E3 2018: Microsoft and Bethesda Conference Roundup

With E3 2018 officially kicked off that means we finally will get all the game developer conferences that come along with it. This E3 is no different with the same exact developers all taking stage, but of course, on different days. Yesterday, we had two developers take stage with Microsoft having their presser in the afternoon and Bethesda tackling the prime time spot. So, in this article we will take a quick rundown of everything you may have missed and go over all the exciting announcements of E3 2018 so far!

BETHESDA

Bethesda showed no mercy last night as they announced numerous titles, sequels and even a brand new IP. Every single year I always ask myself as to why Bethesda even bothers having a presser every year at E3. Of course, they have huge properties under the belt and even some very talented developers to boot. But it just always felt like Bethesda could just go to Microsoft’s, Sony’s or even Nintendo’s presser to announce all the titles that they usually would. But last night really proved me wrong, as I feel the extended looks on some titles really packed the extra punch.

 Fallout 76

Fallout 76

To start off, Rage 2 looks extremely impressive with its stunning and vibrant visuals, extremely fast gameplay and intense vehicular combat. I was a pretty big fan of the first Rage back in 2010, but never did I find myself begging for a sequel. But of course, we can expect Rage 2 to be of the usual great quality from Avalanche Studios and iD software. 

 Rage 2

Rage 2

While I am not one to speak of Elder Scrolls Online, it is awesome to see Bethesda continue to support this title. I was a HUGE fan of DOOM (2016) so seeing the announcement of Doom: Eternal has me absolutely juiced for what is to come. Also, the DLC for Prey also looked extremely impressive and the fact of it being available right as they announced it was the perfect way to deliver the announcement. Finally, the Wolfenstein co-op game titled Wolfenstein Youngblood, seems very intriguing and will no doubt be one of the most anticipated titles for next year. 

Then of course, we get to Fallout 76. Is it a single player game? Is it an online survival MMO? Well, turns out it is sort of a mixture of both. Fallout 76 will be very similar to past Fallouts in a gameplay sense. It will take place in West Virginia and will be the earliest Fallout game in the timeline. But, this time, you will not be surviving the post-apocalyptic wasteland by yourself as this will be the first “online only” Fallout title. You will be able to gather up to four friends and roam all of West Virginia as you your team will fight mutated beasts, raid bases and play the main story. But do not worry, as Bethesda did make it clear that Fallout 76 can be totally played by yourself. While this might be striking for a diehard Fallout fan, I truly believe this is a breath of fresh air for the franchise after the mixed reception from 2016’s Fallout 4. Fallout 76 will be relasing on Xbox One, PC, and PS4 on November 14th, so we do not have to wait much longer to see what Bethesda will truly have in store for this Fallout spinoff.  

 Fallout 76

Fallout 76

Finally Bethesda, left with a mic drop with confirming that Elder Scrolls IV is indeed in development. While they did assure the game is still ways out, it is great for us fans to rest easy that our next adventure in the Elder Scrolls universe will be soon awaiting us. This was not the only big reveal that Bethesda had at the tail end of the conference as they went on to announce their brand new IP, Starfield. While we do not do much about it, we were told that it is a “next-gen” title. So, this probably means this is a 2020 title and will be a launch title for the next gen systems, but of course, only time will tell. 

 Elder Scrolls IV Logo

Elder Scrolls IV Logo

MICROSOFT

Microsoft had its best E3 showing in years yesterday with the showing of some cool upcoming exclusives, the announcement of multiple acquisitions and the hinting of their next brand new Xbox system. 

There is so much to unfold from Microsoft’s presser, but I will start off with what honestly impressed me the most, Halo: Infinite. While we did not get any gameplay, we did see an absolutely stunningly rendered trailer which gave us a sense that Halo will be going back to its roots. There was not a lot of alien life shown, there were human soldiers and we saw a more classic look on Master Chief. It was also unveiled that Infinite is indeed Halo 6, but to what the game will entail is still a mystery. Early rumors point to Infinite being similar in vein to the likes of Far Cry. But, unfortunately this will be a game that we will most likely not hear much about until next years E3.

 Halo: Infinite

Halo: Infinite

On the topic of exclusives, Microsoft once again relied heavily on past brands such as the announcement of this years Forza Horizon 4, Crackdown 3 and next years Gears 5Horizon 4 looks visually stunning as all the Forza games have never failed to do and will no doubt be a delight as it comes out this Fall. Crackdown 3 also finally looks like a finished game, albeit a lot of fun as it will be dropping in February of 2019. But the true eye popper was the reveal of Gears 5. Gears 5 will change up the main protagonist this time around and seems to be more of a lone survivor type of deal. With the mixed to good reception of Gears of War 4 it is nice to see a bit of a shakeup for the franchise on the single player front. But where everyone’s eyes are at is at Gears’ popular multiplayer and while none was shown there will no doubt be more info down the line. While Gears 5 is not due till 2019, the game looked mightily impressive from what we have seen and I am very excited for what is to come next.

 Gears 5

Gears 5

One of the pluses of Microsoft’s outing was the vast presence of third parties. Titles like The Division 2, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Devil May Cry 5, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 were the absolute standouts. With how Xbox has fared this generation, it is good news that they are still managing to get third parties on their side. This probably indicates a new sense of leadership over at Xbox and these developers might believe Xbox has the best footing moving forward. Or, of course, Microsoft chugged out a lot of change to get these games on their stage first, but still it was impressive nonetheless. 

 Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III

But the biggest news to drop out of the conference was Microsoft Studios’ announcement of acquiring not one, not two but FIVE gaming studios, with one of them being a newly brought together team, called The Initiative. The other studios to be grabbed up were Undead Labs (State of Decay Franchise), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few) and Ninja Theory (Hellblade). With many critics always calling out Microsoft for their lack of first party support, it seems Microsoft has been listening and is acting fast. But this definitely seems like a long term announcement and this will no doubt be something that will help them in the beginning of next gen.

This leads into the final point that Microsoft made and that is that the next Xbox is in fact in the works. This has to mean that at E3 2019 we will be getting our first look at the next Xbox. Maybe with a 2020 release to follow. I believe this is a great strategy for Microsoft to tackle. It is beyond clear they have lost the fight this generation and they are aware of it as well. But they believe in the future and they believe with the right games and developers behind it, they can relive their glory days.  

- Paul