Grading the Show E3 2016: Bethesda

E3 is here and the press conferences have now all concluded. Now it’s time for us to give your our thoughts on each of the major shows starting with the first conference of the week, Bethesda.

Quake, Elder Scrolls, and Prey, oh my! by Allen

Last year, I thought it was pretty silly for Bethesda to have their own press conference. Like everyone else, I came away the show with the Fallout afterglow. Today, Bethesda had to do more than wow everyone with a new edition of everyone’s favorite apocalypse simulator. We now live in a post-DOOM (2016) world where everything old is new again. The return of Quake was heralded by the existence of a MOBA-maybe, probably team-based shooter, and Elder Scrolls Online was presented as a means to prove to the world that it’s not quite dead. What really captivated my attention was the reboot/reimagining of Prey. Gone are the aliens, Tommy, and Native American themes. They have been replaced by a white guy with a troubling eye problem and a bad case of the Mondays. All that’s left to do now is wait for news about Wolfenstein!


A predictable but solid showcase - Jonathan Paris

Bethesda didn’t really surprise me this year at E3, but I will say that the Prey teaser trailer is one of my favorite trailers I’ve seen this year. I’m also digging the direction Bethesda is going by reviving some older IP’s that most people, including myself thought was dead. The Skyrim Remaster is very tempting I admit, especially with the mod support. I was happy to see a closer look into Elder Scrolls Legends. I’m dying for another online CCG to break my Hearthstone addiction. Quake: Champions was a really great way to open the show but Dishonored 2 gameplay is what I really was watching for. I can’t wait to get my hands on that game this fall. Battlecry was absent from the conference, so I’m not sure the status of that game, but overall I think Bethesda conference was pretty good.


An Arkane Showing by Jonathan Miley

Bethesda is not my favorite publisher or developer but after last year’s surprisingly strong conference, I was happy to see what they had in store. And while it wasn’t disappointing, it wasn’t particularly surprising either. But, I have to give them credit for cutting the bullshit and just talking about games. This year we saw both Ubisoft and EA devolve into things that barely resemble the entertaining shows they once were… but not Bethesda. They opened strong with Quake Champions. They surprised no one but pleased many with a Skyrim remaster. They made my jaw drop with a reboot of Prey. But most importantly, they delighted with an extended look at Dishonored 2. In reality, the show would have been kind of terrible without Arkane Studios’ game. Thankfully it was not. It was pretty great.


Dishonorable Content by Jordan Hurst

I’m apathetic toward Bethesda as a developer, but I adore them as a publisher, so I’m willing to give their conferences the benefit of the doubt going in. They still have to meet me halfway though, and dedicating half their presentation to DLC announcements did not accomplish that. I also laughed out loud at the concept of a Skyrim remaster, followed by a quiet sob when I realized that it will undoubtedly out-sell many more deserving games a dozen times over. I’m not totally against a class/character-based Quake game, but since all we got was a pre-rendered trailer, I can’t even bring myself to form an opinion beyond that. Prey is in a similar situation, but at least its reveal had an intriguing narrative focus. Dishonored 2 basically saved this conference from being a total bust, by being both the best-presented (show gameplay, publishers, it’s not that bloody hard) and most promising title present.


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