Bethesda Event PAX East
One of the highlights of my PAX East Experience was Bethesda Gameplay Day on April 7th. During this time, guests had the opportunity to play The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset, The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Houses of Morrowind, Quake Champions, and try Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on the Nintendo Switch! Ironically, the event was not in the convention center, so people didn’t even need a PAX badge to attend what was essentially a gameplay party including food, drinks, and possibly even SWAG. Yes, I said it, there was EPIC swag! Heart hands, thanks Bethesda!
My first stop was Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on the Nintendo Switch. *Full Disclosure, while I’m a fan of first person shooters, I’d never played Wolfenstein on any platform before this day. A friend had But, with the tutelage of the games community manager, Jason Leavey @JasonTheGamer, I learned how to play straight away. I am still blown away by the quality of the graphics that the magic of technology allows on on a handheld device. What a time to be alive! Bethesda actually did these demos with the option to try both handheld and with tabletop gameplay and the Pro Controller.
I preferred tabletop, because I enjoy the feel of the Pro controller. This showcased the even more impressive was the gyro motion aiming feature. Gyro motion aiming allows the player to move the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con or Pro Controller to aim. This takes a little getting used to, but allows so much more control! While I didn’t get to experience it, I love that the game affords the player character choices that affects gameplay. This is amazing because the choice is not just cosmetic, it actually affects the campaign narrative and the cutscenes. Overall, this experience has me wanting to play through the 10-15 hours estimated for the campaign, TWICE.
The rest of my adventure was trying my hand at the other games present and trying to win swag. I made a new character in The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset, got wrecked in Quake Champions, and tried my hand at The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Houses of Morrowind, I am now a poster child of Bethesda combating the cold: Quake Champions scarf, Legends gloves and my ESO beanie. I think I’ll rock these at Pax East 2019.
Overall, I’m grateful I had the chance to experience Bethesda Gameplay Day; playing games, meeting community managers, and picking up swag all in one venue. This provided a welcome reprieve from the hustle of the convention floor. I don’t know if Bethesda will continue this tradition, of if other Game Companies will follow their lead, but I sincerely hope so. Matt Grandstaff, thank you for planning this amazing experience! If you live in Boston, I’d keep an eye out for events scheduled around PAX at Laugh Boston in The Westin beside the convention center, as I have seen other great events in this space from Indie game expo to after parties. Whenever you get a chance to attend an event like this, I highly recommend it.