Bethesda's E3 2018 Conference: The Liveblog

Microsoft and EA have had their turn. But I'd like to see what Fallout 76 actually looks like. What about you?

As always, if you want to watch along in a second screen I've got the links you need below. The conference isn't scheduled to start until 1130 AEST / 1100 ACST / 0930 AWST / 1330 NZST, although expect a pre-game show to kick off at least ten minutes prior. Possibly 15 or 20.

Watch Bethesda's E3 2018 Live Stream Here

With supposedly their biggest conference to date, and a new Fallout game in the works, the Bethesda stream should be fun. Let's enjoy it together.

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0840 AEST: OK, so let's recap through what we know.

Fallout 76 will be a large feature at the conference, especially since there are plenty of questions to answer. Bethesda has gotten good traction from their support on the Switch, too, with Skyrim and DOOM launching on the console in the last year.

We know Wolfenstein 2 is coming: but there's plenty of other games that could fit on the console. Like Fallout 3. Wouldn't that be nice?

0900: RAGE 2 will get a good showing as well. Question is, what are we dealing with?

From the gameplay so far, there's a Mad Max / Borderlands 2 vibe. Given that Avalanche are working on it, that makes total sense, although hopefully not every gun takes up a quarter of the screen.

What I want to know is how the entire world is connected, and what the general gameplay loop will be: are you getting quests from NPCs, are you clearing outposts and then taking over control of a map, Far Cry style? That's what I'd like to know more of.

0915: Fun recap from the Xbox conference: out of the most excited games, Fallout 76 was third, with Sekiro and Cyberpunk 2077 the ones people wanted the most. Not surprised there's that much love for a FromSoftware game, to be honest.

But focusing more on Bethesda, it's worth noting that they'll be talking about Quake Champions this year too. That game's fizzled out slightly - there's still a huge community, but it hasn't really caught on with non-Quake fans quite the way I think iD was hoping. I'm curious to see what happens there. That's a difficult community to service, given how long they've loved and played Quake and how modern audiences approach arena shooters.

Still makes for one of the most watchable esports by a country mile, though.

0950: While we're waiting for more information - or leaks - from Bethesda, it's worth noting that you can also watch some gameplay from Jurassic World: Evolution right now. Alternatively, you can just watch that below:

Something to tide us over for the next half hour or so. Wonder if Wal-Mart has got any new listings yet.

1010: Worth remembering - from a little while ago - that the Prey devs hinted about the moon in early March:

And then this a fortnight later:

It's June 10 in the US right now. So it's likely we'll see some Prey DLC announced for later in the year. Be interesting to see if its standalone content, ala Dishonored 2, or straight DLC.

1025: Going back to this morning, a fun fact: more of you are looking forward to Forza Horizon 4 than Kingdom Hearts 3. I can't imagine those will be the most popular games by the end of E3 - something like the Final Fantasy remake would surely trump both. But both games got more votes than Division 2 or Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which is intriguing.

Barely anyone voted for Crackdown 3. Few suggestions wrote in Halo: Infinite, although I think it's hard for people to get more excited about that until we see some gameplay and clarity on the direction it's taking.

One hour to go.

1105: Wow, thanks Chrome for wiping out some edits.

Anyway, I was going to ask: what do you think Bethesda will do on the mobile front this year? I'd like to see the mobile treatment given to a non-Fallout IP. Obviously Elder Scrolls Legends is a thing, but I keep looking at the DOOM board games and wondering why that can't get the turn-based, tactics treatment in a digital form. Kind of like DOOM GO, I suppose.

But we'll probably get Fallout Shelter 2. Or some kind of Fallout 76 companion thing. That's the logical move.

1110: Bethesda stream is just showing off a list of tweets so far. No pre-show yet. I might get a juice.

1115: The pre-show begins. The two Bethesda employees call out that Australia is having a special preshow - basically a cinema viewing in Sydney - so the camera flips upside down. Nice.

1118: Quick recap of Bethesda E3 highlights over the last few years. These two on camera are sweet. Especially the two very good boys they're patting.

1212: Under ten minutes to go now.

Bethesda has put some work into translating their games into VR, but with Skyrim and Fallout already making the transition, is there anything else that would be worthy of the PSVR treatment?

DOOM doesn't work as is, which is why DOOM VFR was a separate kind of experience. I don't think the current gen of VR would really work unless you made it an on-rails experience, given how many problems people have with motion still (and the hardware requirements are a bit of a problem too).

