It’s safe to say that nobody was quite sure what we’d see in this year’s Bethesda E3 presentation.
There was plenty of talk about it, of course. Some had a pessimistic outlook, feeling that the last two years of E3 were a disappoinment. Some were optimistic, certain that there were big things coming, possibly even TES6. The announcement of Fallout 76 in particular was a twist that caused even more debate – did it mean that Bethesda had something even bigger to reveal, or was most of the presentation going to be focused on it? What did it mean for Elder Scrolls and any other potential Bethesda projects?
Tonight, we got our answers.
I live-tweeted on the UESP Twitter while watching, and here’s the full video of the presentation, but here’s a full recap: the presentation covered games from the various studios Bethesda publishes, Fallout 76 of course, a new TES side game, and teasers of two very major projects that have been the subject of debate for the last few years………
Hosted by Anne Lewis (Content Manager) and Abigail Tyson (Community Manager). They showed several videos: one with video clips from their previous three E3 showcases, one with a recap of everything released since last year, the Rage 2 trailer plus a new gameplay one, and the Fallout 76 announcement teaser.
During this time, they had an “extension” on their Twitch channel that allowed people to answer trivia questions for points, polls, etc.
The show, as always, started with a video featuring clips of Bethesda/ZOS’ employees, and Pete Hines opened it, promising that there were all kinds of surprises in store for tonight, and explained that the theme this year is “Create”. Metacritic has rated Bethesda #1 Publisher in the World.
Pete announced this by saying that they were starting with the game that was leaked by Walmart Canada’s website (“known for their low prices and ability to keep a secret”). It started with a song performed by Andrew W.K., and then Tim Willits (Studio Director of Id Software) and Magnus Nedfors (Game Director of Avalanche Studios) took the stage to present the game. They explained that you play as Walker, the “last ranger of the wasteland”, and played a video that focused on a quest.
Rage 2 will be released in Spring 2019.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
Legends was presented by Christian Van Hoose (aka CVH, community manager of Legends). He explained that they’re switching developers, and announced that Legends will be available on the Switch, XB1, and PS4 later this year.
There was a general trailer for the game, showing some footage of the new client.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Matt Firor, the game director of ESO, took the stage and talked about the game a bit, mentioning that there are now 11 million copies sold.
He announced the two DLC coming later in 2018: the Q3 DLC is called “Wolfhunter” and will feature werewolves and Hircine (its two dungeons are “Moon Hunter Keep” and “March of Sacrifices”), and Q4 is the long-awaited Murkmire, which will add a new zone/questline, and a new group arena (with its own leaderboard).
It ended with a trailer recapping all the story content from launch until now:
A brief teaser video opened this one, featuring demons standing on what appeared to be the flaming ruins of a city.
Hugo Martin and Marty Stratton – the creative director and executive producer/game director of the game – explained that it’s a sequel to 2016’s DOOM, and that there are “Twice as many badass demons in this game.”
The gameplay will be revealed at QuakeCon on August 10th.
Joshua Boyle, the Quake Champions, community manager, talked about how they want to expand more into esports, including tournaments at QuakeCon and Dreamhack Winter, and other events.
For this week – June 10-17 – a trial of the free-to-play version of Quake Champions will be opened up to everyone. If you get in and download it this week, you will be able to continue playing it after the trial closes. This can be downloaded from Steam or the Bethesda.net launcher.
Susan Kath (production director) and Ricardo Bare (lead designer) talked about how it’s been a year since the game’s launch, and to celebrate, there’s a free update being applied to the game tonight, adding three new modes: Story Mode, New Game+, and Survival Mode.
They also announced a DLC – Prey: Mooncrash, which is already available tonight. In this DLC, the enemies, hazards, and loot will be different each time you play.
Prey: Typhon Hunter
A new multiplayer game coming this summer. It’s a type of hide-and-seek game where one player goes head-to-head against 5 others, who are mimics (that can disguise themselves as ordinary objects, like in the game.) Pete also said later that this is coming to VR, and that it also has a singleplayer mode.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
Presented by Jerk Gustafsson and Jens Matthies, the excecutive producer and the creative director of Machine Games. Coming to Nintendo Switch on June 29.
A new game taking place in Paris in the 1980s, focusing on BJ Blazkowicz’s twin daughters. You can choose either a solo or co-op experience, and it’s coming in 2019.
An upcoming VR game mentioend by Pete Hines: you play as a hacker who can take over Nazi robots and turn them against their masters.
