Ubisoft Press Conference Recap
Last Monday was the Ubisoft Press Conference, one day before the official start of E3. Like many other companies, Ubisoft has been holding their own event for a couple years now, to avoid the hustle and bustle of the main E3 show, and make sure their announcements don’t get lost in the shuffle. It was a fun conference with lots of information and announcements for fans of almost all of Ubisoft’s titles. It all began with the announcement of Just Dance 2019 through a lively dance number to start off the show:
Afterwards, one of the biggest titles, and the one people have been eagerly awaiting more information on, was shown to the crowd:
Beyond Good and Evil 2
The biggest reveal, of course, is the return of the first game’s protagonist, Jade, albeit in a very menacing appearance. It is a sigh of relief knowing that Jade will be involved in the game. It would not feel right without her. Next up was the announcement of the “Space Monkey Program”. In collaboration with Joseph Gordon Levitt, who showed up to speak to the crowd, and his company HitRecord players will be able to submit their art and music to show up in the game. Players could see their artwork on display on the walls of one of the game’s cities, or hear their music in the in-game radio. While a more jaded individual may say this is Ubisoft getting its players to work for free, this is a great opportunity for aspiring artists and musicians to get their work to the eyes and ears of millions of people, an opportunity that many I am certain will jump at. Don’t expect BGE2 anytime soon, as a beta is planned for “late next year”.
The Division 2
The Division 2 will finally introduce Raids, which multiple players can tackle together. Also, the game will have 3 DLC post-launch DLC story episodes, all of which will be completely free. The Division 2 releases on March 15, 2019, with a beta expected sometime this year, which you can sign up for here.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure
After a riveting musical performance, the first trailer for the first major DLC to Mario + Rabbids was revealed, focusing on the lovable ape. The DLC chapter will release June 25th for season pass holders, and June 26th for everyone else.
For Honor: Marching Fire
Maybe it was just me, but when this trailer started I thought they were going to add the Prince of Persia to the game (because that would be AWESOME) but it turns out it was actually the addition of warriors from the Chinese Three Kingdoms era. While that is cool, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that it wasn’t the Prince. This new DLC chapter will add a long requested mode, “Castle Breach”. Essentially For Honor’s version of Raid mode, this will let players live out their fantasy of “storming the castle”. Marching Fire releases on October 16th of this year.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
More gameplay was shown of Starlink, Ubisoft’s toys to life title. Despite the toys to life genre being dead in the water with the demise of Disney Infinity and the dwindling support of Amiibo, Starlink still looks like a very fun Star Fox-esque space shooter. Which is funny because…
The big announcement for Starlink was the inclusion of Star Fox on the Switch version! Complete with an Arwing model for use in game, the crowd was treated to an appearance by Miyamoto himself, who was given the first prototype of the Arwing model. Starlink releases on October 16th of this year.
The Trials series returns! This time pro players from the Trials community have been added to the development staff to create thorough tutorials for new players and guide the game’s development. Trials will release February of next year.
Rainbow Six: Siege
Rainbow Six Siege is kicking its esports into overdrive, with major tournaments coming to Paris, Brazil, and an invitational tournament in Montreal. Also a documentary on the game titled “Another Mindset” will be releasing sometime soon, which will follow 8 different community members and go over how Siege became more than just another game to them.
Elijah Wood’s new VR horror game looks to be quite the spookfest, mixing real-life footage and in-game scenarios to create something very unique. Elijah Wood showed up on stage to talk about the game to the crowd. I for one am very happy with Elijah’s pivot into a more horror based projects (If you haven’t seen him in the remake of “Maniac” I HIGHLY recommend it), and am looking forward to seeing more of Transference, which is currently slated for a Fall release date.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Easily the biggest title of the show, Assassin’s Creed Origins was revealed officially for the first time, following a leak the week previous, all caused by a keychain confirming the game’s existence and setting. Taking a cue from God of War (2018) the game features an upgrade and skill tree system that will be instantly familiar to players of that title. You will also be able to play as one of two characters, the son or daughter of Leonidas, who you may remember from 300 (Does “This is Sparta!” ring a bell? Yeah, that guy).
The gameplay of Assassin’s Creed has been streamlined and simplified, seeing the biggest overhaul of the game engine the series has ever seen, and it appears to be for the better. The game does feature dialogue trees, which can affect your interactions with characters, many of which who will be important people from that era’s history, just like most AC games. After seeing the daughter of Leonidas take on a mission from a neighboring war-torn city, we see her ride a horse, get involved in horseback combat, and enter a giant war spanning an entire beach, showcasing the sheer chaos and numbers of people that were common in wars of that era. It is unclear how the modern day, or the Animus plays into the story at this point, and based on the end of the trailer, it is unclear if the series is fully diving into supernatural territory, or if it will be more magic hand waving as seen in Origins. Either way, AC looks the best, and most interesting, it has in quite some time. Odyssey will release on October 5th.
Skull and Bones
Another year and more information on Ubisoft’s pirate title. In the gameplay shown we can see players forming their own crews, customizing their ships, teaming up, and even betraying each other on the high seas. Not much was shown about S&B that we either didn’t know, or could have already guessed at, and even though the game looks fun, there isn’t much new information to bring on the title. Skull and Bones has been pushed back to an unannounced date in 2019, and you can sign up for the beta here, which is coming at an as yet to be unannounced date.
The Crew 2
A beta for the upcoming racing sim that covers land, air, and sea is coming June 21st to June 24th and you can find more info here and preload the beta right now.
Overall there was a lot for many different fans to be excited about at Ubisoft’s conference, but I am very surprised that we did not hear anything on the rumored new Splinter Cell title. Maybe Ubisoft is keeping that one close to the chest for now, but even just confirming its existence would have gone a long way to putting fan’s minds at ease on whether it even exists or not.