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Bethesda E3 2017 reactions – My show might have been saved

by Ron Duwell | June 12, 2017June 12, 2017 10:00 am PDT

After Microsoft’s snoozefest, which kicked off at 6:00 am my time so it might have been half my fault, I was beginning to think that nothing could salvage my E3 2017 experience. Bethesda has usually brought along competent games to the show, like Fallout 4, DOOM, and Dishonored 2, but to date, it has done a poor job of dressing them up properly and putting on an exciting show.

It didn’t have such problems at E3 2017. Bethesda learned from is last two overly extended shows and was able to put on a precise, to the point, presentation at E3 2017. Even more encouraging, it only brought along two cool games and an announcement for even the Nintendo fans. Its 40-minute length was short enough to let you forget this aired at midnight for the United States Eastern Seaboard.

Seriously, who timed this year’s E3 schedule?

The Elder Scrolls V: A Link to the Past

First, the superficial news. Link, the Master Sword, and his traditional garb are all going to be in Skyrim’s Nintendo Switch port, and to take it a step further, you’re going to need an amiibo to access them!

How much more Nintendo can you get? It might sound like the ultimate pointless fan-service, and trust me… it is, but after seeing Link do his thing in Breath of the Wild’s open world, it’s a nice comparison to see how he acts in the game that is the genesis of the modern open world RPG.

No, it wasn’t the most important announcement of the show, but whatever. I needed a nice shoulder massage after blankly staring through Microsoft’s show, and Bethesda delivered to get the party started right.

Social gaming, VR, and DLC

Bethesda used a chunk of its time for promoting new social initiatives and its ventures into VR. Both Fallout 4 VR and DOOM VFR were revealed at the show for those who want a headache and nausea. Whether it’s from seeing the horrors and grotesque violence in these gruesome games through VR or it’s because of motion sickness remains pointless. If you play these in VR, you’re pukin’.

As for the social side of its show, Bethesda is starting its own online club for mod support called Creation Club. If that’s your thing and you don’t already belong to one of the countless mod scenes out there, then by all means, sign up today!

DLC is inbound for many of Bethesda’s games that already exist, Heroes of Skyrim has a new chapter, and The Elder Scrolls Online finally has a legitimate draw to it by being the only way players can go back to the beloved land of Morrowind.

Because that’s as nostalgic as it can get for Bethesda, really. “Felt like I was fourteen again,” one guy even said!

Two big games for all around

Bethesda also dedicated time to the two headlining games of its holiday season, of course. The Evil Within 2 has been leaking all over the place this past week, and in the official reveal trailer, I liked what I saw. The original The Evil Within was a totally mind-numbing mess from beginning to end, and I liked it a lot, flaws and all. In the post-P.T. and Resident Evil 7 world, this is the only mainstream horror game that has a chance of capturing the insanity of those two hits.

No Death Stranding? No Hideo Kojima? No problem! Resident Evil guru Shinji Mikami fills in nicely, and The Evil Within 2 should deliver all the way!

And Bethesda closed out its show with the latest Wolfenstein game, a rip roar of bullets, explosions, and acids trips. The trailer started off like a new Fallout game, but then I remembered that post-World War II is the exact same thing as the Fallout’s post-apocalypse. How many times is Bethesda going to set a game to the 1950s anyway?

I need to say that the opening CG didn’t impress me, especially when Blazkowicz’s new silly body armor saves him from a bullet to the head at point blank range. That whole encounter was just silly. However, once the voice acting came to a screeching halt in the cutscenes and the gameplay kicked in, it looked like the kind of old-school first-person shooter I want to play these days. Blowing apart alligators, Nazis, robots is all good fun, and best of all, there was not a drop of cover based shooting or waypoint objectives in sight.

Bethesda’s attempts to capture the early days of the first-person shooter have been far more successful than most others, and if both the previous Wolfenstein: The New Order and DOOM could get it done, then I’m sure Wolfenstein: The New Colossus can as well. That’s just a really sweet title too, no need for “Origins” or “Exodus” or whatever the other big publishers are tossing around those days.

Kudos for that title, Bethesda.

The animated lizard acid trip is just an icing on the cake.

Decent showing from Bethesda, I’m impressed

I haven’t liked Bethesda’s shows at E3 since the company is still learning to wrestle with its recently expanded size and fame. This year’s press conference was good. Not spectacular and nothing that knocked me off my feet. I want to play The Evil Within 2, but I’m also wary about how it might turn out given that I like the original because of its miscues. That’s a delicate scale that could just as easily be tipped in the other direction, and given how this generation seems to go overboard on everything, that very well could happen.

As for Wolfenstein, that’s the kind of curious game I pick up during a Steam or PlayStation sale a year or so down the line, not something I will run out and play on launch day. I like the idea of recapturing 90s shooters, but it’s not on my priority list, especially when the circle of protagonists seems so insufferable.

Bethesda’s selection of content and, more importantly, its pacing and ability not to linger on unimportant stuff for too long show that it is learning and growing as a publisher. Pretty soon, it might be able to put on the best show at E3 2017. Not this year I’m afraid.


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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