It’s the Bethesda E3 showcase! And it's 5am! So welcome everyone, and apologies in advance if this write-up quickly unravels into pure sleepless nonsense.
First off tonight, we get a bunch of kids telling us how great their Bethesda-working parents are. Thanks kids. We’re sure the parents are dead proud.
Anyway, it’s onto the show proper now, with a teaser of some Bethesda-y things, and an intro to this evening's slightly pointless framing device: a 1950s-style theme park known as Bethesdaland - a place of “innovation, wonderment, and fun”. Yay, my three favourite things! And here comes our master of ceremonies, Bethesda supremo Pete Hines, the man who made me stay up to 5am.
Hines regales us with some vaguely corporate-sounding spiel and then it's onto the games. First, we’re having a Bethesda recap, reminding us that Prey, Doom, Dishonored 2, Fallout Shelter, Fallout 4 and Skyrim are things. Nice reminding Pete!
And now we’re onto virtual reality! Who said it was dead, eh? Bethesda has two VR games coming out this year: a Doom-based first-person shooter, and a rather spiffy version of Fallout 4 called, ohmygodwellinever, Fallout 4 VR. The latter is a full-length open world game, as you’d expect from Fallout, and the other they’re calling Doom VFR.
Now woooosh, we’re already onto the Elder Scrolls Online, and the return to Morrowind which is already out, so again we’re covering old ground. There’s some enthusiastic YouTubers getting exciting about the whole thing (as they are wont to do), and a bear! A goddamn bear! There’s also some footage of the Morrowind expansion, with new locations and a tiny wolf, but the bear is likely to be the victor in this popularity fight.
Next up, Bethesda is bragging about its mod community. In 2017 we’re told, Bethesda is going to “shake things up again”. They’re introducing something called Creation Club, a collection of new community created content for Skyrim and Fallout 4. Essentially it appears to boil down to a storefront for content that can be purchased with credits. The key here is everything on the store is fully compatible with the games as is, no tinkering required. It’s coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC this summer.
Elder Scrolls: Legends now, the Hearthstone-like card game wot is set in the Elder Scrolls world. It’s on iPad and Android already, and there’s some frosty new content coming later this month. Yes, Legends is getting a Heroes of Skyrim expansion on June 29th.
And on the subject of Skyrim, it’s finally time to have a look at Skyrim on Nintendo Switch. Oh, and it looks pretty! There's good news for fans of those impossible-to-find Zelda amiibos: they can be used to get a Link costume and Master Sword in the game. Elsewhere, there’s motion controller support with the Joy-Cons, meaning you can waft to wield your sword and fling your arrows. And that’s pretty much all we’re getting it seems.
NEXT! This September there's more Dishonored incoming; a story of revenge and the “ultimate assassination”. We get a trailer that opens in some seedy building while “What can we do with the drunken sailor” sets the spooky mood. Billie Lurk is our protagonist, and we’re “gonna kill the Outsider”. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is the name of the new story and it's due on September 15th.
It’s Quake time! Specifically, we’re talking about e-sports and Quake Champions, and there’s a very noisy trailer to go with the chat. All this is leading up to the Quake World Championships which are happening on August 26th at Quake Con. FIGHT.
Now we’re moving onto “under construction” games. New stuff! And ooooh, some spooky moody footage. Is this the rumoured The Evil Within 2? The lady narrator introduces us to Sebastian, who apparently has lost his daughter Lilly, and there’s something about Mobius, and white goop, which I always love. Yeah, this looks like a much fancied-up version of The Evil Within, with all the gooey horrors you’d expect that to entail.
It’s certainly a moody trailer, with a whole bunch of spooky abstract images playing out to the haunting sounds of someone covering Duran Duran's An Ordinary World. I'm seeing dead birds, angry preachers and now a forest full of burning zombies. And finally, confirmation that this is indeed The Evil Within 2. It’s certainly prettier than the original and it's out October 13th this year. Goodness. I wonder if Shinji Mikami is involved this time?
And it sounds like we’re nearly done! But there’s one last thing to go. We’re given a glimpse of a wholesome 1950s-style TV show trailer, in which the lovely Peggy blows on her magic whistle to summon a giant robot dog that breathes fire, to save a cop trapped under a car. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what’s going on. Ah, it's basically a montage of 1950s-style stuff, which is going on a bit. And YES, we finally get some proper game footage so I’m not stuck furiously typing nonsense.
AH! It’s Wolfenstein! Thank goodness. I know where we are now. Captain William Joseph Blazkowicz is back, and he's having a nap. It seems that we’re in alternate timeline territory, and what looks to be a 1950s version of America occupied by Nazis and white supremacists. This looks like fun, and funny too. “We’re organising a revolution in America”, says our Willy. That wasn't the funny bit, by the way. Although I'm a little delirious at this point, so I'm ready to giggle at anything.
We’re certainly getting plenty of bang for our buck here: this is one long trailer. Thankfully though, this is all good stuff: sassy revolutionaries, croc attacks, axe-wielding Nazi matrons, and a tiny cartoon lizard for reasons unknown. The game is called Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and it's out on October 27th.
It’s “fucking bananas”, says Pete Hines.
And that, friends, is that. Not the biggest or most excitement-packed E3 2017 conference so far, but the flagship stuff - The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein 2, and Skyrim on Switch - all look pretty damn great. And as a bonus, it's all coming out this year.