This is the fourth year in a row that Bethesda Softworks has scheduled its own press conference in advance of E3. This time around, we know quite a bit about what’s expected to be in that presentation. But there’s certainly plenty of room for surprises, too.
The festivities kick off Sunday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. ET. Be sure to follow along here at Polygon, but also through Bethesda’s official social media channels on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Bethesda.net.
Here’s what we know, and what we think we know, about BE3.
The briefest of teasers for the next game in the Fallout series left fans reeling, but so far Bethesda isn’t saying much about Fallout 76. We’re not even 100 percent sure where it takes place. But we do have a pretty good idea of when: Oct. 27, 2102. Based on the canonical Fallout timeline, that puts the game about 60 years before the original Fallout and at least 150 before the events of Falllout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4.
There’s lots of speculation about what the game could be like. Sources tell Kotaku that there will be an online component, while sources tell Polygon that the game will feature multiplayer action. We’ll know more on June 10.
The first gameplay trailer for Rage 2 arrived in the middle of May. It showed off quite a bit, including multiple, distinct factions and diverse environments — including one that looks an awful lot like the dense jungles of a Vietnam War-era action movie.
Bethesda has said that players will take on the role of Walker, the last Ranger of the wasteland. No, not the Fallout wasteland. And not the Wasteland 2 wasteland, either. This is a third and entirely different land that they’ve wasted especially for the occasion.
The game is being developed by id Software, which Bethesda’s parent company Zenimax acquired in 2009, but also in collaboration with Avalanche Studios. You might remember their work on the Just Cause series of action games. It also developed the single-player action-adventure game Mad Max — a game which, incidentally, took place in a wholly unique and unrelated fourth fictional wasteland.
The official Twitter account for Prey has made some not-so-subtle hints at an expansion coming down the pike. One Tweet sent out in March pretty much outs the setting as Earth’s Moon.
Fans of the original game may recall a bit of lore buried inside the story that calls out a Pytheas facility that “sits deep in a crater on the Lunar pole, permanently shadowed and surrounded by kilometers of ice.” However, a second Tweet by the Prey account shows a grandiose space that looks out onto the surface of Luna itself.
Bethesda’s efforts to reboot the Quake franchise got off to a rocky start. The early access launch of Quake Champions touted the game’s new direction, blending old-school shooter mechanics with the new breed of hero-shooter abilities. Then, in March, the latest update added a mode that turned those same abilities off.
Expect to hear some important news from Bethesda about how they’re improving the game and making it resonate more with players, both new and old alike. There’s also the promise of details on a new dismemberment system that adds dozens of body parts that can be blown off for more satisfying kills.
Wolfenstein, Dishonored and/or Doom
It’s been a good long while since we heard anything new about Dishonored and our favorite collection of steampunk ninjas. That’s likely because Death of the Outsider seemingly wraps up the tale of both Corvo Attano and Emily Kaldwin. It’s unlikely something new would emerge this year, but we can’t count it out entirely. But, if it does, it could just as easily be another standalone expansion as a piece of traditional DLC.
The last new title in the Doom franchise was Doom VFR, a virtual reality title only available to folks with those new-fangled VR headsets. That certainly may have limited its install base, but the reboot of Doom published in 2016 was so good (we made it our game of the year) we’re pretty sure a new title will appear at some point. With so many other announcements, however, this might not be Doom’s moment.
Finally, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus came out in October 2017. In September, Bethesda announced that it would be ported to the Nintendo Switch, with a release date set for the end of this month. With the new, larger install base now would be a good time to announce a big piece of downloadable content, or some sort of Game of the Year edition.
The big RPGs
Last but not least, consider Starfield, a new spacefaring RPG that has been rumored to be in development for a while now. There’s nothing to make us believe it’s making an appearance at this year’s BE3, but you never know.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset arrives June 5 for fans of the massively multiplayer game. We might see a mention of where the next expansion is headed. But when it comes to Elder Scrolls, most fans want to hear about the next entry in the core series. We wouldn’t be surprised if that game is teased with a logo or a piece of concept art.
Don’t forget that Bethesda loves to surprise fans with brand-new titles at these events. They have a particular knack for keeping things under wraps until the last minute, and are known for having relatively short windows between the announcement of a new game and its retail release. Recall that it was was just a few years ago when Bethesda first announced Fallout Shelter, the playful colony simulator, only to release it on iOS that same day. So be on the lookout for one or two big surprises that no one saw coming.