We're back with another E3 predictions list, and this time Bethesda is the focus!
Since its first outing in 2015, Bethesda has become a mainstay at E3, and we couldn't be happier about it. The publisher is a powerhouse in the industry, and has probably overtaken EA and Ubisoft as the most exciting third-party showcase at E3.
Last year, Bethesda released the critically successful (and fan-favorite) reboot of Doom, along with Dishonored 2. These two games were both very well-received, even if Dishonored 2 didn't sell well. This year, Bethesda has already released The Elder Scrolls: Legends, a card collecting game for phones, and Prey -- which received great reviews despite sub-par sales and some game-breaking bugs at launch.
This year, Bethesda sent out its invitation to the press which featured some teases for the show. The publisher clearly has a lot to exhibit ahead of its conference on Sunday June 11, and I'm going to run down a list of predictions that you can expect to see.
Fallout 4 VR
Let's start off with a safe prediction. At last year's E3 showcase, Bethesda, much to the shock of the audience, revealed Fallout 4 for VR. The company has already announced that the game will make an appearance at E3, and will be playable on the show floor for the public.
Speaking about the Fallout VR experience, developer Todd Howard has called it mind-blowing and said fans won't believe how amazing it is. Of course this is probably PR talk, but the prospect of Fallout in VR is pretty enticing. There has yet to be any announced platforms for Fallout VR, but the game was said to be slated for release this year. Fallout 4 would be a massive boost for any of the VR platforms, but you have to imagine it would make an appearance on the most powerful hardware in that corner of the market right now -- the HTC Vive.
Last year Bethesda also revealed Doom for VR, so we can probably expect to see more of that, as well as a release date for Fallout. We could be in for a surprisingly VR-heavy showcase from Bethesda.
The Evil Within 2
Here we have a foregone conclusion: The Evil Within 2 will be revealed at E3 and likely release next spring.
Rumors have been swirling for months about a sequel to the 2014 horror game from Resident Evil mastermind, Shinji Makami. The Evil Within sold surprisingly well and got solid reviews, leaving everyone to assume Tango Gameworks has been working on a sequel since 2014.
The Evil Within was a fairly early game for this console generation and it's quite noticeable at this point -- with a jarring frame rate, overly dark visuals, and some odd control choices. These are small details that will hopefully be rectified with the sequel, which has the potential to be a big horror game and a tentpole release next year.
Doom, Prey, Dishonored 2 & Quake Champions
Last year Bethesda released Doom and Dishonored 2, both to critical acclaim. This year, Prey was released, and I think it's fair to say we will see more of all of those games at this year's E3.
Doom is the outlier here because the team at ID may have moved on and we won't see anything for a while -- however, I believe the success and popularity of the game will lead to some more DLC. This was hinted at by Doom creative director, Hugo Martin, who said they were considering a single-player expansion a few months ago. Needless to say, this expansion could have been in the making for a while now and Martin is simply keeping things under wraps. Any reason to go back to Doom for more single-player action would be welcomed by fans and receive a big pop at E3.
Dishonored 2 and Prey are guaranteed to get some screen time at this year's show. These are the two most recent releases for Bethesda, and neither has received any DLC thus far. So we could expect to see expansions for both games.
Quake Champions was revealed at last year's E3. The classic arena-based shooter returned with frantic action and 60 frames per second. The game has been announced as free-to-play if you want to use one character, and it's available for purchase to unlock the whole roster. The is an odd route for Bethesda to go down, but it seems the publisher wants to explore payment models. Quake Champions is a lock for this year's E3 -- and I would also expect a release date!
Two years ago, when Bethesda revealed Fallout 4 at E3, the company didn't want us to have to wait until November to play some Fallout. So they announced Fallout Shelter for iOS and Android. The game became a mega success for Bethesda, leading to a new game studio being opened in Montreal.
This new studio has not working solely on mobile games, but also on PC titles as well. It's been two years since the studio opened its doors -- and therefore we could very well see the first fruits of its labor. Bethesda made a point of saying that there is no plan in place release a mobile game alongside every major AAA release they put out, but that doesn't mean there aren't any mobile games at all coming in the next few years.
I'm not sure what the next mobile game from Bethesda will be. The obvious option is another Elder Scrolls tie-in -- but I think not, especially considering that Elder Scrolls Legends just released. But maybe we'll see something akin to Hitman Go in the Dishonored universe?
Wolfenstein: The New Colussus
The Wolfenstein series made a return in 2009 with a reboot. It was met with decent reviews, but the series was far from back to its iconic status.
So in 2013, when a sequel was announced by Bethesda, not too many people were on the edge of their seats. Wolfenstein: The New Order then released in May 2014 and received surprisingly great reviews. The game suffered from a flat-out bad first level, but from there on it was a fantastic shooter with great mechanics, an emotional story, impressive visuals, and a cliffhanger ending.
Last year at E3, Bethesda showed a fake cmd.exe screen with DOS language on it, which showed the names of a few Wolfenstein games throughout history and their release dates. Fans quickly pointed to an unknown title beneath The Old Blood, titled The New Colossus, with no release date. It seems inevitable this is the new game in the Wolfenstein series, which VP Pete Hines has called "fu*king bananas".
I would expect The New Colossus to play a major role at this year's E3, and I would also expect a release date for next year. I think both this and The Evil Within 2 are games we can expect to play soon -- but that's all speculation, we should find out the actual release dates on June 11.
A New IP
Bethesda's 2017 E3 showcase could very well close out with The Evil Within or Wolfenstein, or maybe even Fallout VR, but I think we might see a glimpse of something new.
After last year's E3, Bethesda revealed that it has two new games in development that are on the same scale as Fallout, and neither is The Elder Scrolls VI. Todd Howard did confirm that a follow-up to Skyrim was in development, but it was a long, long ways off -- implying it may not even be this console generation!
So that leaves us with the two brand new games of which we know nothing about. We don't know how long either of these games has been in development, although Howard did say (in the same article linked above) that both titles would be announced before The Elder Scrolls VI. That leaves us to assume that we could see one of these new titles revealed this year. A new IP would be the perfect way to close the conference, even if it is just a trailer.
So there you have it! Those are my predictions for Bethesda's E3 2017 showcase.
The picture above is the invitation that Bethesda sent out to the press for E3 2017, which depicts a theme park of all their titles: Doom, Quake, Fallout, Prey, Dishonored, The Elder Scrolls, and two locations under construction. This postcard was the basis for my predictions, as well as knowledge of the new studios. The two areas of construction I believe to be Wolfenstein and The Evil Within. If you think I'm wrong about that let me know in the comments!
Bethesda's E3 2017 showcase is shaping up to be a very exciting show. With a handful of known titles like Fallout VR and some big reveals to come, Bethesda will definitely give us plenty to be excited for moving forward.
What do you want to see announced at the show? What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back here for more of our E3 predictions!
Make sure to check out our other E3 predictions: