Industry Recon: E3 Roundup – Bethesda

Meet The Team

Bethesda kicked off with a little montage of the Bethesda staff showing off the team and the positions in the company. This wasn’t necessary, but it was kind of cool as a way to say “Hi” to all of us.

Quake Champions

Another somewhat small piece of news to kick off the conference, Quake Champions, an early access throwback to the heyday of Quake is free to play this week. They run a trailer for it later on in an awkwardly placed segment if you ask me, so I’ll drop it here instead.

Andrew W.K. for some reason…and RAGE 2!?

The SVP of Global Marketing, Pete Hines hit the stage to introduce Rage 2. But before that, for seemingly no apparent reason, a performance by Andrew W.K. Sure man, some people seemed to dig it, a lot of people seemed…confused, including me. That said, after a brief intro, a gameplay video for Rage 2 was shown. The original Rage came out in 2011, with much anticipation. I remember people trying to compare it to borderlands, and to a lesser extent Fallout. Unfortunately, while it took good elements from borderlands, and gritty pieces from Fallout, ultimately the lack of an ACTUAL open world kind of left people feeling a bit bummed. The game was good for what it was, but it looks like, this time around, we’re getting a legit open world for Rage 2. My only concern is, based on the gameplay, it currently looks like a less violent, more generic version of Bulletstorm, without the humor. Hopefully I’m wrong. Despite it’s flaws, the first entry in the Rage franchise was damn fun.

Elder Scrolls

A quick shout out Elder Scrolls Legends being re-released, this time with new visuals for all major consoles. Also, if you played the game on PC, your progress carries over to console. Oh. Hell. Yes. They move on to discuss Elder Scrolls Online, which has 11 million players. So, that’s neat. Apparently there are two new DLC coming out in the future as well. The first is called “Wolfhunter” that will introduce a new dungeon. Werewolves son, they back. The second one is called Murkmire and takes place in Black March, home to the Argonians.

Doom Eternal

If you asked me what my favorite game of 2016 was, before you could even finish the word “sixteen” I would yell “DOOM EASILY” in your face, as I spiked your face through the floor, ripping your arm off and beating your corpse with it. Wait what? I blacked out momentarily. Regardless, Doom was one of the freshest revivals of a game franchise, I have ever seen. A fast paced action shooter that didn’t shy away from the violence that brought it to the dance. It wasn’t afraid to let you feel like an absolute bad ass at all times, with a non stop pumping metal soundtrack, dozens of insta-kills, tons of weapon variety, and a story that was passable enough to leave me wanting more. Make no mistake, E3 2018 has some heavy hitters, but for me, this is a sleeper pick, and mark my words, this game will be absolutely kick ass. Unfortunately we’re only getting a little teaser here, as the big reveal is expected to be slated for Quakecon.

Prey Mooncrash DLC

Next up was a pretty solid announcement for fans of the most recent Prey video game. First, they announced Prey getting a free update that added new game+, a story Mode, and a survival mode. They also announced the Mooncrash DLC, along with a mode called Typhon Hunter, a 1v5 game mode that puts one player in the role of a mimic, trying to hide and murder the rest of the players.

Wolfenstein

We finally get a release date for Wolfenstein 2 on the Nintendo Switch, June 29th. That’s well and good, but we also get a look at Wolfenstein: Youngblood. This installment takes place a bit after the other games in the franchise, starring BJ’s twin daughters. This time you’re absolutely beating the piss out of Nazis in Paris in 1980. This time, you can either play it single player, or co-op. Now you can beat Nazis to death with your friends! They also announced a VR game called Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, which lets you play as a hacker who’s just trying to tally screw up the Nazis war machines. Yay! As a side note, Bethesda has made it a point to tell us “Fuck Nazis” about two times during this. Ironically I’ve got Legends of Tomorrow on in the background, and they are currently fighting Nazis, I don’t disagree with this sentiment.

Fallout 76 & Skyrim Alexa

The director of Bethesda Studios, Todd Howard was rolled out next, and jibber jabbered a bit about past E3 experiences for Bethesda. He then went on to address the “Skyrim is on everything” meme, and went so far as to say it would be on Alexa. Everyone thought this was an elaborate troll, but ….it actually exists apparently lol Sure man, you do you Bethesda.
After that we got the main event, Fallout 76. There are quite a few details to go through here. First of all, the game has upgraded tech in every way shape or form, supposedly allowing for 16x more detail. The game will be a persistent online experience as well. You can play solo, or you can play with others. Each “instance” of the game will see dozens of other people roaming around doing quests. I’m curious and excited to see how stable this is, and how well group activities work together. I think the biggest crux will be, if the party system isn’t good, a lot of this will fall flat. Here’s hopes that the party system is smooth and straightforward. The game will drop Nov. 19th, and there will be a BETA before hand, or as Todd referred to it, a Break it Early Test App.
Another Smaller piece of news from this, Fallout Shelter released that day for PS4 and the Switch in honor of it’s anniversary.  I would recommend checking out this full stage show for Fallout 76, it’s pretty fun, silly, and gives a decent look at the game.

Elder Scrolls Blades

Elder Scrolls: Blades is a free to play game coming out in the Fall for mobile devices, that is touted to be a console quality game. It will also be available for mobile VR, Vive,Rift,PC, and console as well.

Starfield & Elder Scrolls Teaser

To finish up, Bethesda announced their first 100% original IP in nearly 25 years, Starfield. It is going to be an RPG, but not much else was announced or shown here, other than a lackluster announcement trailer. After that there was some music that played that sounded similar to something you’d here in Skyrim, but no official announcement of Elder Scrolls VI.

Final Thoughts

Overall, several things we knew were coming showed up, and there were a few surprises. I think seeing heavy hitters like Fallout, Doom, and Wolfenstein was great. However, Rage 2 doesn’t look like it particularly stands out from other FPS or open world games based on what was shown, content for Prey is cool, but how big is the fan base at this point for Prey compared to other games that are out now, and how are you going to announce your first original IP in over two decades with almost zero information and a lackluster announcement trailer? On top of that, not seeing an Elder Scrolls VI announcement was a bit of a bummer, hopefully that comes down the line. While that sounds negative, there is plenty to look forward to from Bethesda, but I feel like they leaned a bit hard on the Fallout 76 hype.

 

 

7.5/10