For many fans, Bethesda's E3 2015 press conference was one of the highlights of the show. Sure, Sony had quite a few huge reveals of its own, but the double whammy of a 15-minute Doom reveal and Fallout 4's big release date surprise made for some of the best moments of the entire show ... and that only covers a fraction of what Bethesda had on offer.
One year later, and fans are on the edge of their seats. Bethesda made huge waves during last year's show, and everyone's wondering what the publisher has up its sleeve. With Doom quickly becoming one of the biggest games of the year so far, Bethesda is seemingly on top - except for the fact that no one knows exactly what it will be showing at E3 2016.
Of course, different fans all have different expectations: will The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim be making its debut on current-gen hardware? Will Bethesda reveal the rumored Doom single-player expansion? Is it time for another Wolfenstein game to take center stage? When will Dishonored 2 hit store shelves? Is anyone still playing The Elder Scrolls Online?
Bethesda certainly had quite a lot to show at this year's press conference - and there was more than one reveal that caught everyone off guard.
Considering just how well the Doom reboot is doing, it's really no surprise that id Software's other shooter is making a return. Bethesda didn't have too much to say about Quake: Champions - more is set to be revealed at QuakeCon later this year - but the team did share a few details about the game.
Firstly, the game is being designed for PC only - Bethesda made no mention of a console port whatsoever. That may sound like a bummer, but Bethesda is assuring players that Quake: Champions will run at 120 Hz and unlocked frame rates - if your hardware can handle it, that is.
On top of that, Quake: Champions won't be a straight multiplayer arena shooter. While many tenants of the original games are intact, Bethesda also confirmed that the game would feature a number of different characters, each with their own unique attributes and abilities - but you probably shouldn't expect to see something on the same level as something like Overwatch. That being said, there's still a big focus on e-sports - and again, players will see more at this year's QuakeCon.
Sadly, that's about it - Bethesda only promised that more info was on the way, but there's been no mention of the game's release date just yet.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
Bethesda took a moment to update fans on The Elder Scrolls: Legends, though there wasn't much to go on. Bethesda did confirm that the game would receive a proper story mode, and that they're be a big focus on player choice - the biggest piece of news, however, is the fact that the currently closed beta would be opened to more people during the week of E3.
Legends still doesn't have a concrete launch date, though Bethesda did confirm that the game would be headed to mobile platforms alongside the PC release.
Following last year's blowout, it's should come as no surprise that Fallout returned to Bethesda's E3 showcase. The primary focus was on the second set of DLC expansions: the "Contraptions Workshop" update will add in player-made machinery and gadgets, while the "Vault-Tec Workshop" update will give gamers the power to create and maintain their own underground Vaults. The game's final expansion, "Nuka-World," only got a short teaser trailer during the showcase - though Bethesda promised that it would be on a similar scale to the recently released "Far Harbor."
For Fallout Shelter, a new update will allow players to create recon parties and send them out on quests. This includes new monsters, characters and for the first time in Fallout Shelter, combat. Not only that, but Fallout Shelter will be hitting PCs this July!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
Yes, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is coming to current-gen consoles.
As was previously rumored, the entire game is being overhauled for newer hardware, including remastered lighting and effects. Not only that, but Skyrim mods will be available on consoles, seemingly in a similar fashion to Fallout 4.
Other than that, Bethesda was relatively hush-hush on what gamers can expect to see - thankfully, the team did confirm that Skyrim: Special Edition is due out this October.
Many thought that Prey 2 was dead. As it turns out, the project is still alive - but it's not the same game it used to be.
The current version of Prey takes place in 2032. Players take on the role of a test subject on the mysterious Talos 1 space station - it's not long before things go wrong, and players are forced to try and discover what was really happening on the station, all while avoiding the vicious alien presence that's taken over.
Nothing was shown in terms of gameplay, but the new direction is an intriguing one - the idea of hunting down space bounties is great, but time-traveling and government conspiracies are worth a replacement. Add some solid first-person shooter mechanics and a healthy dose of sci-fi horror, and the new Prey is looking great.
