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An Overview of Bethesda's 2016 E3 Press Conference

Jack Gardner



Many wondered what Bethesda would show at their pre-E3 conference this year. Would they show a Skyrim remaster? Prey 2? Evil Within 2? Bethesda threw a mixed bag at its audience this year with some predictions coming to pass, some only slightly happening, and others not appearing at all in their announcement line-up.


The pre-E3 Bethesda press conference began with a bang that many weren't expecting so close on the heels of Doom's release. A new entry in the Quake series, Quake Champions burst into glorious existence in a hail of gunfire. The team at id Software supposedly have the title running at an impressive 120hz with an unlocked framerate and the cinematic trailer that heralded Quake's revival looked fantastic. The multiplayer arena shooter boasts new characters with unique abilities, each one catering to a different playstyle. Several of Quake's champions show their signature moves in the reveal trailer.



The conference then moved through a brief retrospective of what had happened over the past year. The surprise success of Fallout Shelter, The Elder Scrolls Online hanging on and managing to survive, the release of Fallout 4 and Doom were all touched upon. Bethesda then described The Elder Scrolls Legnds, a card game that delves into the lore of The Elder Scrolls universe. Told by a Moth Priest named Kellen, Legends follows the legend of Elder Scrolls lore and pairs that with a strategic card game.


The intro cinematic was shown and allowed to speak for itself as to what Legends will be about. Players can join the beta of Legends on the Bethesda website.



Moving on to Fallout things, three new expansions to Fallout 4 were briefly teased during the Bethesda showcase. The first, Contraptions Workshop, will allow players to build all kinds of new things in their settlements like elevators, conveyor belts, racks for weapons and armor, ball tracks, and more! Contraptions becomes available on June 14.


The second Fallout 4 expansion shown, called Vault-Tec Workshop, grants players the ability to build their own Vaults. Of course, it appear that building a new Vault comes with its own unique challenges, like angry underground monsters, raiders, and more. Once the Vault attracts some residents, players can start conducting experiments on the new inhabitants.


The final DLC was revealed with a short camera pan up from the Wasteland to an abandoned Nuka-Cola-themed park. Appropriately enough, this expansion is titled Nuka World and takes place in a long abandoned theme park. No release dates were given for Vault-Tec Workshop or Nuka World. 


Rounding out the Fallout news, Fallout Shelter's 1.6 update overhauls combat, adds questing, new items, characters, and locations. The addition of questing has apparently bolstered Bethesda's confidence in the mobile title enough to bring it to PC. The update and PC version will be releasing sometime next month.


And yes, Bethesda is working on a Skyrim remaster. Titled Skyrim Special Addition brings massively overhauled graphics to the world of Skyrim for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, along with full PC mod support for the consoles. Since the announcement of its existence, Bethesda tweeted that those who own Skyrim and all its add-ons or own the Steam Legendary Edition will receive a free upgrade to Skyrim Special Edition. Skyrim Special Edition releases on October 28.



Perhaps the most surprising moment of the night was the reveal of Prey, Arkane Studio's reimagining/reboot of the 2006 Prey. Instead of highlighting spiritual aspects of Native American culture as gameplay mechanics and story beats, the new Prey puts a psychological twist on everything. Forsaking former protagonist Domasi "Tommy" Tawodi, Prey centers on the tormented struggle of Morgan Yu as he awakens on the Talos 1 space station. With a mysterious alien force in pursuit and a growing sense of urgency, Morgan will need to harness his mind-bending abilities to uncover the secrets of the station and get through his ordeal alive.


While certainly not the Prey 2 that was once teased in years long past or even the remnants of that amazing "what could have been" game, Prey looks like an interesting project to keep an eye on. Arkane states that Prey will release in 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.


A multitude of free new updates are on the way for Doom's SnapMap, allowing players to create new single-player experiences to share online with new props, logic options, and visual themes. New multiplayer content is on the way as well, with new game modes like Exodus, Sector, and three free-for-all modes. Next month a premium DLC pack will release. Called Unto the Evil, it will focus on multiplayer with three new maps, a new demon, a new gun, and more. 


Perhaps the coolest part of the Doom announcements was the nod to Doom's roots as a shareware title. Following the Bethesda conference, anyone who does not own a copy of Doom can play the first level of the title on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for free. 



Bethesda followed up the Doom portion of the presentation to talk about The Elder Scrolls Online. A Japanese release of the MMO is on the way, opening up the community of seven million players to Eastern markets. The majority of the ESO talk focused on the release of the The Dark Brotherhood DLC for PC/Mac today and Xbox One/PlayStation 4 on June 14. 



Bethesda then announced their Bethesda VR initiative which allows players to take a virtual tour of Hell in the world of Doom and play Fallout 4, wandering the Wasteland in full VR. Fallout 4 VR will be possible with Vive support later this fall. 


The crowning part of the evening was an in-depth look at the gameplay of Dishonored 2 through the eyes of new protagonist Emily Kaldwin. New powers, expanded verticality, and powerful gadgets await players who wish to dive into all that stealth has to offer. Honestly, it looks very slick, so just watch the gameplay. Dishonored 2 releases on November 11 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.



That wraps up pretty much everything that Bethesda touched on during their press conference. You can watch the full broadcast on Bethesda's YouTube channel


For more E3 press conference news, check out our coverage of EA's press event

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