Bethesda at E3: Old Favorites and Returning Successes

Bethesda at E3: Old Favorites and Returning Successes

Bethesda at E3: Old Favorites and Returning Successes

1 comment 📅13 June 2016, 07:53

This year at E3, Bethesda took the stage in the primetime slot of the expo once again, and excitement is high as the end of day one is nearing its end. Can the famed publishing and development giant top their appearance at last year’s E3, with the unveiling of Fallout 4? Let’s find out!

To start, no introductions are given (or even needed, frankly) for the first announcement trailer Bethesda shows its audience right away: QUAKE CHAMPIONS! That’s right, a remake/reimagining of the classic first-person, single-player and multiplayer shooter is coming thanks to id Software, and is slated for release exclusively to the PC platform (sorry console players…).

Following the reveal trailer, id Software’s Creative Director Tim Willits took the stage to tell us a little more about the game. Details from Tim included the reporting of Quake Champions running at 120hz with unlocked framerates, promising fast-paced gameplay and smooth aesthetics, as expected for a classic such as Quake and a PC exclusive game. The director from id Software also said “it’s designed for players of all skill levels. Whether you are new to Quake, or have been ‘fragging’ for the last 20 years, Quake Champions will give you the challenge and rush you’d expect from id Software multiplayer games.” As it seems, we can surely expect quality all around from the team’s latest iteration of the classic game. No release date was given for the upcoming title, though Tim did elude to more information being revealed at this year’s QuakeCon, taking place sometime in August.quake

As Tim Willits exits the stage, Bethesda Softworks’ Vice President Pete Hines enters, eager to tell players more about The Elder Scrolls: Legends. A free-to-play, collectible strategy card game developed in house by Bethesda Softworks, whose gameplay is similar to Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone. Mr. Hines reports that the game will have a full single player campaign mode which will allow players to “discover the world of The Elder Scrolls in a way you haven’t seen before. The choices you make define your approach and unlock all of the depth the game has to offer.” This along with game modes in which you play against AI opponents, as well as other players online, gives us the impression that the game has a lot to offer for a free-to-play title.

A short cinematic trailer for Legends was also showcased, giving us a look at what in-game cutscenes will look like. The style of the cinematics plays with narrative story-telling along with exposition given by in-game characters, and some sort of still-shot animations included with dialogue. It appears that even with the limited resources at the studio’s disposal for a free-to-play card game, the experience should hold up in true Elder Scrolls fashion as an immersive and deep game. Players wanting a chance to play the game can also visit Bethesda.net and sign up for an upcoming beta, and the title will be released sometime in 2016 for Windows, iOS, Android and iPhone devices.teslegends

Next up in the conference was a short video featuring none other than Director and Executive Producer of
Bethesda Game Studios, Todd Howard. In this video, Todd took some time to thank Bethesda’s player base for the positive reception Fallout 4 has had over the past 7 months, and teased a few more pieces of DLC coming to the game, including a “Contraptions Workshop,” “Nuka-World,” (presumably some type of player-built theme park in the Wasteland), and a new “build your own Vault” feature. No specific details or release dates were revealed for any of these pieces of DLC, but we’re sure to find out more in the coming weeks/months.

Towards the end of this short video, Mr. Howard confirmed himself that the rumors have been true: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is getting a remaster for current-gen consoles and PC! The studio showed off some upgraded visuals in the short video showcasing, and it looks beautiful. The remastered version of the highly successful RPG will also have mod support on console, similar to that of Fallout 4’s features (which are still yet to come). The special edition is set to release October 28th, 2016 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.skyrime3

Once the short video showcasing was over, Raphael Colantonio, President and Co-Creative Director of Arkane Studios came to the stage to talk about a new project the team has been working on: PREY. So… a new project in a sense, I suppose. This game seems to be a reboot or reimagining of the original Prey, a sci-fi first-person-shooter developed by Human Head Studios in 2006. The IP has since been acquired by Bethesda Softworks and headed by Arkane Studios, and the brand new iteration was teased with a trailer this evening. The trailer showed off some visually stunning cinematics of the game, as well as some pre-rendered first-person gameplay boasting intense combat and science-fiction-esque elements within that gameplay. Once again, no release date was given regarding Prey, only that it is expected to release sometime in 2017, and more information will be given at this year’preys QuakeCon.

The Elder Scrolls Online also got some deserved attention at the press conference, with the game’s director Matt Firor offering new details regarding Zenimax Online’s Elder Scrolls themed MMORPG. According to Firor, The Elder Scrolls Online supports a community of over 7 million players throughout the life of the base game and 3 DLC’s, with yet another expansion pack entitled The Dark Brotherhood DLC. A trailer for the upcoming add-on to the MMO was showcased as well, and in true Dark Brotherhood fashion, included lots of assassinations and dark, violent exposition from the in-game characters. The Dark Brotherhood faction in the world of The Elder Scrolls is a long-time fan-favorite, and this marks an exciting time for players of the game!

To close out the highlights and big reveals for Bethesda’s show, Harvey Smith of Arkane Studios was welcomed on stage to discuss and showcase Dishonored 2. We’re quickly greeted with some incredible footage of environments in the game, courtesy of Dishonored 2’s brand new engine called the Void Engine. Smith said “we wanted Dishonored 2 to resemble a painting in motion, so we’ve given considerable thought to our lighting, and the way it plays across every surface. We’ve created custom tools to support the interruptible, real-time narrative scenes necessary for a stealth simulation.” These words are given life and context in the absolutely beautifully realized worlds we’re shown in these demos of the game, and it simply looks amazing.

The lengthy tech demo of the game’s environments is led into another gameplay demo, showing just how awesome this game looks in real-time. Character models and art direction is spot on, the world looks great and the combat/stealth mechanics seem even more solid than the original. Harvey emphasizes that there is even more freedom of choice in Dishonored 2, making the gun-blazing, Rambo-styled strategy of killing enemies just as viable and fun as the strictly stealth approaches. Plenty of tools are at the player’s disposal to play the game however they see fit. Vertical space is also emphasized as being used more in Dishonored 2, giving even more depth to the game’s exploratory nature in combat lines. Another interesting addition to gameplay seems to be dynamic weather in certain locations; during the gameplay trailer, a dust storm sweeps the rooftops during a mission, and hinders the view of enemies and provides more opportunity for stealthy kills. The variety in gameplay alone makes this title look extremely promising.dishonored 2

In closing to Bethesda’s press conference, Pete Hines thanks the audience and viewers around the world and ushers in the end of E3’s first day. Sadly, this conference did not “top” last year’s E3 show, but it’s surely impossible to come out on top of a Fallout game’s announcement, as was the case in 2015. However, many of the games showcased at this year’s show seem very, very promising. Dishonored especially, and Prey looks incredibly interesting as well.

Well, that’s it for day one of E3 2016! All in all it’s been an exciting opening to the gaming industry’s largest yearly event, and there are many more shows to come, starting with press conferences from Microsoft, Ubisoft and Sony tomorrow. We’ll be recapping each show as they become available to us and the rest of the world!

Share this article:
Danny Rutherford
Danny Rutherford

My name is Danny, I'm a 26-year-old journalism major at Salt Lake Community College, an avid gamer for over 20 years and a student of the gaming industry. I hope to bring some good insight to the latest happenings in the world of video games, and join some discussions of what I'm most passionate about: GAMES! :D

1 Comment

  1. C. Mazza
    13 June 2016, 16:04 C. Mazza

    Great article. Good, informative commentary. Well written. Enjoyed this.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a comment