E3 2018 | Press Conferences: Day 2 Highlights (Microsoft, Bethesda)
Published on June 10, 2018
We’re back with the second day of E3 2018! The first of the Big Three, Microsoft, along with Bethesda take their turns to show off what they’ve kept under the radar and new details on upcoming releases. Here’s everything they announced.
This year’s conference was nothing like last year’s. With 50 games, 18 exclusives, and 15 world premieres over 90 minutes, it was packed to the brim with content. We kept the detailed list to the big announcements, with a full list of announcements in the next section.
Kicking off the conference was a trailer that started off with showing off various landscapes. It wasn’t until 90 seconds in that we see the helmet of a familiar character. Master Chief is back to continue the story after the events of Halo 5 in a new game called Halo Infinite. Not much was shown of the game after the teaser, and 343 Industries has been pretty sparse in details other than letting us know that it will be available for both Xbox One and Windows 10. We haven’t been given a release date yet, and it’s most likely that we’ll have to wait until at least 2019 before we can retake control of Master Chief.
Sekiro Shadows Die Twice
Following up their Game Awards 2018 teaser, From Software has unleashed footage from their new game Sekiro Shadows Die Twice. Set in a twisted version of feudal Japan, Sekiro breaks away from their existing titles to create a unique environment in which players will most certainly struggle to survive in. Powered with an augmented arm of sorts, the main character can use a grappling hook to move about the world. We also got a good look at some intense fights with a giant, a samurai, and a mounted rider of sorts. The combat looks brutal and punishing; a style that we have come to expect with From Software games. The game has been slated for a 2019 release.
Terry Crews returns to the streets of Crackdown 3 as Commander Isaiah Jaxon, this time appearing in character and giving an extended peek at what the game has to offer. Many features players of the first two games will be familiar with make their return: sprinting through the streets and jumping from building to building, defeating the big bads of the gangs, a transforming Agency vehicle with various capabilities, and collecting Agility Orbs. Some of the weaponry was shown off, with the more mundane homing rocket launcher, vortex cannon that sends baddies flying, and a graviton cannon that causes enemies to become bound to one another. Crackdown 3 is scheduled to release in February 2019.
Forza Horizon 4
Forza game announcements have been pretty synonymous with Microsoft press conferences; with Forza Horizon 3 being revealed at E3 2016, and Forza Motorsport 7 last year. This year was no different, with the announcement of Forza Horizon 4. The most significant changes from the previous installment are the introduction of seasons; changing the landscape from lush spring to snow-covered winter. They made a pretty big deal out of it; with “autumn leaves” falling in the theater as the trailer ended. Open-world gameplay makes a return, and the chat functions have been upgraded to make it easier than ever to communicate with your friends. It looks like the infrastructure has been improved as well, with a lot more cars driving around in the world instance. Get your off-roading racing, and crazy stunts fill when Forza Horizon 4 releases on October 2nd, 2018.
Cuphead DLC — The Delicious Last Course
Adding to their smash hit Cuphead from this year, Studio MDHR announced content DLC named The Delicious Last Course. The short 35-second trailer mentions that we’ll be getting a new playable character named Ms. Chalice, along with a new isle, bosses, weapons, charms, and “more.” Another character named Chef Saltbaker is shown, but it’s not clear what role he will have in the add-on. The DLC is expected to release sometime in 2019, and no pricing details have been given out yet.
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
It has been ten years since the release of the original version of Tales of Vesperia on the Xbox 360. Due to various reasons, the PS3 port, which included content cut from the initial release, never released outside of Japan. No longer will that be the case, as Yuri and his party will be reaching all shores in the form of Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. The definitive edition will be a remastered version of the PS3 release available for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is set to spam Tidal Wave in Winter 2018.
Devil May Cry 5
After a very long round of teasing and hints by series director Hideaki Itsuno, Devil May Cry 5 received a worldwide premiere in the form of a trailer focusing on some of the character interactions and brief instances of gameplay. Returning from Devil May Cry 4, Nero is shown off with a new shorter hairstyle, bionic arm, and female companion that is helping him for reasons not currently known. In a bit of a mini flashback scene, a mysterious stranger in shadows is shown roughing up Nero before taking his Devil Bringer and perhaps also abducting love interest Kyrie. In the combat footage shown, the action is very reminiscent of what was seen in DMC4, with the bionic arm functioning in a similar manner to the Devil Bringer. Devil May Cry 5 will fill our dark souls with light in Spring 2019.
Worlds collide in the latest fighting game offering from Bandai Namco in the form of Jump Force, referring to the popular Japanese manga publication Shonen Jump. The trailer showed off the destructive and awesome powers mainstay characters such as Naruto, Luffy, and Goku are known for as they pummel one another and send each other flying. In the very limited gameplay segments shown, the arena, movement, and combat system seem to be similar to Pokken Tournament. In a final zoom out, Light and Ryuk from Death Note are shown observing the battle unfold from a nearby building. Jump Force will begin settling character power level debates in 2019.
