Fallout VR, Quake Champions, and more at the Bethesda press conference
Bethesda is quickly making it a tradition to steal the show at E3 with a massive event right out of the gate, and this year's showcase was no different. A new IP, a revamp or two, and the first glimpses of what may be a virtual reality revolution were on hand.
Bethesda rolled out a full cast this year, with almost every single studio in the family making some kind of an appearance to show off some new gameplay, talk about the next step for their franchise, or to list off a few of the achievements rolling around their neck of the woods. So let's hit the highlights of the livestream and talk about the next big projects rolling out of Bethesda's mountain.
If you thought DOOM was going to be the last iconic remake of a classic shooter rolling out of Bethesda and ID Software try not to drool in disbelief over the newest trailer and showcase of Quake Champions. So far we know it's going to be focused around competitive arena style FPS action meant to bring everything awesome about Quake to a new generation. It'll also feature a full cast of playable champions similar to titles like Overwatch and Battleborn, but will be taking a heavy focus on catering to the e-sports community.
It's going to be a hard fight for Quake to reestablish dominance between now and its release with so many big name arena shooters rolling out, but with a little elbow grease and a whole lot of blood here's hoping that ID Software can make something great.
Elder Scrolls Legends
Elder Scrolls Legends is Bethesda's venture into the narrow, somewhat terrifying world of digital card games, the closed beta has been rolling strong for the last several months and Bethesda announced they're planning on opening it just a little bit wider this E3. Bethesda also treated us to the opening cinematic of the single player campaign that's set to run separately from the competitive multiplayer. Based entirely off the cinematic it's not clear what era Legends will draw its cards from, but based on the trailer it could be set in the aftermath of the rise of the Aldmeri Dominion Pre (or possibly slightly post) Skyrim.
Fallout 4 DLC
Fallout 4 has already seen quite a bit of free and paid content roll through the Commonwealth, and although it's been a mixed bag of good, bad, and fantastic it's exciting to see that Bethesda still has a whole gore bag of extra content for Fallout 4 queued up back at the workshop. The final three projects on the roster include the marvelous machines and extra settlement items of the Contraptions Workshop, the ability to set up and house dwellers underground in your own personal Vault (experiments and dark humor included) in Vault Workshop, and the final DLC of Fallout 4 titled Nuka-World will take the player on a tour of a Pre-War amusement park built by those rad-filled rascals over at Nuka-Cola.
All of these expansions are still covered by the Season Pass and will release sometime in June, July, and August respectively to round off our unmodded post-apocalyptic adventures. For more details check out Bethesda's official blog post on the subject.
Keeping to the Fallout theme Bethesda also revealed that some big changes are on their way to tiny handheld Vaults everywhere, combat overhauls, quests, and wasteland exploration are all on the docket. It's looking like our humble Vault-Tec simulator is about to get a whole lot more interesting, so dust off your smartphone and maybe even download the soon to be irradiated PC version and get back to work, Overseer!
Skyrim Special Edition
Jumping to another of Bethesda's highly successful titles, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is getting the revamp it deserves via a special edition port to the current generation of consoles. Take heart that this is more than a visual upgrade as it'll also be bringing mods to consoles using the same system that Bethesda recently integrated into Fallout 4, giving you thousands of new ways to play and enjoy one of the greatest games of an era in all its modded glory.
PC players will also have access to this shiny new version of Skyrim, but because many of the visual updates have been available to PC players through mods for years, anyone that owns the full version of Skyrim with DLC included on Steam will get a free upgrade to the Special Edition. It's a nice nod to one of the communities that's kept Skyrim popular for so many years since its release. You can expect to see Skyrim Special Edition on the market come October 28.
Arkane Studios isn't just interested in blinking around and stabbing people in the neck, they're also working on a new IP known as Prey (the total rebirth of a previously canceled game), a special blend of first person action and psychological horror set in an interesting new sci-fi world. You'll follow the main character Morgan Yu through the depths of the spacecraft Talos 1 (praise be his name) after an alien force takes over and interrupts the definitely legally and morally sanctioned tests Morgan is undergoing.
You'll have a variety of improvised weapons, your hopefully not permanently fractured wits, and a host of abilities to keep you alive. Since it's coming out of Arkane Studios expect the possible combinations and effects to be numerous, detailed, and more fun than a bucket full of shotgun shells. Prey is currently set for release sometime in 2017, but let's hope that means we'll get it before E3 of next year.
DOOM kicked off to almost universal acclaim last month and ID Software has big plans for the game moving forward. For starters we'll be seeing a number of free updates to SnapMap including both hellish map modules and logic options to allow players to create detailed single player campaigns, followed by two new game modes titled Exodus and Sector to give players some unique DOOM themed CTF and capture the node gamemodes. Later on in the summer we'll also be seeing several free-for-all gamemodes which will blend nicely with DOOM's first official map pack titled Unto the Evil. Expect a shiny new weapon, some new gear, and three new maps filled with enemy players all trying to chainsaw their way to the top of the leaderboards.
As an added bonus for anyone that hasn't experienced DOOM's hell in a handbasket gameplay Bethesda is honoring the time honored tradition of early DOOM titles by releasing a demo of the game on all platforms so that everyone can experience the first level of the game for absolutely free.
Elder Scrolls Online
Elder Scrolls Online's part in the E3 event was mostly a recap of the game's success, Bethesda's venture into the world of MMO's hit both 7 million subscribers and also netted the title of MMO of the year for 2015 and although we've all known about the Dark Brotherhood expansion for a while they went ahead and showcased it over again to promote its release on consoles this Tuesday.
The more interesting topic is One Tamriel, a new system of difficulty scaling for the title which completely removes the level barriers of specific zones from an area in favor of a dynamic system that sets the difficulty to your level. It sounds like it might be a bit of a nightmare compared to traditional MMORPG doctrine but if Bethesda can pull it off it'll definitely make the game more accessible to players of all levels and make playing with friends easier than ever before.
VR popped up seemingly out of nowhere at Bethesda's event, but it was a twist that shocked and excited a number of fans, especially when they found out that the big B has plans to bring both DOOM and Fallout 4 to life in VR in 2017. Lucky attendees of the event had the opportunity to test an early version of the content, touring some of DOOM's hellish landscapes and getting a chance to explore the Red Rocket Truck Stop with everyone's favorite post-apocalyptic German shepherd. Fallout 4 will be released on the HTC Vive next year, so here's hoping that we'll be sipping VR Nuka-Cola before the Great War kicks off in true-to-life detail.
Dishonored 2 was the big showstopper at the end of the event and Bethesda spent a lot of time showing off Arkane's new VOID engine by running through a few of the game's missions. There are a number of new factions and enemies, a whole new city called Karnaca, and plenty of new powers for players to go nuts over. Our favorite new ability came in the form of Domino, which allows you to telepathically link several enemies together so that they can be simultaneously stunned, murdered, or hopefully force-pulled into the air for a rallying game of slow motion Duck Hunt. To throw a little coal on the hype train Bethesda also revealed Dishonored 2's collector's edition, which features a full scale replica of Corvo's mask and Emily Kaldwin's signet ring for the pleasure of the Outsiders that manage to snag them before they sell out.
Dishonored 2 is definitely looking like it'll at least hold a drunken whaler to the original but we won't find out for sure until the game's release on November 11 of 2016. For now just sit back and enjoy the official gameplay trailer in all its mysterious steampunk glory.