So, it’s been a bit of a disaster for Bethesda since last E3 – Fallout 76’s had a disasterious launch and then there was the bag scandal and then there was that time they perma banned a player for having too much ammo and then the bad stuff just never seemed to stop. Well it is time for Bethesda to show off what they have got to combat this year’s difficulties. Perhaps it is not all DOOM and gloom for Bethesda…

Bethesda’s presentation starts with a diverse cast of developers who work for Bethesda which includes almost an admission of the backlash they got for Fallout 76. This followed with a montage of all the Bethesda games that we will be seeing in this presentation. They did this sort of thing last year and while it is nice they do really lay it on thick and it comes across as a little contrived.

Also the Bethesda exec, Pete Hines, made his entrance from his seat in the crowd to really drive home the “Bethesda is you, Bethesda is us” thing they talked about in the intro video. He promised to show off new games and to go DEEP into DOOM Eternal before announcing Todd Howard.

He immediately makes a joke about some of the “excitement” that has surrounded Bethesda “I’m surprised some of you are still here”. He does mention they received some “well deserved criticism” before turning around and saying they have created a good online community. The game never tickled my fancy and then it had that terrible launch which killed any interest I had in it so I cannot say if 76 has improved and is doing alright now but sure.

Next up they talk about Elder Scrolls Blades is out on Early Access and became their second game to reach number one on the App store after Fallout Shelter. They announced new content for the game including a solo battle arena, jewellery creation and a Dragon quest line. You can download it free…FOR TONIGHT. Also, Blades will be coming to the Nintendo Switch – they already made the SwitchBlades pun so I’m angry. Damn you Bethesda. It will be out for the Switch in the Fall and it will have cross-play and cross-progression with the mobile version so you can play it on mobile now and then continue with your progress on the Switch which is admittedly neat.

Fallout 76 developers are next. They get a laugh before they even say anything. “It is incredible what the game has become”. They announced Wastelanders which will add NPCs, a new quest and choices – to make it more of a traditional Fallout experience. The crowd seemed psyched but this is the sort of thing that really should have been in the game to begin with, from what I hear the game feels empty so adding NPCs and dialogue trees and turning it into an actual Fallout game is probably a good idea but it should not be a big selling point eight months into the games life cycle.

There will be a free trial between tomorrow and the 17th of June which is a good idea it gives them a chance to get a few new players into the game and maybe sell a few extra copies once the trial is over. Then they announced a brand new game mode. And yes…it is a Fallout 76 Battle Royale mode called Nuclear Winter which will have 52 people fighting to become the Overseer of Vault 51. It is a predictable move and I really cannot imagine playing a battle royale mode with Fallout combat. Maybe it will be the breath of life the game needs, or maybe it is a desperate move.

Shinji Mikami is next from Tango Gameworks, the studio responsible for The Evil Within games. The Resident Evil creator announced Ghostwire Tokyo, where you try to rid Tokyo from supernatural beings. He brings out Ikumi Nakamura who is great by the way. It’s a spooky Action-Adventure game but they did explicitly say that it was NOT a Survival Horror game. They then showed a cinematic trailer where people suddenly disappear leaving their clothes (and in one sad case their dog) behind. Poor sad dog. The trailer gets a bit trippy after that and involves spirits attacking people and a man wielding a bow. It sounds like a neat premise, but until I see some gameplay is it hard to get too excited for it just yet. It is on my watchlist though.

Following on was a bunch of people talking about how cool Bethesda games are.

Elder Scrolls Online is next. Talks about the recently released Elsweyr which lets you explore the homeland of the Khajiit, but also lets you play as the Necromancer class. They are also in the middle of a yearlong storyline involving Dragons and they cut to a trailer showing off the next part of this where it shows a Khajiit attempting to fight a Dragon before a necromancer shows up to help. Then an army shows up to help bring it down. At one point the Khajiit sticks a knife into the wing of the dragon and cuts a bit tear into it which probably is uncomfortable. The dragon looks like it’s beaten but then flew away. It’s a decent cinematic trailer to be fair. There’s some story DLC coming to the ESO soon – Scalebreaker and Dragonhold.

Also they revealed a new game from ESO developer ZeniMax Online – they said to imagine “a Saturday morning cartoon but it’s a free-to-play mobile game”.