Dying Light 2
In a surprise announcement, Techland announced Dying Light 2, a sequel to their 2015 zombie survival game. This game will have an increased focus on player decisions and allow the player to shape the world that they live in. The short gameplay demo focused in on a mission in which the player is tasked with negotiating a deal over the water supply for the region. Eliminating the local gang that has control of it will allow free access to water and let the area flourish under the Peacekeepers; a faction focused on civil order. On the other hand, you could opt to strike a deal with the gang and sell the water at the black market. This, however, will attract unrulier and potentially violent groups to the region resulting in possible unrest. The trailer also showed a small tease at the infected world that emerges at night. Dying Light 2 currently has no release window.
Just Cause 4
Continuing the story of the Mexican secret agent Rico Rodriguez, Avalanche Studios revealed the latest entry in their series Just Cause 4. The trailer shows a lot of what we have come to love of the series: a massive number of explosions, gunfire, and high-speed chases. However, if the wingsuit from the previous game wasn’t enough, we got to see Rico driving straight into a tornado this time around. You read that right. He literally drives his car into a tornado. Get ready for this action-packed game as it releases on December 4th this year.
Gears of War 5
After a confusing and slightly disappointing reveal of Gears Pop! and Gears Tactics, Microsoft Gaming boss Phil Spencer announced that Gears of War 5 is coming. In the reveal trailer, we were able to see some familiar faces, but Spencer mentioned that the game’s story would be focused on Kait Diaz, the Outsiders member first introduced in Gears of War 4. The trailer was jam-packed with action, new enemies, and environments. With a promise of the “most beautiful Gears world ever created,” fans should be excited to explore and finally be able to continue the story. Gears of War 5 will release sometime in 2019.
With a reveal like that of Sombra at BlizzCon 2016, Cyberpunk 2077 hacked its way into the Microsoft press conference. The trailer gives us a great glimpse into Night City; a sprawling metropolis filled with crime, poverty, pop culture, and the ever-hopeful American dream. The protagonist is named V, a hired gun about to start on his first contract in the big city. We don’t quite know yet what exactly V does, but with a world filled with guns, futuristic augmentations, and violence, it probably isn’t looking too much on the legal side. Although it hurts not seeing a release date in the trailer, if we’ve waited five years for this, it can’t hurt to wait a little longer.
Rest of the Microsoft Announcements
- Fallout 76. It was weird to see Todd Howard step out when Bethesda has their conference in a few hours. He confirmed the game is a prequel to all other games, will be four times the size of Fallout 4 and set in West Virginia. More on this (hopefully) after Bethesda’s conference.
- New Ori and the Will of the Wisps trailer.
- The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. Set in the Life is Strange Universe. Launching June 26th for free.
- NieR:Automata Become as Gods Edition was announced, confirming the leaks from last night.
- New Metro Exodus trailer focusing a lot more on combat. Will be released on February 22nd, 2019.
- New Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer showing off the world of Frozen and a heartless Aqua. The release date of January 29th, 2019 was confirmed. More on this after the Square Enix conference.
- Two Sea of Thieves DLC packs: Cursed Sails in July and The Forsaken Shores in September.
- Battlefield V Teaser for the singleplayer campaigned that EA told us about yesterday. It wasn’t much, a quick 30-second trailer with no gameplay.
- Microsoft acquired five game studios: The Initiative, Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games (We Happy Few)
- New We Happy Few trailer. Launching August 10th.
- New PUBG features: a new map in Summer 2018, War Mode (Deathmatch-style mode), riot shields, and a teaser for a snow map in Winter 2018
- Trailer for The Division 2 that included gameplay. Releasing March 15, 2019. More to come after the Ubisoft conference.
- Xbox Gamepass: FastStart is a new infrastructure that lets gamers start up games faster. Coming in June.
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider trailer feature a lot more gameplay and background story. Hopefully more to come after the Square Enix conference. Launching September 14th.
- Not Skate 4, but a skateboarding game called Session. No extra details.
- Black Desert trailer.
- Battletoads are returning! In 2019!
- Tunic trailer showing off new gameplay.
- One of the most confusing and potentially infuriating announcements, Gears POP! is a mobile game is coming in 2019.
- More Gears games! Gears Tactics: a strategy game that’s similar to XCOM. No extra details.
There was a lot anticipation surrounding Bethesda’s conference with the leaks of Rage 2 and the early announcement of Fallout 76. No one was exactly sure what they would bring to the table, and we were pleasantly surprised!
