Bethesda surprisingly underwhelming at PAX Aus 2015

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The Bethesda booth on the floor of PAX Aus this year is nothing short of an extravagant sight. Wanderers are greeted by a great vault door, slid aside to allow entry into a huge, dark, soundproof box. (It’s fairly obvious that their main focus this year was on Fallout 4. Maybe.)

The line for entry into this box was a 30 minute wait, if you were lucky enough to make the next group of people to get inside. But the thing is, for dedicated fans or people who had watched E3 this year, there was little to nothing new on offer.

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Walking inside the box you were given badges and greeted by an enormous billboard advertisement of Fallout 4, which spanned the wall that split the booth into two rooms. Effectively it was a waiting room. In here we were treated to a re-watch of the already released trailer of the game, followed by a video from GameSpot detailing the historical timeline within Fallout. For me that was really the only “new” bit, because I was unfamiliar with the lore of the series. No doubt I could have found the information by googling Fallout though. 

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After this we were ushered into a small lecture theatre where we were talked to about Doom and Fallout 4. Would have been great if I hadn’t watched the presentation from Bethesda at E3 this year that the presenter showed entire clips from in his talk. Doom is mixing old and new together. There’s brutal multiplayer, and players can custom build maps. We know. We also know about the building function of Fallout, the rethought control scheme, and the fashioning of old scrap into new weapons or buildings in the game. 

Visually, the entire thing was entertaining, but considering I spent over an hour at the booth (not that long by choice), I got very little out of it. The experience almost assumed that the visitors had watched nothing in regards to the game in the last six months. Bethesda must be aware that the following for this game is monstrous. It boggles me that they didn’t aim for appeal to this established base. No demo or new gameplay, so that was a bit of a let down.

If you’re down at PAX this weekend, check it out if you have time. If anything, you’ll get some pretty sweet badges.