E3 Day Zero
E3 2016 unofficially got off to an even earlier start this Sunday. With the exception of Mondays major press conference blowouts, the show doesn’t even open until the 14th. That aside, EA and Bethesda marked the opening of the week’s events with EA’s ‘Play’ event and Bethesda’s #BE3 showcase.
Eschewing the traditional show-floor presence this year, Electronic Arts opted for a more gamer-centric event that took place simultaneously in LA and London. The conferences were open to fans and allowed hands-on game time to the attending public after the presentation. EA Play opened with the official unveiling of Titanfall 2. The game brings in 6 new titans, loads of customization and progression paths and a full single-player campaign for those of you, like me that suck at online multiplayer. Titanfall 2 drops this Fall.
EA then moved to shore up its sports and esports credentials announcing Madden 2017 and 3 new esports leagues including Challenger Events, Premier Events, and the EA Majors which will broadcast live around the world. Also coming soon is FIFA 17: The Journey, which will include a full story mode and the inclusion of famous football managers.
We then got a brief look at Mass Effect: Andromeda with a behind-the-scenes video of the game’s development. This included snippets of gameplay and outlined the next installment’s story taking place in a whole new universe with the ultimate goal of finding a new home for humanity.
For the second year in a row, EA announced yet another indie game it is backing titled ‘Fe’. A game intricately linked with nature and music. The title will funnel through EA’s just announced ‘Originals’ program which sees the publishing giant partner with small developers and sending profits directly to the creators for new, unique IP.
Cashing in its exclusive, landmark Star Wars deal. EA’s Jade Raymond took the stage to touch on EA’s multiple Star Wars titles currently in development across its studio base. These will include a new Battlefront game from DICE and EA Motive, an action/adventure title from Visceral Games written by Amy Hennig of Uncharted fame, and yet another action/adventure title from Respawn, makers of Titanfall. Jade also announced a VR experience inside of the current Battlefront game, no further details were given but expect it to launch alongside PlayStation VR.
Closing out the show was Battlefield 1. The showcase opened with slick, fantastic looking in-game footage and some information on the games ‘behemoth’ vehicles including airship, armored train and battleships. Destruction and weather will also affect gameplay in interesting ways. BF1 launches October 21st.
Bethesda got things off to a great start with the world premiere of Quake: Champions. The game looks it may shape up into Bethesda’s own MOBA and includes hero characters. More information is forthcoming at the next Quakecon.
Not to be excluded from the card-game genre, Bethesda announced Elder Scrolls: Legends. The game will bump up against the wildly successful Hearthstone from Blizzard and CD Projekt Red’s ‘Gwent’ title.
Fallout 4 is getting DLC! This includes the new Vault-Tec Workshop, which meshes building and crafting of your own vault (similar to the Fallout Shelter app) in the main game. The Nuka World amusement park DLC is also coming to the game in the coming months. Fallout Shelter is also getting some love with new updates including quest and a brand-new combat system.
One of my favourite announcements thus far involves one of Bethesda’s older titles. Skyrim is getting a full remaster which will include mods and completely revamped visuals and performance. All DLC is included as well. Skyrim Special Edition is coming October 28th.
The fine folks at Arkane Studios then took to the stage and unveiled the new ‘Prey’. The game seems wholly unrelated to the events of the original game, and Arkane has dropped nearly everything from the planned Prey ‘2’ title shown off a few years ago by Human Head Studios. The game takes place on a space station and will have a psychological twist to it. The game is still early days, but judging by Arkane’s proven prowess, I think we’re in for a treat.
Fresh of its raging success, Doom is getting free multiplayer updates as well as its first premium DLC multiplayer pack titled ‘Unto Evil’. Bethesda has also decided to launch a downloadable demo of Doom’s first level.
Not to be forgotten, Elder Scrolls Online is launching its Dark Brotherhood expansion on consoles soon and the entire game will be receiving the ‘One Tamriel’ update which will allow players to experience the entire game regardless of level restriction.
Bethesda closed out the show with an in-depth look at Dishonored 2, (finally) including in-game footage that outlined the new locale, opening story beats and the new skill set for protagonist Emily. The art-style in this game is still wholly unique and slightly twisted. This is definitely one to look forward to. The game hits stores this November.