Bethesda: A mixture of disappointment and awe?

What everyone was hoping to see at Bethesda’s conference was obviously some appearance of The Elder Scrolls VI. However, we didn’t see such thing and that doesn’t mean Bethesda are not working on plenty of content as last night proved they’re still a company with plenty of great experiences waiting for fans. So we didn’t see the next Elder Scrolls title, what did we see?

I guess we were disappointed from the offset with another poor panel once again before the conference even started. We were constantly shown content from last year’s E3 and commenters consistently say that it was a cringey experience.

However, we didn’t remain disappointed for long because the first clip of the conference was the announcement of a new Quake title! It has been a long time since a Quake title was released and there’s no doubt the popularity of Doom last month increased the need for a return to arena shooters.

quake
All the characters shown in the trailer look like absolute tanks.

The title is named: ‘Quake: Champions‘ and id Software executive Tim Willits says more content will be shown at Quakecon in Dallas in August. What we know so far that the game is for PC and will be a competitive arena style first-person shooter before online and offline.It aims to be fast and will run on 120hz unlocked frame-rates and has a catalogue of badass characters, all with their own attributes and attitudes. There was also mention of Quake being an eSports game. Quake: Champions looks very promising as it is a series I very much enjoy and are glad to see back.

Following this game, Global UP and PR of Bethesda marketing, Pete Hines and he gave us a look at the Elder Scrolls card game ‘Legends‘. The title which looks similar to Blizzard’s Hearthstone has been described as a ‘deep strategy experience’ with a compelling story from the perspective of the Moth Priest – Kellin. It revolves around him and is the story of a forgotten hero who changed the very course of history. The game will be coming to open beta for everyone who creates an account at Bethesda.net. The game will also be coming to tablet and mobile.

Next up came Fallout 4 and the series is still being kept alive. The game recently saw a DLC update: ‘Far Harbour’ and that is not the only thing being added to the game. There will be additions to the Workshop including: elevators, conveyor belts, sorting machines and gun racks. Players can also build their very own vault which sounds interesting and is basically like playing Fallout Shelter on the big screen. The update is due in July

fallout shelter
Fallout Shelter will also be coming to PC.

The other Fallout title: ‘Shelter‘ released for mobile and tablet upon the end of Bethesda’s E3 conference last year was an incredibly popular release with around 50 million downloads. The game was announced to be getting updates including: new locations, new characters, sending dwellers on quests, new enemies and a new combat system. The game will also be coming to PC which is very exciting.

Then came the big reveal. We all thought that it must be Elder Scrolls VI. It had to be right? Wrong. It was announced with that nostalgic theme that for current-gen consoles, Skyrim (Elder Scrolls V) would be getting a remaster with majorly enhanced graphics. I do not know where I stand on this announcement because obviously people will be over the moon for this special edition announcement, but mods have already made Skyrim look great on PC. The game itself was pretty solid to begin with. To be fair it’s only fair that consoles get to use mods like Fallout 4 and enhance their gameplay which is seeing enhanced shaders and in depth detail. I’m wondering if there could be alterations to controls, who knows at this point to be fair?

Skyrim
There is a striking difference between the previous and current console graphics.

The final Elder Scrolls addition was updates to their Online game which will see a Japanese release on June 23rd and DLC based off of Oblivion called ‘The Dark Brootherhood‘. No one is safe apparently and the trailer portrayed a lot of stealth and melee action. Another update is coming called ‘One Tamriel‘ which means once completing the tutorial, players of all levels can group freely with whoever they want and go wherever they want. A really nice edition to a positive series which has never been done before.

Now we already had Quake, but Doom was not left out of the mix. Snapmap, a tool in the new game will be getting a free update including new weapons and items. There will also be weapon reel style selection in single player and two new multiplayer maps known as Exodus and Sector. The game will also be seeing its first DLC release called ‘Unto the Evil‘ which sees three new multiplayer maps added, new guns and a playable character known as the ‘Harvester Demon’. Some may have been a bit disappointed at the repetitiveness of certain enemies, but DLC can stop that with the addition of more characters. Everyone who owns a PC, Xbox One and PS4 this week will also be able to download freely the first level of the new Doom game and try it for themselves this week only.

Bethesda did have another new title to announce however and this was from Arkane Studios (Dishonored). Raphael Colantonio said that they were working on another immersive psychological thriller. PREY is set in the year 2032 and you play as Morgan who in a futuristic world has been part of an experiment to change humanity forever that goes horribly wrong. The film is set in a space station and one of the interesting features is that for weaponry and tools, you have to use whatever you can on the space station.

The game is set to release next year on Xbox One, PS4 and PC with further information coming at Quakecon.

morgan
Morgan is part of a test to change humanity forever…but it goes very wrong.

There was a quick mention that Bethesda would be working on VR with demos at E3 for Fallout 4 and Doom which sound exciting.

Finally, Dishonored 2 took to the stage and there was plenty of information and gameplay revealed.  Harvey Smith, the creative director at Arkane Studios, walked through different elements of the game and the different attributes Emily Kaldwin and Corvo Attano have. The game is based in a Victorian district with an exotic style of characters. Smith says they wanted a strong sense of place and so extra detail was added to the characters and the city itself. It’s a game that makes you think about people’s lives and the history of a city.

The game has been made in a custom game engine called ‘Void’ to help create a painting in motion and create custom tools to give the best stealth experience. The game centres around the anniversary of the death of Emily’s mother with a now grown-up Emily who is leader.

Viewers were shown gameplay from the Dust District and demonstrated all the moves and skill-sets you will have when playing as Emily. The game also showcased how there are many different ways of completing the game as you can favour one side or none at all, which gives a strong replayability factor. Some of the moves include the shadow walk which demonstrates the mixture of stealth and combat, the power to mesmerise players and connect them together so that they all share the same fate and the timepiece which enables Emily to visit somewhere and jump through to the past to alter timelines. The timepiece was definitely one of the most interesting aspects for me personally.

dishonored
The throne room.

The architecture is beautiful and this will be a game to play over and over with new surprises every time. A high recommendation in my book. If you haven’t played the original, you can always pick up the special edition of Dishonored 2 when it released on November 11 which includes Dishonored.

Now we may not have received a follow-up to Skyrim, but for a big fan of Bethesda like myself, there is still plenty of content to get stuck into. Dishonored 2 looks like it is going to be one of the biggest games of the year, there’s plenty of add-on content to Doom, Fallout and Elder Scrolls and we have two new exciting games on the way. I think I might have to get my Nintendo 64 out and crack on with a bit of Quake/Quake 2.

Stay Tuned for further conference news today from Microsoft and Ubisoft!

 

 

 

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