Hello again, Ubisoft and Aisha Taylor, it’s been a long year. All I was hoping for from this conference was some AC footage, plus Division and Rainbow Six dates and betas. If I was super lucky I secretly hoped for the CEO Yves Guillemont to jump out and say ‘we got rid of Uplay, here’s a cane sword each to say sorry!’
We open on a tantalizing RPG tease for Stick of Truth: The Fractured but Whole. This pretty much sets us up for Ubi this year; their whole tone went from awkward and somewhere between too serious and too fake, to being fun. Huzzah! Matt Stone and Trey Parker made sure to trump Aisha with the full conference’s quota of f-bombs, and a clever looking game to brag about. Stick of truth looks like a brilliant take on the superhero genre, and if they build on what was right about the first one, it’ll be awesome.
For Honor was the next big name, introduced as a new way to game. It looked like a LOTR kind of game until the warrior suddenly flashed to another in a parallel battle, and then a third as well. The thumping music was very AC reminiscent as we watched the art of battle. The tangible feel of the weighted armour and effort behind swinging a two-handed sword was appealing, but otherwise not much about it struck me. We watched a 4v4 live match that I’m hoping won’t be the only way to play. Come on, single player!
Two expansions were also announced: the Crew will see a November add on called Wild Run, featuring new challenges called Summits. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum was the video showcasing a steroid version of puss in boots, riding a fire-breathing unicorn. Trials Fusion’s July 14 expansion is a crazy add on levels that sum up the title Awesome Level Max.
The one game I needed to drool over was The Division and it didn’t disappoint. Some in game footage of the Dark Zone showed off the tension and backstabbing of a team gone rogue as they manoeuvre through quarantine areas. A beta is announced for early 2016 with the game in a brilliant special edition arriving on March 8.
The next one made me briefly forget it was a game clip and my sci-fi nerd thought “man this looks like an epic movie”. Anno 2205 gave us some sprawling views of a moon colony that seemed to house an entire earth of people, in impressive detail. Releasing November with beta coming soon, it looks like a game to watch.
Just Dance 2016 dropped the awkward and overly fake dance competition from last year and instead had Jason Derulo entertain the audience as their announcement. A camera is no longer necessary as a smart phone and app can now be used instead. Releasing October on all consoles along with a next gen subscription service for new content.
Rainbow Six Siege looks insanely good, and difficult. We got a glimpse of the challenging AI campaigns in the returning Terrohunt mode. Adding another game to the massive last quarter this year, we’ll see rainbow six September 24, with an October beta.
An arcade-looking racing game came out of nowhere, with a live demonstration of the literal infinite track options. Trackmania Turbo is moving from PC to next gen with the impressive feature of randomly generated levels right in front of your eyes. It looks like it could actually be a great LMP game that my inner kid saw as a cross between Nigel Mansell 64 and Cruisin’ the World.
We finally get to see another clip for AC syndicate, with those present having also the opportunity to actually demo the game. Plenty of chops and hats decorated the setting as we saw our first modern assassin. It was promising to see an assassin that left the shadows when needed to be smart-arsed and clever. The music showed a real change for the modern assassin too, and I can’t wait to play this October.
The last teaser clip was impressive, Ghost Recon: Wild lands gave us a brief glimpse of Ubisoft Paris’ secret project. We witnessed three ways to take down a drug cartel and took a quick trek through some of the massive open world. Several vehicles, realistic weather and a variety of locations all looked great for pre-alpha footage. Being another Tom Clancy title you know it’s going to be good. No release date as yet, but I’ll be hunting the beta info.
All in all, this year we had a few new announcements, but mostly more information and dates for games that were announced last year. Its promising that they announced expansions for current titles to expand where the fans want; it means they are listening to us. From the clip I’m hopeful that Ubi also took the hint from Unity and dropped the four players Uplay, but I guess we’ll see. Not a bad E3 this year, but they have their work cut out for them over the next 8 months. Grade: B-