E3 2017: Ubisoft Conference Highlights
Ubisoft has continually evolved over the years and this year was no different as the company announced a plethora of new games and returning favorites at E3. Overall, Ubisoft had one of the most well rounded presentations so far this year, presenting games spanning most genres including sports, dance, thriller, adventure, and drama.
Check out our first impressions of the games they previewed during their conference!
Ubisoft starts on an incredibly strong note by bringing out Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario, to announce a crossover between Ubisoft’s Rabbids franchise and Nintendo’s Mario. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a turn based tactical game, launching on the Nintendo Switch. From the gameplay shown, it actually looks somewhat interesting and the battle system gives players a vast variety of defensive and offensive choices. The game will be available on August 29, 2017.
Since 2007, Ubisoft has released an Assassin’s Creed game every year. After taking last year off in the wake of poor reviews for Unity and Syndicate, Ubisoft is now determined to wow their fans. Ashrad Ismail, game director for Assassin’s Creed Origins, announced their goal to go all the way back to the beginning to celebrate the franchise’s ten year anniversary. He hopes to reinvent the assassin experience and after viewing the game play trailer, I think Origins may do just that.
The new trailer highlights an abundance of new wildlife and experiences, including chariots, camel riding, a hawk companion, bows that shoot five arrows at a time, and more. Ubisoft has yet to release a cinematic trailer, so stay tuned for more from them in the coming months! I already placed my pre-order and I look forward to what Origins will bring to the franchise. The new game launches on October 27, 2017.
The cinematic trailer for this sequel was impressive and highlighted driving, boating, and flying around the world with a staggering arsenal of vehicles. The game’s creative director claims that the game will take things way beyond driving. You can join your friends as you soar the skies, race the city streets, explore the open world, and breeze over oceans. The driving portions looked somewhat bland, but the flying segments looked particularly good. The game is launching in early 2018 and you can register now online for beta access.
This game has been long delayed but will still likely please South Park fans. Ubisoft really didn’t have anything new to present regarding this game other than a trailer with some new footage. On top of the platform game, Ubisoft also announced a mobile South Park game called South Park: Phone Destroyer where you can join your friends and fight against aliens, wizards, and more. Fractured but Whole will be available on October 17, 2017, while the mobile game will arrive sometime in 2017.
Viewers, including myself, were surprised to see Elijah Wood on screen in a trailer promoting a thrilling VR experience. The game appears to center around a scientific study utilizing a voluntary test subject where you will experience a recorded consciousness. One of the scientist promises that it is only in your mind and it cannot hurt you. Sure it can’t. A thrilling mental mind trip and virtual reality… this might lead to some nightmares.
When the cinematic trailer first began highlighting the pirate ships and sea battles, I was instantly fixated. Ever since Black Flag, I have been deeply desiring more naval warfare. Just take my money now. As the trailer developed though I realized it wasn’t exactly what I had been hoping for.
While Skull and Bones appears to be the ultimate pirate experience, it is also a tactical multiplayer action game. The presentation only highlighted the multiplayer aspect of it and didn’t mention a single player campaign sadly. The gameplay looks good and is very clearly modeled after Black Flag. The game’s developer praised the game’s shared systemic world where you can terrorize trade routes with friends, climb the pirate food chain, and engage in 5 vs 5 PVP loot battles.
I would buy this in a heartbeat if its focus was on a single-player open world advancement, but that could still be in the works, so I will reserve judgment until Ubisoft reveals more regarding the game. Oh, and there may also be a Kraken. Skull and Bones is coming fall 2018.
An Ubisoft E3 conference wouldn’t be complete without a performance to promote its Just Dance franchise. As expected, a variety of dancers, including a dancing panda, took to the stage. There was nothing groundbreaking to announce and Just Dance 2018 drops in October 2017.
Ubisoft Toronto was on hand to announce a new game where you take control of a team of star pilots amidst a massive open universe to save Atlas from the Legion. I’ll admit that I had flashbacks to No Man’s Sky, but this new game does look distinctly different. This game introduces physical real world models, where whatever armor pieces you purchase and place on your model in the physical world will link into the virtual game world and this includes a variety of armor and weapon customization. Starlink will release in Fall 2018.
Steep is partnering with the Olympics to present Steep’s first expansion, including a variety of modes and players modeled right after the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Surprisingly this is an actual Olympic licensed product and will be available December 5, 2017.
I remain cautiously skeptical about this game but have high hopes for it. It’s a very bold move for Ubisoft to choose this setting and story. The game is set in Hope County, Montana, where you find yourself trapped deep in cult country with few allies. Ubisoft revealed actual gameplay which was laden with the F-word. Still, when paired with John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Boom and a shit ton of blood and explosion the trailer actually worked.
I’m not going to lie, it looks a tad like a redneck version of GTA and I like it. The best part was the dog named Boomer. Termed the fangs for hire, Boomer instantly became a fan favorite companion that will help you tear up the cultists. If Boomer dies though, I will riot. The fun begins February 28, 2017.
Rounding out E3’s conference was a trailer that at first had me stupefied. Talking apes, humans, and other animal mash ups co-existing in a cyberpunk zootopia of sorts. The graphics were absolutely stunning and soon viewers were treated to answers as Ubisoft announced Beyond Good and Evil 2, a prequel to Beyond Good and Evil (2003) that has been fifteen years in the making.
The game’s creators even shared a few brief tears over their multi-ethnic, multi-creature game, where players will fight to determine their own fate in a spectacular open space world. You can join the space monkey program at http://bgegame.com/ to help crash test the game. There’s no release date yet but chances are it won’t be anytime soon.