todd howard

Pete Hines would make a good WWE heel. Seriously.

“And with that, I am sorry to say we have come to the end of our showcase,” he said after unveiling The Elder Scrolls Legends, a card game set in the TES universe not too dissimilar to Hearthstone, but knowing most people were there for one game before a resounding sound of boos echoed around the Dolby Theater (mainly from fans, not press, it has to be said). “What? We did [show] Doom, Battlecry…”

They did show Doom. And it looks really bloody good, although after the shock of seeing id Tech6(66) in action wore off, there was that sense of it being a vertical demo that the full game can’t live up, among other worries. Battlecry didn’t give a reason to be excited for it. The Elder Scrolls Online got a run out and TES: Legends was a thing.

They also showed – after an almost hilarious yet sad leak over the weekend – Dishonored II and that is a game that sold itself very well just on its first trailer. Even though Corvo from Dishonored 1 is playable, the fact they led with Emily as the lead protagonist in the trailer was something that made me excited for the game and it’s something Arkane should be applauded with. With a 2016 release planned, an August release of the first game on PS4 and Xbox One will tide people over until then.

But everyone in that room was there for one game. In fact, before that pre-E3 trailer, everyone and their dog more or less twigged Bethesda would only put on a press conference for one game. And lo behold, we got it.

Fallout 4 is coming. And it’s coming this year (though not the date I would have picked for very personal reasons, though I actually did have a fear beforehand it would go for November 10 based on Skyrim). And bloody nora, it seems like everything we’ve wanted and thensome. Sure, seeing the dialogue wheel is a bit off-putting when seeing it in third-person (though being able to have it be in first person is a god send) and it seems my arachnophobia is going to be pushed to the limits at times playing the game.

But everything about it seems so polished now. The FPS footage shown of it makes it feel more like a shooter (in a great way) compared to the somewhat stiff FPS components of Fallout 3. VATS returns and looks just as brutal. The amount of customisation too is just incredibly baffling. And then there was crafting, which was the cherry on the cake. You can see why they’ll never be able to bring this to PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.

It’s genuinely impressive how much Bethesda Game Studios has thrown into the game along with the kitchen sink. I’ve always thought that at somepoint Bethesda Game Studios should do a new IP since Skyrim and I continued to think of that even after FO4 was officially announced, but if BGS and Todd Howard’s team keep iterating as they do with each passing Elder Scrolls and Fallout game (though they only have done one Fallout game until now, admittedly, since buying the IP) like they showed last night and they shut up any of my thoughts of a new IP, they can keep doing as they please.

It’s with that in mind, I say this.

Dear Todd,

You don’t know me and I (mostly) don’t know you other than being a game director on some of the biggest open-world games this past decade with Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Skyrim (and now seemingly, Fallout 4).

The only ever time we’ve had somewhere near a conversation between you and I was at the end of Bethesda’s BFG media event in 2011 in Utah. Back then, I was a plucky young green games journalist for VG247, you were showing Skyrim. I was checking out of my hotel room at the front desk and I saw you next to me and I complimented you on the demo you gave the day before.

“That was an amazing demo yesterday,” I said. “Thanks, man,” you said back.

I went back to get myself checked out and once I was done, just as I was leaving the front desk, I wish you well for the rest of the game’s development. “Thanks, man, really appreciate that.”

But after last night’s Fallout 4 demo, the slick presentation you gave and giving people a game to tide people over until November, despite not knowing each other very well besides that fleeting meeting in the Park City mountains four years ago, I feel more than comfortable being able to ask you this.

Todd Howard, will you marry me?

I await your reply.

Johnny Cullen

P.S. – Any chance you could push the release of Fallout 4 a day either side of November 10? More than happy to go on November 9 or November 11 (again). Or even November 13! Please?

[TL;DR – Bethesda’s first ever E3 press conference was a resounding success]

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