E3 2017: Bethesda Showcase

Category: Features

If there’s an award for the most out of control, mind bonkers setup at E3 it has to go to Bethesda. Their showcase was presented in the middle of their own theme park entitled Bethesadaland, complete with ferris wheel, snow cones and more. A home of wonderment, adventure but above all else “fun”!

Sadly most of us at home didn’t get to experience it first hand, but they did use the theme to drive their presentation. It was an extremely focused one too,  filled with trailer after trailer after trailer and very few interruptions.

Unlike other presentations Bethesda chose to focus theirs on titles that would all be released this year. This of course means that announcements were generally already known in advance or rumours at the very least had been circulating about them for quite some time now. For many this meant the show was somewhat dull and Bethesda could’ve quite easily skipped this year, but for others it was a delight – not only because it would all be in your hands soon, but because the length of the presentation was short, to the point and not filled with broken promises of what’s to come.


 

Bethesda VR kicked off the show; a definite point of difference from other vendors so far. They announced that two games from their VR arm would be coming out this year.

The first, Doom VFR, will be available on both PSVR and HTC Vive later this year. It looks to use the relative standard warp movement mechanic we’ve seen so many VR titles adopt to combat motion sickness and play-area management.

The second is the release of the last year announced Fallout 4 VR, due to arrive in October for PC on the Vive only. This is the full title, a first for VR with a grand triple-A game being released in VR by its developer. It was pretty amazing when I tried it last year but with a few kinks that needed working out, I’m very interested to see people’s reaction to it after hands-on this year.


 

From there things launched into a merry-go-round of trailers and information, some more exciting than others amongst the crowd and Twitter-sphere. The Elder Scrolls Legends: Heroes of Skyrim CCG will launch on PC, Mac, iOS and Android this month, along with new DLC for Dishonored 2 slightly later in September; Dishonoured: Death of the Outsider.


 

Then came the Switch. Skyrim, the title Nintendo told us about earlier in the year is indeed coming to the Switch this holiday season. The game is six years old but has recently been re-released for updated consoles and now has a Nintendo-makeover for its new platform. The Switch’s joy cons can be used to control each arm of your character providing a somewhat more immersive game mechanic and should be relatively accurate given Nintendo’s claims of their accuracy.

Of course it wouldn’t be complete without a little added Nintendo merchandising opportunity too. A new Nintendo Amiibo will allow you to skin your character in a Link-esque costume and perhaps offer some other abilities with details scarce at this point but likely to be fleshed out during Nintendo’s direct later in the week.

Great to see a third party developing their titles for the Switch, sad that the version they’re experiencing is stuck at 720p, six years old and nothing new like it deserves.


 

Bethesda rounded out the show with probably their two biggest announcements, one of which was almost assured given the leaks leading up to the briefing.

The Evil Within 2 looks scary as shit. I know a lot of people have been waiting for this one but it is definitely not a title I’ll be picking up. It’s coming out this October on (of course) Friday the 13th.

And finally we have Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The rebooted Wolfenstein: The New Order was a sleeper hit back in 2014 and paved the way for the reintroduction of Doom last year. The New Colossus looks to build on that even further introducing some of the most crazy, semi-RPG/FPS gameplay I’ve seen. What I liked most about it was the fact it had a sense of a story to it, it wasn’t just your typical “shoot the Nazi”, run and gun title. I look forward to some more details coming out about it over the show and in the coming weeks.


 

Bethesda’s show was short and sweet, running just on 39 minutes and change. It was, for me, a breath of fresh air amongst the drawn out productions these presentations can often be.

Their announcements were relatively quiet, yes, but they were broad and all coming out soon so they’re nothing to complain about either. No Todd wasn’t on stage to talk about the next Fallout but Bethesda stayed true to themselves and delivered what they set out to instead of offering a glimpse at working titles that are destined to change and land years down the road. For that alone I think they’ve done well.

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