When Bethesda teased us about their E3 presser with the image of “Bethesda Land”, I didn’t expect them to follow through.
The company known for open world murder games started off their mini conference by welcoming us with a small personal video with kids of staff and the staff themselves. Teasing us even more with the mentioning what kind of game “mommy” was making. It seem like a decent way to connect with players on an emotional level, but it felt like they were trying a bit too hard.
After the message ended, the stars came out on the Bethesda stage, giving us a big slap in the face for the Starlight trademark that was registered, or at least to any of those who were expecting a new game dubbed Starlight. We are greeted by the voice of Youtube vocal artist Brock Baker, who was a great choice to narrate the “attractions” at Bethesdaland. He guided us through a whole walkthrough of the park, including the bits that were under construction, which many speculated to be a new IP.
The gimmick of Bethesdaland didn’t really run dry, it was a clever use of pre-show teaser and a during show guide for their current work schedule. Sure it wasn’t as flashy and neat as other pressers that will follow in the coming days, but this idea fit with Bethesda’s quirky nature, and I loved it.
Deathclaws in My Face
The first big announcement of the night was the release of two VR games from the company that has brought us gore galore. Firstly Doom is getting a VR game titled Doom VFR. I noticed the use of teleportation movement, which they are probably using to counter the VR sickness, so that’s definitely a good thing. I mean seeing hell spawn being ripped apart in your face is sickening enough, don’t need the add VR Vomit from poorly designed movement mechanics.
Then we had a batch of sync issues with the audio as they announced our favorite Vault-Tec heroes were coming to the virtual scene as well with the full game release of Fallout 4 VR. I haven’t played all the way through the original Fallout 4, but it seems like a bit of a learning curve to do everything in VR. Plus seeing ghouls in VR… Not sure I’m ready for that.
The Minor League Stuff
The next few attractions were not as impressive, leaving kind of a sour taste in many a gamers mouth.
First up, ESO Morrowind was discussed, basically talking about the growing and expanding world of Elder Scrolls Online. Nothing new, we all knew Morrowind was an expansion so it wasn’t much to talk about. However, towards the end of the segment, they teased a bit of Skyrim content coming to the online world. They didn’t flat out address it in the event, but it looked pretty solid. It was at least a bit exciting if you played the online game, which I don’t but I’m excited for them non the less.
Creation Club was a new service talked about for PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam which allows the creators at Bethesda and certain community content creators, to upload new mods to a paid service. Mods are bout with points that can be purchased with real world money on the respective online services. Basically we’re paying individually for small add ons that could have just gone in another game. That or I’m sure someone has the mod uploaded like it for free somewhere. Kinda pointless, but why not let devs flex their creative muscles I suppose.
Next was the card game, Elder Scrolls Legends, announcing me stories, new areas, and their support on Android Phones and Iphones as well as Skyrim content. It all looked cool, but I don’t usually get into digital card games like Hearthstone, but hey they presented it in a very beautiful and epic sounding manner. Too bad it wasn’t as big of an explosive announcement like we’ve been waiting on.
So far things were lackluster and could have been just summed up in a brochure, granted you wouldn’t have the soothing vocal work of Brock Baker but honestly they should have come to the table a bit more prepared. Somethings impressed me, and while I know the event wasn’t over, I was still a bit sad that nothing really notable had come out of the show.
Started Pulling Out Their BFG
Finally, some games I would actually want to play were talked about. Not saying Fallout 4 VR and Doom VFR I wouldn’t play, but I don’t have the booku amounts of money to by a VR headset so it’s like dangling a very visually immersive carrot in front of a poor horse.
The Switch port of Skyrim was made official, showing off more footage edited onto a probably turned off Nintendo Switch screen. The Kicker with this announcement was the introduction of Amiibo support. Using a Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild amiibo of Link, the game pops up a treasure chest which contained Link’s starting clothes from the game and the Master Sword. Sure it’s the same old game that I’ve thrown hundreds of hours into, I’d still get it again for the Switch, if I had one of those, just because I could bring my Nintendo amiibos into the realm of the dragonborn. Other than that, the announcement was a bit stale as we already knew this was happening.
Dishonored 2 is getting DLC. Now I played through the first Dishonored game but haven’t had the chance to play through the second, though I want to, so this character seemed new to me. Those commentating on the event spoke that she was in the second one but Who Cares! If I haven’t seen her before, she’s new to me. And damn doesn’t she seem bad ass, the style, the movement, the powerful force behind her attacks, and her weird robotic looking arms. The teaser was short, but it gave the premise of killing one of the characters that mostly operates in the background but has a role in the main games, The Outsider. This just shows I need to go out and buy Dishonored 2 when I can, because I’m obviously missing out on something.
Quake, Quake, Quake, Quake. While I am inspired by your origins here in my home state, and I have visited your con on more than one occasion, I am not that excited to see Quake come back to the spotlight. Sure, a return to e-sports history, and a contest for 1 million bucks? Yeah get your time in the spotlight, I’ll just yawn and wait for the next announcement. I’m not bashing those who love the game, I just don’t see myself picking up or participating in any online play with this unless I have a whole bunch of friends play with me. Not interested. NEXT!
Now I never played the first title of this announced game, I heard mixed reviews but never really put any stock into playing it. It was a horror survival game and I just out of my skin if someone sneezes too hard. I don’t need scares in my life, especially when they come from the funky looking horrors of The Evil Within. However, watching this reveal trailer for the second installment makes me want to go back and play through the first. It looks terrifying and trippy, and lately I’ve been excited for projects like that.
And finally, Bethesda offers us up what looks like a “Little House on The Prairie” rip off starring a giant robo dog that can breath fire, and a man trapped under a truck. Liesel as it is called, just felt weird to watch after a while. Revealing it to be a commercial on a television a monkey with a cat’s head was watching.
That’s it, I’m sold! Nothing else needed. Monkey Cat can have my money now.
This excitement for genetic alteration of animals aside, we get show a reveal for the next Wolfenstein game, and boy does it sure kick ass. Cybernetic enhancements, giant robots, weapons that can melt doors, and killing Nazi’s. I apparently have to go back and play the first one of this as well but hell this looked freaking amazing. A very nice way to end the show.
The main takeaway from the event is this, all games announced, come out this year. Woohoo. Bethesda pushing out games, some of which look bad ass, what’s not to love.
The end result of the presser, however, is that Bethesda has been focusing on Wolfenstein and The Evil Within 2 so much that just throwing addons and VR stuff at us should be enough to make up for the lack of overly new content. The show felt it petered a bit as it stumbled along, dealing with audio issues and some notable “Why’d you announce this here” attraction segments.
Bethesda still did a fantastic job in presentation, and what they do have to offer is a decent amount of gaming goodness to tie most people over. I just feel like they could have come to the show a bit more prepared, maybe have a better reveal planned for the event besides just sequels. These were well sought after sequels but still have a bigger ace up your sleeve.
This conference did make me want to go back and buy the first installments of a few games, so hey that’s progress.
All in all the presser gets 5/10, as it wasn’t as showy and drawn out as Microsoft but it didn’t really impress in to many ways that mattered. A few of the games seemed just done for the sake of fan demand, while others did seem like plenty of work was being put into them. I can’t say it was a fantastic press event, but it was well done in some regards. Just hope Bethesda can come back next year and hit a little harder.