Bethesda stuck to their usual strategy witht ehir 2017 E3 conference, as they decided to only announce and show us games that are launching in the next year. This inevitably meant that the conference ran much shorter than most do, but it also meant that the conference felt packed out. They wasted no time in showing us what they have to offer.

The first major feature of the conference involved the showing off of both DOOM VR and Fallout 4 VR. Doom appears to have had a number of new mechanics added, with the brief appearance of what looked like some kind of interactive puzzle section. Otherwise, the same weapons and combat mechanics appear to be a part of the DOOM VR experience, only this time there is teleporting too! Frankly, I’m not sure how well this one is going to work. Combining DOOM’s fast paced gameplay with the limitations of VR sounds as though it could only lead to sever motion sickness. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes. Fallout 4, meanwhile, looks like it has less change to offer. Mechanics have clearly been reshaped to fit VR controls, but otherwise it looks like a fairly faithful recreation of the post-apocalyptic sandbox shooter. At any rate, it’s awesome to finally see a triple-A open world game make the leap to VR. No release dates have been given.

Next, Bethesda announced the creation club for Bethesda Game Studios’ Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition. Here, players pay for a virtual currency which they use to buy add-on content for these games. The money it generates is used to fund top modders and smaller developers to create the content on offer. It appears to be a move by Bethesda that allows them to profit from a a lot of cheap content whilst also supporting the content creation scene for their games. At any rate, it seems much more reasonable than the idea of paid mods, and will hopefully ensure a high grade of quality for the content it offers.

Bethesda also announced a Skyrim themed expansion to their electronic card game, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, along with the Switch port of Skyrim that was teased in advertisments for the console. It is interesting to note that this is not the special edition of Skyrim, which is presumably due to the hardware limitations of the Switch. It does include some light Zelda themed content, though, which is at least something. Plus, the idea of Skyrim on the go is bound to be extremely appealing. It’s coming Fall 2017.

A standalone continuation of the Dishonored story was also announced, entitled Death of the Outsider. A trailer was also dropped, which featured both Daud and Billie Lurk (the playable character this time around). The title of course gives away the mission that these two chracters seem to be going on, and perhaps even implies that this may well be the swan-song for the franchise. If that’s the case, Arkane certainly seem to be sending things off with an intriguing bang. Death opf the Outsider launches on September 15.

An announcement for The Evil Within 2 also dropped. Going by the trailer, the follow up to Mikami’s well received survival horror looks to promise the same flavour of bizarre sci-fi horror as its predecessor. Spooks and scares are aplenty, and one cannot deny the sinister atmosphere here. Rather appropriately, The Evil Within 2 launches on Friday the 13th of October, 2017.

Bethesda closed off the conference with the official announcement of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, a follow up to 2014’s The New Order. The sequel debuted with an extensive gameplay demo which offered a look at the game’s new setting: an America where Nazis have come to power. The setting appears to be some years on from that of the predecessor, as it boasts technology that would not look out of place in a cyberpunk story. The craziness appears to have been turned up to 11 as well, and I have no doubts that this will be another enjoyable shooter that combines the best of both the old school and more contemporary examples of the genre. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus releases October 27, 2017.

Bethesda certainly had less to offer than the other big publishers this year, but what they do have looks more than solid enough to be worthy of consideration. Three sequels, VR modes to two of their most acclaimed games and a formal announcment the Skyrim version that gamers are pining for. I do however suspect that this is one of their quiter years, and that we’ll have much more to see next year – perhaps including a glimpse at whatever Bethesda Games Studio has been working on since Fallout 4.

 

 

 

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