IT’S COMMANDER KEEN. OF ALL THE THINGS TO BRING BACK. COMMANDER KEEN – a very classic ID software IP. It is coming back as a mobile free-to-play game. I had shareware discs that featured Commander Keen as a child and I sucked at it. I have so many painful memories of Commander Keen. The game features two twins, Billy and Billie, who invent gadgets to help kill their alien enemies. It will launch this summer on Android and iOs games. I mean, it is a weird franchise to bring back after so long but it is a mobile game. I dunno, if it’s fun great but I’m so sceptical over mobile games these days it is hard to get excited for.

They talk a little about Fallout Shelter reaching 150 million players before cutting to an advert for Elder Scrolls Legends, the mobile card game. It will have a new expansion based on Elsweyr content.

Now it’s RAGE 2 content time. They announced new things via a Sitcom-like theme song that includes a new vehicles including a portable mech, cheats including low gravity and a new expansion called Rise of the Ghosts. Also mentioned new content weekly. I was initially quite interested in Rage 2 but the closer to launch it got the less interested I got but I’ll see if the new content makes a difference.

The VR game Wolfenstein Cyberpilot where you take control of Nazi machines in order to kill Nazis. It looks like a fairly basic VR style game. It is out in July. Then they talk about Wolfenstein: Youngblood which will launch this summer, promising a bigger Wolfenstein experience than ever before with more weapons, more ways to kill Nazis and more Nazis to kill. This guy REALLY wants you to know how many Nazis you can kill and I’m okay with that. The game’s story revolves around BJ Blazkowicz daughters going to rescue their dad from Nazi occupied Paris. It looks like more Wolfenstein fun with an 80s neon vibe. It looks good. It will be out July 26th. I still need to finish The New Order.

Arkane Lyon is next to announce a brand new game. It seems to be a mysterious game where two people are rivals looking to kill each other – the island seems to have a mysterious power that seems to make them relive the same day over and over. One likes the island, the other does not. It’s called Deathloop. It’s got a cool style based on the trailer. I want to see more of it – including seeing the actual game but I will keep one eye on more news about it. It promises to have a mind bending story with levels designed in a way to allow the player the freedom to approach it however they want. I hope it is neat.

ID Software are up next with some new technology. They show off some of the ‘innovations’ Bethesda has ‘innovated’ which leads them to announcing Orion. It is a technology that aims to make streaming games a lot easier for game engines. Orion aims to make streaming faster, easier and without losing setting options. As someone who is dumb I’m not sure what these means. However, they show a woman playing DOOM on a mobile phone streamed, I presume via Orion, to the phone.

 

“We all need more DOOM in out lives”. “…and we will see you in Hell” is line of the presentation and it leads into a trailer for DOOM Eternal which seems to feature some angels along with the demons. There is a decent amount of lore before it goes into a montage of some of the bad ass ways you can kill demons. It seems super cool. There was some gameplay but it focused mostly on the killing parts which is wise. DOOM 2016 was good and DOOM Eternal seems like more DOOM.

They talk more about it including some dimension hopping and how the demons have taken over the world. But then they go on to talk about the gameplay which is what we’re all into DOOM for. They show off some extended gameplay footage in a montage which shows off some traversal tricks like air-dashing and swinging on poles. Also some demon slaying and all the vicious gory ways you can kill them.

There was an extended gameplay section shown off that shows off how the grappling hook can be used for both traversal and combat. The music is fantastic, it looks like it still has fun frantic combat sections where you just race around shooting things with guns. It is definitely something that is better shown than told.

As someone who liked DOOM, this is grabbing my attention. So, November 22nd is the release date and I definitely cannot wait for it. I really want to play DOOM but my copy is in a different city right now which is lame.

Battlemode is announced as the multiplayer component for DOOM Eternal which pits two player controlled Demons take on the demon slayer who is fully equipped for battle – the demons can spawn AI demon pals to help fight against the demon slayer. They showed off some gameplay for it and it looks like it could be neat. The announcer sounded very close to a Mortal Kombat announcer but I guess DOOM too.

And that is it! DOOM Eternal looks fantastic, Wolfenstein: Youngblood could be a fun slice of nazi-killing with a vibrant 80s neon style thrown in there and a couple of other games like Ghostwire Tokyo and Deathloop have intrigued me enough to keep an eye out for them. However there was one massive issue – the one guy who kept screaming throughout the whole thing genuinely made the entire presentation worse. His overreactions did lead to some of the presenters losing their way a little and honestly it is hard to tell whether he was truly passionate about the announcements or just taking the piss but it was really distracting and it was clearly distracting to the presenters too.

That’s it for the main E3 conferences today. Tomorrow we will have Ubisoft and Square-Enix showing off their latest games. There is still the Devolver “show” which I missed by working on this we will have a look at their offerings early tomorrow. I want DOOM, goodnight.

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