Bethesda's E3 presentation was at times awkward and at times surprising, and even WalMart Canada couldn't spoil every secret game on the docket.
Bethesda boss Pete Hines opened the presentation with a look back at the year that was, but quickly shifted focus onto the future, and what will be on display at this year's E3. Of course, a lot of the wind had been taken out of Bethesda's sails a month ago when WalMart Canada accidentally leaked the existence of Rage 2 - we're sure that would have been a great surprise. Pete, apparently, thought so too:
"We're starting with a game that we announced a few weeks ago, through our friends at WalMart Canada. Perhaps best known for their low prices and ability to keep a secret."
Most of what followed wasn't too unexpected - a lot of Rage 2 gameplay and a brief concert by rocker Andrew W.K. The show quickly moved into territory even seasoned gaming veterans weren't familiar with.
Doom Eternal was totally unexpected. Of course, anyone could have predicted that one of the best games of 2016 - Bethesda's reboot of Doom - would get a sequel. It was truly odd that there not been any rumblings at all about it until this very moment.
Next came Wolfenstein: Youngblood, a game set in what seems to be a universe at odds with the ending of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Still, a sequel/spin-off to that universe came out of nowhere - The New Colossus had just released less than a year ago.
Next, Todd Howard took the stage to talk some more about Fallout 76, introduce a comedy skit about Skyrim finally making its way to all devices known to man, a new free mobile game set in the Elder Scrolls universe, and then... a little something else.
Maybe it was put together at the last minute in order to counteract WalMart's betrayal, but just the knowledge that the team behind Fallout and The Elder Scrolls is making a completely new IP - let alone one seemingly set in space - certainly allowed Bethesda to end their presentation on a high note. Starfield, we should hope, will fill the gap left by Mass Effect in the space-based RPG niche.
Except... except that they weren't done. What they did choose to go out on was perhaps the least surprising of all: The Elder Scrolls VI. Everyone and their dog could have predicted a new Elder Scrolls game - Skyrim, the fifth game in the series, had come out seven years ago. There'd been a new Fallout game in the interim, and Bethesda had been following a predictable fantasy/post-apocalypse pattern for some time. And yet, somehow, it was a welcome surprise.
So in the end, despite perhaps the most awkward "tall" joke ever caught on camera, Bethesda had a fairly strong E3 presentation.