Ubisoft Conference – E3 2017
Ubi hit E3 in a big way this year with a tight, hourish, show that highlighted a ton of new games and actual surprises. Despite the leak fest that occurred with Assassin’s Creed, the rest of the show held some great announcements that actually had me grinning openly. The other big surprise is there wasn’t even a slight mention of Tom Clancy, which is a massive departure from previous years.
– First on show was the leaked Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle. This game is basically Mario Xcom. A strange combination I know but it actually looked pretty cool in action. The Rabbids are still as annoying as hell but hopefully the gameplay can get past that. It even has the Miyamoto stamp of approval with the legend himself appearing on stage to introduce it.
– Next, we had another look at Assassin’s Creed Origins. Not much new to report apart from the fact the game looks gorgeous.
– The Crew 2 got its big reveal with a nice trailer and a couple of slices of gameplay. This time around the story seems to be based on an up and coming racing driver and his quest to be faster than everyone on every machine known to man. There are cars (of course) boats, planes, bikes and trucks on offer so it has a little more variety than the first game. The Crew 2 will hit early 2018
– South Park time followed with another new trailer. They didn’t spend too long on this one as Ubisoft knows we all want it already. The game is coming on October 17 but I will believe that when I see it.
– A new game announcement snuck in at this point with a VR thriller starring Elijah Wood getting some air time. Called Transference and coming next year, not much else is known except that Frodo is a creepy looking dude.
– Another new game and this one has great potential. Skull and Bones is a pirate ship combat game, ala Black Flag, and it aims to bring plundering the high seas to everyone. Ubisoft has taken the excellent ship combat from Black Flag and built an entire game around it, adding an open-world and co-op system similar to what was seen in The Division. This could be really really good or it could get old really quick. Hard to say. I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt though.
– We then got Sub Zero busting some moves to dub-step and a signer that is apparently famous but I had no idea who she was. Yup Just Dance 2018 time. Not much more to say really.
– South Park is getting a mobile game this year too. South Park Phone Destroyer looks like a tactical combat game for phones. I am sure it will be worth a download upon release.
– Next up was yet another new IP for Ubisoft. Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a strange sort of beast. Something of a cross between No Man’s Sky and Skylanders with the ability to build real life space ships and pilot them in game. It is interesting but I have a feeling the ship may have sailed on the whole “toys-to-life” thing.
– Steep hit the stage with the announcement of a big new expansion. Steep: Road to the Olympics is coming December this year and will focus on all the big winter Olympic events. Fans of Steep should get a kick out of it.
– Far Cry 5 got a chance to show off next and it was pretty impressive. The gameplay included companions that could be directed, a handy dog that assisted and some tight gameplay. I thought I was pretty done with Far Cry but the marketing for Far Cry 5 is playing all the right notes to get me back in.
– Then came the biggest surprise of the night. After nearly 15 years, countless teases and more than one false start we finally have BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2! What was shown had a different tone than the first game (a very sweary monkey was the star) but it looked stunning. Not much is known about actual gameplay but it is hard not to get excited about a sequel to one of the best games from the PS2/Xbox era.
So that is it for Ubisoft at E3 this year. No Prince, no Splinter Cell, No Tom Clancy. In their place were a host of new IP and some really big surprises. It was a very solid showing from Ubisoft, one that should restore some faith in their ability to deliver difference experiences as opposed to the same game with a different skin.