Retro gaming fans got a BIG surprise from Bethesda this evening….and then their expressions quickly changed.

Everyone has a “rage moment” at E3, and we don’t mean the good kind of rage. That point when a company announces news that not only disappoints, but smashes all your hopes. For me, it was finding out Microsoft had purchased Double Fine, making a Switch or PS4 release of Psychonauts 2 impossible. For a lot of others, it was the appearance of Commander Keen.

Commander Keen is an iD Software creation that predates Doom by several years. He was a little kid with a laser gun who hopped around alien worlds, and his original DOS game popularized the concept of shareware. Many a youngster had a blast guiding Keen through his garish CGA-tinted universe, and the sudden appearance of a game by that name tonight made those now-grown-up fans jump up and holler.

Then the rest of the trailer played, and they realized what was going on.

Turned out the property was being resurrected for a phone game. Billy and Billie, children of the original Keen, blast off into space and have adventures, wildly animated in a Saturday Morning style. It might’ve been a winner as a 2D platformer, like the original, but what we’re getting is a simple tap-the-square mobile title.

So close, but so far. At least the new Keen has a neat theme song. it will be out later this summer from Zenimax Online Studios.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.