In just under four hours, Bethesda will take center stage at E3 2017. Never being one to disappoint at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, Bethesda has pulled out the stops and raised the bar on more than one occasion. Possibly the best example of this came to us in 2015 with the nuclear bomb drop of Fallout 4 having already gone gold and shipping in just four and a half months. That is a mighty high standard Bethesda has set for themselves.
Earlier this year, Bethesda sent invites to their E3 2017 press conference. In and of itself, this is not uncommon for a developer and publisher to do. The thing that stands out is the image incorporated. Instead of a flashy logo or compilation graphic involving franchises, Bethesda chose to create a playful display map of a fictional theme park map.
PLANNING A TRIP
Adorning the entrance to the park reads the grandeur of Bethesdaland. Just past the gates sprawls eight different sections of the park. The obvious first choice, just inside the park, lies a Fallout inspired region. Attractions are drawn crudely, as if made from scraps. Do not forget the aptly placed Pip-Boy as the centerpiece and mascot.
Pushing clockwise from here, the next region pressed on is subtly Dishonored in nature. The almost contemporary building designs along with elements of seafaring make this fairly obvious. Next up on the park’s round is an area flooded with futuristic imagery and mimics. Here is where Prey lies.
The fourth area of the park is where things start to really get interesting. Here are one of two areas that are drawn to show building in progress adorned with “coming soon” signs. This is where speculation begins to run rampant. It has been known for some time now that Bethesda has two major projects in the works. But this will be easier to touch on once everything else is checked off of the list.
Passed the first construction zone lies an area of magic and lore with dragons looking over the piece of the park. The land of Elderscrolls is clearly evident here. Next comes the region of space marines and intergalactic hell in the form of Doom. Finally, just before the last construction zone, is a Quake zone to close it out.
To briefly recap: Fallout, Dishonored, Prey, Elderscrolls, Doom, and Quake are all covered in the park. This effectively covers Bethesda’s current portfolio with the exceptions of the Wolfenstein and The Evil Within games. This seems just a little too obvious for Bethesda’s love of playing with fans. As much as continuations to both the Wolfenstein and The Evil Within franchises would be, are they really able to become “theme park” regions? Though possible, this seems unlikely. Unless the games are completely revamped of course.
Todd Howard explained that the studio was working on three major projects as of February 2016. He went on to further explain that these games were still “Bethesda-style” while still being unlike anything that they have done before. Bethesda games are generally regarded for their unique art direction with expansive open-world gameplay. This is where the two previously mentioned games would require some serious revamping to fill this explanation.
With futuristic, horror, high fantasy, post-apocalyptic, and damn-near everything else covered, finding something completely unlike anything they have done before is going to be had. At the very least, it is a safe assumption that this map indicates that two of these three long-term projects will be shared at E3 2017. Whether they are completely new IPs or continuations of existing franchises is hard to tell. At the very least, this should be answered in only a few hours from now.