Before I truly begin to look into Bethesda’s 2016 E3 showcase, it would be a grievous mistake to not highlight what they started. As a sign of solidarity with victims, their families, and others affected, all speakers for Bethesda wore rainbow ribbons. Bethesda created a classy move that was followed by each conference that followed.
But, that sad event is not why you are here, you’re here to look at some fantastic games, so let’s get to it.
Bethesda started their event with a wonderful homage to the old DOS operating system where they booted up a Quake trailer to marvelous applause. It was only a CG trailer for the upcoming Quake Champions. Now the big surprise given the present gaming landscape is that Quake Champions dares to be a competitive shooter only available for PC. It does follow the classic release plans for Quake, and it’s a surprising move. What isn’t a surprising move is that Bethesda is pledging to support eLeagues with Quake Champions. It’s been made for that kind of environment when Quake first premiered twenty years ago. More is promised but it won’t be shown until QuakeCon in August.
Next, after a quick review of Bethesda’s successes, the opening cinematic for The Elder Scrolls: Legends was shown. Here, actual gameplay was shown, as well as some information on the single-player campaign. But, most exciting is that Legends is expanding it’s platform base to every iOS device, Android device, Mac, and PC. If you’re interested in the Beta, you can still sign up!
They quickly moved to a video that made several announcements including new DLC for Fallout 4. The Contraptions add-on will let you add things like elevators, sorting machines, armor racks, and conveyer belts to your settlement. It arrives next week. Bethesda also showed a Vault-Tec add-on that allows you to create your own Vaults in Fallout 4. That releases in July. Lastly, a new area was shown and may have a campaign for it. The tourist attraction of Nuka-World comes in August.
The video stayed on theme and talked about a new update coming for Fallout Shelter, a very successful mobile game that is making the leap to PC in July. All of these add-ons will ensure that Fallout 4 and Shelter remain popular for a while, but it does also sound like next year we could end up with a new RPG that’s similar to Fallout and the Elder Scrolls.
Then lastly, Bethesda owned up to the rumors and showed a trailer for The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim – Special Edition coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One. This new version of Skyrim will feature new and revamped graphics as well as mods made available on console. Journey back to Skyrim October 28th. Personally I think it’s great to have that come back and I for one can’t wait to get back into it and stream it!
Bethesda next brought out Arkane Studios for one of the projects they’ve been working on. A trailer was released for Prey, a new psychological title coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Some games are about zombies, but Prey is the game that won’t stop. This is now the second attempt at using the name and having it live on. Prey has a planned release in 2017 with more promised at Quakecon. I’m certainly intrigued and really enjoyed the trailer that was shown.
Next Bethesda went back to the familiar and talked about the latest entry in the DOOM franchise. They talked about free DLC in the form of new construction sets, props, and logic options for the SnapMap feature, which allows you to create your own maps. Unto The Evil will be coming later this summer and be the first premium DLC for DOOM. It’ll provide a few new maps, a new playable demon, along with more weapons and armor. Finally, they also announced that for the week, the 1st level would be available for free for everyone to try. More ways to play that are mostly free and a free way to entice new players like myself? That’s certainly a great way to expand your user base.
Bethesda quickly shifted gears to The Elder Scrolls Online, and I have to say this is where I was lost, but that’s more because I don’t play MMOs. But, the announcements were still innovative, including an initiative to have every player be able to join in every quest and with any other player regardless of progression. Also, a new Dark Brotherhood quest-line was revealed and as this was one of my fav parts of Oblivion, I hope players are excited.
Half expectedly and half surprise, Bethesda also announced plans to put DOOM and Fallout 4 onto VR with Fallout 4 being announced for HTC Vive. I’m intrigued in VR, but right now the price point is too steep for me but for those that have it this has to be a great announcement.
Next, Bethesda dove head first into a lengthy Dishonored 2 demo. Showing a new vibrant city to explore with two characters you can play as , Emily Baldwin, or the hero of the first title, Corvo. Dishonored 2 utilizes a new engine named VOID that allows the developers to create a vibrant and visibly historical city. Dishonored 2 will still focus on letting the player play how they want and the story changing based on your actions. Emily will have new powers, while Corvo’s utilize new skill trees. It looks to me like Dishonored 2 will be a natural progression of the mechanics of the first title, and the world that has been created is one I enjoyed before. Dishonored 2 is one title I will be keeping tabs on, and you may want to as well. Dishonored 2 releases for PC, PS4 and Xbox One 11.11.16
Overall, Bethesda had most of their big franchises on display at E3, with only Wolfenstein really left out. Unless you want to consider Prey as a new game, the presentation was also very light on any risk. Each item unveiled is sure to be a hit. Is this the sign of a publisher playing it safe, or hitting a golden age?
Regardless, it was a fantastic showing and will lead into the next conference I tackle, the rapid fire Xbox 2016 Media Briefing. See you then!