Bethesda’s E3 show was all that and a bag of Doritos

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.

Comments closed
    • thedosbox
    • 2 years ago

    Anyone who hasn’t played Prey, but likes games like Deus Ex, really should give it a go. It was my favourite game last year, and I’m happy that we’re finally getting some SP DLC.

    • Goty
    • 2 years ago

    I could act all outraged about things people seems to be outraged about and pledge to never buy any of these games, but it would all be a lie.

    • tacitust
    • 2 years ago

    The independent gaming documentary maker Noclip just posted their latest effort: “The History of Bethesda Game Studios” covering the evolution of Fallout and Elder Scrolls in detail.

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKn9yiLVlMM[/url<] I watched it last night and it was very well done. Quite a trip down memory lane.

    • DoomGuy64
    • 2 years ago

    Rage 2 looks good.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 2 years ago

      It does, yeah. I really, really don’t dig the weird party rock/pop-punk marketing they’ve got going for it, and that Andrew WK thing was just [i<]awful[/i<]. The game itself looks to deliver on the lost promise of the first game, though.

      • Shobai
      • 2 years ago

      Having never played the Just Cause games, Avalanche is better known for their recent Mad Max title. Rage 2 seems to split the difference between Rage and Mad Max, from the trailer, with a tonne of help from Schwartzkopf and Pantene…

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Eat all the cheese!

    But seriously, I need that Motorola pager edition to come out by 2020 so I can finally get Skyrim running on Intel graphics.

      • auxy
      • 2 years ago

      Skyrim runs just fine on max settings on Intel graphics! As long as you disable the multi-sampling, hehe. (⌒▽⌒)

    • Platedslicer
    • 2 years ago

    I’ve never gotten into Bethesda games, their world-building invariably feels a little too plasticky and their stories rely a little too much on the “chosen one” expedient. All that “you can be the leader of the Paladin Order AND the Thieves’ Guild because you’re just that awesome!!!” stuff doesn’t help much, either.

    Anyway I’ll never forgive them for what they turned Fallout into. They ruined my childhood. Retroactively.

    In Fallout 2 you were literally the tribe’s Chosen One. But you had to prove your worth. Other tribesmen were skeptical or envious. And of course once you got out into the world many people treated you as a filthy tribal, or otherwise as a nobody. Much the same for FO1. So ironically, you were far less of a Chosen One than in Bethesda games, where they go to significant lengths to stroke the player’s ego. And then there’s level scaling to finish off any sense of having *earned* your reputation.

    All right, rant’s over… no news of Cyberpunk 2077???

      • auxy
      • 2 years ago

      Cyberpunk 2077 got a new trailer at the MS show early yesterday. It’s great! (・∀・)

      • tacitust
      • 2 years ago

      Ah, the trials and tribulations of a hardcore gamer…

      The upside (for the rest of us) is that millions more people who never would have played the original type of Fallout games got to enjoy one of the best post-apocalyptic games ever produced (including me).

      The Bethesda documentary I linked in another comment touches on the issue of accessibility, though in relation to their Elder Scrolls franchise, where fans complained about the “dumbing down” of Morrowind vs its predecessor Daggerfall.

      There will always be that tension between hardcore and casual gamers, and since there are far more casuals, that’s where the money goes most of the time.

        • Platedslicer
        • 2 years ago

        ‘Tis as they say – first come the hardcore, then the casuals, then the mobile gamers.

        But seriously, I think that’s a false dichotomy pushed by marketing departments who buy into the “dumb is popular” mindset. Witcher 3 was an example of a perfectly casual-friendly game, that had plenty of depth and complexity for those who cared to take it seriously.

          • tacitust
          • 2 years ago

          True, though people still complained about all three Witcher games being “dumbed down”, so there’s that. 🙂

          The issue for the developers is how much time and money should they spend to win over a pretty small minority of gamers who are the toughest to satisfy, and may be impossible to satisfy no matter what you do, especially given pressure from the shareholders and the bean counters who are asking “Why do we care, again?”

          The funniest example of this is Hearthstone. Blizzard intentionally designed Hearthstone to be a fun casual card game people could play on their phones in the odd ten minutes of free time during the day. They were absolutely gob-smacked when pro-gamers jumped on board and it almost instantly became one of the most popular esport titles out there. They had to scramble like mad to catch up, and they are still trying to catch up, several years later.

