Well then, Bethesda sure did nail their press conference, didn't they? After the turgid EA Play and the predictable but solid Microsoft presser, Bethesda came in and blew the doors off E3 with amazing reveal after amazing reveal.
The first happy surprise was Doom Eternal—the sequel to 2016's well-received Doom reboot. Where Doom was a remake of the original game, Doom Eternal looks a lot like a reimagining of Doom 2: Hell on Earth. Whatever it turns out to be, more Doom is always welcome.
Bethesda followed that up with the surprising announcement of Wolfenstein Youngblood, which will feature B.J. Blazkowicz's two daughters in the 1980s. It's a fantastic twist on the Wolfenstein universe, and even better, it will be co-op.
The rest of Bethesda's big reveals all landed very well. Rage 2 looked like a fine update of the id Software shooter, and Fallout 76 was stunning as expected. Bethesda made fun of itself in a surprisingly self-aware trailer. Even the cringey Andrew W.K. performance to kick off the Rage 2 demo redeemed itself with hilarious audience reaction shots.
So far the Bethesda conference highlight is the camera cutting between Andrew WK flailing around on stage and an audience that is barely humoring him pic.twitter.com/uZDezfnwyu— Tristan Cooper (@TristanACooper) June 11, 2018
But the coup de grace was two long-awaited reveals. The first was a new IP that has been rumored and speculated upon for years now: Starfield. Bethesda's new "next-gen" space game will be its first new IP in 25 years, and it's a thrilling opportunity for one of the best open-world RPG developers in the business to stretch their legs and try something new.
The second teaser was the "big one." After years of waiting, Bethesda finally showed a tiny glimpse of Elder Scrolls 6. We'll be waiting many years for this one, but fans will no doubt be tearing apart Bethesda's 30-second teaser trailer frame by frame looking for clues (there's a castle!) People goof on Elder Scrolls, but you can't discount the passion of its fanbase.
The conclusion of the press conference left Bethesda with an extremely strong lineup heading into the back half of 2018. We're getting a new Doom, new Wolfenstein, and Fallout 76, with Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 to be excited for down the line. Elder Scrolls is also getting an intriguing new mobile game, which will no doubt make outrageous amounts of money. It was a win all around for the House of Skyrim.
Tonight's press conference is reminiscent of Sony's E3 2015 and 2016 shows, which managed to get people talking with games that were exciting, even if they were a long way off. Yes, Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 may not be out until the PS5 and Xbox Two, but it's something tangible for fans to anticipate. They are no longer the subject of mere rumor.
If you're more concerned about the present, well, Fallout 76 is coming out this November, and it already looks like it's going to be one of the two or three biggest games of the fall. Bethesda clearly brought the big guns this year.
With the first real day of E3 2018 properly in the books, Bethesda is clearly in the pole position for the most exciting reveals of the show this side of From Software. EA in particular should take note: This is how you get people excited for your games.
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