Category Archives: arstechnica

Fallout 76 updates promise turnaround after “well-deserved criticism”

LOS ANGELES—After what Bethesda’s Todd Howard admitted on stage was some “well-deserved criticism” at the launch of Fallout 76, Bethesda rolled out the first phase of its turnaround plan for the game at its E3 press conference tonight.

That plan starts with Nuclear Winter, a 52-player Battle Royale mode that sees players fighting for the role of “overseer” using Fallout‘s usual lineup of guns, power armor, and some “exclusive perks” to upgrade your own abilities. That mode will be available as a “sneak peek” during a free trial of the full game starting June 10 and running through June 17.

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DOOM Eternal gameplay world premiere: Devil horns in the air—literally

  • If your workplace has rules that restrict images of virtual blood and gore, consider this your last warning: DOOM Eternal only looks more gruesome from here on out. [credit:
    id Software ]

SANTA MONICA, Calif.—I don’t often get as jazzed about an in-development video game the way I have about DOOM Eternal. After playing its 20-minute E3 demo to completion for my first time, I yelled, “AGAIN! AGAIN!” like a child unwilling to get off of a rollercoaster (and was thankfully granted another go at the fun). Upon getting home and preparing this article before Bethesda’s Sunday E3 press conference, I combed through a full playthrough video provided by the developers like a sad ex flipping through a photo album. I had to look again. I wanted to remember.

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Bethesda revives ‘80s PC series Commander Keen as a… free-to-play mobile game

  • Oh, hey! Commander Keen is back! But…

PC gamers of a certain era fondly remember Commander Keen, one of the most technically proficient side-scrolling action series to land on MS-DOS. Fans of its creators, id Software (perhaps better known for Doom and Quake), have always wondered when the relatively cutesy series might see a revival since its halcyon PC years of 1990-91.

That day was Sunday, as announced by Bethesda at its E3 press conference. But fans may not have seen this version of Keen coming.

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Double Fine Productions is Microsoft’s latest Xbox acquisition

Tim Schafer introduces himself as part of Microsoft for the first time.

Enlarge / Tim Schafer introduces himself as part of Microsoft for the first time.

LOS ANGELES—”For the last 19 years, we’ve been independent. Then Microsoft came to us and said, ‘What if we gave you a bunch of money.’ And I said ‘OK, yeah,'”

That was the half-kidding way Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Broken Age) Founder and President Tim Schafer introduced the company’s newly announced acquisition by Microsoft Game Studios. Schafer appeared on stage at Microsoft’s pre-show conference, ready to joke about the new partnership with Head of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty.

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Xbox at E3: Halo Infinite leads massive first-party deluge of Xbox, PC games

Moments before the beginning of the Xbox press conference at E3 2019.

Enlarge / Moments before the beginning of the Xbox press conference at E3 2019. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

LOS ANGELES—Without its direct console rival Sony anywhere in sight at this year’s E3, the team behind Xbox took advantage with a Sunday press conference that revolved around games, games, and more games. In particular, Microsoft finally began paying forward its investment in various acquisitions over the past couple of years to make a huge Xbox Game Studios statement in the form of legitimate gameplay variety.

Even with that in mind, nobody in the room was surprised to see one game elicit the loudest response: Halo Infinite, now confirmed for “holiday 2020” as a launch title for the code-named Xbox Scarlett console.

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