E3 is in full swing right now, and our second day on the show floor started with some serious raging in the Bethesda Softworks booth. The publisher had several games to show off, including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, id Software's Rage, and Prey 2 from Human Head Studios.
Our meeting started with a walkthrough of Skyrim, the latest from the insanely popular Elder Scrolls universe. The game will be launching on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 come November 11th (the same day as Modern Warfare 3), and this latest ES game has plenty of new tricks up its sleeve. For starters, Skyrim is based on some wholly new tach called the Creation Engine. This combined with a new scripting engine and a number of other overhauls makes Skyrim the best-looking game in the series by far.
While the game is based on a new engine, the core gameplay concept is left unchanged: go anywhere and do anything, all in a highly detailed environment. Skyrim allows you to explore and fight in both first- and third-person views, from the standard sword and shield to casting slowdown and fire spells on incoming foes. The UI has been revamped as well, with skills and perks mapped out on constellations in the sky, a world map with 3D topography, and a dynamic quest system that changes depending on your actions in the world, This on top of a massive list of upgrades, perks, abilities and over 150 unique dungeons makes Skyrim a beautifully massive experience.
After that we got to play Rage, the latest title from id Software. Based on the new id Tech 5 engine, Rage takes the slick graphics and solid gameplay mechanics we've always loved in id games and combines it with an open world and wasteland-traversing vehicle play. First we tried Bash TV, a game within a game that had us fighting off waves of mutants in order to secure "sponsorship" (money). While most FPS titles allow you two modes of combat (your gun and a melee attack), Rage throws in a deadly boomerang weapon on top of your fists/gun butt and rifle/rocket launcher. Rage is everything you'd expect from an id Software game (sans the closet monsters): genre-leading graphics, unique and deadly weapons and plenty of things to kill. We'll be covering Rage more later this summer when Quakecon 2011 comes around, too.
Last but not least was Prey 2, the sequel to the sleeper hit from 2006. This time around Human Head Studios is using a heavily modified id Tech 4 engine. You play as Killian Samuels, an Air Marshall that was abducted by aliens and brought to the planet Exodus, There you become a bounty hunter, tracking down the planet's scum for the highest bidder. Simply put, the game looks very sharp, has a great slide-into-cover system, and a dynamic mission system that affects your characters options throughout the game. Should you kill this captured bounty, send him into the client, or let him go for a sizable bribe? Whatever choice you make will affect you throughout the story.
With Rage launching later this year and Prey 2 and Skyrim coming in 2012, Bethesda definitely has a lineup it can be proud of. The best part? Doom 4 is being unveiled come Quakecon in August.