      • brucethemoose
      • 2 years ago

      The real BGS worldbuilding is in the environment.

      A skeleton in a lawn chair, with a cocktail glass in its hand, overlooking a view. A long trail of blood in a cave, leading to a closed door. A hermit on a mountain, or in a concrete crevace fortified by radioactivity. An bard in a tavern, with a surprisingly long-winded backstory that leads somewhere else. A hallucinating, bipolar painter. A Mister handy that hires you for job, then locks you in a building. The Lusty Argonian Maid.

      That’s where the gold is. The quest writing is definitely hit or miss, but the evironment designers LOVE to tell their own little stories, like it’s their main creative outlet or something. They may exist, but I haven’t played another game with that sheer quanitity of detail.

      • VincentHanna
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]All that "you can be the leader of the Paladin Order AND the Thieves' Guild because you're just that awesome!!!" stuff doesn't help much, either.[/quote<] Honestly doesn't bother me that much. Far more irritating is the fact that it doesn't matter if you are the top enforcer of the thieves guild, head of the paladin order, 2nd lord of the city, high mage of the realm and the chosen one called to testify before the gods... and everyone treats you the same as they did when you were a condemned criminal. (except the guards stop trying to arrest you... so there is that.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    The self aware skyrim everywhere gag, and referring to their own legendary bugginess, those are the types of self awareness I like to see in companies lol

    • Vigil80
    • 2 years ago

    Thanks for this. Refreshing to see the highlights laid out in black and white, no gallery pages to click through, no video to seek through.

      • auxy
      • 2 years ago

      If you want to show your appreciation you could always become a subscriber! (*´艸`*)

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 2 years ago

    The bag of Doritos most be referring to fallout 76 being unsatisfying, not what you wanted, and mostly disappointing.

      • auxy
      • 2 years ago

      I won’t be satisfied with a Fallout game until someone wrests it from the control of Buttheadsda! FO, FO2, and FONV are the only legit Fallout games! Bring back the RPG elements! (・へ・)

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 2 years ago

        I really enjoyed fo3 and have at least 5 play throughs. I have about the same in fonv about with all dlc. Fo3 dlc was hit and miss. Fonv definitely has better character development and community within the game. I can’t say I prefer one over the other but I really enjoyed fonv.

        • tacitust
        • 2 years ago

        FONV wouldn’t exist without Fallout 3, given it uses all the tech Bethesda developed for that game.

          • RAGEPRO
          • 2 years ago

          Knowing auxy as I do, she’s talking about the fact that only those three games had the direct input of the series creators. Bethesda has little respect for the lore created in the original games and many things in their games directly contradict lore information established in those games.

      • davidbowser
      • 2 years ago

      You take that back! NOBODY talks bad about Doritos!

      Except those weird BBQ ones… they taste like ass.

        • morphine
        • 2 years ago

        Doritos suck. The end 🙂

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 2 years ago

        I like Doritos locos tacos at taco Bell. That’s the extent I can tolerate Doritos. Sorry, bro. They are trash.

          • brucethemoose
          • 2 years ago

          The Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Cheesy Gordita Crunch is one of mankind’s greatest achievements, IMO.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 2 years ago

            Indeed it is.

            Who down voted all posts?

            U srs bro?

            Lol got you that hurt..

            I didn’t mean at you specifically.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 2 years ago

    Everyone begs Bethesda to work harder on co-op and multiplayer, so they respond by taking away single player offline play modes from one of their best franchises.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 2 years ago

      I wonder if it’s like eso and not a departure from the franchise.

      There is still money in the single player fallout. Some days I want a burger but I still enjoy chicken.

      I think this is what is happening in this instance.

      • tacitust
      • 2 years ago

      If you mean Fallout 76:

      [quote<]Howard was insistent that the game will be fully playable offline, but he also said that "every surviving human is a real player."[/quote<]

      • YellaChicken
      • 2 years ago

      I’m quite happy that they’re bringing multiplayer to Fallout in a separate game that’s designed for it. I can think of nothing more ridiculous than travelling the wasteland feeling isolated and alone only to find some twerp bouncing across my path shouting some form of misplaced profanity and completely destroying any kind of immersion.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This