Bethesda E3 Press Conference 2016 recap - Skyrim PS4 / XO, Prey 2, Fallout 4 VR

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Bethesda clearly has the hang of this whole 'E3 press conference' business, as its second show was full of great reveals and deep-dives into upcoming games. Quake is back, Prey lives again, and Dishonored 2 is looking stellar - but that wasn't all. In case you missed the livestream, we've got the full recap of Bethesda's E3 2016 showing right here. Click on to the next slide to start your rundown on everything there was to see. 

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Quake returns with Quake Champions

It was only a matter of time. After the wildly successful reboots of Wolfenstein and DOOM, Quake is back in a multiplayer-centric, old-school arena FPS. From the name alone, Quake Champions sounds like it could be a play at something similar to the hero-focused ecosystem of Overwatch, the difference being that it would prioritize kills over objectives. Many of Quake's most iconic weapons are back - including the railgun, lightning gun, rocket launcher, machine gun, and melee buzzsaw gauntlet - along with the outlandish characters who wield them, all throwbacks to classic Quake 3 Arena designs. But there's also a smattering of new twists in the reveal trailer, including what look like special abilities: the power to see through walls, an orb that lets you teleport, and a mist form that makes you invulnerable to incoming fire. We're excited to learn more about Quake Champions at this year's Quakecon. 

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends teases its card-based story campaign

Bethesda's rival to Hearthstone is shaping up nicely. A living-comic-style cutscene set the stage for the card game's fully fledged single-player campaign, before offering a quick overview of the two-lane gameplay you can expect. In addition to the planned PC version, Bethesda is also adding iOS and Android to the available platforms. 

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Fallout 4 will keep on growing

For those of you still braving life in the harsh wasteland, you can expect a ton of new content in Fallout 4's Boston. As soon as next week, you'll be able to trick out your settlement with new doodads, including elevators, armor and weapon racks, track kits, sorting machines, and conveyor belts (which can all be combined into glorious, Rube Goldberg-esque machinations). Then there's the Vault-Tec workshop, which lets you build your own underground vault piece by piece, then defend it against those pesky raiders. It's essentially a high-res version of Fallout Shelter. Lastly, Bethesda gave us a short glimpse at Nuka-World, a post-apocalypse theme park complete with mascot versions of Fallout's most iconic beverage, Nuka-Cola. Fallout Shelter is also coming to PC this July, so that's nice. 

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Yep, Skyrim is getting a gorgeous remaster

We guessed it already, but we're so glad to see it confirmed. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is coming to PS4 and Xbox One, complete with remastered art and effects, volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, reflections, new shaders, and mods on consoles (probably excluding all the nude player models). If you've got hundreds of hours to burn all over again, or somehow avoided Skyrim until now, consider this your invitation to a near-limitless fantasy RPG. 

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Prey is back, thanks to Arkane Studios

Oh yes. Prey - not Prey 2 - is being worked on by Arkane Studios, and is slated for release in 2017 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The reveal trailer showed off life in First-person 2032, in which our bearded protagonist Morgan Yu notices that each morning feels like a Groundhog Day loop, with the exception that his right eye is becoming increasingly bloodshot. Suddenly we cut to discombobulating shots of insect-like creatures made of shadow, strange armaments, and mysterious figures obscured by blinding light. It all ended with Morgan's own reflection speaking to him in a grave tone. Psychological first-person horror in deep space, with an unreliable narrator? Hell yes. 

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Doom SnapMap goes to Hell

Doom is the gift that keeps on giving, as the DIY factory of user-generated content, Snapmap, is set to expand. The next upgrade features the much-requested Hell tileset, additional level props, and new logic options, all for the price of free. Multiplayer is also getting two new modes, with Exodus, a one-flag CTF mode, and three FFA modes including - thank goodness - classic deathmatch. Doom's first paid DLC pack, Unto the Evil, will introduce three new multiplayer maps, an entirely new demon called the Harvester, and plenty of collectible loot for your character model. To get even more players in on the fun, Bethesda is making Doom's first level free for a limited time to simulate the shareware experience of the original PC game. 