Plus, the game actually has a release window now: Bethesda has promised that the game will be due out sometime in 2017, and that more information will be available at QuakeCon later this year.
Doom was one of the highlights of last year's show, but Bethesda's E3 2016 were rather light. The team did confirm that new SnapMap updates would be on the way (including the ability to build levels in Hell), and the game's first premium DLC pack would be arriving soon with all of the content you'd expect. The only thing missing were release dates - neither of the updates were given proper release windows.
What's more surprising is that, in the tradition of classic Doom games, Bethesda has made the first level of the game available for free - starting now. It'll only be available for a week, but it's a nice gesture for those who haven't gotten a chance to play the game just yet.
The Elder Scrolls Online: The Dark Brotherhood
At last year's show, Bethesda dedicated quite a bit of time to The Elder Scrolls Online - this year, however, it was more of a side attraction. Bethesda did debut a new trailer for the upcoming "Dark Brotherhood" expansion, but aside from some stealth gameplay, not much was detailed.
More impressive was the "One Tamriel" update, which will remove any and all restrictions on content or quests. Basically, it won't matter what your level or affiliation is - you'll be able to play everything The Elder Scrolls Online has to offer no matter what.
Virtual reality is huge right now, so it's no surprise that Bethesda is throwing its hat into the ring. While the idea of a "virtual tour" within the world of Doom sounds great, the HTC Vive port of Fallout 4 is what most players will be looking forward to. Bethesda promised that the VR port of Fallout 4 would be due out sometime next year - unfortunately, that was it in terms of specifics.
If Fallout 4 was the marquee title of last year's showcase, than Dishonored 2 takes the top honors for 2016.
Dishonored 2 takes place fifteen years after the original, with players assuming one of two roles: Corvo Attano, the assassin from the first game, or his daughter Emily Kaldwin. A mysterious, "otherworldly" assassin has taken control of Emily's throne, and it's up to the two of them to find out exactly what's going on. Each character has unique skills and upgrades, as well as a voice - considering Corvo's lack of conversation skills in the first game, it's a big upgrade.
That being said, Corvo's voice isn't the only upgrade: gameplay in Dishonored 2 looks more open and player-driven than ever before. The city of Karnaca promises huge vistas and increased verticality, giving players even more options when it comes to getting through a mission. Not only that, but procedurally generated storms will occasionally sweep through the city, affecting both players and their targets alike.
Of course, when it comes to tracking said targets, both Emily and Corvo have plenty of new options. Bethesda promised revamped skill trees for both characters, and Emily will have her own, entirely unique set of abilities: for instance, the "Mesmerize" skill will entrance a number of NPCs at once, allowing for a quick, non-violent way past a group of enemies. The "Domino" ability tethers targets together, and whatever happens to one will affect everyone: if you stun one guard with a mine, anyone he's connected to will be stunned as well.
Or you could just shoot him in the face.
The level design has also been expanded upon. Aside from the previously mentioned verticality, player actions will also affect both the current mission and future objectives. For instance, in one mission, players can join up with one of two warring gangs in order to get closer to a target - or, it's possible to simply ignore them and head straight for the kill. It's the sort of impact that the first game hinted at - with any luck, Arkane Studios can knock it out of the park in Dishonored 2.
When it comes to actually buying the game, if you feel like spending a little extra, Dishonored 2 also comes with a beautiful Collector's Edition. Along with the game and a few extras, players will receive replicas of both Corvo's iconic mask and Emily's intricately detailed ring. Either way, fans who preorder Dishonored 2 will also receive a copy of Dishonored: Definitive Edition - but the promotion will only last for a limited time.
Finally, Bethesda confirmed that Dishonored 2 will hit later this year: the game is due out on Nov. 11.
Oh, and blood flies? As in, flies that make their homes inside human organs? Not cool, Arkane.
Bethesda had quite the showcase, but there's still plenty of E3 left to go: for everything on this year's show, make sure to check out our ever-expanding E3 2016 coverage hub!