Bethesda’s E3 2017 conference was half an hour of mostly underwhelming announcements. We heard about VR updates, re-releases, smaller IP sequels and a concerning attempt to revive their cash-for-mods system.
It began with children talking to a camera about what their parents do – a bold opening, given gamers’ interactions with children tend to involve insults being squeaked through a headset.
The children segment transitions into a montage of Bethesda’s main franchises; the latest Fallout, Dishonored, Doom and Prey entries all feature. “Welcome, everyone, to Bethesdaland […] a place of innovation”, we’re told by a voice-over immediately following the montage of four different sequels.
A Bethesda rep appears on stage to name check a few of their top franchises, and then we’re straight into the main announcements:
Fallout 4 and Doom to get Virtual Reality updates in October 2017
Fallout 4 and Doom will both receive their own updates to make them fully playable in Virtual Reality. Sightseeing the post-apocalyptic panoramas of Fallout or immersing yourself in Doom’s frantic, bloody combat are exciting prospects for those interested in playing the games from a new perspective.
Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind Trailer – expansion out now
ESO: Morrowind was announced prior to E3, but its E3 trailer won’t hurt publicity. The trailer’s focus is mostly on the MMO’s new Warden class – and its menacing pet bear – spliced with footage of (mildly annoying) YouTube gamers hollering every time anything happens.
ESO has changed significantly since its debut back in 2013; opening up the world, adding the Dark Brotherhood and introducing thieving have all shifted the game closer to its single player prequels. ESO: Morrowind, which is set on the same island as the franchise’s best entry, will likely tempt old players back to try the game in its improved form.
Bethesda are attempting to cash in on their flourishing modding community by charging for content made by their newly announced Creation Club. This makes even less sense than The Institute. Previous attempts at charging for community mods resulted in content theft, scamming and, of course, massive public outcry. A contrite apology from Bethesda did follow, but now they’ve returned the idea in a new guise. The system’s expected to be out in summer 2017.
Skyrim is coming to the Nintendo Switch and you can dress like Link
It’s a gimmicky announcement, but characters in Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch will be able to acquire Legend of Zelda gear and dress like Link. With the original Skyrim being half a decade old, it’s evident Bethesda are running out of ways to generate hype.
The Skyrim port for Nintendo Switch is due out later this year.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider trailer
We have a promising new standalone Dishonored game arriving in September 2017. The trailer opens to the franchise’s Drunken Whaler theme. Patrolling grunts wander into view only to be dispatched by protagonist Billie Lurk, who’s sporting some fancy augmentations. “Are you up for one last job?”, Doud asks her in a gruff voice at the trailer’s end. Sure we are.
The Evil Within 2 is announced
The Evil Within 2’s trailer has burning houses, mutilated corpses, and piano music. It’s classic horror. A creepy child even appears at one point.
The glimpses of gameplay we see suggest a tense, fast experience with plenty of bloody moments and psychological shocks for fans of the horror genre.
It’s due for release on October 13th 2017.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Wolfenstein will bring players back into its dystopian universe of (sometimes mechanical) Nazis. The trailer shows off a variety of firearms; a flamethrower, combat shotgun and rail gun are among them. Every weapon looks to pack a gruesomely satisfying punch, sending panicked bad guys recoiling in pain. Rampages through Nazi military installations feature prominently. It’s all “fucking bananas”, the Bethesda rep later tells us.
And that’s it! The Bethesda rep reappears to deliver a slightly awkward closing speech, thanking the audience and reminding us that every game presented is coming out in 2017. Most of the announcements, which weren’t exactly major, will likely be overshadowed by Creation Club controversy. It was silly of Bethesda to attempt this with little else to distract from it. I’m sure their next few days will be spent hurriedly trying to justify the Creation Club to an upset fan base.