Like Damon, I spent the evening watching the Bethesda E3 Showcase and taking notes. So here’s a rundown of what they went through, and my impressions of them. I haven’t played anything but Elder Scrolls yet of all they revealed tonight (I plan to someday… too much ES to get through first!), so my heaviest focus will be on the ES part of it. Damon gave some good summaries of the others, so I’ll skim over more of those.
6:45 Pre-show: Discussing the screen that they’re using for the presentation, talking to some fans waiting in line outside, speculating about Fallout 4. While this was somewhat interesting, it did kind of drag on, and ended up running a few minutes late.
The first thing they showed in the actual presentation was a video montage of Bethesda’s employees talking about what they try to do there, and clips of their various games. Pete Hines walked on stage and welcomed everyone.
The first game they went over was Doom. They showed about 10 minutes of gameplay, which went through increasingly big guns, explosions, and gore, culminating in the player character getting jumped and beaten to death with his own arm. I never played the first one, and shooters aren’t much my thing, so this one doesn’t appeal as much to me. I do like the idea of Snapmap though, which, as Damon said, is a tool to create your own multiplayer games, from the maps to the items to the rules. After they introduced Snapmap, they showed some more gameplay, taking place in hell. They gave a Spring 2016 release date for this; it will be available on XBox One, PS4, and PC.
Pete Hines talked about now Doom’s Snapmap is an example of how Bethesda supports mods and is “pushing the boundaries of what is possible in games.” Bethesda.net (prounounced by him as “BethesdaNet”, without the dot) is a “new digital platform” supposed to “expand how users create and share that content” and be a “home for all things Bethesda”. He went on: “It will be used to power features like the Doom Snapmap you just saw, and it is already being used to support The Elder Scrolls Online across every platform for millions of players. It will be at the heart of all of our games moving forward, and will also integrate our websites into one seamless experience.” He said that on Bethesda.net you will find forums, videos and articles, and access to new games and features. As of my writing this, Bethesda.net does not appear to be an active site yet; going to it gives only a black page with the square Bethesda logo.
BattleCry is a new game developed by BattleCry Studios, a studio founded by Bethesda. It is described as an “online action game with team-based combat”; they showed some clips while discussing it. They announced that global beta signups are available at Battlecrythegame.com (you can also find more info about it in general there), and that if you sign up before June 18 you will receive priority beta access, as well as an in-game reward. I like the classes for this one; it looks fun. I’ve already signed up for the beta.
They played the trailer of Dishonored 2, which revealed a new protagonist, Emily. This game will be for PC, Xbox One, and PS4; no other info on its release is available yet. And as Damon mentioned, Dishonored: Definitive Edition will be released this fall. I haven’t played the original Dishonored, but I intend to at some point. The trailer for the second game made me a lot more intrigued by it; it can be seen here.
Elder Scrolls Online
They showed a video of what we can expect from ESO this year. These include some of the DLC they’ve told us about and that we’ve been expecting for a while:
Imperial City: We’ve got footage of Daedra patrolling wals, ruined buildings in one of the city’s districts, firepot trebuchets being used, and cultists throwing books into a fire. We see inside a building – the temple, I think – and see someone being tortured. Lots of scenes of players fighting Daedra. If you’re interested in what’s coming in the Imperial City, our own Enodoc made a post on the official ESO forums about what is known so far.
Orsinium: Lots of dramatic mountainous scenery and a large fort/city. Looks like we’ll see horkers, and there was a creature in the background that looked like a moose. Caves with spiders and glowing mushrooms, and a fort with fireballs being thrown at it. Large black birds swooping down and carrying people off. And bear mounts!
The Dark Brotherhood “We Know” hand appeared at the end of the trailer, hinting that that’s also forthcoming.
The full trailer can be seen here. I’m looking forward to finally seeing this stuff make it into the game (and excited about the bear mounts).
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
This is a new digital strategy card game. They didn’t reveal too much about it, just showed a trailer that had art and a voiceover, mainly. It will be free-to-play, and it will be for the PC and iPad, and it will arrive sometime in 2015.
This is one that I’m cautiously hopeful about. A lot of people wonder whether it will be similar to Hearthstone. I haven’t played that myself. The mobile card games I’ve played are Marvel: War of Heroes (found it difficult to get into) and Rage of Bahamut, which I’ve played quite a bit. RoB at least makes it easy for new players to get into the game and gives good rewards in events, although it definitely has its downsides too. I’m very curious as to what the format of ES: Legends will be. We’ll have to just wait and see; it’s hard to judge it one way or another this early on. Mainly I’m just eager to see the art on the cards – I like what I see in this video – and interested to see if we’re introduced to any new lore.
The trailer can be seen here.
I think Damon gave a better summary of this than I could, so I’ll leave most of the descriptions to him. I haven’t played any Fallout (aside from an hour or so of Fallout 3 at a friend’s once, but that really doesn’t count), so when I was watching this, I thought of it in terms of “have I seen anything like this” and “I wonder if ES6 could have anything like this”.
One of the things that stood out to me was the character creation (no sliders, just click on the face and sculpt), including the fact that they recorded around 200 common names (I once suggested something similar on the TES VI Wishlist Thread on our forum). The mechanics of stripping down materials from different items and being able to build stuff with it is really cool. I also liked the Pip Boy collector’s edition item and app tie-in; and while yes, it is gimmicky, I find gimmicks like that pretty neat (they’ve got a minigame for Watch Dogs where an iPhone player can challenge a PC/console player to a minigame, and that was fun to play for a bit. That’s what this announcement reminded me a bit of. There’s so much potential for something like that.)
All in all, this presentation had a lot of good information, and some interesting surprises as well. It looks like they’ve got a strong lineup for the next year. I think this was a pretty successful E3 for Bethesda, and look forward to ones in future years (maybe with ES6!)