Hot on the heels of Microsoft’s absolutely incredible E3 media briefing, we’re now treated to another conference by the publishers of the famed Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, Bethesda Softworks. Coming into this particular conference, one of the only two things we were sure about was last week’s reveal of Fallout 76, the latest entry in the Fallout series.
Saying that however, Bethesda had a lot to talk about, starting with…
1. Rage 2
Well, the introduction was unexpected, that much I can say. An opening act by Andrew WK headlined the sequel to 2011’s fun but underwhelming RAGE. Developed by Avalanche Studios and produced by id Software, RAGE 2 promises to be the best open world shooter ever. That’s a tall task.
Features include drivable vehicles in a sprawling open world and the ability for the player character to gain and use powers through obtaining nanotrites. These powers range from dashing, increasing damage, or even launching mini gravity wells. Gore is prevalent through the feature, and RAGE 2 is slated for a Spring 2019 release.
2. The Elder Scrolls: Legends
The Elder Scrolls: Legends was a card game that was released on mobile phones last year. With interesting gameplay mechanics and appealing visuals, you’d think a new version wouldn’t arrive so soon. Bethesda gave us a nice surprise, revealing that the game will be remastered and available for PS4, Xbox One, PC and the Switch. So if you need another card game for your fix, look no further.
3. The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset
Speaking of Elder Scrolls, we also get a look into the newest chapter in Elder Scrolls Online. The game has been steadily improving through the years, and the new chapter which released just last week brings players to the island home of the high elves of Tamriel. There will be more to come as well for the game later this year, so watch this space.
4. DOOM Eternal
You know, I don’t think a new DOOM was something anyone really expected to see so soon after the last one. Ah, who am I kidding? A new DOOM is just what everyone would like to see. DOOM Eternal seems to pick up where DOOM left off, promising even more demons, even more gore, and even more of our favourite Doomguy.
The full reveal of DOOM Eternal will be shown at QuakeCon, in Dallas, Texas later this year.
5. QUAKE Champions
Speaking of fast-paced first person shooters, QUAKE Champions came at us again with big news. There are tournaments now planned for both QuakeCon and Dreamhack, but the best news is that the game will be available for everyone for a limited time. That’s right, from June 10th until June 17th, you can head on over to this link here to sign up and play. Not to mention, once you’ve downloaded it, you can continue to play well after the trial period has ended.
Ah, to relive the glory days of fragging in 2018. What a time to be alive.
6. Prey: Mooncrash
Prey ended up being quite a hit last year, and to celebrate its 1 year anniversary, Bethesda has launched a free update for all players, which brings New Game+, a highly requested feature, and Survival Mode.
Bigger than that however is the release of a new DLC called Mooncrash. The premise is that you’re running through a simulation where you have to escape the moon. With unique and different experiences every time you play, it keeps the replay value by ensuring no two playthroughs are ever the same. The DLC is currently available now for PS4, Xbox and PC.
Another addition to Prey is a new game mode, Typhon Hunter. It’s a hide-and-seek mode where 1 person has to hide from 5 others who get to be mimics. The mimics can disguise themselves as everyday objects, just like in Prey. This means you gotta always keep your wits about you, and it looks to be a fun time for all involved, except the victim.
7. Wolfenstein: Youngblood
Set in the 1980’s in Paris, Youngblood will follow the story of B.J Blaskowicz’s twin daughters, who are unnamed as-of-yet. Both co-op and single player are available, and the game is slated for a 2019 release.
8. Bethesda VR Projects
On a side note, Bethesda has also announced several new VR projects. Coinciding with the launch of Typhon Hunter, there will also be a single player experience alongside the hide-and-seek mode, where you play as a Talos employee, solving puzzles aboard the Talos 1 spaceship. Presumably you’ll also be dealing with Typhons, but I can’t say for sure.
The second title is Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. In this you play as a hacker that can take over Nazi robots and war-machines and turn them on their masters. A direct quote from Bethesda VP Pete Hines “In our never-ending quest to bring the message of ‘**** Nazis’ to every platform possible”.