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The Elder Scrolls Online adds assassination with the Dark Brotherhood

Bethesda then took some time to remind the world about The Elder Scrolls Online, the free-to-play MMO on consoles and PC. It's doing well for itself at over 7 million players, and will soon launch in Japan. There's more content on the way for console players: the Dark Brotherhood expansion, which already launched on PC, is coming to consoles with plenty of stealthy, bloody murder on behalf of a guild of assassins. Players can also look forward to the One Tamriel update, which will let players of any level play together, effectively removing all content barriers once you've breezed through the tutorial. You can expect that grind-removing update later this fall.  

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Fallout 4 and Doom are getting the VR treatment

You might've forgotten that Bethesda demoed a VR version of Doom 3 BFG back at E3 2012. Now, Doom and Fallout 4 are being done up in VR, specifically for the HTC Vive. Fallout 4 is getting a Vive version in 2017, and a new Doom demo is being demoed at the show. Get ready to squeal when those demons and rad-roaches are jumping all up in your face. 

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Dishonored 2 starts and ends in Dunwall

At long last, we get some fresh info on this stealthy steampunk sequel with a gargantuan amount of gameplay footage. Arkane Studios' Harvey Smith took the stage to show off scenes from Dishonored 2, offering a glimpse into the environments of Karnaca, known as 'The Jewel of the South'. This is roads of this stony, tropical vista run red with fish blood, and serve as a stark contrast to the gloomy streets of Dunwall. The setting also showcases the new lighting effects of Dishonored 2's new Void engine. Interestingly, the story will start and end in Dunwall, the location of the original Dishonored, following the exploits of  empress Emily Kaldwin, now 25, who rules the empire with her father Corvo watching over her. You can play as either Emily or Corvo, and with the latter looking quite a bit more haggard and having a lot more to say this time around. 

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Emily Kaldwin has a suite of unique abilities...

Emily and Corvo are both fully voiced, and have their own internal monologue to absorb as you explore Karnaca. To get there, you must first flee Dunwall after an otherworldly force attempts to seize the throne; from there, your mission is to clear the Kaldwin name when Emily's enemies are being systematically slain. We got a detailed look at one of the sun-bleached districts, a wide-open vista with dusts storms that hit at random intervals and can be used to obscure your movements. Two rival gangs are fighting over this turf, and you have the option to ally with one or neither of them. Vertical space is a bigger factor this time around, as the city's buildings are practically skyscrapers - but of course, everything comes down to how you use your supernatural powers and stabby, shooty weapons. Emily's powers are entirely unique, including Mesmerize, which puts enemies in a pacifying trance, Farreach, letting her telekinetically grab distant items or yank enemies to her for a quick execution, and Domino, which links enemies to make them all suffer the same death. There's also the Shadow Walk power, transforming Emily into the beast-like shade we saw in the original Dishonored 2 announcement trailer

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...and certain levels give you access to time-warping tactics

As a final note, we got a look at a new level mechanic in Dishonored 2: the power to play with time. By peering through the lens of The Outlander's timepiece, you can two time periods within the same environment - in this case, a lavish palace and its decrepit ruins. This allows you to position yourself in one time period and set up an execution in the other, which should make for some incredibly inventive sealth solutions. The closing gameplay trailer also gave us a glimpse at the return of The Outsider, as well as the mechanical, whispering Heart from the first game. Dishonored 2 will release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 11, 2016. Bethesda also hyped up the Dishonored 2 Collector's Edition, which comes with a miniature version of Corvo's mask, a replica of Emily's ring, and a copy of the recent remaster of Dishonored: Definitive Edition. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucas likes his games like he likes his music: eclectic. With all the weird and wonderful stuff he's played over the years, the two of you are bound to feel the same way about something!

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