So I guess the other question to ask: would Fallout 3 be worth translating to VR? It'd work on Vive easily enough.

1126: OK, talking about Fallout 76. "We have so much to say when it comes to Fallout 76," the hosts note. As expected, then.

1128: Two minutes left.

1130: And it begins.

A quick montage of a bunch of Bethesda staff, showing off the various roles in the company.

1131: Quick surprise drop: Quake Champions is free-to-play right now, until next week.

OK, that's a great use of the office manager for the VO.

1134: Pete Hines walks out, there's a bunch of guitars and instruments on the stage.

"Create" is the theme this year. Wonder if the Creation Club will come to older Fallout and Elder Scrolls games.

Hines then talks about being proud of being the #1 publisher on Metacritic.

1136: Thanking Wal-Mart Canada for the leak, we're kicking off with Rage 2.

And Andrew W.K joins the stage.

I bet the executives are Blizzard are watching this and going nuts, given how Blizzcon ends every year.

1138: Camera keeps cutting to the audience. Some people are getting into it, but a whole bunch just seem ... confused.

This performance is a bit wasted on the E3 crowd, I think.

Bit of a mismatch on stage. Tim Willits flubs a joke, and then there's awkward silence. Magnus Nedfors - from Avalanche - then makes more silence, and the silence continues.

They're so awkward at this. It's so incredibly painful. Please get to Rage 2. Quickly. Please.

1144: Some Rage 2 gameplay now. It's definitely an open-world game, and there's a lot of coloured fire effects. The transition out of the vehicle looks good.

Hm. Not sold on this yet.

1150: Elder Scrolls Legends this time - the game will be relaunched with new visuals, and it's coming to the Switch, PS4 and XBO later this year.

Dev then name-drops getting an award from Apple. Your progress does carry over from PC to the consoles, which is something at least.

1153: And after Legends comes Elder Scrolls Online, which goes into the Xbox Game Pass this week. The ESO director talks about playing with the community, and having over 11 million players, with one million joining in the last year. Doesn't mention if it's active users or just total players.

The next DLC is called Wolfhunter, and it's based on Werewolves, while the next story DLC is going back to the Argonian home of Black March.

1158: Some stuff on fire, whole lot of crabs walking around, skeletons, and a ton of stuff blown up. Sounds like DOOM.

DOOM Eternal, actually.

It's a sequel, the creative director confirms.

DOOM Eternal will be debuted at Quakecon in August, so they're keeping a lot of it under wraps until then. And oh look, it's the Quake logo.

1202: Speaking of that logo...

Bit of chatter about Quake Champions esports, and talking about a game that's fun for everyone. "Brand new baby to the arena," the host says.

And as mentioned before ...

Smatterings of applause from the crowd. Don't know that I'd be calling Quake one of the most welcoming communities in gaming.

A new QC trailer plays, running through some of the basic champions and their abilities.

Right, it's Arkane's time.

Prey is getting a free update today: three new modes, new game+, a story mode, and a survival mode. The new Prey DLC is called Mooncrash. It looks like it's set in a simulation where you run it over and over again, with the enemies and challenges changing every time you play.

Amazing music choice, too.

Typhon Hunter is a hide and seek game for Prey: it's a 1v5 game where the solo player is a mimic, and they can pretend to be things like a chair, box, and so on.

1212: Machine Games devs to talk about beating the "living fuck" out of Nazis. June 29: that's the launch date for Wolfenstein 2 on the Switch.

Next project "leaps ahead in time" of BJ's twin daughters. "Set in the 1980s in Paris, Wolfenstein: Youngblood pushes the story forward."

It's solo or a two-player co-op game, which is neat.

1215: Pete Hines returns, talking about VR.

Prey's Typhon Hunter mode will be playable in VR, and there'll be a separate singleplayer experience. On top of that, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot will let you play as a hacker taking over Nazi robots.

"Fuck Nazis" gets rolled out for the second time on stage.

1217: Fallout 76 time. Todd Howard, who walks out in a brown jacket.

1218: Howard's talking about the very first E3 in LA, the E3 that went to Atlanta, and the various pain points that E3 went through.

He jokes about Skyrim getting ported again, and a trailer plays.

It's Amazon Alexa ... integration? It sounds like Skyrim turned into a audio book adventure.

But it's largely just a troll video, because why not fuck with people at this point.

1222: Pretty good, that video.

Fallout 76 is a prequel to all other Fallout games, Todd Howard reiterates.

