LOS ANGELES - If EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft and Sony want a master class in how to do a great press conference, they need look no further than Bethesda. For the second year in a row, the game publisher gave eager fans a mix of old, new and unexpected. In case you didn't see the festivities, here's a recap of what you missed.
Return to Dunwall - The night's biggest announcements centered around the upcoming Dishonored 2. Scheduled to launch November 11, the new title takes place 15 years after the original with Emily Caldwell, the new empress, all grown up and ruling the kingdom with the help of her father, Corvo Attano. As usual, there's unrest in the kingdom and a supernatural coup leaves Caldwell and Attano fighting to regain the kingdom while unraveling a conspiracy. The latest trailer shows of the land of Carnaka, where a large portion of the game will take place, as well as Emily's prodigious powers, which include Shadow Walk—two dark tendrils that creep stealthily toward their victim for a quick kill. Similar to Fallout 4, Dishonored 2 will feature a limited amount of collector's editions that will include a replica of Corvo's mask and Emily's ring.
The Return of Quake - Yeah, you read that right—after 20 years, the classic battle arena multiplayer shooter is ready for a new generation promising hours upon hours of trash talk. Announced as a PC exclusive, Quake Champions is promised to run at a blistering fast 120Hz with unlocked frame rates, delivering that white-knuckle action gamers have come to expect from the series. However, this time around, in addition to new characters with unique, attributes and skills, Champions is designed to accommodate every level of competitive play for any level of skill from newbies to esports professionals.
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An Epic Card Game - Watch out Hearthstone, Bethesda is coming for some of that sweet, free-to-play card game action. Bethesda showed off the gameplay mechanics of its latest entry to the Elder Scrolls franchise Legends. Narrated by a Moth Priest, the game promises a nearly endless amount of strategies to take down your foes while learning more about the history of the land of Tamriel. Currently in beta, Bethesda also announced that the game would be expanded to iPhone, Mac, Android tablets and phones.
Build Your Own Fallout 4 - The mods keep on coming for Fallout 4. Just when you thought you were done with the Wasteland, Bethesda announced new additions to your workshop including weapon and armor racks. There's also the new Contraptions mode that allows you to build your own Rube Goldberg machines. Even better, you can create your own vault and experiment on your dwellers—just like an amoral Vault-Tek employee. In addition, the popular mobile game Fallout Shelter will be getting a host of new features including a new recruitment system and better battle techniques and quests. Members of the PC Master Race can also get in on the fun since Shelter will be making the leap to a gaming rig near you.
An Unexpected Entry - A surprise, the new iteration of the cult classic Prey will take place in the year 2032. Gamers will be exploring what appears to be an abandoned space station as Morgan Yu where something has gone terribly wrong. In the trailer debut, we saw Yu fighting an unknown shape-shifting force that may or may not be driving him insane.
Join the Dark Brotherhood - Ready to unleash you inner assassin? In the creepy, yet intriguing trailer for the new Dark Brotherhood DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online, we saw a character murdering up a storm in the name of The Faction. Think you have what it takes to be a member? But if snuffing out lives under the cover of darkness isn't your thing, the developer also announced the One Tamriel initiative that will allow the game's seven million players to automatically level when the start playing. That effectively removes all content barriers and gives players carte blanche to explore the entire world and play with anyone without the pesky level restrictions getting in the way.
Go to Hell...Virtually - In an unexpected move, Bethesda announced that it would be tweaking Fallout 4 and Doom for the HTC Vive. While initial demos only give a peek into what both titles will look like in VR, we're definitely excited at the thought of wandering the Wasteland in virtual life. The VR version of Fallout 4 is set to debut sometime in January 2017, with Doom to follow.