E3 2018: All Ubisoft E3 2018 Showcase Announcements
The Ubisoft E3 2018 showcase was one of my most favorite press conferences in a while now. With upbeat fanfares and instrumentals to heighten the mood, to eye-popping visuals in their cinematic trailers, it would be a lie to say I didn’t enjoy myself. As usual with every gaming press conference, there were doses of cringe here and there, but they were all very minor takeaways from the spectacle. The main issue that I had with this conference was the lack of games I was interested in. The sub-header of this article would perfectly describe my opinion of the conference, something great to look at, but not something I’d dig into. Regardless, here’s a list of everything unveiled at the #UbiE3!
Just Dance 2019
Kicking off their conference was an assembly of mascots forming outside of the theatre and dancing their way inside. Dressing up as mascots from the franchise, they led their way into the theatre accompanied by a live band playing instrumentals of popular pop songs. It was a colorful and lively performance. The shocker, however, is that it’ll be releasing on all current-gen platforms AND XBox 360, Wii U and Wii this October 5. You can check out some of the officially confirmed songs here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVlkNyAR5nY
Beyond Good and Evil 2
The showcase for BGE2 was one of the best I’ve ever seen. It started with one of the most graphically intense cinematic trailers I’ve ever seen, showcasing its graphical fidelity, witty humor and fantastic voice acting. Noticeable here are a lot of returning cast from the original, in their younger selves given the prequel nature of the game. What starts as a light-hearted sitcom quickly spurns into an epic space opera, inclusive of mass destruction and high-tension. The trailer ends with a bitter looking Jade, the protagonist of the first game, boarding the damaged ship. Needless to say, everyone lost their minds.
We were also given a brief gameplay trailer of the game’s alpha, where you can use various aircraft to navigate through the large, open worlds. The location shown in the trailer is said to be only a small portion of the immense universe of BGE2. Aside from piloting your aircraft and blasting other ships to smithereens, you can also control the main characters and beat-down enemies melee style.
A project announced nine years ago, Ubisoft is partnering with HitRECord to work on making BGE2 a masterpiece from the studios and the fans. Founder of HitRECord, Joseph Gordon-Levitt represented and explained that fans could contribute music, art and other forms of media to the game. These contributions will then be remixed and edited to achieve the best hybrid fan passion product possible. Though I personally saw it as a way to get cheap charity labor, the idea of going through hundreds of hours to create a piece of art and paying everyone involved, even it’s just two dollars, seems fair.
Rainbow 6 Siege
Ah, the 2015 hit that has somehow not yet died out is still getting immense amounts of hype and support. One of the main contributors to the Esports scene was highlighted during UbiE3 with announcements of upcoming tournaments. It also debuted the trailer for a documentary dedicated to the game.
The Six Major in Paris will happen on August 13, accompanied by the premiere of the R6S documentary. The documentary will follow eight R6S personalities from different backgrounds and how the game impacted their lives.
- Macie_Jay (Twitch Streamer)
- Meligeni (Commentator)
- Shas (Head Coach)
- Willkey (Professional Player)
- CherryGumms (Manager)
- 2Ironic (Analyst)
- Pengu (Professional Player)
- Lil_Lexi (Twitch Streamer)
In November, Brazil will be hosting the Pro League and the sixth Invitational will take place in Montreal in February 2019.
Ubisoft’s conference wasn’t going stale, but the introduction of the next game definitely gave a slight sense of rejuvenation. Following the dramatic and bumbling entrance of the creative director of Ubisoft RedLynx, Antti Ilvessuo, here’s a checklist of Trials Rising’s presentation:
- Bringing in an awesome dirtbike down the audience walkway [✔]
- Crashing into a display and knocking over your Television [✔]
- Apologizing to the clean-up crew [✔]
- Showing off new locals and features of the sequel [✔]
- Giving exposure regarding the Trials Community, and doing it right [✔]
- Finishing up with an explosive, destructive, but most importantly stylish montage of crashes and accomplishments [✔]
- ^insert some Classical music in the background [✔✔✔]
The Division 2
This was pretty interesting. I was never a fan of the first game, nor am I sold on this sequel. I will, however, commend them on an intriguing presentation. Starting off with a gorgeous and rather tense cinematic trailer, Julian Gerighty, the creative director of Massive Entertainment spills the juice on this title.
Smallpox infection has spread through the dollar bill, and the players are the last line of defense in protecting the dying nation. The game is now set in a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C., where you control your character of one of three factions. The game will be fully online, but the campaign can be played alone or with friends. The main focus of the game, however, will be the end game content. Ubisoft teased that 8-player squads will be able to partake in the endgame raids, a new mode to be featured in the franchise.
Ubisoft is also planning frequent content updates for the game. The first set of DLC are three episodic content updates, that will be available free for everyone. The Division 2 is set to release March 15, 2019.
