed to stopping and talking to them in the middle of combat. This small change really speeds the gameplay up and keeps you out of menus and silly conversations that seem to pause time on the battle field.
There's also lots of new weapons to find, build and kill with. The most notable of the PAX demo being the Grenade Machine Gun. Yeah, that's a thing. I blew up several mutated cows with it, so I should know.
There is also a new original card game called Caravan. Through this game you can build "decks" and battle various Wastelanders in wagered games. I really like the idea of this, but within the 20 minutes I had with the game it was far too complicated of a game to pick up and learn. Even with a tutorial I watched as the other people playing gave up on playing cards in favor of mindlessly blowing up civilians and cows with various weapons. I want to like this game, but it's really too soon to tell how enjoyable it will be come retail release.
All in all, Fallout: New Vegas really is best described as a huge DLC. If that appeals to you, as it will for many, then you need to get on this game. If you were not a fan of the last Fallout, you will likely be renting or passing on this new installment.
After seeing Casey play and discuss BRINK during our E3 coverage, I was really excited to see the improvements Bethesda was showcasing casing at this years PAX. If you’re not caught up on the background of this new IP, here's a quick break down.
Brink revolves around two factions "Resistance" and "Security" fighting for dominance in a utopian city known as The Ark The Ark was designed to be a perfect city that had the ability to generate renewable resources and created no pollution. The city which now floats on the flooded surface of the earth was designed to house 5,000 residents. Too bad 50,000 people moved in and now resources are completely tapped. The city is literally on the BRINK of destruction (see what they did there?).
In Brink, the singleplayer and multiplayer experiences are intertwined – you can play with and against AI soldiers, or allow them to be replaced with real live human-types. Missions are made up of a collection of major and sub-objectives. These can range from defend something, escort a robot, save a teammate and so on. You'll also be able to choose from four classes. The awesome part about this is you can switch your calls at any time via the terminal located in your spawn point. The four classes are: Soldier, Engineer, Medic, and Operative.
Each class has access to specific objectives and abilities. For example, I chose to play as a medic which allowed me to boost my own health when damage, revive fallen comrades and even revive myself in certain situations. The ability to revive yourself was awesome. At one point I turned a corner and ran into 5 enemies who gunned me down. Unfortunately for them, they didn't finish me off completely. They ran past me, I revived myself and shot them all in the backs of their heads. Awesome!
The most interesting mechanic in BRINK is their "SMART" system (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain). You can literally just hold down the run button and sprint towards boxes and ledges to seamlessly scale up them. You can also take use of a very powerful slide attack that knocks enemies over and gives you a chance to finish them off. I wanted to see what happened when two people slid at each other, but I couldn't find someone else using it as much as me.
All in all, Brink plays awesome and looks beautiful. The SMART movement engine is fantastic and keeps the gameplay fast and crazy. You never know where enemies could be since they have the ability to easily scale to new heights.
Brink is out spring 2011. After we have a chance to play the retail release, we'll have a better idea of how Brink stacks up. It's hard to tell from the 2 demo's we've seen, but it's off to a great start.