“Emerging From Shadows”

Bethesda kept E3 2016 rolling with their briefing this evening, delivering a robust show with exciting reveals and gameplay showcases. From its heart-pounding opener, to final demo, Bethesda proved that continuing its newfound tradition of holding conferences during E3 is indeed worth it. The energy of the briefing was palpable and the lineup of games compelling, making for an enjoyable watch that maintained a solid pace. Not only did Bethesda simply crush EA’s lackluster showcase which preceded it, but it managed to come with a couple of welcome surprises. The briefing by no means came close to rivaling the likes of last year’s ground breaking conference, although it sure did hold its own.E3 2016 Bethesda's Briefing Impressions (Braxton Haugen) PreyThe publisher spared no time getting into it, opening with an exhilarating reveal of Quake: Champions, id Software’s new multiplayer shooter. Returning after quite the lengthy hiatus, Quake is back with the promise to embrace the fast, skill-based arena combat competition that turned the original into a multiplayer legend. The cinematic reveal trailer was certainly stylistic, and has me hopeful for what a formal gameplay reveal will bring down the line. Let’s just hope it’s more inventive than what we saw with Doom’s lacking multiplayer offering.

Moving past Quake, the briefing turned its focus to Bethesda Game Studios, where a video rundown showed what the studio has been up to as of recent. Fallout 4’s upcoming DLC and Fallout Shelter’s New update were among the announcements, but one in particular stood out. That of course being the long rumored Skyrim remaster for current gen hardware. As someone who isn’t necessarily fond of remasters–especially this late in a generation–I expected to have little investment in an updated rendition of Skyrim. However, when the iconic musical theme kicked in, I couldn’t help but let the excitement get to me. It’s still up in the air if I will in fact return to that world I’ve already spent so many memorable hours in, but I’m certainly not opposed to it. Keeping the punches coming, Bethesda dropped a reveal trailer for what one of the teams over at Arkane Studios has been working hard on for the last few years. The trailer came with a creepy vibe, hinting at thought-provoking subject matter and fascinating sci-fi plot devices, eventually revealing itself as a reboot for Prey. Easily one of the more unexpected aspects of the conference, the reveal of a rebooted take on Prey has me very excited. In regards to the trailer itself, I felt it did a fantastic job conveying the cursory tone we can expect from the project come launch sometime later next year.

The briefing was brought to a close with a wealth of Dishonored 2 information and superb gameplay. Acting as Bethesda’s big fall game, Arkane’s followup to the beloved original gives players more options from a gameplay perspective this time around. While the presentation was fantastic, pound for pound, it did kill the momentum of the presser following the rather solid first half. Though a necessary and understandable move considering the publisher’s current lineup, I couldn’t help but feel as if Dishonored 2’s showcase almost belonged in a separate show from the one it resided in, altogether. One aspect of the showcase that really stood out to me was the intoxicating atmosphere of the world on display. From both an aesthetic and tonal perspective, Dishonored 2 has peaked my interest. There’s a thick layer of perplexing somberness that hangs in the air, in turn, making everything that plays out in its world automatically more interesting. However, it isn’t as if Dishonored 2 was lacking compelling traits in the first place. Everything about the title looks top-notch, from the deep stealth combat, to the gorgeously realized environments. Following the briefing, Dishonored 2 has considerably climbed its way up my most anticipated remaining games of the year.E3 2016 Bethesda's Briefing Impressions (Braxton Haugen) Dishonored 2Below is the biggest news from Bethesda’s E3 2016 press conference.

The Big Announcements

While I certainly could have gone for more information regarding both Wolfenstein and The Evil Within, Bethesda still managed to put enough meat on the bones of their briefing to make it feel worthwhile. News surrounding Quake, Prey, Elder Scrolls Online and the Skyrim remaster gave the conference a level of substance I feared it may have lacked, in the event games not as substantial as Elder Scrolls 6 were the main focus. Clearly this way of thinking was wrongfully constructed, for Bethesda showed us this evening that they do indeed have the year after year, justifiable clout to stand next to any other third-party publisher in the wake of E3 madness.

And that’s exciting.

Note: Be sure to check back everyday for continually updated and exciting content surrounding this year’s show.

To keep up with my thoughts on all things E3 2016 as they go down live, connect with me on Twitter @BraxHaugen.