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The RPG Files: The RPG News of E3 2016

By Christopher Coke on June 17, 2016 | Columns | Comments

The RPG News of E3 2016

Another E3 has come and gone and with it another tidal wave of gaming news. This week in the RPG Files, we’re looking at all of the roleplaying news that’s fit to print. Read on to see just what this year’s biggest presser had for RPG fans!

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All of the major players held or took part in conferences. This is what we found out.

EA

EA kicked things off, but it was actually pretty light on the RPG front. We got a brief glimpse of Mass Effect: Andromeda which Bioware promises will be bigger and offer more freedom than any game they’ve made before. Honestly? It was an excuse to show us the pretty graphics possible on the Frostbite engine. Still, we got a look at some of the new worlds, vehicles, and aliens inhabiting Andromeda. Nine months from release, they should be ready to show us more. Expect a delay. EA also showed us some of the single and multiplayer in Titanfall and Battlefield 1 if you’re into shooters with progression mechanics.

Bethesda

Bethesda had an impressive showcase with a lot to get excited about. Todd Howard appeared on video to tease the next three DLC packs coming for Fallout 4. Contraptions will be first, allowing you to add mechanical functions to your settlements, followed by Vault-Tec which will allow you to design and run your own vault, ala the mobile app and “experiment on dwellers.” Lastly, and probably the most likely to add meaningful story content, is Nuka World which will be adding a new region with a theme park to the wasteland… and the ability to play as a raider! There is also a Fallout 4 VR Edition coming to the HTC Vive next year. Bethesda also confirmed that Skyrim: Special Edition will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this October, complete with remastered visuals and mod support. Dishonored 2, Prey, and a new Quake game were also highlighted, as well as some neat new additions to The Elder Scrolls Online. Don’t hold your breath on Elder Scrolls VI news, though. Todd Howard says it’s a “very long way off.” Apparently, Howard is also working on two other Elder Scrolls, Fallout-sized projects.

Microsoft

The big MS seemed out to draw blood this year. They kicked things off by announcing their slim Xbox One S and followed it up with a cavalcade of other exciting news. Of note was the unveiling of Xbox Anywhere, a new program which allows players to purchase digital versions of select games and instantly be able to access them on PC or Xbox One. Undead Labs confirmed that State of Decay 2 is in the works, but was pretty mum on details. Rare took the stage and impressed us with a look at their pirate MMO (they’re not using that acronym but we call it as we see it) Sea of Thieves. Platinum Games gave us a good preview of their take on the Monster Hunter formula, Scalebound with some boss fight footage. Dead Rising 4 was confirmed for this holiday. CD Projekt Red revealed their next game will be a stand alone version of Gwent, coming this September. We also got an incredible preview of the Titan boss fight in Final Fantasy XV.

Neat, but also controversial, is Project Scorpio, Microsoft’s much more powerful update to the Xbox One coming next year.

PC Gaming Show

PCGamer’s PC Gaming Show was no slouch either. They revealed Dawn of War 3, the space colony builder Oxygen Not Included, ARK: Survival Evolved’s new mega dinosaur and the mod-based ability to play as animals, the super exciting siege-based Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord, a new trailer for Deck 13’s Dark Souls’ inspired The Surge, Dontnod Entertainment’s Vampyr, and Torn Banner’s Mirage: Arcane Warfare.

Ubisoft

Ubisoft had a lot of neat games to show. The best was definitely the in-depth look at South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Matt Parker and Trey Stone took the stage to show us the introduction to the now super-hero themed game. It certainly seems to carry the charm of The Stick of Truth and adds some complexity to the combat system while still remaining turn-based. Ubisoft also showed off some of Watch Dogs 2. Short version? It’s more Watch Dogs. We’ll see if they solve the issues with the first.

Sony

Sony kicked things off with the stunning reveal reveal of the God of War reboot. Kratos is reborn in a norse setting with what looks to be a more advanced progression system, a son who sticks with him through the whole game, and… dragons! Sony Bend’s Days Gone is a touching post apocalyptic game appearing like a cross betweenThe Last of Us and World War Z. The long awaited The Last Guardian was also shown and given a release date of October 25th. Gamers were treated to a new demo of Guerrilla Games’ open world action RPG, Horizon: Zero Dawn, showing the game’s combat, gathering, and dialogue mechanics. A whole slew of VR demos were shown, including the Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (demo available now on PS Plus) and a special mode in Final Fantasy XV. Final Fantasy’s doesn’t seem that practical, but it looks like a neat one-off.

Nintendo

Nintendo started off strong with our best look at Legend of Zelda yet, now subtitled Breath of the Wild. There can be no question: Zelda is officially an RPG. It doesn’t seem as full fledged as others, but our demo showed us some exciting new additions: equippable items and weapons from chests and enemies, building fires and cooking, eating food to replenish health, and weapons that break down when used. This officially makes Breath of the Wild the most exciting Zelda in years. Also, Pokemon Sun and Moon got a hefty preview.

Other Notable News From the Week (in and out of E3)

There was certainly much more than what’s included here. Let us know what we missed and what you liked most in the comments below!

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.