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E3 2019: Bethesda Press Conference

Source: Bethesda

Another year, another E3. The most important week in the gaming calendar, this is where we find out about upcoming games, DLCs and projects from games studios. Here’s what was discussed by Bethesda (the minds behind The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout), and Ubisoft (best known for the Assassin’s Creed franchise).

After the notorious mess that was Fallout 76, Bethesda’s E3 press conference put a big focus on player experience and their appreciation of player feedback. The conference both opened and closed with a big thank you to their supporters in a conference that has been described by fans as ‘83 minutes of damage control’.

Elder Scrolls: Blades: Presented by Project Leader, Craig Laffertly, and Art Director, Matt Carofano.

The Elder Scrolls’ latest venture to mobile was the first game mentioned in the conference. Currently in early-access, some new updates to Blades have been released: solo arena battles, a custom jewellery system, a new dragon quest, and a PvP arena mode to battle online are now available to play. When this was announced, the loud guy at the front did a big whoop (this was an amusing trend in the conference).

The Elder Scrolls: Blades will also be available to play as a free game on the Nintendo Switch. The presenters mentioned how a game like Blades is well-suited to motion control, and emphasised the ‘on the go’ nature of the game. Switch Blades will be available to play in Autumn.

Fallout 76: Presented by Project Leader, Jeff Gardiner and Co-studio Director, Tom Mustane.

A controversial topic, yet one that needed to be addressed, Fallout 76 listened to player feedback and has subsequently added new elements of gameplay that resonate with previous Fallout games and add a modern touch, reflecting general gaming trends.

First to be announced was the addition of ‘wastelanders,’ human NPCs who have ‘full dialogue trees’. This means that these humans have their own goals and motivations, so players choose how to communicate with them, and then have to deal with the consequences. This addition of choice and consequence gameplay makes the game much more familiar to Fallout fans.

Along with new weapons and gear, the addition of human NPCs also includes a new main quest. The first year of Fallout 76 had players attempting to reach the vault, while year 2 of the game is about reclaiming the barren world of Appalachia.

This addition will be available in Autumn – here’s the trailer.

Also announced was ‘Nuclear Winter,’ a battle royale mode where 51 players battle each other to become the overseer of Vault 51. Let’s hope that the game remains popular enough to allow this mode to function. See the trailer here.

GhostWire: Tokyo: Tango Gameworks. Presented by Founder, Shinji Hikami, and Creative Director Ikumi Nakamura, who also worked on the art of gaming classics Okami and Bayonetta.

A new action-adventure game by Tango, described by the adorable Ikumi Nakamura as ‘spooky’, has players investigate paranormal forces in Tokyo. People are vanishing into thin air, and the aim is to work out the cause of this phenomenon and eventually save humanity. The game has the player decide what is normal and paranormal, and encounter both peaceful and evil entities. The trailer captures the ‘spooky’ atmosphere of the game.

Elder Scrolls Online: Presented by Studio Director of Zenimax Online, Matt Firor.

This announcement was a celebration of the achievements of Elder Scrolls Online, as millions of new players required the creation of more server capacity to accommodate the growing fanbase. Elder Scrolls Online announced an expansion where players could explore Elsweyr – the homeland of the Khajit (aka the Skyrim cat people). This extension was created as both a starting point for new Elder Scrolls players and an exciting place for the old players to discover.

Along with the addition of ‘Necromancers’, a species that can raise an army of the dead, Elder Scrolls Online teased a new dungeon DLC called ‘Scalebreaker’, scheduled to be released this August. We’ll find out more in QuakeCon this summer! For now, we have this cinematic trailer.

Commander Keen: Presented by Creative Director, Kiera Schlitt.

Bethesda are rejuvenating one of the first PC games of the early 90s in the form of a drag-and-drop mobile game. Children of the original protagonist, Billy and Billie are described as ‘twin geniuses’ who use gadgets to kill enemies and progress through the levels. The game has both a story mode where you progress through levels and a battle mode, which is essentially to capture the flag. The app is scheduled to be launched this summer, available on iOS and Android.

Wolfenstein: Presented by Executive Producer of MachineGames, Jerk Gustafsson.

MachineGames have announced two new Wolfenstein games, that will change the way players kill Nazis in the history-inspired game. The first game to be announced, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, is a VR game where the player assumes the role of a hacker working for France, and hacks into Nazi machines to turn them against their owners. It is due to release in July and we know very little about it so far.

The second game to be announced was Wolfenstein: Youngblood, with more weapons, more customisable content, and ‘more Nazis to kill’. Youngblood features an online co-op mode, where you play as 2 twin daughters working together to track down and kill the leader of Nazi-occupied Paris. This will be available for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on 26th July this year! Until then, here’s the gruesome trailer to hype you up.

Deathloop: Presented by Game Director, Dinga Bakaba and Art Director, Sebastien Mitton.

A new game from French studio Arkane Lyon has been announced, and is self-proclaimed to be unlike anything they’ve worked on before. Deathloop is an FPS (first person shooter) online action game that takes place on the island of Black Reef during a ‘time of madness’. The game’s story follows 2 assassins as they go head to head to defend or destroy ‘the Loop’.

Orion: Presented by Chief Technology Officer, Robert Duffy and Director of Publishing, James Altman.

Bethesda’s conference didn’t stop at games. It branched into an announcement for a new streaming software, Orion. Streaming tech has become a trend in the gaming industry, with Google Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud already becoming competitors.
Orion is a new streaming technology that optimises engines in a cloud environment. It increases frame rate by up to 20%, and allows games to operate using 40% bandwidth. This allows its users to enjoy faster, better and cheaper game streaming. If you weren’t convinced, the conference also had a live demonstration of someone playing Doom using Orion, a controller, and her mobile phone as the screen.

Doom Eternal: Presented by Creative Director, Hugo Martin and Executive Producer, Marty Stratton.

And finally, what the audience was waiting for: Doom Eternal, the upcoming sequel of the obvious fan-favourite, Doom. The conference showed more trailer footage for the game, including 4 minutes of real game footage by a pro-player.

Bethesda also announced the feature ‘Battlemode’, an online mode where 2 players control an alien, and compete against a single alien slayer. Described as ‘strategy vs. skill’, the combination of co-operation and competition makes this new announcement something to really look forward to. Then we finally got a release date: Doom Eternal will be released on 22th November this year.

Smaller Announcements:

  • Elder Scrolls Legends: An update to the online card game, Moons of Elsweyr, will be available next week on 27th June.
  • Rage 2: New updates to the open world shooter include new cheat codes, characters, vehicles, portable mech, gameplay modes and a new DLC story.

Check out Izzy’s coverage of the Nintendo Ubisoft conference here.