It is that time of the year again, that time where the P2 team bash their heads into a crystal ball and come up with some bad guesses as to what will appear at E3. Join us as we check out their hopes and wishes for gaming’s biggest event.
E3 2021 Predictions – Ubisoft
Safe Bet: Rainbow Six –
Ubisoft has already confirmed that the next entry in the Tom Clancy series is going to be part of the line-up, along with an announcement about the new name. (Which… yeah, probably for the best, really). The game has been delayed (a game once called Quarantine being delayed by 2020 seems… upsettingly fitting) but is slated to release later this year, so hopefully, we’ll get some more insight into what’s in store.
Fairly Likely – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC
Apparently, Ubisoft has confirmed that we’ll be seeing more content for both Valhalla and Rainbow Six Siege, so this feels less like a ‘fairly likely’ and more like a certainty. But what will Eivor do next? Are there more conversations with gods in their future? Will they conquer new lands? Continue romancing their way across the countryside? The possibilities are endless. After some missteps with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s DLC, I imagine they’re putting a lot of thought into carefully crafting whatever comes next for Valhalla.
Wishful Thinking – Avatar
I forgot that this was even happening, but in doing some research for these upcoming presentations, I got this fun reminder. We haven’t heard a lot about the game in a while (other than to hear about it getting delayed) but I can’t help but wonder… what if this game suddenly comes together and is actually good? The foundations are all there – gorgeous world, intriguing lore, the scope for animal friendships – and I just want to hold on to some hope that they can make this work. Even though I think we all collectively stopped imagining an Avatar game being good about a decade ago.
Safe Bet – Far Cry 6
I mean, we just got a showcase and release date, so naturally, we should all expect to see a lot more Far Cry 6 at E3 2021. It’s a safe game in many respects, but hopefully, the feedback they received about Far Cry 5 stung a bit, and prompted Ubi to take a few more risks with one of their premier IP. The fact that (albeit pushed to do so) they came out and confirmed that it’s a politically charged plot is a nice start, but the question is now a simple one, will it be a meaningful plot, or safe and throw away? Hopefully, their E3 presentation does a little to shine a light on this.
Fairly Likely – Roller Champions
Until recently I’d all but forgotten about Roller Champions, but that game smacks of a Winter 2021 release if there ever was one. Ubisoft’s latest attempt to get in on the e-sports in a similar vein to Fall Guys and EA’s newly released Knockout City was looking fantastic at E3 2019, and from those who’ve gone hands-on at pre-COVID conventions, they’ve only had good things to say about it. E3 2021 feels like the right time to re-reveal it and then announce an imminent launch.
Wishful Thinking – Splinter Cell
For many a year, I’ve bundled the next Sam Fisher adventure into one of the above categories, but at this point, it feels like Ubisoft is just taking the piss out of us all. The Splinter Cell protagonist has appeared in mobile games, Ghost Recon, and a host of other Ubi titles in varying capacities, but there seems to be no thought given to a new Splinter Cell entry. For years I’ve dreamed of the lights going out (or in this 2021 all-digital rendition, the black screen), only to be pierced by three green triangularly arranged lights, marking the glorious return of Sam, but at this point, my hopes have been dashed. The memes about Sam’s return have more traction now than the franchise itself
Stephen del Prado
Safe Bet – More Assassins Creed Valhalla content
Those “extended” dev cycles mean a proper AC entry is at least 18 months away, so in the meantime, it makes sense to keep the current audience engaged given it continues to be one of Ubisoft’s flagship franchises. With Valhalla setting sales records for the series, there’s a good chance the often diminishing returns of DLC content isn’t as big of a concern for the publisher and with the second Expansion Siege of Paris rumoured to hit in November this year, that leaves an awfully large gap. A third expansion pack for Q2 next year would be a great way to keep AC fans engaged and sell some more season passes.
Fairly Likely – Beyond Good and Evil 2
It’s been nearly two decades since the first game released and over 10 since leaked trailers for ‘a’ Beyond Good and Evil 2 leaked – this is reaching Duke Nukem Forever levels of ridiculousness. One has to wonder realistically how many times Ubisoft can internally reboot the development of this title before the original is so far gone the audience simply isn’t there anymore – to put it into perspective, Beyond Good and Evil launched two weeks before my 18th birthday, and I’m now 36 with two kids – so if it’s going to happen I think now is the time, lest another console generation goes by with nothing concrete to show. At the very least (and this appears to be a pattern, given my next prediction) put diehard fans out of their misery and cancel it once and for all if it’s not coming together.
Wishful Thinking – New Splinter Cell Confirmed
Sure, I expect some allusions or ‘we aren’t ruling it out..”, but it’s about time Ubisoft got on with it or got off the pot, so to speak – confirm a new Splinter Cell title and stop stringing fans along already – an entire console generation is enough of a wait. Moreso than any other series they’ve put on ice, Splinter Cell leaves me bewildered as to why what was considered a flagship franchise has been left to languish, especially when there’s nothing else really competing in that space.
Safe Bet – Rainbow Six: Extraction
After announcing that they were changing to name, which given current world events is probably a good idea overall, Ubisoft has confirmed that we will finally be getting a good look at the Rainbow Six: Siege spin-off game. From what I understand, Extraction has a team of operatives infiltrating a science lab that has been taken over by a parasite. I find myself wondering how the game will have longevity, will there be multiple maps or will the lab be rouge-like, changing the layout around every time you play. Either way, the premise is interesting.
Fairly Likely – Far Cry 6
After getting a small sneak peek just over a week ago, I would expect to see some proper gameplay of the next instalment in the long-running shooter series. Will we see a return of the radio towers and outposts? We already know there have been some changes made to the formula, the first being the ability to hide your weapons. With the game due out in October I think we will get to see a nice chunk of gameplay at Ubisoft Forward.
Wishful Thinking – Splinter Cell
Come on Ubisoft, it’s about fucking time to let Sam Fisher off the chain to save the world from the shadows once again. After three Ghost Recon’s, two The Divisions, one Rainbow Six and a bucketload of Assassins Creed’s it is time to bring this franchise back to the light of day.
Safe Bet – Rider Republic
This unofficial sequel to Steep (which was great mind you) looks awesome and I can’t wait to see more of it at E3. How will all the different ways of hurtling down a massive mountain interact? What sort of career mode exists? Will the video features be easier to use? Will it match the pure joy of Descenders? These are the things I need to know to invest myself in what could be the new flag-bearer for X-Games on consoles.
Fairly Likely – The Division F2P
There was an announcement recently about a new entry in The Division franchise that is going to be totally F2P. I expect this to make a showing early in the Ubisoft event. This sort of game will probably benefit from going free as it relies so heavily on a large player count to be truly fun. Hopefully, Ubisoft manages to balance the microtransactions in a way that is rewarding for people with money to burn but doesn’t put the free players at a disadvantage. There is a real chance that a beta or some such may even launch during the Ubisoft event. It is something that Ubi has done in the past.
Wishful Thinking – Ubiart games
What is the most underused item in Ubisoft’s back catalogue besides the Splinter Cell brand? The Ubiart engine. Four stunning games are all we got from this amazing engine and that is a crime. Rayman Origins and Legends, Valiant Hearts and Child of Light. Honestly, we need more from this wonderful piece of tech. More Rayman, more creativity, more heart. Come on Ubisoft, why do you leave something so cool sitting on a shelf collecting virtual dust.