Player 2 Vs Ubisoft Forward 2023
Ubisoft has hosted their June games showcase, premiering new entries in beloved and established franchises, titles in huge established external IP and more. Player 2 editors, Matt and Paul and have poured through each of the reveals to share some insights into all that Ubisoft has to show.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
Paul: I was supremely impressed by what Ubisoft Massive had to show with Avatar: Frontiers Of Pandora. Obviously the IP has its share of detractors these days, but it also has a legion of fans, and based on what they’ve shown of this game, I might be soon pivoting to join the legion. It looked great to play, and while storytelling will be the big question mark lingering over this one, the game’s moment-to-moment action has my interest. This is a December release that I’m really excited for.
Matt: I enjoy the Avatar franchise but wouldn’t consider myself a massive fan like quite a few do. That said, this, for me at least, seems to be capturing exactly what I enjoyed in the movies. The world, the wildlife and the culture of the Navii. As for gameplay, it is hard not to compare it to Far Cry, which is honestly fine by me. Like Paul said, story is the big question and if they can’t give a good narrative reason to stay engaged with the world, then it is just too easy to tap out of a game this big.
Paul: April saw the launch of the Closed Beta, and there was a lot of hype around the game. Ubisoft has now started to move towards a full launch, and Open Beta access is on the horizon. I still don’t know if the game is going to be of interest to me, since multiplayer as a rule isn’t really my jam, let alone the GAAS cycle that has become so prominent in recent years. I can’t argue that it looks good though
Matt: This game surprised the hell out of me during the closed beta. I had an absolute blast, it felt like a throw back to the simpler times of the early Modern Warfare and Black Ops Call of Duty titles. There are some tweaks needed, but for the first time in almost an age, I am keen for a multiplayer shooter.
Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown
Paul: One of the biggest pops (pun intended) from the Summer Games Fest event last week came from the revival of Prince Of Persia with The Lost Crown. It was awesome to see and learn more about the game through this Ubisoft Forward, and given it’s January 18th release date, I feel certain that I’ll be diving into this one in the new year.
Matt: I can see me playing a lot of this on my Steam Deck. I have rediscovered a lot of classic Metroidvanias thanks to my portable little beast and this looks like it will fit in with the likes of Dead Cells and Hollow Knight perfectly.
Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix
Paul: Adi Shankar is the genius behind the Castlevania Netflix series, and with him at the helm, I’m quietly excited by the prospect of Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix. Ubisoft is leaning into film and TV adaptations with a decent degree of recent success, and so I hope that this is another winner.
Matt: It looks bonkers and I am all for it. It needs Michael Biehn to be a certified winner though.
The Division Resurgence
Paul: Rarely do mobile adaptations fare well in comparison to their bigger console/PC siblings, and yet, The Division Resurgence gives off all of the right vibes. There are still Betas going on, and so I’m keen to check one out and develop a more formal opinion of this one.
Matt: This could be a winner, honestly it could be. I just can’t see myself diving in. My mobile gaming tends to be small, puzzle based affairs, not full-on action titles. There is certainly a crowd for something like this though and it will all come down to two things, touch-screen controls and monetization.
Skull & Bones
Paul: The smell coming from Skull & Bones now is becoming unbearable. So many delays, so many misfires, and reportedly the game is alive purely because of an agreement with the government of Singapore that will ensure that it releases. It’ll release, so when, and in what state are the big questions now.
Matt: Surprisingly, I am still actually keen to see the final results on this one. I mean there is nothing else like it out there so at least it has originality on its side. That said, we still don’t have a release date and we didn’t learn anything new from this trailer.
The Crew: Motorfest
Paul: Motorfest feels like the version of The Crew that might actually get me on board with the franchise. I’ll need to see more, because Forza Horizon to this point has been the only driving game to have ever captured my interest, but this is a promising start.
Assassin's Creed Nexus
Paul: I love some VR, but as a PS VR2 owner I’m disappointed that currently I have no possible way to play this game. I’m sure it’ll come over eventually, but I’ll just be enviously looking on in the interim. Connor still sucks though
Matt: I like the idea of this, but as is the case with all VR games, the execution is going to be key. If they can nail the feeling of being an Assassin then this could truly be a landmark VR title.
Assassin’s Creed Jade
Paul: Another Ubisoft mobile game that I’m keen on. No confirmation of controller support that I’m aware of which is a big factor for me as someone with a BackBone controller and a longing to use it whenever I can, but the game appears to be doing a great job of replicating the Assassin’s Creed experience in the mobile sphere and so I’m here for that.
Matt: Another mobile game and one I will probably skip for the same reasons as The Division Resurgence. It does look quite impressive though and I really hope they can nail the gameplay on a touch screen.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage
Paul: It’s been a while since Valhalla, so I well and truly have the Assassin’s Creed itch again, and with this title trending back towards the franchise’s roots again, I’m excited by the prospect of jumping in once more. It promises to be a tighter, less bloated experience, and more aligned with the gameplay loop of the original couple games, and that’s ticking many of the right boxes for me.
Matt: This is a game I am very excited about. I have tried to go back to the older AC games a few times, but there are little rough parts to the gameplay that just don’t hold up anymore so Mirage looks like it will be perfect for me. Everything they are showing tells me this will be the perfect palette cleanser after the massive open-world RPG entries of Origin, Odyssey and Valhalla.
Star Wars Outlaws
Paul: I’m really high on what was show here. Xbox got the ball rolling with an amazing trailer yesterday, and this gameplay deep dive was even more impressive. Everything about this game speaks to me immensely, from the stealth, melee, and third-person shooting, and vehicular traversal. 2024 is way sooner than I’d expect the game to arrive as well. Is Massive Ubisoft’s ‘Mr. Fix It’ team similar to Respawn Entertainment?
Matt: Outlaws is looking like a banger. The gameplay seems to have taken elements from a host of other Ubi franchises, added new things like space combat and layered it with a host of Star Wars love. The idea of a non-Jedi hero is awesome to me and the fact it is going to be an all-new Star Wars tale that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Skywalkers is exciting.
Thanks to Ubi Australia I got to see a behind-closed-doors presentation on the game where the developers got to chat about the processes behind the game, the collaboration with Lucasfilm and just how much thought has gone into the design of the world, characters and gameplay and one thing is for certain, they are throwing their absolute best efforts at this one. Hearing the developers speak so passionately about the game only amps my desire to go hands-on as soon as possible. I think this is going to be an absolute winner when it comes out in 2024.
Paul: A very strong showing from Ubisoft here, and despite all of that, there’s still a lot that they didn’t show, from The Division Heartland, Beyond Good & Evil 2 (RIP), The Splinter Cell remake, and the Prince Of Persia Remake. Ubisoft lost their way for a while there, but this showing is a strong suggestion that they might be back on track once again. Hell, even their mobile contributions are on point!
Matt: It feels to me like Ubisoft is heading in the right direction. After a couple of rough years things look like the teams there have refocused and change their perception on what players want for the better. There are no better examples of this than AC Mirage and The Crew Motorfest, both of which have done away excessively massive open-worlds in favour of smaller, more curated experiences. It is a move I applaud. Things are on the up-and-up for Ubi it would seem.