Bethesda had one of the most anticipated games at E3 2015: Fallout 4, a new installment of the classic post-apocalyptic RPG series. Fallout 4 is set in Boston, and it's going to arrive with a renewed (albeit optional) focus on rebuilding the wasteland. And a dog.
But there were other reasons to tune into tonight's press conference. And they primarily involved demons, chainsaws, swords, magic, and taking care of tiny people in a vault.
Doom is back in spring 2016
Was there ever any doubt that the new Doom was going to be ridiculously gory? Bethesda made an effort to balance the game's new graphics (it's the first game on the idTech 6 engine) with old-school touches, which effectively means more detailed, quasi-realistic ways to tear inhuman flesh apart with old standby weapons like the chainsaw and super shotgun. True to Doom's history, there's also a multiplayer component, but that was much scarcer during the event.
Doom has new modding tools
The original Doom's level creation tools helped establish the tradition of modding, where a lot of budding game designers still learn their craft. Bethesda as a whole has one of the most vibrant modding scenes, particularly in its fantasy RPG Skyrim. The latest installment of Doom is trying to continue this tradition: it will include a simple system called Snapmap, where players can create and share their own arenas. Perhaps most notably, it's cross-platform, available for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.
The Elder Scrolls is a card game
We can't be absolutely positive that The Elder Scrolls Legends will be Bethesda's take on Hearthstone. But all we've seen of it is a distinctly Hearthstone-tinged trailer, and it's a free-to-play strategy card game based on a fantasy video game. There's a pretty good chance. Either way, it's coming to PC and iPad at some point this year.
A Dishonored sequel is coming
The 2012 Dishonored was a relatively rare piece of "new IP" (i.e. a new franchise) amid long-standing Bethesda-published series like Doom and Fallout, but there was little doubt it would get a sequel. Besides the fact that Dishonored 2 exists (though we don't know when it's coming out), the biggest news at this year's E3 is that you'll be able to switch between playing as two characters, original Dishonored protagonist Corvo Attano and his ward Emily Kaldwin.
Fallout 4 comes out November 10th
The long-awaited Fallout 4 was officially announced in the lead-up to E3. Today, Bethesda showed us a little bit more of the game — crafting is a big deal, and in a major change, you'll actually spend a little bit of time before the apocalypse. It also gave us a fairly close launch date: November 10th. That's not too long to wait for your full-sized real-life Pip-Boy.
A Fallout mobile game launched today
It's called Fallout Shelter, and it's pretty cute. You're the overseer of your own post-apocalyptic vault, responsible for keeping its inhabitants happy and reproductively successful. Given that it's essentially advertising for a full-cost AAA title, Bethesda can avoid the paywalls that plague some free-to-play games. Chris Plante calls this a cross between SimTower and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but I'd rather think of it as Neko Atsume with vault-dwellers instead of cats.