Mario + Rabbids DLC, “Donkey Kong Adventure”
In celebration with E3, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze release and the one-year anniversary of Mario + Rabbids, Ubisoft decided to announce the game’s first major DLC at E3. Thankfully, it didn’t take that long to be over with. It was a five-minute session of DLC footage backed by a live performance by Critical Hit and Grant Kirkhope, making for an entertaining show. (the guitarist was hot so, bless.) Also, there was a blunder where the staff members forgot to turn off the mics.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know they changed your entry…”
“It changes every second…”
Lmaos Ubisoft. Lmaos.
Skull and Bones
Another blockbuster title, Skull, and Bones received a beautiful cinematic trailer providing the backstory of the game. You are in control of one of three pirate factions, and you’ll raid every last coin available on the Indian Ocean. Establish your dominance by becoming the most feared pirate on the waters. Raid trade vessels and fend off law-upholding Portuguese warships that dare get in your way.
Consult your fortune-teller to forecast the conditions for your voyages. Weather conditions will determine how many traders are out on business, and how many other pirates you’ll have to compete with. Customize your ship from the top to bottom, ranging from the crew members to the weapon load-outs to decals best suited for those conditions.
The gameplay trailer showed combat gameplay, attacking small trader ships and looting their stash. An easy and rewarding process, but soon attracted the Portuguese warships, that are severely over leveled to you. To square out the odds, you rally with three other pirate ships to take down your adversary. In the full release, players will be thrown into a fully online sea, where they can either ally or raid other players. Beware, the smell of coin can easily cause your allies to turn their loyalty against you.
No release date has been decided as of yet, but it has a release window of 2019.
The upcoming psychological horror thriller coming to traditional platforms and VR finally gets a release date. Elijah Wood, otherwise known as Frodo Baggins and creative director of SpectreVision partnered with Ubisoft to bring to us a form of media that combines the interactivity of video games and immersive story-telling of movies.
Delve into the memories of your family members and uncover the truth between their dark history. Transference releases Fall this year.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Not particularly my cup of tea, but had an interesting presentation. Gathering a group of animated characters in an epic space opera, Starlink combines No Man’s Sky’s aesthetics with an interesting narrative and story. The game will focus on ship customization in its core gameplay, and somehow implement physical peripherals based on its trailer. It’s a completely optional gimmick, as purchasing a physical part unlocks its digital counterpart.
Nintendo Switch features an additional content, Starfox. The trailer shows off Hawkins in his ship, cruising through the Atlas system and blasting away enemies. Ubisoft CEO, Yves Guillemot, announced special guest Shigeru Miyamoto and gifted him a Starfox prototype model. The battle for Atlas begins this October 16.
The For Honor presentation was pretty good. A new faction of Wu Lin warriors was introduced via cinematic trailer, representing a taste of its new expansion: Marching Fire. The expansion will include four new warriors of the Wu Lin faction, visual enhancements and a new mode named Castle Siege. Castle Siege is an all-new 4-v-4 mode.
To celebrate the community, Uplay members will be able to download the For Honor: Started Edition for free as of now till next Monday.
The Crew 2
Brand Director, Daphne Dosset led this presentation and gave a brief recap of what the game will be about. Nothing much new aside from announcing the open beta, which will be available this June 21. You can preload the beta as of now. Also, that cinematic trailer got me gassed. Haha, get it? Okay moving on (but seriously though a speedboat flying over an F1 car).
Assassins Creed: Odyssey
and finally, we reach the end of the conference. More details were given regarding the game, including its release date. You play as a child forsaken by his (or her, we’ll get to that) father. The game revolves around the story of “…friends, family, love, loss, war, and bloodshed…”
It will be the first Assassins game to truly let you interact with history. The game heavily utilizes ‘choice’ in its narrative, allowing you to “create your own Odyssey.” It even lets you make a major decision early on in the game, choosing your character. Players get to choose whether to play as “Alexios” or “Kassandra”. It is uncertain how differently the two characters are, and how they will affect the plot, but considering romances are included in this game, well, you get the picture.
The gameplay trailer shows a further implementation of the ‘choice’ system. You can lie regarding your actions to please Socrates, form alliances with the oppressed and so much more.
A new gameplay trailer was also revealed, showcasing the various combat mechanics and RPG mechanics of Odyssey. Unsurprisingly, it looks somewhat like an Origins reskin. The trailer ended with Kassandra facing off with a large brute, switching weapons and changing tactics to finally overpower him.
A consumer’s verdict
Overall, it wasn’t bad. Nothing got me as excited as I was for Devil May Cry 5 during Microsoft’s conference or Resident Evil 2 Remake for Sony’s, but it was an excellent presentation. Every aspect, from the trailers to the transitions to the live performances and speeches, were all strung well together for a seamless and well-paced show. It was the most enjoyable conference I had seen since Sony’s E3 2015 press conference.
P.S.- The blunders were amusing.