ICYMI…..Start at 3:30.
Ubisoft is in a love/hate position with gamers this gen. With delays to their highly anticipated The Division, and lackluster reception for Assassins Creed: Unity, a great E3 showing could start to earn them some goodwill back. In my opinion, they definitely took some steps in the right direction. The games they showed will have to deliver on their seemingly infinite promise, but it could possibly happen.
Ubisoft kicked things off with the reveal of a sequel to the critical darling South Park: Stick of Truth. This title is called South Park: Fractured, But Whole. I see what you did there. This game is centered around the gang as superheroes, which allows for the main character’s backstory to come into view. I’m sure it will be even better than its predecessor.
Aisha Tyler was back for the 45th (number is approximate) year straight to host the Ubisoft conference. She catches a lot of flack for it every year, and she can be a tad awkward at times, but I enjoy what she brings to the proceedings. After her introduction and some jokes, the next game up was a new IP. It’s called For Honor. I don’t really know how to describe it best. It’s basically 4 vs 4 arena deathmatch, gladiator style. It will feature samurais, knights, and vikings. It looks like it could be really fun. It will probably be online based, although a local multiplayer option would be much appreciated.
Next up, DLC was announced for The Crew. It is titled The Crew: Wild Run, and it will feature…..more. More of everything apparently. The DLC is available 11-17-15.
The Division was up next. Ubisoft has a lot riding on this game, and it really needed to impress. It focused on the “Dark Zone” and I have to say what we saw was interesting. A little unrealistic, but interesting. A team of 3 were moving through the area when they happened upon another set of players. They were faced with a choice. They could open fire on each other, or band together and eliminate another threat nearby. Of course they teamed up, because that would totally happen! They took down the threat and avoided a second before preparing for extraction. One of the players got greedy and proposed taking the second squad down. That squad was totally unaware this was possible, of course. After eliminating them, they went to move in for the loot, only for a rogue member to kill the other 2 and walk away with everything. This was cool to see, although the likelihood of all of those events happening exactly like that is about 3 percent. I want to see more though, so the demo did its job. The Division also got a release date finally! 3-8-16 everyone.
We were then treated to the reveal of Anno, a space themed game. No idea what type of game it is, I just know it’s in space. But the trailer was cool! It seems like an RTS or Sim type of game. I’ll link the gameplay and cinematic trailers.
After Aisha Tyler decided to flirt with a thrift store version of the protagonist from Assassins Creed: Syndicate, we were treated to…..Just Dance? Jason Derulo warbled his way through his latest song while the game played in the background. Surely it would make sense to have him dance to the game’s choreography, but nope. You can now use your phone to play if you don’t have a camera for your system. Also, Just Dance now has a dedicated music streaming service. This will ensure that you have new songs to dance to. At least I think it works like that.
Hey, Rainbow Six Siege! Last’s year crown jewel of the Ubi conference returned to talk about the campaign mode. Nice to know it WAIT IS THAT ANGELA BASSETT HOLY SHIT THATS DOPE! Man, it is really awesome to see her in a video game. Yeah, they may have stole a page from the Advanced Warfare playbook. I don’t care. Black girls rock. Deal with it. As far as the campaign, it looks just like the multiplayer. That’s a little worrying. Stay tuned. We’ll find out what’s up 10-16-15.
Trackmania Turbo was up next, zippy little racer that it is. It’s really fast, almost dizzingly so. I dont know if I could play it in first person. There is a track editor designed to make you a track in seconds, so you’ll always have no tracks to zip through. Looks like a fun pick up and play title that doesnt demand much.
Ah, there’s Assassins Creed: Syndicate. I’m so burnt out on this series. Many aren’t however, but AC Unity did the franchise no favors. They didn’t bother to show game play, so someone on the fence like myself had no real reason to be excited. The cinematic trailer was really cool, but they always are when it comes to AC. The game was playable at E3, so why no stage demo? Weird. Hopefully they will show more in the next couple months, because November soon come.
Finally, we got a surprise game at the end. I spent a lot of the time watching the trailer wondering what I was seeing. It took the entire time for me to learn it was the return of Ghost Recon. It seems to be an open world shooter, which could also kinda describe other titles on the roster such as The Division, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry. These games are different enough to all have a place, but Ubisoft seems to be investing heavily in open world titles ala Rockstar. There were some interesting moments in the trailer, and you seem to have a lot of freedom in accomplishing the mission at hand. I just can’t shake that feeling of redundancy though. Between Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and The Division, too much Tom Clancy may be a bad thing. Hopefully they all forge their own identities, because all 3 look promising in different ways.
All in all, Ubisoft’s conference was great and disappointing all at once. Besides For Honor and Ghost Recon, it was pretty much last year’s conference. Rainbow Six. Division. The Crew. Assassins Creed. A Child of Light sequel would have been nice to see. Or any other indie titles really. But I can’t complain too much honestly. The games Ubisoft have on deck are exciting, and yet they also have a lot to prove. That’s a nice place to be in though. Sometimes your back has to be against the wall before you show your best self. We’ll know by E3 2016 which version of Ubisoft showed up amidst the doubters.