Ubisoft’s E3 2018 Was Ubi-Hard To Watch
Some great games were on show at Ubisoft E3 2018, but they really need to dial down the tryhard factor.
The awkward nature of a Ubisoft E3 Conference is almost a tradition at this point. Like telling someone to break a leg, or a dish breaking during the grand opening of your restaurant, a Ubisoft presentation going wrong is a sign of good luck for the rest of the Expo. This year was no different, and while there were great moments, surprises, and good games shown, you just can’t keep Ubisoft away from a piping hot dish of their own foot.
Yes. He’s back to sell you Just Dance again, and you’re gonna watch him go. Admittedly, the choreography and nature of the panda this time is much better than last year, but that doesn’t mean gamers want to see 10 minutes of it. What gamers came to see was…
Beyond Good and Evil 2
Wasting no time following the Panda Bandstand, we’re given a tense look into the detailed world of Beyond Good and Evil 2 with another beautiful cinematic trailer. A giant battleship is taken by a space storm hiding a reaper-like beast, taking hold of the ship and being boarded by its captain, Jade, recognized by the ship’s chef, Pey’j. With the return of these characters, Ubisoft confirmed this as a prequel to the 5th generation classic, looking better than ever. Co-op was announced, and fan-created content was brought front and center with the introduction of the Space Monkey Program.
With the help of the Joseph Gordon-Levitt vehicle, hitrecord.org, the Space Monkey Program invites artists, musicians, photographers, writers, and all forms of creative fans to partake in the creation of the game, from decals on the wall to entire planets in the massive open world. Collaboration is key to Ubi’s new idea, and only time will tell if it bears fruit.
Rainbow Six Siege
The game that just refuses to die. After garnering a userbase of over 35 million players and releasing 10 seasons worth of free content, Ubisoft is funding a documentary on it’s rise in popularity through the eSports scene.
A Dutchman culturally appropriates American culture by riding into the venue on a motorbike with an Evel Knievel-esque stars and stripes jumpsuit to announce yet another entry in the Trials series. The gameplay reveal featured varying locals around the world like New York, the Egyptian Pyramids, and the Grand Canyon, all sponsored by Fox Racing®. Man oh man, if you don’t know about Fox Racing® then you sure will by the end of this presentation. The game comes out in February.
The Division 2
There’s gonna be raids, there will be free DLC. It’s in Washington D.C. and the footage they showed was the same exact footage from the Xbox conference with fancy camera work. Ubisoft is a big fan of more of the same, so I shouldn’t really need to tell you what to expect from a sequel to The Division.
Mario + Rabbids: Donkey Kong Adventure
Easily one of the best moments in the conference, if not the best, Grant Kirkhope was invited to the stage to direct his composition of Donkey Kong’s history of music (despite the complains from someone who clearly thought their mic was off backstage, classic Ubisoft). If you don’t know who Grant Kirkhope is, he’s basically the man who gave you the soundtrack to your childhood. The trailer showed a lot of charming gameplay and reveals like Rabbid Cranky Kong, but the live music really took center stage. They even broke down the music to play a snippet of the infamous DK Rap. Expect the DLC out on June 26th on Nintendo Switch.
Skull and Bones
Piracy is Dead. Long Live Piracy. Closer to release than ever, the Assassin’s Creed Black Flag Multiplayer Experience is coming into its own. That own involves a fully online shared world and loot boxes, but hey at least it’s looking cleaner than Sea of Thieves. Small adjustments have been made to combat, but you’re playing the same pirate game you did 5 years ago. Fortunes tell the future and prepare you for the seas, letting you know if they’re stormy or bountiful, shaping the directions players in the world will travel through the Indian Ocean. At least they didn’t have cringey fake team chat like The Division 2 did.
Am I the only one who remembered that weird Elijah Wood game announced last year? It’s back! It exists! It’s a first-person psychological horror game about having a corrupted mind, as if it’s corrupted data. It’s sadly forgettable for how original it sounds and hopefully it makes another appearance before the gaming landscape forgets about it until it’s next surprise press conference appearance.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Toys to Life games, no matter how much I want them to live, are dead. Ubisoft never got the memo and went full steam ahead with their impressive space combat story focused toys to life game, Starlink. The open world and party system would have been enough to at least sell me, but for good measure, the crazy bastards at Ubisoft announced the inclusion of Fox McCloud and his Arwing. That’s right, StarFox, in a Ubisoft original game. Miyamoto was presented with the toys, and they looked dope, and the game was confirmed to have an October 16th, 2018 release date, with the new Fox McCloud content exclusive to the Switch.
Not gonna lie, I thought this was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. After the confusion dissipated, they announced the Starter Version of the game will be free this week on PC, then announced a new update to the game: For Honor Marching Fire. The new update includes new game modes like castle siege, additional single player content, and a Chinese Warriors faction.
The Crew 2
In a little pitstop just to remind you that it exists, the devs of The Crew 2 showed a new trailer and announced the Open Beta, which you can preload now and will be open on June 21st for testing purposes. That’s all. Ubisoft really doesn’t know how to pace a conference because they dropped a bombshell with the gameplay reveal of…
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
After the leaks and forced announcement, we finally received more information on the most interesting sounding Assassin’s Creed to date. You’re a prophesized hero meant to save Greece. You start by choosing between a male or female character that you’re meant to play as for the whole game. An actual character, not just an avatar, an exclusive female protag being a first for the series. With the broken spear of Leonidas (the eventual prototype for the iconic hidden blade), you engage in massive spartan wars and go Mediterranean island-hopping, encountering the likes of Socrates and even a Minotaur as the demo cuts to the splash screen. Eat your heart out Ryse: Son of Rome.
Ubisoft had a lot of good games to show, and even huge memorable moments like Grant Kirkhope’s live performance and the StarFox reveal for a previously unknown Toys to Life game. But they’re terrible at people. Every attempt at a joke or entertainment outside of traditional music or visuals fell so flat that you almost felt the sting of every exec at Ubisoft slapping their foreheads in shame. It’s become a yearly tradition, and I don’t expect Ubisoft to change anytime soon. See you next year, break a leg.