Bethesda's E3 2019 conference recap: Elder Scrolls, Doom Eternal, Deathloop and more
An eventful conference for Bethesda, with two new games, plenty of Doom and another game streaming service revealed.
Jackson RyanFormer Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
Bethesda's pre-E3 messaging, reading between the lines, seemed to be all about connectivity. "Be together", sang the slogans, and Bethesda focused on their connections with the players to kick things off, with developers and creatives taking the chance to say thanks.
"You mean everything to us," said Pete Hines, senior vice president of global marketing and communications -- and the focus definitely remained on the fans throughout the show. The raucous crowd (one guy is going to have no voice tomorrow) lapped up every announcement and Todd Howard even apologized for some of the
You can read about every announcement and see some of the new trailers below.
Fallout 76 was first on the agenda for Todd Howard, who didn't shy away from the game's ... uh, problems. "[It] had a lot of difficulties at launch and we got a lot of well-deserved criticism" said Howard, head of Bethesda Game Studios. He went on to praise the players, however. "Something amazing has happened," he said. "This game has one of the best online communities we have ever seen."
The team announced Year 2 begins with the free DLC "Wastelanders", which drops in Fall 2019. There were large cheers for human NPCs and full dialogue trees, which is classic Fallout that has been missing from the always-online Fallout 76. There is also a free trial for Fallout 76, starting tomorrow.
Probably not the Elder Scrolls you were hoping for, but Elder Scrolls all the same. In between the Fallout 76 extras, we heard a little more about The Elder Scrolls Blades, which was announced and ready to play tonight. A Switch version of the first-person dungeon-crawler is coming in Fall -- and it will still be free to play. The Blades team called it Switch Blades. I laughed.
Shinji Mikami and Ikumi Nakamura from Tango Gameworks got on stage to announce their studios new game: Ghostwire Tokyo. You may know Tango Gameworks name from
The Evil Within
and The Evil Within 2, but Nakamura mentioned their latest effort was less of a survival horror game and maybe more paranormal... a creepy trailer played with incredibly life-like characters and a dude with a bow. You can see it below:
The Elder Scrolls Online
Mike Firor from ZeniMax Online Studios came out to celebrate some of the achievements of Elder Scrolls Online, noting the company recently added more server capacity to support new players in Online's world of Tamriel. A new trailer was revealed for the latest expansion, Elsweyr, which featured a big ol' dragon (wyvern, my CNET slack buddies tell me) and featuring the Dragon Guard -- but more details will come at QuakeCon this summer. In addition, a new dungeon DLC called "Scalebreaker" is on its way.
Huge nostalgia play with the Commander being back. The new game will be coming to iOS and Android and is being developed by ZeniMax Online Studios. The new game features Billy and Billie, the children of the original Billy Blaze.
It's a drag-and-drop game and includes a story mode where you have to build contraptions to get through. There's also a battle mode where you need to control checkpoints and claim a flag. Commander Keen soft launches in summer.
"Even more evil Nazis to kill and in Youngblood you can kill those Nazis with a friend"
That's executive producer at MachineGames, Jerk Kustaffsen. After explaining some of the games new co-op features, another Wolfenstein: Youngblood trailer was unveiled. There was a lot of blood and fire. Some stabbing, some very 80s scanlines and a heck of a lot of shooting. The game releases July 26, 2019. We covered it here and you can see the trailer below:
The new Arkane Studios game: Deathloop
Arkane Studios, the development house behind
, revealed their new game: Deathloop
It takes place in Black Reef during a "time of madness". Colt and Juliana are the game's dual protagonists, reminiscent of
but it appears they are on opposite teams. The game's stylish trailer showed off gunplay and swordplay reminiscent of Arkane's previous series and seemed to harken back to a lot of the gameplay elements that made Dishonored such a popular series.
"I think it's really f***ing cool," announced Sébastien Mitton, one of the creatives at Arkane. I'm inclined to agree after seeing the uber-impressive trailer. You can watch it below:
"Orion will optimize game engines for performance in a cloud environment," said James Altman, director of publishing operations at id Software.
Orion will apparently allow games to stream content up to 20% faster per frame, which will enable a dramatic reduction in latency. Moreover, the service can stream up with up to 40% lower bandwidth.
"It means that streaming games will be faster and better with Orion and Orion substantially reduces the cost of streaming for players and for publishers," Altman explained.
The streaming capabilities were then shown off by playing Doom 2016 on a mobile phone with a controller attached. It was a mighty brief demo and it's hard to tell exactly how dramatically Doom was affected with the vision we had, but at the very least, it's another promising entrant in the video game streaming planet we seem set on creating.
An extended gameplay demo of the Doom sequel showed off the fast-paced gameplay that the original championed. Doomguy took out a big ol' demon, sliced a few baddies in the guts and de-skinned a few heads. Those in the room tonight will get to play Doom: Eternal immediately after the show. I was not in the room, so I won't get to play it.
An additional multiplayer mode was announced: "Battlemode". It's a "first-person fighter" that pits one Slayer against 2 player-controlled demons in a fight to the death. None of this Mortal Kombat type stuff here, it's all guns and blood and glory. The full showcase can be viewed below:
Todd Howard mentioned Bethesda Game Studios are hard at work on Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield
The Elder Scrolls Legends gets an update: moons of Elsweyr
Rage 2 has new features rolling out this week including cheat codes, vehicles and game modes and modifiers.
It will also get an expansion: "Rise of the Ghosts"
Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, the VR companion game to Youngblood, was shown off very briefly.
QuakeCon will feature more information on many titles including Doom Eternal.
PC Gaming Show -- This annual PC Gaming Show is held at a theater a short walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center, but still draws a large crowd, filling the 1,700-person capacity Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Inside, the usual suspects, from Halo to Doom, were nowhere to be found. Instead, the crowd cheered for PC-centric games including Zombie Army 4, Baldur's Gate 3 and Terraria: Journey's End. (No, the game sequel problem isn't any better on PCs.) The highlight was a brief on-stage appearance by legendary game designer Yu Suzuki, responsible for classic such as Hang-On and Virtua Fighter. His long-awaited Shenmue 3 is expected in November, 18 years after Shenmue 2.
Ubisoft -- The French gaming giant announced its next big dystopian hacking adventure game, Watch Dogs: Legion, launching March 2020. The new game is set in near-future post-Brexit London, where the economy is failing and government is breaking down. The company also announced a new television show, called Mythic Quest, that will launch on Apple TV Plus. And it celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Just Dance party games.