E3 2016: Bethesda Press Conference Recap and Review

As I mentioned in my predictions post for Bethesda, I was shocked to see them reup for 2016. Last year was a spacial case for them as they were planning to reveal Fallout 4 to the world, so holding a dedicated event made sense. This year? Without a 400lb gorilla like Fallout 4, I was curious to see if they’d ready another big announcement, such as maybe teasing the next Elder Scrolls game or something like that.

bethesda e3 showcase

While the company did confirm The Elder Scrolls 6 is in early development, the focus of the show shifted to their biggest upcoming release this year with Dishonored 2. While that was expected, I was eager to see what else they had up their sleeves.

Without a massive showpiece this year, how did Bethesda do? Lets have a look!

Quake Champions
Coming out of the gate with a surprise announcement, id Software is resurrecting another of its classic FPS franchises after the success that DOOM recently experienced last month. Not much was shown outside of a CG trailer, but it looks to retain that fast paced, arena shooter vibe the series is known for. Expect to hear more on this on in August at QuakeCon 2016.

Elder Scrolls Legends
Originally debuted a few months earlier at PAX East, Hines used the bigger stage at E3 to really show off the product to the audience. At a very basic level, it’s Hearthstone mixed with The Elder Scrolls.

Todd Howard Takes The Screen
For those wanting some Fallout 4 details, Todd Howard had a handy video on hand to reveal some Fallout related nuggets. The big piece of information that many probably expected, is that there are three more DLC packs coming to Fallout 4. Two seem to be centered more around settlement building, but the last known as Nuka World, appears to be story-centric, letting players explore a run down Nuka Cola themed amusement park.

Fallout Shelter is also coming to PC and getting a dweller quest feature added as well.

Lastly, and this is a big one for many of you, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is getting a remastered edition later this year. It’ll be out on Xbox One and PS4, but for you PC players who own everything, you’ll be able to score this upgrade for free as a thank you from Bethesda. All versions will be mod supported as well, just like Fallout 4. Neat.

Fallout 4

Prey Revival
Heavily rumored leading up to the show, Prey was finally revealed for the first time and looks completely different. Bethesda vice president confirmed that Prey didn’t contain any elements from the cancelled Prey 2, and based on the interesting trailer, it shows. I couldn’t tell you what was going on, but a new character, Morgan Yu is in this idyllic area, stuck in a groundhog day like scenario. As the trailer continues on, things appear to be getting more and more weird such as his left eye getting all red and his mirror image speaking to him. It all looks super interesting, and I can’t wait to find out more.

Doom Update
In addition to announcing a “shareware” version of the game (essentially a demo of the first level), id announced new multiplayer maps were coming along with major updates to the SnapMap toolkit. Some of these updates gives gamers more options and tools for crafting single player type experiences. It should be interesting to see what the community can come up with once these tools go live.

Elder Scrolls Online
While showing off more footage for the Dark Brotherhood expansion, the big news with ESO is that they’re moving to a “One Tamriel” structure where it’ll be way easier for friends to meet up in game and venture where ever one wants right from the start of the game. It’s basically removing barriers and adding more levels of accessibility.

Bethesda VR
Demos for Fallout 4 and DOOM were shown off, with the former heading to the HTC Vive in 2017.

Dishonored 2 Emily

Dishonored 2 Deep Dive
This year’s show piece game, creative director Harvey Smith came out on stage to give everyone their first look at actual gameplay. The extended demo opened with Corvo Attano, Royal Protector, Protagonist in the first game and another playable character here, walking with Empress Emily Kaldwin, who also serves as the other playable character. The dialogue hints at trouble times in Dunwall, though things are cut short when something happens, forcing the player selected character to flee to the new land of Karnaca.

Karnaca gives off a completely different vibe, almost like something out of the Mediterranean. Gameplay looks familiar in a good way, and dynamic elements such as a sandstorm can blow in affecting both sound and sight lines. Emily has some really interesting new powers which should let fans get pretty creative such as domino which links enemies together, so if something happens to one, the others are affected as well.

Another gameplay segment shows Emily exploring a house with a dive that let her slip through time. In one moment the house was abandoned and decaying, though in her device, the house was shown in its prime with people and enemies. At the touch of a button, Emily could flip view points and enter the other view, presenting really unique gameplay opportunities.

As the demo wrapped, a new gameplay trailer was shown and a couple of collector’s editions were announced.

Honestly, I can’t really fault anything here, Bethesda had a solid show. Granted, it may not have been as crazy as last year which saw games like Doom, Dishonored 2 revealed, and Fallout 4, but everything they showed off looks pretty great.

I guess if you had to nit pick, you could definitely point out that the next Wolfenstein game was hidden in the open DOS like interface instead of revealing some sort of teaser trailer.

Overall: B
Again, Bethesda held a solid if somewhat unremarkable show. I loved the Dishonored 2 gameplay, but I know for some of you, that’s not a major title. It was good to get updates on popular games like Fallout 4 and DOOM, and it was great seeing Arkane Studio’s take on Prey after the troubled development of Prey 2.

When compared to last year’s effort, this one comes up short as there wasn’t a mega announcement that hyped up the audience. There were no megaton announcements or shocking reveals this year from Bethesda, but at the very least, what they showed off should keep gamers and fans happy well into 2017 and sometimes that’s what matters the most.

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1 Response to E3 2016: Bethesda Press Conference Recap and Review

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    Yeah, even their ‘lesser’ announcements were pretty cool. Mod-supported Skyrim for consoles is very exciting!

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