Bethesda E3 Showcase 2017: Everything Old is New Again

Posted in Kulturecade by - June 14, 2017

Bethesda Studios are easily one of the best game developing studios of all time, so naturally many fans were excited for a fresh year of E3 with Bethesda hinting at multiple possibilities of working projects. Bethesda is my favorite game studio of all time, so of course, I was highly anticipating the conference. Bethesda delivered a packed conference with multiple coverages of new projects, but were these projects anything worth waiting for? Let’s talk about it!

Doom and Fallout 4 VR

Fallout 4 on the VR systems came as no surprise as they released this information last year. However, they did release a new one which is ‘Doom VFR.’ The gameplay looked interesting for both as it was shown. However, my thoughts are shaken on Bethesda taking this VR route. It has been demonstrated that the HTC Vive would be the only headset that the games would release on and I think this is a terrible idea. The HTC Vive is the most expensive VR headset on the market between the competition of the PlayStation VR and the Oculus. Naturally, the competitors sell better due to the lower price point, so why would Bethesda take this route? Also, as another Kulture Shocked writer said to me, Doom is too fast paced of a game to release on VR. At least release Skyrim on VR if you are already working on an open world VR game (Fallout 4). Fallout 4 VR? Yes! Doom VR? NO. VR only on Vive? Absolutely not, my friend.

The Elder Scrolls Legends and The Elder Scrolls Online

If you are interested in Bethesda’s card game, The Elder Scrolls Legends, then tonight’s conference would have been decent for you. Bethesda announced a new expansion pack titled, ‘Legends of Skyrim’ for Legends. I’m not too into the card game myself, but the concept looked interesting enough!

The Elder Scrolls Online, of course, made an appearance with the newest expansion, ‘Morrowind.’ The expansion released recently to decent reviews and fans praising the accuracy to the original game. I do not play Elder Scrolls Online as it wasn’t for me. However, I was thinking about giving it a second chance due to the expansion as I loved The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

Creation Club

Bethesda is known for games such as Fallout or the Elder Scrolls, right? And what comes with these games? Mods. Ever since Fallout 4 and Skyrim: Special Edition released mods to consoles, it was said that there have been over 300 million mod downloads. They decided to make a new modding system called, ‘Creation Club.’ Not much was mentioned about this. However, it seems that there will be credits of some sort and you can buy mods using these credits. A friend of mine and I were talking, and we are sincerely hoping these “credits” are not microtransactions. This would be possibly the worst thing for Bethesda to ever publish. Mods are a system which lets players play how they want, and if you make them pay extra for this, well that is just downright robbery. Let your players play how they want on top of paying full price for your new game and don’t make them pay extra to get in on the fun. If they aren’t microtransactions, however, this could be an interesting take.

Skyrim on Nintendo Switch

I don’t think anyone was surprised at this news as it was announced that Skyrim would hit the Switch months ago. If Bethesda wouldn’t have shown this at E3, what would have been the point? People have been busy playing Breath of the Wild and now need something else to move onto. Look, I get it, it’s Skyrim on the go! But can we talk about this for a second? Skyrim is almost six years old. By this time, if you’re highly excited about Skyrim coming to the Switch, you more than likely have already played hours upon hours upon hours of the game in 6 years. So, what’s new? Why is this the greatest thing to ever happen? I am honestly curious from a non-Switch owner to an actual Switch owner on why this is so great. Other than it being the premise of Skyrim on the go, I just don’t see it. This is my opinion, but if you know me you have probably heard all about how I think the Switch is terrible and I know my Kulture Shocked members have heard all about it.

Dishonored 2 DLC

For all you Dishonored players out there, Bethesda has announced and released a trailer for the upcoming DLC later this year. I have yet to play Dishonored 2 but loved the first one very much so. I will probably wait until the end of this year and see if there are any ‘GOTY’ editions and hopefully can snag the game on a deal. The DLC is titled, ‘Death of the Outsider’ and will be released September 15th of this year, don’t miss it!

