June 15, 2015 6:51 AM EDT Game maker Bethesda’s first E3 press conference included one very cool surprise: a new Fallout spin-off game that is available right now.
After showing off its new consoles and PC titles
Doom and Fallout 4, Bethesda unveiled a new iOS and Android game dubbed Fallout Shelter. It’s not directly connected to Fallout 4, but rather something Bethesda Studios game director Todd Howard said the company wanted to build for mobile devices “because it couldn’t be done anywhere else.”
In the game, which looks a little like the diorama-style bases in Firaxis’
XCOM reboot, you craft and manage your own vault, working to keep its occupants productive and happy. Howard says the game is free, as in genuinely free, without paywall timers, Internet connection requirements or build queues. Fallout 4 is coming out November 10, 2015. Fallout Shelter, a game no one had the faintest clue was coming, is available on the App Store. See The 15 Best Video Game Graphics of 2014 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Activision's futuristic first-person shooter in which players take on a rogue private military company uses a brand new engine built specifically for PCs and new-gen consoles to handle its cutting-edge lighting, animation and physics.
Sledgehammer Games/Activision Far Cry 4. This pulled back shot of fictional Himalayan region Kyrat is in-game, believe it or not, rendered with an overhauled version of the engine Ubisoft used to design Far Cry 3.
Ubisoft The Last of Us: Remastered. Naughty Dog's meditation on the worst (and best) of humanity is built on technology that reaches back through the studio's pulp-adventure Uncharted series.
The graphics are so impressive,
TIME recently assigned a conflict photographer to photograph inside the game. Ashley Gilbertson for TIME Alien: Isolation
Built from scratch, the Alien: Isolation engine's outstanding deep space visuals all but replicate the set design of Alien film concept artists H.R. Giger and Ron Cobb's work.
The Creative Assembly Assassin's Creed Unity. Ubisoft says it "basically remade the whole rendering engine" in its AnvilNext design tool to handle the studio's meticulous recreation of Paris during the French Revolution.
Ubisoft Child of Light
Inspired by filmmakers like Hayao Miyazaki and artist Yoshitaka Amano, Child of Light's hand-drawn artwork puts the lie to presumptions that graphical richness depends on shader support or polygon counts.
Built from scratch by ex-Halo studio Bungie, Destiny's game engine was designed to scale across the next decade, says the studio.
Bungie Mario Kart 8
Nintendo's kart-racer for Wii U reminds us that raw horsepower is just a facet of crafting a beautiful game world.
Nintendo Infamous Second Son
Sucker Punch's freeform Seattle-based superhero adventure models all sorts of minutia, from the intricate wrinkling of an aged character's face to the way eyelids stick, slightly, before separating when characters blink.
Sucker Punch Productions Monument Valley
Escher-like at first glance, Ustwo's mind-bending puzzler was also inspired by posters, bonsai plants, arabic calligraphy and filmmaker Tarsem Singh's The Fall.
Ustwo Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar's remastered crime spree opus was crafted from an in-house engine first employed in a game that simulated table tennis.
Rockstar Titanfall Respawn Entertainment Forza Horizon 2
Turn 10's Euro-racer actually models light refracted through drops of moisture, the render tech plausibly simulating something as intangible but essential as the earth’s atmosphere.
Microsoft Studios/Turn 10 Studios 80 Days
Inkle's anti-colonialist vamp on Jules Verne's famous novel uses crisp art deco imagery inspired by travel posters to unfurl 80 Days' tale of intrepid globetrotters Monsieur Fogg and his valet Passepartout.
Inkle Tomb Raider
Crystal Dynamics' radical reboot of its popular series about an athletic archaeologist uses a modified version of the engine that powered Tomb Raider: Legend in 2006.
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