Ubisoft had a solid E3. A couple of decent surprises, one MASSIVE surprise and some more information on known titles. One of the most important parts Ubisoft got right here was it wasn’t at all ‘cringy’. Some presentations just come off as overthought, awkward messes (ahem, EA). Ubisoft kept it simple. Apart from an appearance by Bebe Rexha (who I am informed is a pop-star), Ubisoft got the heads of the various games shown onstage to talk about their work. Some of the presenters were not natural, well, presenters, but it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as some E3 conferences have been over the years. Kicking off the Ubisoft E3 2017 conference was a mash-up game I thought I would never see…
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Like, seriously, what the hell? This reaction isn’t one of negativity, oh no, just sheer confusion and a bit of intrigue. Every gamer loves Mario, many gamers like Rabbids, tactical turn-based combat titles are extremely popular, so why not combine all three? This is what Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle seems to be. For some reason (I’m sure we will find out during the game), the Rabbids have been transported to the Mushroom Kingdom. Their arrival has been a bit chaotic, to say the least.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot was joined onstage by the legend that is Shigeru Miyamoto to introduce this bizarre partnership. We were then treated to a quick gameplay demo of the first battle players will encounter in the game. From watching the gameplay and hearing about the combat, Kingdom Battle is not watering down the standard TBC system. There actually seems to be a deep combat system here with various double team moves, special powers, environmental tools and more. This will definitely be one to keep an eye out for as this bizarre team-up from Ubisoft and Nintendo seems, at the moment at least, to be a winning combination.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle will be available on the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch from August 29th, 2017.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
The worst kept secret in video game history was finally officially announced. I find it rather strange that Origins’ announcement was made during yesterday’s Microsoft conference rather than tonight’s presentation, but oh well. Ashraf Ismail, the creative director of the latest Creed adventure, presented us with the gameplay trailer in all its glory. We were also told that Origins has been in development since the release of Black Flag over three years ago!
Furthermore, we were treated to a brief in-game video where we see main character Bayek using his trusty sidekick, Senu, to scout an enemy encampment ahead. Taking inspiration from another huge Ubisoft franchise, Far Cry, Bayek uses his eagle to tag enemies in the camp. It will be the player’s choice on how to liberate this camp according to Ubisoft, be it stealth or just running in like a crazy person.
Assasin’s Creed: Origins will be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from October 27th, 2017.
The Crew 2
The Crew 2 promises to be bigger and better than the original released two years ago. I am going to have to take Ubisoft’s word for it as the first one drove on past me, but the announcement and gameplay trailer did leave an impression. Set in Motornation (yeah I know, original), Crew 2 will feature the high-octane racing that made it so popular amongst racing game enthusiasts but will also offer players the opportunity to take their racing offroad, to the skies and on the water. The gameplay trailer showed off all four options, and to be honest, the standard car racing looks to be the weakest out of the four.
The Crew 2 will be available on the PS4 and Xbox One in early 2018.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
No new info here which is a big, big miss. Perhaps Trey and Matt from South Park were busy, but this was the only mistake Ubisoft made during their presentation.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole will be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from October 17th, 2017.
Elijah Wood of Lord of the Rings fame introduced us (via the trailer) to Transference, a new virtual reality game that will bridge the gap between movies and games. A psychological thriller, Transference will invite players to lose themselves in the destructive tale of a man’s obsession as you explore his digitally recreated memories. This looks like something straight out of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, and it definitely has this humble gamer’s attention.
Transference will be available on PSVR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PS4, Xbox One and PC in the spring of 2018.
Skull and Bones
In short, Skull and Bones is Black Flag’s naval combat online. This isn’t a criticism, but it really is the simplest way of describing this upcoming pirate title. Made by the team behind Black Flag’s acclaimed naval combat, Skull and Bones will see players competing to become the most powerful Pirate Lord on the high seas.
