Oh boy, where to start. Excuse my French when I say “What in the actual fuck?” Bethesda is one of those companies that has so many great things going for it. From Fallout to the Elder Scrolls there is always something to look forward to when it comes to the company and its games. With all that said, this year’s E3 Conference was not worth it. So, we are going to start from the beginning and see where they went wrong.
The entire time the show was going on, it seemed to be in this weird cartoon in a kind of pseudo Fallout style. It just seemed kind of lazy, we don’t get too much from the developers and I don’t know whether or not to trust that. I know it might sound weird but there is something comforting to seeing the people who made the game to come out and talk about it. Even when Nintendo did the puppet show there was still some explanation from the developers so we got to see what they went through and what they were trying to achieve.
Now, I love Doom and I love Fallout, I have played many many hours in both games. I also love VR, the ability to be able to bring the video game to your room is such a great idea and has had a lot of great looking games that have been introduced in that realm. Bringing those games to VR looks like it is going to be a great fun time. I am genuinely interested to see how they actually combine the games with the VR technology.
Next up was Elder Scrolls Online, a game that I have barely any time in. They wanted to demonstrate the new Morrowind expansion for the game and used an interesting way of doing it by recording various reactions of some people. The concept is very good to think about because we can relate to people that are viewing something like that for the first time. The only real problem is that the reactions just didn’t seem all that realistic and believable. That might sound weird, it should be about the game and not the reactions. But, as a company when you put stuff together like that you are doing so to get a feeling of emotion out of the viewer and we lose a lot of that when we see it as being forced.
Now here comes the portion of the show when I knew that everything was pretty much going downhill. Bethesda games and mods go hand in hand. Any gamer worth their salt who has played Skyrim or Fallout knows that mods are a great way for bringing even more content to the games the main story line. It has been a standard for many years now, a standard that Bethesda has even embraced properly up to a point. I say that knowing what I have seen during the conference. Bethesda is still on board with the mods but this time they are bringing them to a service called Creation Club. You will be able to purchase mods that you can add into games like Skyrim: Special Edition. And, you read that right, you will be purchasing the mods. I get where Bethesda is coming from to a certain extent when it comes to the idea of putting up mods for a profit. Doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be on board with that idea though, especially after having mods available for free for so long. Just one of the many flaws in this year’s conference.
I have noticed a bit of a surge in a certain genre of video games; virtual card games. Games like Hearthstone have been popping up more and more as the years have gone on. For obvious reasons, the game is awesome and has a great following. So, it makes sense that other companies would start to catch on and do something similar. The Witcher series did it as well when they brought their in-game card game Gwent into the world as a stand alone card game. Bethesda is adding on top of that by bringing a new game called Elder Scrolls Legends. It is essentially just a ripoff of Hearthstone and I get that it probably has its own mechanics that makes it stand out. Just seems like we aren’t going anywhere in the IP department.
Speaking of Elder Scrolls, Bethesda is also releasing Skyrim for the Nintendo Switch. Again, nothing new, we just are seeing the same stuff over and over just with slightly newer ideas. I want to keep backing up Bethesda, but it is getting really hard when all we are getting is reused IP. I think I can safely say that if we are going to keep up with the IP that we have been given then maybe we can start focusing on the later games. Get a new Elder Scrolls game that is a continuation of the original series, something else other than re-releasing Skyrim over and over.
Dishonored has a spot this time around with what looks like a new DLC called “Death of the Outsider”. It looks pretty okay but it seemed really rushed so we didn’t get to see everything that the DLC could actually offer. It’s hard to tell but I am sure it is going to be an okay expansion for a great game.
So, I have been able to play Quake Champions for some time. And it is a pretty incredible shooter, it’s a fast-paced riot with gore and awesome arenas. It is an absolute gem and it hasn’t even come out yet. We got to see a little bit more of the game and we got to see a new champion. That champion being B.J. Blazkowicz. Honestly, I got pretty stoked when I saw that, loved the Wolfenstein games and it was nice to see the connection to id software’s IP. That all being said, Quake Champions still looks incredible and there will actually be a tournament going on at Quake Con this year which is great that they are also utilising the esports scene.
We got a glimpse of the sequel to The Evil Within. The footage was kind of a horror game on an LSD trip and I kind of got lost in all of the stuff that was going on. It looks like it could be interesting but also doesn’t look exactly scary, but that is all just coming from the teaser that we got. I am sure that there will be a lot more stuff that is brought to the table when more time has passed. But again, everything just seems very rushed.
The one bright side, the silver lining in everything for Bethesda. Wolfenstein has seen one of the greatest rises to power. A game that was a hit back in the 90’s and saw a drop off only to come back as a hit in the shooter scene in recent years. The footage that they gave us brought back the beloved character B.J. Blazkowicz, the guy whom we thought was dead. He isn’t dead, he’s a dad. They brought back the awesome characters and amazing looking environments. It looks like its going to be a great game and even though it isn’t a new IP, I think it was a step in the right direction. It was the next part of the story, not just a rehash on a new system. I can’t wait to see what happens with the game.
All in all the conference for Bethesda was pretty bad. I love the company I think they make some great games and are one of the big powerhouses in the industry, which is why it kind of sucks to see that their conference was kind of a letdown. I know they will end up making great games that I will play the hell out of but, it just seemed like the phoned in the conference this year. This is one of the biggest conventions that goes on in the world in the video game scene and if it were up to me I would put all that I could to demonstrate the greatness of my products. I will say that what was said at the end of the conference was pretty accurate. Pete Hines commented saying “Fucking Bananas” and he is not wrong. What we saw was “Fucking Bananas” but maybe for not all the right reasons.