Who doesn’t love a bit of Pinball? From the flashing lights and ringing of bells, to the heart in your mouth moment when that ball slips right down the middle, in-between the two flippers. Zen Pinball 2 – Bethesda Edition incorporates all of those exciting moments and deliverers them themed around some of Bethesda’s best titles.
The tables are themed around Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Doom. All three of the tables are beautiful, each with their own little quirks and features. This being said, the Fallout and Skyrim tables incorporate an RPG element in to the game which you might think a little odd for a pinball game but without this, a pinball game is just what? Pinball? Each table is stunningly rendered and excellently themed, all with each games own soundtrack and sound effects. All three of the tables also have their own animated character that is a really nice touch. The Fallout table has a comic Super Mutant, that will either blast you with his laser rifle or just keep telling you how bored he is, if you’re not actively taking part in a mission. The Doom table has a Cyberdemon and the Skyrim table has Alduin the dragon flying around causing all sorts of mayhem.
As with all of the tables, missions consist of hitting a target a certain amount of times and then firing the ball up a number of lanes that start flashing, usually ending in having to defeat an enemy pop up by hitting it with a ball. The Fallout table has you selecting your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. abilities and also your gender, just like any other Fallout game. The abilities you pick, help you further in the game in terms of health and so forth. The Skyrim table is very similar. You get to pick your race and class. Both tables offer the chance to buy weapons and armour just like in a real RPG. There is a downside to this though. The starting of missions and constantly going into separate menus to buy weapons or upgrade your health, really breaks up the play and interrupts the rhythm of the gameplay. It feels as if you have to invest some time into both of these tables, which in my opinion, isn’t really the point of a pinball game. You just want to be able to pick up the game, have a quick bash and put it down again.
The Doom table however is more in line with the traditional sense of what a normal pinball game is. There are no RPG elements to break up the play and the game tends to flow a lot better. This doesn’t mean to say that it is boring, no sir! The Doom table seemed to me a lot more frantic. With its heavy metal soundtrack blaring away, the sound of demons screaming and constant flashing lights made The Doom table great fun to play. It feels fluid just like how the actual Doom game feels itself. Zen have done a great job in really capturing the feel of Doom in this table. It really is great to waste a quick fifteen minutes on.
Overall, the Bethesda pack is pretty good. All of the tables look the part and they feel as if they really keep in touch with the original games. The Fallout and Skyrim tables felt a little off the pace. The constant interruptions just didn’t really do it for me. However, the Doom table is fantastic. Fast and fluid gameplay with enough little hidden extras and quirks to keep it feeling fresh, really makes the Doom table a joy to play.
Everyone loves a quick game of pinball and if you are a Bethesda fan then this is definitely for you, you’ll be killing super mutants, battling with dragons and blasting cyberdemons in a totally different way.
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