With Sony having a solid showing of games and Microsoft having a big blowout on their cutting edge Xbox upgrade, the time then came for the spotlight to shine on Bethesda and Nintendo’s shows. Here’s the lowdown on what was announced with these two publishers.

Bethesda

Bethesda went ahead with its yearly conference, but in such a fashion that a live stream like Nintendo’s might have worked better. Themed around a tour across a fictional amusement park called Bethesda Land, there were a variety of announcements being made across different gaming platforms, and impressively, all slated for release within 2017.

“Bethesda brought back an already-controversial topic to the spotlight – paid mods.”

Bethesda took the initiative with the new VR industry, announcing VR versions of three games already out – Doom, Fallout 4 and Skyrim. What I found notable was how Doom’s fluid movement and combat options translated into VR by having players zoom from spot-to-spot. It might prove to be the ‘making or breaking’ point of such future FPS experiences in VR.

Meanwhile, Bethesda brought back an already controversial topic to the spotlight: paid mods. Beyond the entire impressive wording, Creation Club is revealed as a service that promises to bring paid mods for current Bethesda games and beyond.

Horror fans also had something to dive into. Bethesda announced the ominous-looking The Evil Within 2, directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. Horror has never been my forte, but I might pick up Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus instead. The trailer in the conference showed a distorted America controlled by the Nazis, wherein the main protagonist needs to rally a crew to stoke the flames of revolution. Shooting futuristic Nazis may just be the cathartic release I need.

“…it’s amazing how Bethesda has managed to find ways to rehash Skyrim again and again.”

The tour also brought us to the untamed wilds of Tamriel, where the focus was set on the recently released Morrowind expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online. Bethesda also showed off the Skyrim port, which includes all DLCs, for the newly released Nintendo Switch.

That right there was the high point of the conference for me, as the highlights included the hilarious-looking Link amiibo support, as well as support via motion-controlled sword fighting and gyro sensor aiming. If coupled with the Switch’s HD Rumble, this should generate some immersive gaming experiences. All in all, it’s amazing how Bethesda has managed to find ways to rehash Skyrim again and again.

Now, for something different altogether. Fans of the first Dishonored can rejoice at the return of one of the series’ most memorable characters – the famed assassin Daud. The Death of the Outsider expansion to Dishonored 2 puts players in the shoes of Daud’s right-hand woman, Billie Lurk.

As a whole, Bethesda’s conference had some highlights, but none too thrilling. When is TES6 getting announced, Bethesda?

Nintendo
As has become the norm, Nintendo held their digital live stream, the  ‘Nintendo Spotlight’, as well as their three-day-long Treehouse live streams and side tournaments. On the show floor, winners of the Pokken DX and ARMS tournaments got a chance to face against the game devs. Additionally, Nintendo maintained a constant stream of new content and revealed some big announcements.

“Nintendo showed off a new Kirby developed for Nintendo Switch.”

At the Nintendo Switch reveal, the newest trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was the opener of the Nintendo Spotlight. Going full anime, and aside from the infamous British voice acting, the game appears as a worthy successor to previous Xenoblade titles.

During the ‘Nintendo Spotlight, there were also a couple of adorable-looking platformers shown off. Returning onto home consoles for the first time since Kirby Return to Dreamland, Nintendo showed off a new Kirby developed for Nintendo Switch. The game sees a return of various mechanics from previous games, such as the ability-combining-mechanic from 64, and the Buddy mechanic from Super Star Ultra.

The Yoshi series of platformers also returns, this time with cardboard and craftwork look that is reminiscent of the Paper Mario series. This plays into mechanics as well, with Yoshi being able to swap to the flip side of levels. Co-op is available for this cutesy platformer, a common element between Kirby and Yoshi, of which I am personally itching to try out.

Despite Nintendo promising a focus on 2017 games, there was one common element across quite a few of the announcements – 2018 and beyond. This was true for the yet-unnamed Yoshi and Kirby titles that showed a 2018 release date. There was also a ‘Please be excited’ moment in the show when Tsunekazu Ishihara from The Pokemon Company appeared in the Spotlight to announce a new ‘core’ Pokemon game being developed exclusively for Nintendo Switch, with not even a year number in sight.

Straight after Pokemon’s time in the spotlight, a number 4 appeared in a backdrop of space, hinting at the return of a beloved Nintendo series – ‘Metroid Prime 4’ for Nintendo Switch. And aside from being just a logo with no additional information but ‘now in development’, still caused hype-overload for fans everywhere.

Nintendo followed up the haymaker with a second Metroid game revealed in the Treehouse livestream – ‘Metroid: Samus Returns’. A true reimagining of ‘Metroid 2’, the game harkens the return of sidescrolling action-exploration that gave the Metroidvania genre its name. Having recently played through the classic ‘Super Metroid’, I was dying for a new Metroid game (which Nintendo delivered and more).

Oh, and amiibos – 13 revealed during E3, between the Samus and squishy Metroid amiibos, Koopa Troopa and Goomba amiibos, Breath of the Wild Champion amiibos and the wedding Mario and Bowser and Peach amiibos.

…Wait, did I just mention a Wedding Mario amiibo? Oh right, Super Mario Odyssey. How could I forget that?

But hey, a picture’s worth a thousand words as they say, so I’ll sign off with this Super Mario Odyssey trailer, and a picture of what it felt like after watching the trailer. I’ll say this much though – with all the NEW game announcements and an overall outstanding showing for revealed games; I think Nintendo ‘won’ E3.

Alistair Wong

Media sourced from YouTube

Image credit Alistair Wong, featured image from Nintendo.

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