Opinion: ‘Elder Scrolls VI’ better be amazing

Logan Raschke, Managing Editor

If Bethesda doesn’t bring its A-game for “The Elder Scrolls VI,” I’m done supporting the triple-A game developer, and you should be done, too.

Bethesda director Todd Howard announced “The Elder Scrolls VI” at E3 2018 with little concrete information and no release date

Predictably, Bethesda fans, myself included, were elated.

“Starfield,” a completely original RPG that’s also in the works at Bethesda, was accompanied with a bare-bones trailer at the same E3. Again, there is no certain release date, but fans were stoked to hear that not only were they getting the latest Elder Scrolls game (eventually), but also something (hopefully) completely different than anything else Bethesda has made so far.

Then, something happened. Something very, very bad happened.

“Fallout 76” happened.

In fact, Bethesda is still recovering from the fallout of “Fallout 76.”

It was released in November 2018, and no one was prepared for how astoundingly disappointing and just flat-out insulting it was.

Howard said gamers would finally be able to play multiplayer, or single player if they preferred, in one of the developer’s most iconic open worlds — the universe of “Fallout.”

What he didn’t tell anyone was that it would be a buggy, reaching, unable-to-deliver-on-any-of-its-promises, confusing, fumbling, disorganized, ugly, broken, micro-transaction-filled, unforgiving, game-crash-infesting, nonsensical cacophony of “sweet little lies.”

It had the same game engine as 2011’s “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” which sports an array of bugs and glitches on its own, game-breaking and cosmetic alike.

“Fallout 4” also used that same engine, and many gamers complained that some of the same glitches they experienced playing that made their ways into “Fallout 76.” One such cosmetic glitch morphs players’ characters into their own power armor. 

But many, many other fundamental problems with “Fallout 76” are much more inexcusable than cosmetic bugs and glitches (that the developers knew were in the previous “Fallout” game and did nothing to remedy).

“Fallout 76” was released with no push-to-talk communication for multiplayer.

It was released with way too many exorbitantly priced cosmetic micro-transactions.

It was released with a broken bounty system that punished good player-versus-player gamers.

It was released without any non-playable characters, reducing all storylines to audio recordings and terminal text.

It was released with a fundamentally flawed combat system that put players who wanted to PVP at a severe disadvantage, and people were lucky to get it to even work at all sometimes.

It was released in a severely unfinished state, making people crash out of their games, lose the items they played for hours to get and left everyone wondering how Bethesda could market it as a next-level, fully developed triple-A game.

We were lied to.

Bethesda had to know players were angry; in less than a week, it dropped $20 in price. In the same month of its release, people could purchase it for just $35.

By the time the updates were finished, no one was playing anymore.

What could be more insulting than a multi-million-dollar triple-A game developer lying to its fans? 

Creating “The Elder Scrolls VI” and “Starfield” using the same engine as “Fallout 76.”

Bethesda is updating and revamping the system, yes, but Bethesda needs to step it up.

We don’t know enough about the development of “The Elder Scrolls VI” to comment on how bad/good it’s going so far.

But if Bethesda doesn’t deliver, it’s time to stop funneling our money into a developer that doesn’t respect its fan base enough to deliver on its promises.

Enough with the “sweet little lies,” Bethesda. 

Logan Raschke is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]