So far, this is the same trailer that played at the Xbox briefing earlier this morning.

1226: Gameplay time! You wake up in Vault 76, with the Overseer giving some voiceover from the PA.

Lots of foliage, bright red and autumn colours as soon as you walk out of the vault. New rendering, lighting and landscape tech, with 16x the detail, Todd Howard says.

Howard then talks about West Virginia more, saying the Overseer sends you on a quest through six regions.

"Each of those characters is a real person," Todd Howard says. Fallout 76 is an "entirely online" game, he adds.

Yes: you can play Fallout 76 solo. "About four years ago, we hit upon an idea that's perfect for Fallout: open world, survival, every person and character is real."

It's more softcore-survival, Howard explains, rather than going the extreme survival route. "Death never means the loss of progression, or your character ... you'll never even see a server when you play. You'll be in a world with dozens, not hundreds, not thousands of other players. It's an apocalypse, not an amusement park."

Sounds like a concession to what the underlying engine was capable of supporting. Throwing other humans into a Fallout game is a titanic-sized wrench.

First shot of the Fallout 76 UI.

1235: You'll be able to build anywhere, and take your constructions with you.

And there's nuclear missile sites on the map, because ... why not?

Another shot of the fuller UI:

Basically, you can get control of nuclear codes and then raid the wasteland for loot. There's a photo mode, and that winged beast is absolutely a thing.

"100% dedicated servers that will support this game and for years to come," Howard says. "We know this is new for all of you, it's new for us, it's a little bit scary, and we're gonna need your help." There will be a beta - Break It Early Test Application.

Fallout 76 drops November 14 internationally.

1242: It's Fallout Shelter's anniversary, so some news: the game's coming to the PS4 and the Nintendo Switch. Works with touch controls or JoyCons, and still free on both platforms.

Both versions are releasing today.

1244: Howard now talking about the iPhone. They had another game that wasn't Fallout Shelter, and it's been in development.

Elder Scrolls: Blades is "a console-quality" game - Howard recommends it running on an iPhone X. Has new combat that focuses on timings, but also what looks like a couple of currencies:

Little snafu and the stage goes dark briefly. Can be played in portrait and landscape mode, and it'll be brought to VR on mobile, as well as Vive/Rift, and consoles and PCs as well.

It's free-to-play, and will be available in the autumn. Can be pre-ordered (or pre-register might be a better term).

But what about beyond this year?

1251: A brand-new next-gen RPG, in a new IP. "Our first wholly original franchise in 25 years," Howard says.

Trailer plays.

It's Starfield, as some have guessed.

But there's a new Elder Scrolls on the way too: Elder Scrolls VI. Some Skyrim-esque music plays, but it's not a confirmed Skyrim sequel.

1305: So, that's it for Bethesda this year. Interested to see how Elder Scrolls plays on a phone that isn't a $1500-plus device. Maybe a $1000 or $1100 phone. Like the baby Pixel 2 or S9.

Beyond that, it's a good mix of projects for 2018 and beyond. Fallout 76 is the main drawcard, of course, but I'll take a new DOOM any day of the week.

I'll be tuning into the rest of the Devolver conference, and wrapping up stuff from the rest of the day. Until then, the liveblogs will resume later this evening for Square Enix - followed by Ubisoft, PC, and Sony. Should be fun.


Comments

    I'm guessing Fallout 4 and Dishonoured 2 for the Switch.

      I would take fallout 4 on the Switch for sure. Never played a fallout game cause I didn’t have the time to sink into it.

    "We know Wolfenstein 2 is coming" eh? Is that left over from last year's live blog? :P

      Oh there's the Switch version I guess

    I don't get it, is Rage 2 a guitar game? Is it like rock band, will I have to buy different controllers?

      Bethesda going strong for a full clear of E3 bingo

    A ranger named Walker, so we are playing as chuck Norris

    argh the take away from E3 so far seems to be a) female leads b) co op in every game possible

    first is not a bad thing if written well, latter is just a sad trend.

    Multiplayer+wave mode+new game plus Prey, co-op 80s Wolfenstein, new DOOM...fuck me what a lineup

    I have come to realise when I have a big dumb smile on my face, I definitely felt it when that Doom music kicked in. I know it is silly puerile fun, but it is so much fun.

    Doom sequel! Stop E3, the most important thing is announced already.

    I'm a little disappointed in the Wolfenstein side story; it basically says that whatever happens in the third main game (supposedly the end of the BJ trilogy), the Nazi's continue to win.

