E3 2019: Bethesda

Bethesda has had some real stumbling blocks in recent years. The publisher was once widely beloved, inspiring cheers and applause from absolutely everyone that their iconic games managed to touch. However, they have started going into the dark side a little too much for our liking, implementing microtransactions and questionable business decisions. It all culminated with the release and disappointment of Fallout 76 and even though the game has improved significantly since launch, the wounds are still a bit tender.

I wish to give Bethesda the benefit of the doubt. One failure from a studio inexperienced in multiplayer shouldn’t mean the death nail in the coffin. I’m willing to give them a shot and that shot is what you are reading now. Let’s find out if they nailed it.

Fallout 76

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2XdwS4lcZM

Speak of the devil. Todd Howard took the stage and while still his usual confident self, you could see that the criticism has affected him a little. He stated that they’re still working hard on Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI, but these games are most likely going to be next-generation titles so don’t expect any news until at least next year’s E3. However, new announcements were made for Fallout 76 and they’re very welcome additions indeed.

Firstly, there will be an expansion called Wastelanders which solved one of the game’s biggest problems. Yes, the game will now have NPCs complete with fully functional dialogue wheels. In addition, we will have a new main quest, more gear, more characters, more enemies and your standard update fare. It would have been nice if they were there in the first place, though.

Another big surprise was the introduction of a new game mode called Nuclear Winter. It’s a 52-player Battle Royale mode where Vault Hunters try to be the last one standing as a burning ring of fire closes around them. You can guess which song they picked for the trailer.

It was stated that all of these updates and the new mode will be completely free to any existing players. There is also now a trial version for the game available on all platforms which runs from the 10th of June to the 17th.

Elder Scrolls: Blades

Some beefy updates are coming to the recently released Elder Scrolls Blades. There will be new jobs, solo arena battles and custom jewellery in an update which is out tonight. They are still working on PvP and Arena modes. The big announcement for the game is that it’s coming to the Nintendo Switch for free in Fall (our Spring). The Switch version will have cross-play as well as cross-progression so both of your versions will be synced.

Ghostwire Tokyo

Legendary video game designer Shinji Mikami took to the stage with his latest game from his studio, Tango Gameworks. The game is touted as an action adventure, not a survival horror, but the concept and look of the game is definitely terrifying.

People are mysteriously vanishing in Tokyo and some supernatural forces are at play, which can be malicious or not. The trailer didn’t give us much in terms of gameplay, but the design and feel of the game looks stellar. This is something to keep an eye on. No release date was given.

The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online community is still very strong and surprisingly robust. Since release, the game has been getting continuous and beefy updates. We got news on a big new expansion called Dragon Guard that will set players off on new stories involving old characters. We got a very well done CGI trailer that is basically a giant fight between a Khajiit

and a dragon. It’s pretty cool.

Commander Keen

The next game caught us by surprise in not the best way possible. It was hyped up with the mention that the people responsible for Elder Scrolls Online were behind it. Commander Keen, the classic video game character from the days of your dad is coming back as … a mobile game. The cartoony mobile game will have two characters which are the twin offspring of the original Commander called Billy and Billie. I don’t really know what’s happening with the gameplay and honestly, I’m too hurt to care.

Elder Scrolls Legends

The card game is still around. There’s a new expansion called Moons of Elsewyr is coming 27th of July, but not much else was shown except this live action trailer. It’s free on iOS.

Rage 2

Rage 2 recently saw a release and Bethesda is doing some cool things to keep it fresh. Each week will have new update drops for the game that features pilotable mechs, new vehicles, cheats, some new game modes and more. They also showed a little bit of a new DLC expansion called Rise of the Ghosts that’s coming later this year.

Wolfenstein Youngblood (July 26th)

After the relentless onslaught of mobile games, we now get William J. Blazkowicz’s daughters delivering an onslaught of pain to the Third Reich. Jessica and Sophia Blazkowicz are infiltrating 1980s Nazi-occupied France in search of their dad and they’re definitely making their presence known as you can see in the trailer. The game will have co-op, as you could imagine, and the big news is that it’s coming on July 26th 2019. Yes, a little more than a month away.

Also, let’s not forget Wolfenstein Cyberpilot, the VR Wolfenstein game that puts you in the seat of a French resistance hacker that takes over Nazi war machines in order to sow chaos. The game will be out on the 26th of July.

Deathloop

Arkane Lyon stepped out and revealed Deathloop, a pretty interesting looking game that follows two people stuck in endless time loops where they have to kill each other. The two people in question are assassins on the island of Blackreef. We only got a CGI trailer, but the game promises to be stylish, which is basically the MO for anything Arkane touches.

DOOM Eternal (November 22nd)

Saving the best for last, we got to lay our eyes on the destructive demon killing mayhem that is DOOM Eternal. Since the game’s reveal last year, it seems a lot has been done. The demons are invading not only Earth but the whole solar system and the sheer scale of the conflict has gotten much larger than stations on Mars. The game rather showed than tell with its gameplay receiving the front and centre in the multiple trailers that were shown.

The gameplay looks a lot more frantic and fluid than the previous game and it’s also even colourful now with all the power-ups and health points creating a symphony of colours as you go on rampant demon murder sprees. It’s DOOM. It’s fast, it’s violent and it’s just how we like it.

They announced a pretty cool collector’s edition which is a wearable model helmet of the Doom Marine.

Image result for doom eternal collector's edition

Also, we got some big news and a trailer for DOOM Eternal‘s multiplayer. It’s called Battle Mode and it puts two demons against one slayer. The demons need to strategise to take out the much stronger slayer and whoever comes out on top after three rounds wins the match. It looks to be an interesting twist on the multiplayer formula that plays into DOOM‘s unique features.

And finally, we got the release date. 22nd of November is when you can expect this trip through hell.

And that’s all for Bethesda this year. Now, some of these offerings are really respectable. They are really leaning into the stylish fast shooter genre this year which is always welcome and Ghostwire and Deathloop look massively intriguing considering their respective pedigrees. However, both those trailers were CGI with no real further info given. The rest of the show consisted of updates, some attempts at atonement, fan interviews and lots of mobile games. While certainly a mixed bag, I think we can still get excited by what Bethesda is doing.

I am way too tall, played way too many games and I love to write about what we love about games. In the end, I'm just being #Thabolicious

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