That was a real quote. No kidding.
9. Fallout 76
And now the big fish. An admittedly funny tongue-in-cheek jab at Todd Howard bringing Skyrim to almost every platform imaginable, starts off this segment which is the longest feature in the entire conference.
The first detail is that this game serves as a prequel to all other Fallout games, with a world four times the size of Fallout 4. Set in West Virginia in the year 2076, the 300th year of United States independence, and 25 years after Vault 76 was sealed. Known as Reclamation Day, the player is tasked with rebuilding the country after the nuclear war has passed.
The biggest change to this game from previous Fallout games is the multiplayer. As it stands, every single inhabitant of Vault 76 is a player. This means that more than likely the game will be always-online, which might not sit well with some. Progression wise, despite being an online-experience, there’s a higher emphasis on the single-player and you won’t lose character progress even if you die.
However, multiplayer opens up another avenue to enjoy Fallout; travelling the wasteland as a party, killing monsters and building settlements together. You can either make friends while travelling, or take part in PvP. Not all vaulters are friendly.
Construction can now be done anywhere, not just in settlements. Not only that, you can also just pick up your stuff and move whenever or wherever you like.
Then, we arrive at the feature that is the most likely to be abused immediately. *sigh* Nuclear test sites will be scattered across the game world… with the missiles still active. This allows players to acquire nuclear weapons to fire anywhere on the map. Now you can really tell when you hate someone. After using nukes you can also acquire rare resources, but these resources can also come at the price of heavy radiation.
With promise that the game will be supported for a long time to come, a beta will also be launched soon. You can pre-register for the beta on Bethesda’s site. Fallout 76 is scheduled for a November 14th release. Start your clocks, and get ready to blast ‘Country Roads, Take Me Home’ all day long.
Alongside that, there’s also a small announcement that Fallout Shelter, the mobile game will be available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch tonight for free.
10. The Elder Scrolls: Blades
You know when I asked for a new Elder Scrolls game, I really didn’t want a mobile game. But hey, I guess that’s what we’re getting. Blades is a first-person open world RPG on mobile phones that will feature both hand-crafted and procedurally-generated dungeons. Gameplay is typical of an Elder Scrolls game, except in terms of control. You can use buttons, or slide your finger around to swing your sword, which seems like a cool thing at first glance. Time will tell how that feels the longer you play it however.
There are 3 modes for the game, Abyss is an endless dungeon crawler, a test of survival and endurance. Arena is your standard 1-on-1 PvP fare, while the main story happens in Town mode, where you are tasked with rebuilding your town and getting more inhabitants through quests.
The funniest thing about this game is that it functions in portrait mode. You know, so that you’ll have a free hand to use while playing Elder Scrolls on mobile? Think of the possibilities!
Blades drops in Autumn and the game is completely free. You may pre-register for early access here.
11. Future Projects
Towards the end of the conference, Bethesda has also revealed its plans for games in the future, starting with:
Not much is known from this, except it’s a completely new IP, it’s called Starfield, and it’s set in space.
The Elder Scrolls VI
NEW. ELDER. SCROLLS. I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING I SAID ABOUT NOT WANTING A MOBILE ELDER SCROLLS. IF THIS IS WHAT IT GETS ME I’LL PLAY THEM ALL.
The 2nd day of E3 turned out to be a welcome surprise, considering the limp start from EA. Microsoft seems to have pulled out all the stops, and now Bethesda is playing with my heart. The final announcement alone was probably worth the entire conference. If you’re a fan of Elder Scrolls, you’re spoiled for choice. If you enjoyed any of Bethesda’s other games, the frequent updates and new content for their existing library sounds like a hoot. Whatever your taste, it seems fair to call this conference a relative success.
It seems like tomorrow will be the biggest day yet. Sony, Ubisoft and Square Enix would have to find some way to top today’s announcements.