E3 2016 Preview: Bethesda Focuses On Seconds for Its Second E3
After a big Fallout 4 focused presentation for their inaugural E3 presentation, Bethesda will be back with even more for 2016’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. While they won’t be first out of the game with their keynote, an “honour” going to EA this year, they will certainly be swinging a big stick this year. For E3 appearance #2, Bethesda will focus on the number 2. They will have a lot of sequels that will or could have the number two in the title. By my count, they might have four games that are the second one in their respective franchises at this year’s E3 presentation.
The big rumour heading into E3 is that Bethesda will be bringing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to current generation consoles as a remaster. The Skyrim remaster will come with all DLC, upgraded graphics and mod support for those who want to play the Macho Man Randy Savage dragon mod on their Xbox One or PS4. Prior to this rumour, many believed that The Elder Scrolls VI would be teased or revealed this year but that may be pushed back for a while. Keep in mind that Bethesda just got mod support for Fallout 4 up and running on Xbox One and is targeting mod support on the PS4 later this month so a priority for Bethesda is having mod support on launch or a lot closer than nine months after release.
The Elder Scrolls franchise goes beyond the main games, though. There’s The Elder Scrolls Online that we haven’t heard much about lately. I couldn’t tell you the last time that there was an expansion for TESO so don’t be surprised to see that unveiled at E3.
There’s also supposed to be some sort of The Elder Scrolls card game, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, that we haven’t heard much about for about a year. Now is as good a time as any to remind us that it exists and is coming. Granted, at this point, I’m not sure they’ll be able to make the in-roads on Hearthstone that they were hoping for considering some impressions from PAX East weren’t very positive.
So without TES6 being guaranteed an unveil at E3, the key number to focus on for Bethesda is the number 2. A number of sequels are expected to be announced.
The Wolfenstein reboot was an unexpected hit with both players and critics. The stand alone expansion The Old Blood also went over fairly well so it was only a matter of time before a new Wolfenstein game was announced. Despite the critical success of the classically inspired Doom reboot, I don’t see fundamental changes in the Wolfenstein formula to its early 90s roots. If Wolfenstein: The New Order wasn’t broken, The New Order 2 (please have a better name than that) won’t fix it.
Speaking of well-received games from Bethesda, The Evil Within 2 is expected to have a sequel announced at E3. That’s about all the news I’ve seen for it.
Prey 2 was originally announced back in 2011 and then cancelled in 2014. Now, it’s apparently back and to be revealed on Sunday. Arkane Studios Texas is reported to have been tasked with the game’s development after it was cancelled under the watch of Human Head Studios. If you don’t remember Prey 1, it was released in 2006 to fairly good reviews and commercial success. I’ve never heard of it and I’d imagine I’m not alone considering Prey is a ten-year-old game. Perhaps a re-release on Steam or GOG would help drum up support for Prey 2. Given the length of time since the last Prey game, rumours suggest that the game will be called just Prey and styled as a reboot slash sequel in the style of 2016’s Doom.
Speaking of 2nd games in franchises, after announcing Dishonored 2 at E3 last year, we should get our first look at actual gameplay this year. The target release date is November which puts it in something of an extraordinarily busy holiday release period. I wouldn’t fault them if they delayed the game just to give the game a little breathing room away from the big fall releases.
If you want a big surprise from Bethesda, given the success of Doom this year, many are anticipating a similar reboot for Quake. When you think of iconic shooters from the 90s, Quake is generally at the top of the list, especially for those who loved multiplayer first-person shooters. Since id succeeded in a classically inspired reboot of Doom, maybe they can do the same for Quake. They just need to work on the multiplayer themselves rather than farming it out.
And since I haven’t mentioned it yet in this post, I would be shocked it Bethesda is quiet on the Fallout front this year. Fallout 4 was such a big hit for them that I would be surprised if there wasn’t some mention of it like a sizzle reel of mods or a look at a new expansion.