Although not as much a surprise as they might have wanted it to be (thanks Walmart), Bethesda showed some new bells and whistles on Rage 2. In the game, you play as Walker, the last ranger in a wasteland many years after a meteor hit the planet and wiped out most of the population. The trailer showed some excellent futuristic looking rifles and shotguns in tandem with crazy looking gadgets like a homing boomerang and anti-gravity grenades. The world itself is a seamless open world with action-packed vehicular combat. Additionally, Walker can gain new abilities through the use of nanotrite upgrades. The game is shaping up to be a crazy and wild experience. Rage 2 launches in Spring 2019.
The cat is out of the bag finally as Bethesda is moving the fallout genre to multiplayer, although you can still enjoy the game in singleplayer. Fallout 76will feature a massive world with six distinct regions in West Virginia with up to dozens of players to team up with or fight against. Your character is one of many to leave Vault 76; a vault designed to celebrate the tercentenary of the USA. In this world, you are free to build wherever you please and move your base wherever you want. That second part is an important thing to keep in mind as Bethesda has fully embraced the term fallout by allowing players to take control of nuclear missile silos around the world and launch nukes wherever they please. The game is “softcore” (Todd’s words, not mine) in that although there is a survival aspect, there is no permadeath and players will not lose any items or progression upon death. The game also includes new emotes, a photo mode, and most importantly, fully dedicated servers. The game launches November 14th and will also have an open beta as well as a collector’s edition that includes a T-51 power armor helmet with built-in headlight and voice modifier.
Elder Scrolls Blades
Following the success three years ago of Fallout Shelter, Elder Scrolls Blades is a new mobile game in development. The gameplay consists of swiping gestures for different attacks in addition to casting special magic attacks. Although it is for phones, the game will feature console quality graphics and three different game modes: the town, abyss, and arena. The city will be the main story of the game and will take players through both randomly generated and hand-crafted dungeons. It will also feature a town building mode and the ability to visit the towns of your friends. The abyss is a roguelike game mode that features perma-death and challenges the player to go as far as they can. Finally, the arena mode is a 1v1 combat mode where you can dual against other players. As Bethesda is also planning to launch the game for the PS4, Switch, and PC VR, all different sorts of gamers will be able to battle each other for glory in the arena. For mobile devices, the game can also be played in both portrait and landscape mode. The game is coming out sometime this fall for mobile and unknown for the console/PC versions.
Future of Bethesda
As a final tease, Bethesda gave us a short sneak peak of their next-gen titles. First was Starfield. This title is some singleplayer game that has been strongly rumored for a while. It will be the first new Bethesda IP in over two decades. Finally, Todd dropped the bomb (no pun intended) that The Elder Scrolls VI is in development in some capacity and we were able to see a 30-second teaser of the new world. These games are most likely years away, but it is cool to see what Bethesda has up their sleeve for the future.
Rest of the Bethesda Announcements
- Elder Scrolls Legends gets a new graphical overhaul and will be coming to all platforms (the PC version is currently already out)
- Elder Scrolls Online Summerset will get two new content patches. First is Wolfhunter which will focus on dungeons with werewolves. Second is Murkmire which will take place in the argonian land of Blackmarsh.
- Doom Eternal announcement. More details to come at Quakecon this August.
- Quake Champions is going to have more tournaments. It will also be having a new free to play beta version coming this week. If you play during this period, you will get to play for free until it launches.
- Prey is getting a few new game modes. First is a new story mode. Next is a New game+ node. Finally, it is getting a new survival mode. It is also getting a new mode called Typhon hunter which is a 1 v 5 game mode in which five players control mimcs which can hide as random objects around the world. The one person must find and kill all of the mimics.
- Prey is also getting a brand new DLC called Mooncrash which randomizes the weapons and enemies in each playthrough, so you get a new experience each time.
- Wolfenstein II is getting a new DLC called Wolfenstein: Youngblood. It takes place in Paris in the 1980’s and will feature B.J. Blazkowicz’s two twin daughters as the main characters. The game will also be a new co-op experience. This is slated for release in 2019.
- Bethesda is adding new VR experiences to both Prey and Wolfenstein.
- Prey will have VR added in the new Typhon Hunter gamemode as well as a new VR singleplayer mode focused on puzzle solving.
- Wolfenstein has a new VR game called Cyberpilot where the objective is to hack into Nazi machines and well… kill nazis.
- Skyrim got a humorous trailer after all the memes over the past year of three new ways to experience Skyrim: Skyrim Very Special Edition for your Alexa, Skyrim for your pager, and Skyrim for your Samsung smart fridge. All of these are obviously fake (except for the Alexa one?).
- Fallout Shelter is coming to both PS4 and Nintendo Switch and is available right now.
And that wraps it up for Day 2 of conferences! We’ll be back bright and early tomorrow to cover the Square Enix, Ubisoft and Sony conferences. See you soon!