Welcome back to PCU’s coverage of E3.
In this article we take a look at Ubisofts annual offering, we know that Watch Dogs 2, The Division and the new South Park game will be on show, but what else will we see?
This year Ubisoft turns 30. And after yet another cringeworthy preshow, the press conference began with a myriad of strangely dressed dancers dancing to “Don’t stop me now” by Queen, in what I think it going to turn out to be something to do with Just Dance.
Aisha Tyler took the stage and much like Phil Spencer before her at the XBOX conference spoke about the tragedy in florida and how everyone at ubisoft, no matter the country were thinking of the victims, their family and friends.
It was at this point that the games really went into full swing.
Just Dance 2017: There was no real news here, but the reason this is worth noting is because it was announced to be on the “Nintendo NX” console. This was the first official mention of the console I can remember.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands. The presentation started with another cinematic which talked about the hold this cartel has over the country you are being sent into. We were introduced to one of the design team who reiterated the story and the fact that this Ghost Recon game is entirely open world, From there we were shown a mission that was pre-recorded, but none the less, gameplay. Man, this game is not only pretty, it seriously looks badass. Finally, we learned that Ghost Recon: Wildlands will be released on March 7th 2017
South Park: The Fractured but Whole: After a bit of a dramatic, vintage South Park, psych-out intro not only did someone from Ubisoft take the stage, but so too did Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The three talked and Trey made a joke that, given that the Superheroes the kids are playing as in the game are in a state of civil war, Marvel in fact wanted to name their movie “Captain America: The Fractured but Whole” but they had already sewed up the name, so Marvel then settled for Civil War. Several gameplay sections were shown; from character creation to the new combat mechanics. Said mechanics included the ability to move around the screen to set up attacks, and farts so powerful they can warp spacetime and affect the turn order. A final cinematic trailer was shown, but not before the three announced that South Park: The Fractured but Whole will be released on December 6th, 2016
The Division: Game devs from Ubi’s third person, post epidemic shooter took the stage to talk about the upcoming future of the game. First, they discussed the “Underground” DLC/expansion that drops June 29th on Xbox and PC. It’s all about sprawling, subterranean, procedurally-generated dungeons. Then they discussed the “Survival” expansion and how it will take The Division to a whole new level of survival. New York will be caught in very extreme weather conditions – a blizzard. The city has little food or water, and there are rumors of a cure.
Ubi VR: This was the section I had been waiting for. When I wrote my preview article, I mentioned that Ubisoft tends to try and get behind new technologies, and VR seems to be no different. While there were devs from the Oculus on stage during the first game, they were stressing that the VR games would release on all major VR hardware.
Eagleflight The first VR game shown was Eagleflight, and it seemed to take place in a world where nature has retaken cities. In this case, Paris. They then showed us a live 3v3 PVP VR demo, which was kind of cool. Look out for more on this one.
Star Trek Bridge Crew: I have to be honest here, I did not get to catch many details on this one because I was way too busy putting my inner fanboy back in his box. I freaked out over this. Even though I had seen the leak, it did not compare to seeing at the presser. There was an awesome video that featured Levar Burton, Jeri Ryan, Karl Urban, and David from Redstorm (the devs) playing the game. It was crazy to see them slip into character like a second skin – something Levar mentioned when he joined Aisha on stage to talk about it. I’m seriously excited, you guys. The best part? It releases this Fall.
For Honor: The next presentation began with an awesome cinematic which revealed that not only are there Vikings, Knights, and Samurai in the game, there is a 4th manipulative faction. It then concluded in the title: For Honor. At this point, I was a little lost, as I was not sure what being driven to war by being manipulated had to do with honor. Very different to the themes of last year. There was some gameplay of a badass viking dude laying waste to a bunch of Samurai, but I was stuck on the fact that if the factions know they are being manipulated, why do they let it happen? Makes no sense. You can head to forhonorgame.com to register for the next alpha test, and the game releases on February 14th 2017
Grow up: Bud the robot is back! If I am honest, I had and still have no idea who Bud is, but apparently the audience did as they gave a huge cheer. It was either that, or they were humoring the announcer. Either way, the game looked to be a fun puzzle platformer, all about getting from place to place using plant and seeds to grow platforms for you to use. Looks like a promising indie title.
Trials of the Blood Dragon: This was all about taking the beloved Quasi 80s Action Movie style cheese of Farcry: Blood Dragon and adding it into Ubisoft’s wildly successful Trials game in everything from colors to level design. From what they were said this is already out and being played in Trials.
Assassin’s Creed: At first, I was a little thrown off when this started, because there was supposed to be no new game this year. However, it turned out to be a segment about the movie. Aisha sat down with the producer, who explained that the characters and story are original but within the Assassin’s Creed universe. The segment ended with a weird behind the scenes/trailer hybrid video.
Watch Dogs 2: While watching the entire presentation for this game, I couldn’t help but second guess everything they said, wondering in the back of my mind about graphical downgrades and tablet integration that goes missing. That being said however, I really love that the game has lightened up a bit both in tone, and actual daylight. The mood seems lighter, and the characters are having way more fun in their lives. There was a 10 minute gameplay section shown, which looked really good in the way the hacking can work for you and against your enemies. Out came a representative from Sony, who announced that Sony Pictures will be working with Ubisoft on a Watch Dogs Movie and that all Watch Dogs 2 DLCs will launch on Sony platforms 30 days before other platforms. Finally, the release date was revealed to be Nov. 16th 2016
Steep: As they always tend to, Ubisoft once again closed with the announcement of a new IP in this case: Steep from the Ubisoft studio behind the multiplayer of Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell. I’ve been somewhat struggling to find a genre to fit this into, as it’s an open world winter sports game that permits multiple play styles. VERY pretty, but of course it should be, given the current generation of hardware. The gameplay seemed to be more about challenge and outdoing other players than a story or objective based. They announced a beta that you can join by going to steepgame.com and signing up. While there was no actual date announced, the game ships in December.
Wow. LOTS of gameplay on the show – unlike the EA, Bethesda, and Microsoft press conferences, which were sorely lacking in that department. There were also many visually impressive games, but from this show my heart lies with South Park and with the Star Trek Bridge Crew. I was a huge fan of Stick of Truth and the Bridge crew game just taps into the primal nerd in me. It’s also hard not to be impressed by Ghost Recon: Wildlands. That game just has it all if it is being promoted truthfully.
I generally look forward to Ubisoft’s press conferences. I love they way they feel like a bunch of nerds hanging out. From the jokes that don’t always hit home, to Aisha Tyler (yes I enjoy her presenting, screw the haters), to the games they show being something for everyone. Thank you for another great year and for ACTUALLY SHOWING GAMEPLAY, Ubisoft.
What did you think of Ubisoft’s press conference? What are your thoughts on Watch Dogs 2 and Steep? Let us know in the comments below.
Watch the press conference below:
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