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Gotta have wraith: Zenimax to give pets as rewards to Elder Scrolls Online subscribers

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Gotta have wraith: Zenimax to give pets as rewards to Elder Scrolls Online subscribers

The pre-release conversation around The Elder Scrolls Online was all about that subscription - a monthly tithe of the kind so many other prominent developers had roundly condemned. 

But launch came and went, and it seemed there were more than enough Elder Scrolls Online subscribers. Now, Zenimax Online intend to sustain momentum not only with September’s Update 4, but with a series of conspicuous rewards for subscribers to flaunt all round Tamriel.

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The 100 best Skyrim mods

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The 100 best Skyrim mods

Skyrim mods. Gosh, there’s a lot of them, isn’t there? More than 22,000 on the Steam Workshop, and countless more on Skyrim Nexus. They’re the work of a thriving and diverse scene; an army of fans and bedroom coders determined to make the game a photorealistic fantasy utopia. Or just transforming farmyard animals into deadly explosives. But when you’re looking for Skyrim mods, just where do you start?  

Here, actually. That’s where we come in. These are the 100 mods we think are essential to improving Skyrim above and beyond the out-the-box experience.

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The Art of Free to Play: Viktor Antonov on designing Battlecry's beautiful world

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The Art of Free to Play: Viktor Antonov on designing Battlecry's beautiful world

We're told game design has to be unsentimental and iterative. But Viktor Antonov, creative director on Bethesda’s Battlecry and the celebrated artist of behind Half-Life 2's City 17 and Dishonored's Dunwall, disagrees.

“I come from a less experimental philosophy and a commitment to a strong concept," he said. “If you’re called by a client as an architect and you make a building, you won’t experiment and destroy buildings before it’ll function.

“Battlecry was a one-shot concept. It was very precise and it’s gone into production exactly as it was planned."

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Wolfenstein: The New Order directors give its first level the commentary treatment

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Wolfenstein: The New Order directors give its first level the commentary treatment

Bethesda have begun a streaming series named TwitchWorks - and each week they’re planning to play through a chapter of Wolfenstein before bed, so that we can be lulled off to sleep by the Swedish tenors on the MachineGames team.

The first chapter covers The New Order’s BioShocktastic tutorial level, and delves into top technical secrets, character development, and the establishment of Wolfenstein’s “larger than life" tone.

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The Elder Scrolls Online begins its European megaserver migration today

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The Elder Scrolls Online begins its European megaserver migration today

It’s warm enough now - but once the temperature starts to drop, orcs, redguards and cat-faced khajiit will travel south to Frankfurt, where the heat from larger datacenters is perfect for nesting. The great Elder Scrolls Online European server migration will begin today at 9am EDT / 1pm BST, and be finished by 5pm EDT / 10pm BST this evening.

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Doom was only shown off at QuakeCon to squash fears that id were in trouble, don’t expect to see it until next year

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Doom was only shown off at QuakeCon to squash fears that id were in trouble, don’t expect to see it until next year

Yesterday Tim got to see Doom in action at QuakeCon. It was bloody. It was gory. It was carnage. It looked good. And that’s exactly the reason id Software showed the footage off: to stamp out the fears people seemed to be gathering that the developer was somehow in trouble and that Doom would be a failure. 

But that footage was a compromise. Id didn’t want to show anything off at all, especially to the public, but something had to be done about the murmurs. QuakeCon was chosen as the isolated showcase point, meaning everyone else must rely on word of mouth until the team feels the game is ready to unveil to the public. 

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The Elder Scrolls Online is coming to Steam today

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The Elder Scrolls Online is coming to Steam today

So, let’s assume you haven’t played The Elder Scrolls Online before today. What can we tell you? It’s okay. Very solid, like a dining table. But equally like a dining table, not something you’d want to spend an awful lot of time with unless you’ve got friends around.

Elder Scrolls Online patches have expanded its range of dungeons, but done nothing to improve on its back-and-forth quests. Try The Elder Scrolls Online for yourself on Steam, by all means. It’s absolutely fine.

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The Evil Within Hands-on: like a funfair House of Horrors

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The Evil Within Hands-on: like a funfair House of Horrors

The Evil Within is more funfair House of Horrors than it is waking nightmare. At one point I was searching a gothic manor house for brains that I’d sap of juice to open a vault door while avoiding traps, like a meat grinder hidden behind a set of double doors. It was a little silly considering this is from the maker of Resident Evil.

I couldn’t help but warm to its clumsy scares and crude, cliched environments, full of blood and ghosts. However, it’s all held back by a frustrating camera and mechanics designed to hobble you.

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Open the vaults: the first two Fallouts return to Steam in high-res with Cloud saves

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Open the vaults: the first two Fallouts return to Steam in high-res with Cloud saves

Oh, the house Bethesda built for Fallout was good, very good. But it never did recreate the same junktown vibe of those ‘90s jaunts through the Wasteland with Black Isle.

Now the publishers have wrestled the last few rights to the series from Interplay’s remaining fingers, Fallouts 1, 2 and Tactics have come back to Steam with their skin still attached - and a few extra doo-dahs in their inventories.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order PC review

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Wolfenstein: The New Order PC review

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a game about shooting men. You shoot the men with your guns and all their blood comes out. When the men get shot they fall over and scream and sometimes their head comes off. 

If you want to you can have two guns and you can shoot them both at the same time. 

You can stab the men in the head with a knife. You have grenades that you can throw and they blow up the men and their blood goes everywhere.

It's a very good shooting game.

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ZeniMax's legal battle won't stop Bethesda from considering games for the Oculus Rift

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ZeniMax's legal battle won't stop Bethesda from considering games for the Oculus Rift

ZeniMax Media’s legal dispute with Oculus Rift developer, Oculus VR, won’t affect its subsidiary’s decision on whether or not to make VR games for the device, Bethesda told CVG.

Bethesda’s parent company claims that John Carmack took ZeniMax’s property and used it to assist in the development of the Oculus Rift, which the id co-founder has denied

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What Dunwall's designer did next: Bethesda-backed multiplayer arena battler Battlecry

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What Dunwall's designer did next: Bethesda-backed multiplayer arena battler Battlecry

We’ve known for a good while that Bethesda had opened a new studio in Austin named BattleCry, to work on a free-to-play multiplayer game. We didn’t know what the game was called, but we probably could have guessed: it’s Battlecry.

Set in an alternate 20th century where gunpowder has been banned but gutting your opponent is a-okay, it’s a third-person competitive affair from Viktor Antonov: the world designer behind Dishonored’s Dunwall and Half-Life 2’s City 17.

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The Evil Within will have to remain there for just a little while longer, till October 21

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The Evil Within will have to remain there for just a little while longer, till October 21

Did you know, Bethesda didn’t publish a single game last year? It sounds like nonsense, but it’s true: beyond Dishonored’s essential DLC campaign, the Bethesda-Zenimax monster kept its head below the water and plotted Elder Scrolls Online subscription plans.

Between ESO, Wolfenstein and The Evil Within, though, they’re now in danger of putting out three whole games before the end of 2014 - a fact sufficiently alarming to have delayed the latter into the Autumn.

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Obsidian's Sawyer prays for mod support in Fallout 4: "The community is amazing"

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Obsidian's Sawyer prays for mod support in Fallout 4: "The community is amazing"

John Sawyer joined Black Isle too late to work on the original Fallout games - but became series custodian for 18 months during the development of New Vegas at Obsidian. 

As such, he has some pretty strong opinions about the future of the series with Bethesda, and in particular about modding - which he calls “one of the greatest things about [Bethesda’s] technology".

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