QuakeCon is the annual event for all things Bethesda and id Software, and while every year you can expect lots of deathmatch-filled esports, not every year has such high-profile reveals to look forward to. Developers Bethesda and id Software teased Doom Eternal and Rage 2 at this year’s E3, and this weekend we were finally given a full look at these titles, and more. Here are some of our highlights from from Friday’s keynote and QuakeCon itself:
The Elder Scrolls
There was quite a bit going on with the The Elder Scrolls series at QuakeCon this year. The Master Series tournament for The Elder Scrolls: Legends, the strategy card game based on its namesake series, kicked off QuakeCon this past Thursday. A new expansion was also announced–titled Isle of Madness–which promises more cards and other new content. More information on mobile exclusive The Elder Scrolls: Blades was also given, although sparingly. All that was revealed was that it will have console-level graphics and will be launching sometime later this year. Additional info was also shared for The Elder Scrolls Online, with its upcoming downloadable content Wolfhunter releasing later this year, as well as a new region, Murkmire.
During the Quake Champions Open it was announced that Early Access arena shooter Quake Champions is now completely free to play. There is, of course, purchasable premium currency as well as the option to pay $30 ($20 for the next 24 hours) to unlock all currently available champions and future champions. We also got a look at the newest playable character: the Death Knight. He makes his return from the original Quake. The Death Knight is fire-based, with a sword slash that launches fireballs as well as immunity to fire damage. The Death Knight is available to play now.
Perhaps the most exciting part of QuakeCon was that id Software finally gave us more information about the upcoming Doom Eternal, the follow-up to 2016’s Doom. We got a look at the Doom Slayer’s redesigned armor, which not only features a new look, but also sports a few new tricks. One such addition is a retractable blade that is connected to the underside of the Doom Slayer’s left arm, which is used extensively in the satisfyingly violent Glory Kills. The Doom Slayer also has a new launcher-of-sorts on his left shoulder–used to chuck grenades, instead of just throwing them. One of the new additions is a mechanic called “Destructible Demons” which allows the player to flay away body parts and strip away flesh with weapons. Some weapons and enemies have gained new abilities, with some also getting redesigns with many now more closely resembling their classic Doom and Doom 2 designs. Possibly the coolest weapon change was to the double-barreled Super Shotgun, which now has bayonet/grappling hook attached. Dubbed the Meathook, this attachment allows you to shoot at enemies and then launch yourself towards them. The Slayer is also more agile than ever, with the ability to dash twice in any direction, swing on pipes and climb up on and jump off of walls. We also got a small look at the Invasion mechanic, which will allow poeple to invade your campaign as playable demons and try to kill you, similarly to how hostile players can invade your world in the Dark Souls series. The developers did mention this mechanic will be optional, so you will be able to decide if you want other players to be able to invade your campaign or not. They did not mention a release date yet, however.
A lot of Fallout 76 questions were finally answered at this year’s QuakeCon. Bethesda touched on how character creation and leveling will work, what player versus player interactions might look like, as well as going into detail about the nuclear bomb mechanic. Character creation will be even more in depth than Fallout 4, with more options to create the character you want. And once you’re done, you will be able pose your character for their identification card, as well as take selfies (sigh). Leveling will work in a similar way to previous Fallout games, with players choosing how their “SPECIAL” points are spread out. New to the series is perk cards, which you can assign your different skill trees, with the cost of the perk corresponding to its power.
Those looking for a traditional Fallout experience may be disappointed, as further confirmation that there will be no non-player characters: every character you meet, besides enemies, will be a player. With that in mind, player versus player encounters are inevitable–but the way they work is actually quite interesting: if you come across a player in the wild, you can shoot at them, but it will deal minimal damage. If they decide to fight and return fire, damage will go up to normal levels. If you’re a high level player, don’t expect to dominate lower level players, as damage will be modified to put lower level characters on a more balanced playing field with high-level characters. If you kill a player, you will be rewarded with caps (the currency of Fallout),with the amount depending on the player’s level. That player will also drop all of their junk, which you can then loot. If you come up as the loser in such a confrontation, all acquired guns and armor will not be lost. If a player manages to kill someone who didn’t agree to fight, they will become “wanted”, and will appear as a bright red star on the minimap of every player on the server. A cap bounty will be put on their head, with the bounty being paid out of that player’s own savings.
Finally, the interesting nuclear bomb mechanic was explored in a little more detail. Once a nuke is set to be launched, anyone in the area that will be affected by the blast will be given a good amount of time to evacuate. All buildings in the blast radius will be destroyed, even player made structures. If you have built a structure you can create a blueprint of it, so if it is destroyed you can easily rebuild it. This is great news for people who love to build really ornate and time-consuming structures, as your time won’t be wasted by one nuke.
Rage 2 was also showcased extensively as we were given an extended look at some Rage 2 gameplay. This footage showed off how combat will look in cars and on foot, as well as the various abilities your character will have. We got to see see three weapons: an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a rocket launcher, grenades, as well as the return of the wing stick–basically a boomerang with three blades. Players will have various abilities with which to augment their weapons, like Slam–which is exactly what it sounds like–as well as Shatter, which is a kinetic blast projected from the player’s hand that deals damage and pushes enemies back. There will also be the Overdrive meter which charges as you kill enemies. Once filled, it will allow you to enter Overdrive, which significantly increases your weapons damage and even unlocks new abilities for your weapons. id Software and Avalanche Studios also showed off the much improved car combat, which seems to be taking several hints from Avalanche’s previous game Mad Max, with side-slamming and and a large variety of weapons on your car, like mortars, machine guns, and missiles–all of which were mounted at the same time. It was implied that there will be deep car customization, but vehicular gameplay was only shown using one car, so we’ll have to see what kind of changes can be made to your personal vehicle. If it’s anywhere near as good as Mad Max‘s car customization, I’ll be sold.
You can watch the Bethesda keynote presentation in its entirety below: