By Terris Harned (NWOrpheus)
Ever since their spectacle of a stream on Twitch.tv on May 29th, we’ve been “Standing By” for some big reveals from Bethesda. Speculation ran rampant on what exactly “Fallout 76” would have in store for us. Everything from a Rust-like survival game to a Battle Royale had been theorized after our first brief teaser, showing us Vault 76. The first real look at the next Fallout installment came not during the Bethesda conference, but at Microsoft’s. Be that as it may, Bethesda gave us plenty to talk about during their own show, which followed a video prompt on Twitch and YouTube, and of course, a pre-show. We’ve also got Elder Scrolls and Fallout coverage, but this article is just for the rest of the amazing Bethesda spread, including the announcement of an all new franchise that Todd Howard described as “Epic.”
The pre-show reminded us of some of the previous E3 showcases, including Doom, Fallout Shelter and ESO Unlimited. Bethesda wasn’t above using attractive nerdy girls or puppies to try to make an emotional bond with their audience. Nor could they resist mentioning some of their favorite Nintendo Switch ports (cough Skyrim cough). This was followed by a montage of Bethesda games; Evil Within 2, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, and… Skyrim VR.
They wrapped up the pre-show by replaying the Teaser for Fallout 76 and promising that they had a lot more to reveal during the showcase. They did not disappoint. In case you missed it the first couple hundred times it’s been shared around the internet over the past couple weeks, we’ve got you covered.
The showcase was hosted by Bethesda’s Global VP, Pete Hines, whose stage presence lit up an excited crowd. Bethesda dedicated this year’s presentation to “Create”, and nodded to the creative contributions of the players in their franchises.
Hines began by taking a couple digs at Wal-Mart Canada, who dropped the ball and leaked information of the forthcoming Rage sequel by placing a listing for the game on their website.
Next, Andrew W.K. took stage with a performance of “Ready to Die”, the backdrop to the trailer for Rage 2. Sorry Bethesda, but if the audience’s reactions didn’t tell you that whoever had this bright idea should be sacked, then I’ll do it. While this wasn’t the worst part of the show… wait, yes it was. Please don’t do it again.
CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
After the uh, “performance”, there was an endearingly awkward scene with Tim Willits of id software (Doom, Quake, Rage) and Magnus Nedfors of Avalance Studios (Just Cause 1-3).
Some of the big feature reveals for Rage 2 included utilizing Avalanche studio’s open world talent to enhance Rage’s gameplay. Brief mentions were made of the guns and the vehicles featured in the game before the gameplay trailer featuring Walker. A ranger with super powers. From.. Texas maybe? Despite itself, the trailer for Rage 2 looks like it offers some incredibly fun gameplay, if nothing terribly innovative.
Down the road a bit, Bethesda showed us a gory tableau that could only mean one thing: DOOM. In this case, Doom Eternal. Marty Stratton & Hugo Martin staggered through their presentation, offering few details, but lots of thanks. Thankfully, we’re expected to see more about Doom Eternal at QuakeCon in August. Make sure to check back with us for that coverage!
Joshua Boyle, Community Manager for Quake Champions stepped up next, talking about QuakeCon and esports, claiming to be the progenitors of competitive digital gaming. Quake Champions seems to be trying to keep itself accessible to a wide audience of player types, serious and casual. The early access for Quake Champions is being opened to the public for trial. If you download this week you can play for free through the early access, even after the trial closes.
Arcane studios started off by thanking their fanbase in a video, that also announced the rollout of a free update for Prey offering 3 new modes: Story Mode, Survival Mode, and the begged for New Game+. A DLC was also announced: Mooncrash. This DLC seems to create a sort of randomizer/roguelike functionality for the game, making hazards, enemies, and loot all change up each playthrough. After the video the Arcane studio reps also share word of a new PvP mode for Prey which basically amounts to deadly hide and go seek. 1 player must find and defeat 5 others, who take the role of mimics, blending in with their environment.
Next we heard from Jerk Gustafsson and Jens Mathies from Machine Games who shared that Wolfenstein II The New Colossus is coming to the Nintendo Switch on June 29th.
The next project in the franchise fast forwards the setting to 1980 in Paris, France: Wolfenstein: Youngblood. A Co-op game featuring BJ’s twin daughters who follow in their Father’s footsteps, kicking Nazi ass up the street and back. If you haven’t been waiting half your life for a Wolfenstein game with a Co-op mode, I don’t even want to know you anymore. THIS Wolfenstein game with a Co-op mode looks amazing. Vive la résistance!
Thankfully, Phil Hines came back to the stage next. As cute as the awkwardness of some of the previous presenters was, I was starting to feel like the chaperone at a dance for pre-teens. Phil stepped it up by mentioning Bethesda’s strides into VR, with Doom, Skyrim, and Fallout 4. Tonight he announced that two more of the Bethesda IPs were entering virtual reality: Prey, and Wolfenstein. Prey’s hide-and-seek-like Typhon Hunter will be VR compatible, and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot will be a standalone offering in which you play as a hacker who infiltrates Nazi war machines and turns them against their former masters. One more step on the path to, quoting Phil Hines, “bring our message of FUCK NAZIS to every platform possible.” His words, not mine (But I love them, and him for them!) Attendees of E3 even had the chance to try the VR games out on the main floor, but the rest of us will have to wait a while longer.
The majority of the next 45 minutes was so awesome that it caused a disruption in the space time continuum, and had to be made into a separate article. You can find that here.
In the meantime, we’ll fast forward to where Todd Howard tells us of Bethesda’s plans to release an all new single player game in the company’s first entirely original franchise in 25 years: Starfield. Little information was given for the title beyond involving space, being epic, and having the folks at Bethesda pretty excited. I have to admit, I’ve been saying they’re long overdue for an original concept for a while now, and am pretty eager to see what the future holds.
Outside of what we’ve got for Elder Scrolls news and Fallout 76, that pretty much sums up the Bethesda E3 2018 offering. Despite some of the awkward presentations, several of the games have me hyped, with startling graphics, and Bethesda’s continuing dedication to push technology into the next generation. QuakeCon in August should give us some more juicy tidbits, but until then, you’ll just have to hold onto your BFG9000. In the meantime, stop by our forums at https://www.onrpg.com/boards/ and tell us what you think of Bethesda’s E3 offerings, or anything else that might be on your mind!