Quake Champions Coverage

If you’re a Quake player, Bethesda highlighted some sick gameplay for Quake Champions. If you weren’t one of the players to snag a beta key, the beta is now open to all players. They also highlighted some Quake Championship details which of course will be held in Dallas, TX this year. Go check it out if you’re interested in Quake as it was one of their better highlighted moments of the conference.

The Evil Within 2

Bethesda announced a sequel to their 2014 survival-horror game, The Evil Within. Despite mixed reviews, I was among the fans of the first game. I thought it was a solid psychological horror game. The only problem I had with the first game was the very unappealing and forgettable characters. Of course, though when they released the trailer, they highlight the main character from the first and expect us to feel some emotion for the character when we completely forgot the guy existed in the first place. Overall, this was the main showing at the conference that caught my interest, and this is the sad part. Oh well though; The Evil Within releases October 13th of this year so if you’re looking to get your scare on, there’s another horror game to add to that checklist!

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

(Dragging and moaning voice) “And this ladies and gentlemen is the final event, the big MacDaddy, the final showcase of the highly anticipated Bethesda E3 2017 conference, I present to you, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus.” Bethesda…. come on. Yes, a new Wolfenstein game is fantastic, and for some reason, B.J. Blazkowicz returns to the sequel which is kind of weird with the events of the last game, but whatever, right?! I loved The New Order and Old Blood, and I think Bethesda did a fantastic job on these games, but come on, THIS is the big event? Maybe my hopes were too high, but I was hoping for a new IP at least, not two sequels as your main events and sequels to games that aren’t even that popular for the most part, TEW2 especially. Wolfenstein has a big pile of fans, but I don’t think this was worth waiting for. I don’t know maybe it is just me, but this was not what I was expecting. Out of all the things, a new IP and hell even Elder Scrolls VI news, which was my last resort to talk about as it is a low blow to Bethesda because you can’t rush something like that, but the final showcase was just such a disappointment in my opinion. Will I play the new sequels? Of course, I will because I haven’t been disappointed in a Bethesda title as of now, but there was just so much wasted potential here. Bethesda has the capability to do great things and have already achieved most of this stuff, and they just threw it out for some low-ball sequels. I was sincerely hoping for the rumored IP, ‘Starfield” which was supposed to be an open-world space RPG. This is what people wanted; this is what should have been done.

Now before you scream, “Crybaby! It was a great conference!” Put this into perspective? How would you feel if your favorite game studio ever, like Bethesda is mine, due to helping me through so much stuff in life with their games announces a conference in a year filled with games and new IPs. Then shows this conference entirely through a video ‘tour’ and then exaggerates you up to just announce ‘another sequel’? You would be quite disappointed. These games have potential however so this raises my hopes a bit about the future of the studio.

Overall, Bethesda let me down. Not just because the games were not what I was imagining, and once again my hopes might have been too high, but because the whole conference was just so weak. They took us on a virtual tour of ‘Bethesda Land’ which was neat, however, when the whole conference is a video that could have been released online and saved hundreds of people hundreds of dollars, this just seemed like a waste of time. Pete Hines was the speaker for the conference and spoke maybe 5 minutes total of the 35-40-minute conference. The conference just seemed thrown in there because they had to do it and felt pressured, so they just half-assed the whole thing and rolled with it. Bethesda, I love you, but this was not your year. The only time I was ever shocked and awed at what I was being shown was 2015 E3, and this basically won everyone over due to Fallout 4. Here’s to hoping next year is a great one for Bethesda because this year just wasn’t as great as some were expecting. Until next time gamers and readers alike, Happy E3 Week!

Rating: C-

This post was written by
Tucker Boyd is a gaming staff writer for Kulture Shocked. Growing up, all he wanted was to play video games. Jokes on you, he never grew up. His life consists of video games every day, reading comic books and watching movies. These things have molded him into a giant pop culture fanatic and he's not a bit ashamed of it. He loves sitting down and having discussions about games, movies, and comics and dreams that one day he will be able to make a living off these things.
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