A breakdown of the quakecon keynote
QuakeCon is a blast; for three days, attendees get to delve into Bethesda’s rich catalog of games in the hearty city of Dallas, Texas. The show floor is jam-packed with exhibitions showcasing the latest line-ups which (this year) included Doom Eternal, ESO, Quake Champions amongst other titles. Originally the host of a Quake tournament 21 years ago, QuakeCon stemmed into a festival celebrating id and Bethesda titles each year. As of the time of writing, QuakeCon has begun and it began with one hell of a keynote. Missed it? That’s okay, I’ve compiled this detailed list of the announcements during the speech which, I can confirm, was filled with multiple bad jokes.
The keynote began with Tim Willits paying homage to the volunteers who helped bring QuakeCon to life over the years and also thanked QuakeCon’s sponsors which include the likes of Nvidia, Razer, MSI, Corsair, and many others. Willits also brought up the ongoing Elder Scrolls Legends Masters Series. You know, that free to play card game based on the Elder Scrolls lore. Some of the best players are going head to head this weekend in hopes of snatching the $50,000 prize up for grabs in what as known as the Masters Series featuring player webcams and some jumpy commentators. Want to check it out? You can do so here. WAIT! That’s not the only E-Sports tournament this weekend; the 2V2 QuakeCon Open (presented by ESL) is happening with an insane prize of $175,000 for the two lucky individuals who manage to survive the quakeining (I regret nothing). On Saturday there’ll be the Quake Duel Showdown featuring players from some of the most prestigious teams on the Quake E-Sports scene. The prize is a lump of $25,000.
This year Bethesda has partnered with nine charities to raise capital for various issues including suicide and cancer. Bethesda also wanted a way to give back to the fans hence why they’re running a special promotion with Dallas Pets Alive! Participants can donate to the charity and receive an exclusive t-shirt depicting famous Bethesda and id faces holding puppies. They’ve also partnered with American Red Cross to offer attendees a free Quake towel if they donate blood to the American Red Cross. Willits mentioned other charities also have gifts if attendees visit their stalls at QuakeCon.
Tom Willits was soon booted off stage by none other than Pete Hines who announced what’s in store for the rest of the show. Of course, being Pete Hines and all, he invited director and Bethesda’s poster boy Todd Howard onto the stage who discussed the opening of Bethesda Dallas who are Escalation Studios with the Bethesda brand plastered on. These folks are behind the VR versions of Fallout 4 and Skyrim; they’re also behind the port of Skyrim for Switch. Now publicly being a part of the Bethesda family, Todd revealed they’re working on parts of Fallout 76, The Elder Scrolls Blades and Starfield.
Sales Sales Sales
After getting acquainted with Bethesda Dallas’s director, Pete Hines announces everything’s on sale – and he means everything. For example, the front page of Steam is decorated with a banner of Bethesda’s greatest hits. Literally, every single game they’ve ever made is on sale; ranging from Wolfenstein to RAGE. You want Discounts? They have discounts. You can find the sales for the Xbox, Steam, and PlayStation by clicking your preferred platform.
Being QuakeCon and all, there was bound to be some Quake news which came in the form of Quake Champion’s Community Manager Joshua Boyle and other Community Manager Andre Carlos appearing on stage to bring us some (yep, you guessed it) Quake Champions news. Both enthusiastically announced that Death Knight, a melee character in Quake Champions was returning after an absence from the game. That wasn’t all, however; the duo announced improved matchmaking, updated bots and a fresh soundtrack for you to listen to while you pump a fountain of bullets into your friends.
They didn’t stop there, announcing an exclusive weapon skin for the heavy machine gun for players who participate during Quakecon. Login rewards are also now doubled for the rest of the month and perhaps the best news out of the lot was that Quake Champions is now permanently free to play meaning anyone could download the game there and then for no entry cost.
Even after announcing the free to play feature, the community managers (who deserve a pay rise at this point) continued to reveal new tidbits including that the unlock all heroes DLC pack now costs less than $20. Furthermore, a limited edition statue of Scalebearer is now on sale at Gamestop with QuakeCon attendees receiving a $20 off coupon to get their hands on a figurine version of the galactic warlord. To top it all of, the segment ended with a new trailer for Quake Champions, which is now free and you should definitely check it out.
Next up on the stage was Elder Scrolls Online’s Community Manager Gina Bruno and Game Director Matt Firor. If you were following the Twitch chat you’d have noticed the endless stream of people spamming ESO which gave me the impression some big news was in store for the latest (released) title in the Elder Scrolls series. The duo touched on the upcoming DLC, ‘Wolfhunter’, a double dungeon pack that pits you against Percy, the proclaimed ‘dangered prince of the hunt’. In the other dungeon, an unnamed werewolf lord and his minions await your arrival. Wolfhunter is landing on PC on the 13th August while console players will need to wait until the 28th to get their hands on the DLC. In addition to this info, the team showed off a trailer:
Perhaps the biggest show-stealer during this segment was Murkmire, an upcoming DLC claimed to have an expansive zone, more daily quests and a story as big as the Clockwork City DLC. Before I show the trailer, it’s worth mentioning a free trial for ESO is available until the 15th August and just like all Bethesda games (although you could argue this isn’t a conventional Bethesda game but whatever) it’s one I highly recommend checking out.
After a quick dwarfism joke by Pete Hines, RAGE 2’s Game Director Magnus Nedfors and Hines victim (who is also Studio Director) Tim Willits took to the stage to showcase some new RAGE 2 gameplay by providing a deep delve into the world of RAGE and its many factions complete with a convoy takedown and a voiceover from who is rumoured to be the Burnout lady. Anyhow, here’s RAGE 2 in action:
DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM is back baby! Are you ready to enter a destroyed earth crawling with all sorts hellacious monsters? No? Too bad, we’re going anyway! Yes, we finally got a look at Doom Eternal gameplay and boy did we get a good look. There to present that look was Doom Eternal’s Creative Director Hugo Martin and Game Director Marty Stratton who both looked overwhelmed by the scolding hot welcome they received from the audience.
Starting with a look at changes, we got a delve into the new and improved Doom Slayer – along with his weapons which included a built-in bayonet, the super shotgun which included a meathook, a sleek assault rifle, and a monstrous hand cannon; it was a sight to behold but they took it further with a look into the new enemy designs with older concepts to contrast with; obviously, there was an improvement but there was also a new feature – destructible demons. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Bethesda treated us to not one but three demos. Here’s a video which compiles them into one neat slew of gameplay:
From these trailers we can already paint a picture that has to be one of the best DOOMs yet; combining the usual fast-paced antics of doom slayer with new lore surrounding the DOOM universe and the Dark Souls-esque invade other peoples games style of multiplayer makes for one thing and one thing only – a really good fucking game. Despite this plethora of info and despite an audience member screaming “WHEN”, we didn’t get a release date but hey, at least we’ve got all this footage to rewatch.
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