Bethesda had quite the show to follow last year after having Andrew WK come and rock the audience for Rage 2, and dropping teasers for Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 (spoiler, neither of the latter two made an appearance this year). Aside from that, it’s been quite the year with the much-dogged release of Fallout 76 and Rage 2 dropping mere weeks ago.
So let’s see what Pete Hines and co. had in store.
The Elder Scrolls Blades
After a brief nod to the, let’s be fair disastrous launch of Fallout 76, the show started properly with recently launched F2P mobile title Blades.
Set in the Elder Scrolls world much has been said of its time-gated grind and premium currencies. They took the time here to announce a new patch dropping that day to introduce; Solo arenas, Jewellery crafting and a new Dragon based questline.
Also, Blades will be jumping over to Switch in the not too distant future, with any progress carrying over from mobile play.
It’s very fair to say it’s been a rough time for the multiplayer-focused entry in the Fallout franchise, but issues aside, people are still playing it and they were keen to stress the community that’s built up around the game.
The headline attraction is the upcoming ‘Wastelanders’ patch, due later this year, which will finally add NPCs and a new main questline to the world. NPCs had been much missed from the title, so it’s good to see them returning to the game.
Coming much sooner however is ‘Nuclear Winter’, a new Battle Royale mode for 52 players vying to take the singular role of overseer of Vault 52. There’s all the usual BR mode stuff with an encroaching ring of fire and scavenging for loot. If this tickles your curiosity, the good news is it’ll be online to play 10th - 17th June, alongside a free trial of the game available to everyone.
A new IP from Evil Within team Tango Gameworks. People are mysteriously vanishing in Tokyo and it’s going to be up to you to figure out why. Not much more is known other than it’s a paranormal action-thriller. Certainly, one to keep an eye on, the visuals had a subtle style that looked pretty nice.
The Elder Scrolls Online
The heavily dragon-based Elsweyr (pronounced, elsewhere, no, really…) came out no too long back and the MMO spin on Elder Scrolls has been going from strength to strength lately, despite a ropey launch a few years back. There’s also a new necromancer class to play now.
After a lengthy cinematic, a Dragonhold questline and Scalebreaker dungeon were slated to appear later in the year.
“And now for something completely different”... Being id software’s first IP people have oft wondered at the fate of the cosmic kid adventurer.
Taking on a ‘saturday morning cartoon’ vibe, the new game will feature the twin children of the original Commander Keen, Billy and Billie. Coming to iOS and Android at a later date, the game is some kind of vertical platformer that requires the player to collect allies and gadgets to proceed. Given how heavy Blades is on the microtransactions we’re not expecting anything different here.
Having come out only weeks ago we got a brief look at upcoming expansion ‘Rise of the Ghosts’ which will include new vehicles (a mech suit, motorcycle and giant single wheel contraption were on display), a new storyline, seemingly focusing on some sort of cult-esque new faction, and new abilities, and areas to explore. Hopefully, there’ll be more details soon.
A double-header with Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot first on display. This is the VR Wolfenstein that’s been doing the rounds for a while now, so it was good to see it still coming nicely. You’ll play a hacker for the French resistance, so expect lots of nazi robot action, due out in July.
Wolfenstein Youngblood, announced at the Bethesda show last year and set 20 years after last game, sees BJs twin daughters trying to find their missing father. Said to be the biggest Wolfenstein to date, now you’ll be able to blast Nazis with a friend, with the whole game being co-op friendly, starting 26th July.
Another new IP! Arkane Studios, of Dishonored and Prey fame, are back with another slick looking idea.
Set on a mysterious island called ‘Black Reef’, two assassins (Colt and Julianna) face off in a never-ending time loop, each believing the end of their problems lie with the death of their adversary. The gameplay is supposed to continue Arkanes tradition of allowing players to take situations in the play style that suits them.
In a left-field move, next up was a piece of development middleware called Orion.
Orion is designed to slot into any game in development and aid it with specialised game streaming optimisation. The SDK claims to enable games to stream 20% faster, using 40% less bandwidth.
To help prove the point they brought someone out on stage playing Doom 2016 on a mobile, and it certainly seemed to be performing well.
You can get your hands on the same streaming test by apparently heading over to doomslayersclub.com and signing up. Speaking of Doom…
Several gameplay videos put emphasis on lots of new platforming and traversal elements being added to the environment, from swinging on poles sticking out of the sides of structures to shooting buttons in order to unlock doors as you jetpack toward them. And of course, there was demon slaying a-plenty, with much blood being spilt.
So, when can you get your hands on this BFG (big freaking game, obviously) 22nd Nov 2019. A collectors edition with actual wearable Doom marine helmet can be yours if you pre-order now.
The final thing to be shown off was a new multiplayer mode in Doom Eternal called ‘Battlemode’.
In Battlemode 2 players will play as demons, facing off against a single Doom slayer player. It certainly looks interesting and seems to play out over multiple rounds, with an emphasis given to the demons need to strategise and work together to take down the slayer. Only time will tell if it’ll be a hit after the previous Dooms multiplayer was left lacking somewhat.
So there we go another conference down. Stay tuned for more E3 coverage as fast as we can write it!