PAX 2012 Winner: Bethesda


Bethesda has a neat new steampunk game coming out! Also a new version of a game that came out seven years ago. I played both.


I have no interest in the whole steampunk thing. However, I am interested in Bethesda and extremely interested in stealth games. Then when I got to the demo, I learned that the game also features magical abilities which can be combined in the most brutal fashion. I will never ever get tired of slowing time right after a guard lets a shot off, possessing him and moving him in front of his own bullet. Even just sending a swarm of plague rats after a guy is more entertaining than I could ever have imagined.

The people running the demo for this game went out of their way to make sure everyone knew of all the abilities that were available to us and how we could use them for creative murder. The gameplay trailer that played over and over on their giant screen emphasized that point. It’s rather clear that the real point of Dishonored is to allow and encourage players to invent the most messed up way to kill a guy possible. That’s a little disturbing, Bethesda.

Then again, it’s a little disturbing that I enjoyed it so much. It helps that the demo begins with sneaking past a pair of guards comparing the common people to swine, and who cares if they die horribly? Though I didn’t get much of the story from the demo, I get the feeling that I will like it. I always enjoy dystopian future stuff and will always be creeped out by horrible plagues. Plus, assassins are cool.

The demo required you to sneak into a building and kidnap someone. It looked like there were at least two ways to get inside–the obvious way or the extra cool sneaky back way. I took the back way, and after trying out my powers for awhile, decided to reload and go through the building without killing anyone. I was happy to find that this was very possible. Using the special assassin vision power, I was able to sneak upstairs without being spotted and locate the necessary tools to get through the killer electric field. I did have to strangle quite a few people, but I assume they were supposed to be unconscious.

What I liked best about the stealth was the difficulty balance. I was able to get through without being spotted, but it wasn’t easy. I was only able to pull it off by being very, very patient. That’s just how a stealth game should be. As long as Bethesda doesn’t go overboard on the steampunk thing, I’m confident this will be a game worth talking about.

Doom 3: BFG Edition

Big scary monster is not amused.

Big scary monster is not amused.

Now, I didn’t play Doom 3. I didn’t play Doom 2. I did watch my brother play the original Doom a million years ago. The point is that I only tried this demo because there was no line and I had some time to kill. So why am I writing about a game I had no interest in which is just a revamped version of a game that came out seven years ago?

The Doom 3: BFG Edition demo is the only one that I played twice. Not because it was a marvelous example of FPS gameplay and not because there was anything innovative about it. It was because the setup of this game created the most immersive gaming experience I’ve ever had.

I’m not one of those fancy gamers who get expensive headsets, and anything 3D makes me queasy. But for some reason I opted to try the 3D glasses. It made me queasy, but I kept them on. The 3D wasn’t in any way special. What made the experience so amazing was the thick frame that blocked my peripheral vision and the awesome headset. All I could see and hear was the game. I felt like I was in some dark metal facility filled with monsters. For a few precious moments, I forgot that I was in a crowded exhibition hall and felt like I was in the game.

Doom 3 is, as far as I could tell, an unremarkable FPS. I’m sure it’s just as good as any other, but I’m not interested in unremarkable FPS games. So really, this is a surprise endorsement for fancy headsets and 3D glasses. And if you want an experience in sensory immersion, pairing that with a horror FPS is probably one of your best options.

Due to the fact that Dishonored was awesome and the Doom 3 demo was somehow my number one immersive gaming experience, I am hereby naming Bethesda the official PAX 2012 winner! Feel free to display that on your website, Bethesda.

Author: Lindsey Weedston View all posts by
Lindsey Weedston is a Contributing Editor who enjoys video games, video games, video games, playing video games, video games, and writing amusing short biographies about herself.

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