Yes, The Elder Scrolls 6 was announced. There you go, you can close this post now. Kidding aside, that was just one of several pretty-interesting announcements that Bethesda made at its Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) show last night. The TES6 announcement came in the form of a very brief trailer with a shot of a landscape, a title card, and absolutely nothing else. Still, fans cheered after master showman Todd Howard did what he does best.
Just before the TES6 announcement, which closed out the show, the big guy teased fans saying that he wanted to show off something that the company had been working on for a long time. He then went on to say that it was a single-player epic. As fans gasped with glee prematurely, he continued, noting that the upcoming game was the first new IP from Bethesda in 25 years. Finally, Howard finished up by announcing Starfield. Like TES6, the game was shown in the form of a very brief teaser with no other information beyond the title. Still, a sci-fi Bethesda game could be pretty interesting indeed.
TES6 wasn't the only Elder Scrolls game announced last night, though. There was also The Elder Scrolls: Blades. This first-person hack & slash dungeon crawler is coming to iOS and Android first. Despite the mobile focus, it's a gorgeous 3D action game that retains most of its Elder Scrolls DNA. You create your own character and explore procedurally-created and hand-crafted dungeons. We haven't seen procedurally-created dungeons since The Elder Scrolls: Arena, the very first game in the series—a detail that Todd Howard himself mentioned.
Howard says that TES: Blades is coming to “every platform we can put it on” in a bit of self-aware cheekiness. Bethesda's E3 show was full of self-aware comedy, including the brief sketch above with Keegan-Michael Key announcing Skyrim Very Special Edition. The sketch was intended to parody the fact that Bethesda has re-released Skyrim so many times. That particular product is actually real, and it's playable on Amazon Echo devices and mobile phones. You can check out Polygon's guide on how to do that here.
Bethesda also joked about its history of releasing buggy games. Howard quipped, “sometimes it doesn't 'just work.'” That's a callback to a much-parodied remark that he made about Fallout 4 before it released. Sure enough, the other big news of the night concerns Bethesda's second-biggest property. The previously-teased Fallout 76 took up the lion's share of Bestheda's presentation, and it's certainly a departure for both the Fallout series and Bethesda as a company.
Fallout 76 is an online multiplayer survival game. As there hasn't been any raw gameplay shown off yet, it's a little difficult to conclusively say anything about it. However, from what Bethesda showed, it seems very similar to games like ARK: Survival Evolved or perhaps Rust. Players join together in a shared multiplayer world to loot, craft, fight, build, and survive. However, Howard was very careful to note that unlike similar games, “you never lose progress.” It seems that unlike most multiplayer survival titles, your progress will be saved with your character as you move from session to session.
The game will use dedicated servers hosted by Bethesda, but it seems you won't have to rely on them to play. Howard was insistent that the game will be fully playable offline, but he also said that “every surviving human is a real player.” Virtually everything Bethesda showed off was focused on the multiplayer elements of the game. In particular, it seems that there's a heavy emphasis on group-versus group-combat, including the ability for players to launch full-sized nuclear missiles at each others' bases. There also seems to be a heavy base-defense component to the game.
It wasn't all Elder Scrolls and Fallout last night, either. Bethesda announced that Wolfenstein and Prey are both getting VR-compatible installments in the form of a DLC for Prey and a stand-alone title called Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. On the topic of Wolfenstein, two guys from Machinegames stopped by to announce Wolfenstein: Youngbloods. This upcoming title will be set in the 1980s of the alternate Nazis-won-WWII universe, and will be a co-op game focused on main-series protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz's twin daughters. Given the huge weapons the girls are toting in the teaser trailer, it looks like the game will be none the softer for focusing on the fairer sex.
Fans of Arkane's latest release Prey can rejoice, as there's a major new DLC out for the title as of last night. Called “Mooncrash,” the DLC is an expansion that Arkane says is “infinitely replayable.” Apparently, the enemies and loot will be randomized each time you play. Along with the $20 add-on, there's a new patch for the game that adds a New Game+ mode, as well as a Survival mode that adds hazards like bleeding and the need to fret over your oxygen level. Another DLC is coming later this summer that will add an asymmetric multiplayer mode where one player is the hero and five other players are mimics. Like the classic mod Prop Hunt, it's up to the player to hunt down the mimics.
Id Software is owned by Bethesda's parent company Zenimax, and the progenitor of the FPS genre had a bit to say as well. The company revealed a few minutes of Rage 2 gameplay after an absolutely cringe-worthy Andrew WK performance. That game's primarily being developed by Avalanche Games, best known for the Just Cause series. Id Software studio head Tim Willits said that the company chose to partner with Avalanche given the company's history of making crazy open-world action games. Rage 2 will be based on Avalanche's APEX engine that the developer is also using for Just Cause 4.
Rage 2 is still about a year out, but Quake Champions is out now. Last night at the show, Id Software revealed that if you download the game this week, it will be free forever. The developer alluded to some sort of free-to-play update on the way eventually, but for now you can download and play Quake Champions for free—and once you've done so, keep it. Quake Champions has seen a number of unfair comparisons to hero shooters like Overwatch and Paladins, but give it a try—it plays a lot more like classic Quake than you might expect. Besides, you've got nothing to lose but your time.
Id also teased the sequel to 2016's Doom, apparently titled Doom Eternal. The very brief teaser shows quite a few new enemies, and creative director Hugo Martin said there are “twice as many” demons in the upcoming game. The teaser also displays a more classic look for the Doom Slayer, taken from Quake Champions. It'll be interesting to see if that was intentional or a goof. We figure it's not an accident, as the double-barreled shotgun and upgraded roster tie right in with the “hell on earth” theme, just like the original Doom II.
Finally, there were a couple of blink-and-you'll-miss-it announcements at the show. Fallout Shelter, the vault-management sim that's been a breakout hit on mobile, is playable right now on the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Likewise, The Elder Scrolls: Legends—which could charitably be described as “TES Hearthstone“—is also coming to the aforementioned consoles as well as the Xbox One. The console release will launch alongside an all-new client on the PC with upgraded visuals and presentation. Bethesda says all progress will be retained, even if existing players move to a console version.