Ubisoft showed us some PvP action in the 5v5 contest called ‘Loot Hunt’. Each player will control 1 of the 5 ships, and the team with the most loot at the end wins. Black Flag’s naval combat was a highlight of the whole Assassin’s Creed franchise, so a whole online experience of this will be hugely popular. The actual sailing will be a huge part in Skull and Bones as demonstrated during Loot Hunt. After the player has successfully disposed of the opposing fleet and retrieved the loot, they then have to outrun the incoming Pirate Hunters. Players will have to use the wind direction to make a fast escape with their treasure, and like the trailer says, a good Pirate knows when to run.
Oh, also, watch the announcement trailer to the end, you will not be disappointed.
Skull and Bones will be available on the PS4, Xbox One and PC from the Autumn of 2018.
Just Dance 2018 announcement
For people that love to dance around in their front rooms, Just Dance will return next year.
South Park: Phone Destroyer
A mobile PvP game, it seems. No real information from the trailer itself, but thankfully, Ubisoft have put up a description of the video:
“South Park: Phone Destroyer brings you iconic South Park characters, action-packed real-time strategy, exploding PvP battles, trademark South Park humour and collectable cards in a perfect mix that’s spicier than Cartman’s chilli con carne.”
So, there we go. We are not getting just one South Park game this year but two.
South Park: Phone Destroyer will share the October 17th release date of The Fractured But Whole.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
An interesting surprise here. Starlink will combine the love for 80s science fiction with the incredible toys from the same period. You can build your own model spaceship (at a hefty extra cost, I imagine), attach it to your controller and attempt to liberate the Atlas Star System from the grip of the evil Forgotten Legends.
Ubisoft has promised complete and seamless exploration of the Atlas system, and if you change a component of your ship, such as a weapon, then it will change in real-time in the game. This interchange mechanic will be a huge part in your quest to liberate the Atlas system as different enemies will require particular weapons to defeat them.
For Starlink to be successful, these ship components need to be priced sensibly. You can apparently skip the actual physical representation of your ship completely and buy components in-game, but where’s the fun in that? An interesting new IP, for sure.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas will be available on the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
Steep: Road to the Olympics
The Winter Olympics to 2016’s Steep will feature real-world sports, such as halfpipe, slalom, and skicross.
Available from the 7th December 2017. Just in time to get all you adrenaline junkies hyped for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang South Korea.
Far Cry 5
We saw the earlier part of a mission in the upcoming Far Cry 5. We see how the ‘guns for hire’ mechanic works. NPCs of various types and skills can be hired to help the player drive out the extremist Christian cult which has taken it upon itself to rule the fictional Hope County.
Ubisoft’s Dan Hay introduced the gameplay trailer telling us the player is “deep in cult territory, cut off from the rest of the world. They closed the roads. There’s no cell phone signal, no 9-11. People are fucking scared.”
The ‘guns for hire’ system will be an important part of Far Cry 5. NPC players will snipe from vantage points, give aerial support or just drive a huge semi-truck into the chaos. If this wasn’t cool enough, the gameplay trailer also introduced us to Boomer, your trusty canine pal who will maul your enemies and bring you back their guns.
Far Cry 5 will be available on the PS4, Xbox One and PC from the 27th February 2018.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
FINALLY!!!!! IT IS FINALLY HERE!!!!!! THANK THE MAKER!!!! Sorry, let me just compose myself here. Ubisoft closed their E3 presentation with the cinematic announcement trailer for BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2!!!!! FINALLY!!! YES!!!!! YES!!!! Ok, I’m done.
The sequel to the 2003 classic is not a sequel at all but a prequel. It will take place before the birth of the original’s protagonist, Jade, and will be set in a multi-ethnic civilization in a distant solar system called System 3. This system will be a “massive, seamless online environment” where players will be able to explore by themselves or with friends. Michael Ancer, the creative director for both the original and the sequel/prequel was visibly emotional on stage as he finally got to reveal a game he and we have all been waiting for.
No release date has been set as of yet. Come on Ubisoft!! We have waited long enough!
Below is a trailer breakdown with Michael Ancer, and it is definitely worth a watch.
Well, that does it for the Ubisoft roundup. Make sure to check back here at Gaming Respawn for everything E3.