Skyrim: Very Special Edition (Parody)
Todd Howard finally took the stage, saying that he’s here to talk about the one thing everyone’s been waiting for: to see where they’re putting Skyrim next.
In answer to all the “Skyrim on the toaster/graphing calculator/etc” jokes, Bethesda’s created a parody video in which Keegan-Michael Key plays Skyrim D&D-style with his Amazon Alexa (apparently there’s a thing actually in the Alexa Skills store based on this – if anyone has Alexa, please let us know what this actually does!), Etch-a-Sketch, Motorola pagers, and Samsung smart refrigerators.
An open world, multiplayer survival game – a prequel to the Fallout games, taking place in West Virginia, to be released November 14 of this year. It’s 4 times the size of Fallout 4. They showed a new trailer, which had debuted earlier at the Microsoft presentation. Todd explained that Vault 76 was built to celebrate the tercentenary of the US, and that you were chosen as an occupant and have been waiting for “reclamation day”, the day the vault opens.
The world features new rendering, lighting, and landscape technology, allowing for 16x the detail and allowing you to view distant weather systems across the map. Your quest will take you through 6 different regions with a different style/risk/reward. There will be new creatures, some of which are based on West Virginia folklore.
This game is multiplayer, though you can play solo. (It’s with others though). It’s entirely online, although on a small scale – dozens of people in your game as opposed to hundreds/thousands. You can join your friends, and your progression stays with you. Todd described it as “soft-core survival”: you won’t lose any progression, nor your character, upon death.
They had a couple videos featuring different gameplay aspects: you’ll be able to craft buildings, etc (which can also be destroyed) with the Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform (C.A.M.P), and there are nuclear missle sites on the map, which you’re free to do with as you please if you can get in. It’s up to you whether to team up with others or not.
The game will be on dedicated servers, and supported for years. It will have a beta (“Break-it Early Test Application”) – because, according to Todd, “Sometimes, it doesn’t ‘just work’.”
The collector’s edition will be called the “Power Armor Edition”, and will contain a glow-in-the-dark map, plastic figures to place on it, as well as the Power Armor helmet.
To celebrate Fallout Shelter’s third anniversary, the game is coming to the Nintendo Switch and PS4 tonight. The game has been played by 120 million people as of today (more than every other game they’ve made, combined.)
The Elder Scrolls: Blades
A side game in the TES series – a singleplayer RPG that will be available for mobile, PC, consoles, and VR – and able to connect cross-platform. It will come this fall, for free.
Even on mobile, it will have console-quality graphics, and will be playable in both portrait and landscape mode. The controls will be tap to move, or use dual sticks. There’s a new type of combat that appeared in the video to be a mixture of tapping and swiping to attack with a sword. (You also can, of course, use spells and stuff too.)
The dungeons in the game will be both handcrafted and procedurally generated, similar to Arena. As in any TES game, you create your own character and level them up, equip different armor/weapons, etc. There are several different game modes: Abyss (roguelike experience in an endless dungeon), Arena (1-vs-1 PvP with another player), and Town (main mode). In this game, you play as a member of the Blades, and upon returning to your hometown, you find it destroyed and must rebuild it. The town is fully customizeable, and as it levels up, you unlock new NPCs and quests. You will be able to visit your friends’ towns.
The game can be preordered already on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store, and if you go to playblades.com by Friday the 15th, you can pre-register for early access which also gets you an exclusive helm and sword. (If you get an error upon trying to sign in on that page, here’s how it worked for me: I clicked “remember me”, tried signing in, upon getting the error I clicked “back” until I got back to the preregister page, and it worked – this was in Microsoft Edge because I was testing it there after having the same issue in other browsers.)
A “brand new, next generation, singleplayer game”, part of a completely new franchise. The teaser showed a planet and a space station. Todd says it’s a game they’ve spent years thinking about and working on. Bethesda.net describes it as “currently in development.”
The Elder Scrolls VI
After Starfield, Todd said “We’re also building toward the game after that… and it’s the one… you keep asking about.” An extremely short teaser showed the camera panning over rugged, mountainous terrain on a coastline, with a fort visible. There was no title revealed, only “The Elder Scrolls VI”. Bethesda.net describes it as being “currently in pre-production”.
Bethesda knocked it out of the park this year. There are so many big things to take in, and it was well paced, I felt – starting with the expected things, interspersing the whole thing with good humor, adding things that were a surprise to us, and just when we thought it was over and they’d revealed their biggest thing, they gave us even more new things to look forward to. It was definitely one of their best presentations so far, and I think there’s something in here to satisfy everyone.