E3 2017 In Retrospect: Bethesda

Image Credit: VG24/7

To think that people stayed up for this.

Bethesda, the industry heavy-hitter that it is, had an interesting E3 presentation slot. They decided to go for a late night presentation, but the yawns had just as much to do with folks being tired as it did with the meh-worthiness of the announcements.

Virtual Reality Takes Center Stage

When Bethesda’s sizzle reel from previous years came to a close, they showed their first shots of Fallout 4 VR and DOOM VFR in action. Both are definitely excellent examples of how to make a case for VR as a platform, giving players a new way to experience two of the hottest games in the last few years.

DOOM VFR definitely looked like the DOOM we’ve come to know and love, but something felt off about it. Up until a few moments ago, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it hit me harder than a chainsaw to the face. The limitations of VR have cropped up.

One of the biggest selling points of DOOM is the frenetic, fast-paced action. DOOM VFR throws that out the window by forcing the player to warp around each level. I know why Bethesda decided to go this route (they don’t want to make everyone vomit uncontrollably), but I can’t help but feel like they’re ruining the very thing that makes DOOM worth playing.

As for Fallout 4 VR, it looks far more promising. However, it’s hard to ignore the huge compromises in graphical fidelity required to be able to get the game running on an HTC Vive.

Games We’ve Seen Before

As for the rest of the presentation, Bethesda decided to show off stuff we’ve already seen before. We got a glimpse of Elder Scrolls Online‘s expansion, Morrowind, which has already released.

Elder Scrolls Legends, Bethesda’s trading card game, got yet another teaser.

Quake Champions, the studio’s attempt at breaking into the field of eSports (or Esports? I don’t know which is right), made another appearance. This time, Bethesda bragged that the game will feature a competition for a $1,000,000 prize.

Oh, and the Nintendo Switch was again confirmed to be receiving a version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This time, with Nintendo assets and Amiibo integration!

Games We Haven’t Seen Before

It wasn’t all bad however. The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus both had wonderful trailers.

The Evil Within 2 appears to be going for a creepy, psychological horror vibe, though action may be taking the forefront over the survival horror aspects. Only time will tell there.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus has done what so few others have been able to accomplish: come out of nowhere as an enticing and riveting game that looks incredible, and seems to draw at least some inspiration from Half-Life 2.

Not to be left behind, Arkane showed off their new Dishonored 2 DLC, Death Of The Outsider.

Miscellany

If this post seems a little succinct, it’s only because that’s how Bethesda presented things. The 30 minute presentation provided so little information that it was difficult to imagine they’d leave it at that.

Except they did.

It was very hard to overlook the cynical grab at the mod market however. Bethesda introduced the “Creation Club”, a mod marketplace for games like Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, where developers and approved contributors could upload high-quality mods. What’s the catch for the semi-professional additions to these games? They cost money.

That’s right, the Steam Workshop paid mods debacle didn’t kill off the idea of paid mods for games. It just changed the corporation that would be bold enough to implement it.

And Bethesda will likely succeed here, because they’re Bethesda. The company that has been reselling Skyrim to gamers for almost six years now. Not content with having a money press, Bethesda turned to alchemy.

Still no The Elder Scrolls VI in sight as well, if you’re wondering. Why should they announce they’re working on that though? After all, they have Skyrim to sell to Nintendo Switch owners, and paid mods to capitalize on.

Why ruin a good thing?

Experience the highs and lows yourself!


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12 thoughts on “E3 2017 In Retrospect: Bethesda

    1. Well, The Elder Scrolls TGC is new-ish, I guess. Just not a fresh idea now that Gwent and Hearthstone is out in the wild, along with Magic and everything else.

      The Evil Within 2 looks appropriately messed up too. The Dishonored announcement is cool, but it’s difficult to not feel like it would’ve been better off just announcing it as a standard press release instead of a major focal point of an E3 presentation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hasn’t TES TCG been doing the rounds for a little while? I’m sure I’d heard about it on various podcasts.
        It just felt like a very “safe” conference from them. I was hoping for something genuinely fresh from them.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I was disappointed I stayed up for it. I’ll probably play The Evil Within 2, right after I play the first one I bought a year ago.., I’ll probably also play Wolfenstein but I didn’t love the first one as much as everyone else. I won’t lie though I kind of want to rebuy Skyrim to play on the go… I know I shouldn’t but I want to.

    Outside of that I wasn’t expecting TESVI this year, maybe next but we’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Possibly, and they do make a ton of money off of ESO but the player base isn’t anywhere near where Skyrim was. They have to know that they can have their cake and eat it too. I would love to see them do something in space though which rumor was that BethSoft was working on a new Sci-Fi RPG.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I saw that rumor too. Not sure of the legitimacy of it though. Maybe they only delayed it because it isn’t coming out this year?

          As for TESVI, I have a theory that Bethesda is worried they can’t top Skyrim, or is having problems with development and are using Skyrim ports and whatnot as a distraction.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Bethesda seems like they may be on board with the only announcing things coming the same year.

            You could very well be right though, Skyrim was such a massive success that maybe they are still trying to figure out what they do next. BethSoft is certainly working on something though.

            Liked by 1 person

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