Bethesda: A Conference to the Tune of Meh

Underwhelming. From the start of the conference, Bethesda seemed determined to be the very definition of the word. It’s a bit ridiculous to expect tons of new IP, but, their entire conference consisted of relying on old IP and a grand total of four new titles. . .

Let’s break this down with the good, the bad, and the meh. Let’s start with the good.

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The Good:

VR! VR at this moment is niche. It’s expensive to get into. The smallest investment for entry is still almost $600. So, to see a major studio support it, is a big deal and lends validity to the platform. We knew Fallout 4 VR was in the works and, speaking for myself, I was excited by the prospect. However, Bethesda threw in a surprise or at least a surprise that I had no previous knowledge of. That surprise was DOOM. We are getting DOOM in freaking VR! Hopefully, the VR experience can capture the fast paced and frenetic nature of DOOM, but even if not, it’s nice to see a major push for VR support.

We were also treated to our first look at The Evil Within 2. The Evil Within was a survival horror game that gained success based on the fact that it was a genre that was dying at the AAA level. When every survival horror game was going to action, The Evil Within took the genre back to its roots. The trailer was shown for The Evil Within 2 brought the creepy imagery and even showed the familiar yet new gameplay that we can expect. From white wax faces and scary monsters, the game looks very promising. Expect that out on Friday the 13th, this October.

The biggest hit of the conference. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. The presentation we were given, was spot on in its delivery. With tongue fully in cheek, we see a fifties style TV show opening in the same vein as Lassie. Only in this, we see a girl call upon a giant Nazi robot to help out, to not so great results. The game itself seems surreal. Set in America where the Nazis rule, we see a resistance. This resistance seems very dysfunctional where everyone is arguing, sometimes maintaining the argument while bullets fly through a window directly behind the participants. I’d be in the wrong if I didn’t mention the milkshake drinking Nazi that is guaranteed to be an instant meme, asking for your papers. The game seems like it will mix dark humor with the shoot em up mechanics that we want. The game promises to be, in the words of Pete Hines, “fucking bananas.”

While Wolfenstein 2 is the best game we saw, the best thing about the entire conference is the fact that the release of everything shown, is, that’s right, 2017. All these things should be available by the end of the year.

Though it’s exciting to think that these great things will be available by the end of the year, it also means that the bad will be here by then as well.

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The Bad:

While the things listed above are the great standouts, the following definitely pulled down the entire conference.

The show opened with a pre-recorded video of kids talking about how proud they are of their Bethesda employee parents. It was cute to the point of annoying. My daughter, if pressed to do so in front of a camera, would say how proud she was to me, even if my job was to clean up the trash at the end of the boring Bethesda conference.

The first and possibly most egregiously awful service offered up has to be The Creation Club. It’s no secret that Bethesda relies on the modding community to keep their games relevant. So the idea of compensating said modders doesn’t seem so bad. The Creation Club offers up mods in exchange for credits. Though, not specifically stated, it’s probably safe to assume that the credits will cost real-world money. Like I said, not bad in concept, but we already learned that this doesn’t work, thanks to Steams failed experience at monetizing mods.

Elder Scrolls Legends. A card game. The game itself looks abysmal. It almost seems like an afterthought. Like they looked at the Witcher’s Gwent and decided that they too could create a game around their franchise to milk money from anyone dumb enough to try it.

Pete Hines, a man with the charisma of a baked potato really brought the whole thing down for me. Every time he spoke, I wanted to just go to bed. He was not engaging in any way.

The Meh:

Some things offered up in the conference didn’t leave a negative or positive impression. They were simply middle of the road

We have a new standalone Dishonored game coming. It looks like Dishonored 2. There isn’t much to say, except that the trailer was competent. The game itself is an extension of a lackluster game.

Then there is the Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind. I’m pretty sure no actual human being plays that game at this point. The video showcasing it consisted only of people faking being excited for a trailer that we have all already seen. Nothing new and absolutely nothing exciting.

Conclusion:

I had high hopes for Bethesda going in. Despite some good stuff like DOOM VR, Wolfenstein 2, and The Evil Within 2, the conference itself failed to get me excited for much of anything that Bethesda is working on. Old titles dominated. They failed to elaborate on much of anything. It wasn’t bad, just nothing special. Hopefully, it all turns out better than the showcase itself.

 

 

 

 

 

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