    The most-recent Fallout 76 stuff had me calming down a bit more from pessimistic panic (engine improvements, playable solo, , but what we're seeing now has that cycnism ramping right the hell back up. Tell us, Todd. Tell us. Are those other players going to fuck our shit up, and what options will we be given to opt out of that, beyond, "Miss out on the best shit, then," Division-style.

    Tell me we aren't getting railroaded into PVP, Todd. That's ALL I want to hear. Solo doesn't mean shit. Sea of Thieves said it was soloable. What they meant was you could play solo... against everyone else. Don't tell me that. I really don't want to hear that. Don't tell me 'Death never means the loss of progression', because everywhere else, the next sentence is, get used to it, embrace it... that's PVP talk.

      Well, fuck.

        I mentioned below, as long as they offer friends-only servers, like some other games already do, it'll be fine. Here's hoping they do that.

          But I don't have any friends!

          I very much hope there's an option for friend-only or non-PVP. I am... not optimistic, though.

          Such a move would limit the victim pool for the griefers they're clearly courting.

      so what if it does railroad us into PVP? its just another Fallout game, based around the idea of PVP. That is wheres its focus is, compared to strictly solo games of the past. I dont expect it to have to be as satisfying solo as well. Just because I dont want it to be a pvp game, that doesnt mean I expect them to supply me with an as equal experience. IE this is a game thats others have been screaming out for ages, while they put up with a solo experience.

        So what? The 'so what' is now I'm hugely disappointed. It started to look like something I might actually want to play... and then the opposite. I'd still like some kind of indicator that it's not going to be something I don't want to play.

        That's how expectations, hopes, and preferences in general work. And those not being met results in disappointment.

          Still 5 months out from release, I'm sure we'll learn more as time goes on.

            Bioware and GameInformer did the coolest thing yesterday. Anthem Q&A: Like, a hundred questions asked rapid-fire, minimal nonsense, short-form, succinct, non-PR answers.

            "Can you play offline?"
            "You cannot."
            "Can you play single-player?"
            "You can. Some of the harder content - raids, for example - won't be soloable, but the main story will be single-player friendly."
            "How much of the main story can you play co-op?"
            "After the initial tutorial, all of it."
            "How soon can you play co-op?"
            "The tutorial... hm. About twenty minutes for someone who knows what they're doing."
            "Will there be choices?"
            "There will."
            "Will co-op have influence on those choices?"
            "They will not."
            "Will there be player housing?"
            "The central city will have a player apartment which will act as your main base of operations. Out in the field, that role will be filled in the strider."
            "Will there be social hubs in the strider?"
            "No."
            "Will there be social hubs in the city?"
            "Nnnnnot at launch."
            "Will we be able to spam the dance emote in the city?"
            "You can spam the dance emote on your own in the city."
            "Will there be romance options?"
            "There will not."

            Etc, etc, etc, you get the idea. Hard facts. Yes/no answers. No interpretation, no weasel words, just answers. Frank. Open. Only like... TWO answers total were, "I don't think I can talk about that."

            I'd LOVE to see one of these for Fallout 76. KILL speculation and uncertainty dead.

    Dear Kotaku, your 'latest update at the end' blogs are terrible.

    Starfield and ES6 announcements

      Thank buggery!

      The crowd got real quiet when they started showing off that ES mobile game.

        The mobile one is free so i will probably get it anyway

    well bethesda has won E3 sofar, new Wolfenstein, New Doom, 76 looks very interesting and Rage 2

    Finished a hell of a lot stronger than it started that's for sure

    More Doom? Happy Soldant.

    I have no idea what Fallout 76 is supposed to be, but I'm not optimistic. I play these games so that I can dick around on my own merits. I don't want other players ruining that for me.

      Yep totally agree.
      Doom - very happy!
      F76... meh.

      For me, Elder Scrolls and Fallout typically need mods (quality of life, and balancing) to make them bearable to play - which I don't see working too well with this new system.

    After a rocky start, they finished incredibly strong. Another solid showing by Bethesda this year.

    There's a very good chance Fallout 76 will support personal/friends-only servers, like GTA5 does. That should alleviate concerns over free-for-all PVP. Personally I'm quite looking forward to it now.

    Typhon Hunter is a hide and seek game for Prey: it's a 1v5 game where the solo player is a mimic, and they can pretend to be things like a chair, box, and so on.

    wasn't it the other way

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