A Couple Big Announcements Couldn’t Save Bethesda’s Press Conference

Bethesda has had one great press conference and a couple less than stellar ones. Unfortunately, this year continues that trend. There certainly were some big things, but I often found myself glancing at my phone. But, let’s talk about it. What were those couple things that I really enjoyed and what could have been better?

Things started with Rage 2, or rather, a performance from Andrew W.K. I was really hoping that we were going to get through E3 without pointless musical performances this year, but we weren’t so lucky. When that wrapped up, we got to see the game, and it does look cool, but it’s pretty much exactly what we thought it was. It’s an open-world game with vehicle combat and shooting that looks straight out of 2016’s Doom. So, not surprising, but cool.

Speaking of Doom, let’s jump ahead to the biggest announcement as far as I’m concerned. Doom was my favorite game of 2016, and one that I happily bought a second time to have on my Nintendo Switch, so obviously, I was hoping for a sequel. We didn’t get much, but we did get a trailer for Doom Eternal that teased Hell on Earth, the premise to the original Doom II. I was really hoping that they were going to call this one Doom II as well, but oh well, I’m just happy we’re getting a sequel.

Continuing from sequels to id properties, there’s a new Wolfenstein in development. I’m kind of surprised that they’re already talking about it, which makes me think that it might not be the next big step forward for the series. But, Wolfenstein: Youngblood features co-op. Players take on the role of BJ’s twin daughters in the 1980’s, which is a pretty cool concept.

A couple of Bethesda’s small mobile games are finding their way onto consoles, which is cool I guess. The Switch is a pretty solid choice for games like Fallout Shelter and Elder Scrolls Legends, but in both cases, I’m just not that interested. I’m sure there are people out there that are pretty excited about it though.

The largest amount of time was spent with Todd Howard as he explained what Fallout 76 is. I’m still on the fence with this game. I loved Fallout 3 and enjoyed 4, but fell off of it before finishing. I’m just not really feeling like I need more Fallout right now. I was also a little worried when reports came out that the game was an online survival game, like Rust. That’s just not a genre that I’ve ever cared about.

Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to be a true hardcore survival sim. It’s more a normal Fallout game, but with real players running around too. Think a typical Bethesda RPG but mixed with Sea of Thieves. Todd made sure to point out that dying won’t cost you any progress, which is nice, but I’m still not looking forward to asshole players sniping me while I’m just trying to turn in a quest. Also, being online makes the VATS system, where players could freeze time and target specific body parts, completely impossible. Fallout has never had the shooting mechanics to be a true FPS, and VATS was a great way to get around that. Now, they better tighten up those controls.

But that wasn’t the only game Mr. Howard wanted to talk about. Next, he announced Elder Scrolls: Blades, a mobile game. He did say that it would be coming to consoles and PCs and some point too. Basically, it’s a game in the Elder Scrolls universe where you play as one of the Blades, elite soldiers in the Empire. You’ll be able to go through dungeons, fight other players, and build up a town. It seems pretty ambitious for a phone game, but also not really a game that I want to play on a phone. We’ll see though, it’s going to be free, so no reason not to at least look at it.

And finally, we get two quick teases for the next games from the core Elder Scrolls team. First is Starfield, which is a brand new IP and one that’s been rumored for a long time. We really only see a logo and what looks like a space station. At this point, I’m really mad at myself for not predicting Starfield and going with Elder Scrolls VI instead. But, then we get a logo for Elder Scrolls VI, which I imagine is a long way off, but it’s happening.

From a presentation stand point, this press conference was fine. It wasn’t obnoxious like the EA one, but it wasn’t fast-paced and peppy like the Microsoft one. It just kind of existed. And the lack of huge announcements really dampened my overall impressions of the show. Maybe next year will be the year that Bethesda really gets back into the swing of things.

Now, let’s talk about my predictions. I had predicted Doom II, but I said it would be out this year. Like Halo at the Microsoft show, a lack of release date ruined the prediction. As I said before though, I did get Elder Scrolls VI right. And of course, there was no Commander Keen. But, I mean, of course there wasn’t. This puts my current at score at 2/9.

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