E3 Conference: Ubisoft Gaming Roundup
Ubisoft, a gaming giant behind a lot of huge franchises, brings big surprises in their 30th year. There is no doubt that they have a lot to offer and it starts with a confirmation that no, there will not be a new Assassin’s Creed game. Maybe not surprising but we’ll be watching the movie in December at least, and they showed some exclusive footage at the show. Surely, that franchise is not out of the picture yet, but there’s still plenty to talk about.
Ubisoft started its conference on a high note in full-on Katy Perry style with dancing giraffes and candy canes to promote their Just Dance 2017 release on October 2016. That’s right before five-year host Aisha Tyler jumped on stage and pumped audiences up with her always enthusiastic personality. Nice to her again. But before we head into the big highlights, let’s mention a quick few that deserve a nod and are by no means small. Ubisoft entered into the VR fray by showcasing two games: Eagle Flight and Star Trek but kicked off the show with Ghost Recon Wildlands which has single and co-op up to four players with a gameplay sneak peek. Tom Clancy’s The Division also got some talk with their Underground Expansion (which we previously mentioned) but more importantly, a Survival Expansion. On the indie game front, the sequel of Grow Home called Grow Up got a reveal as well and a release date: August 2016. All good stuff and has us excited. But let’s breakdown the monster news.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
There is no doubt that South Park has its fan-base with so many years cranking out its signature style. Due for a release on December 6, 2016, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is the new game for the franchise focusing on Coons and Friends who are the South Park kids dressed up as superheroes and protecting their area. This trailer alone deserves all the awards.
Impression: The South Park game presentation was huge fun. Twisted humor and biting satire are the go-to points, mocking the superhero franchise hype right now and seriously, nobody does it better. The good part is that the wait isn’t too long with a scheduled December release.
There is no doubt that For Honor is the heavy fire for Ubisoft in 2017. What else could a game be that allows you to play as a Viking, a Samurai or a Knight? It has a story campaign which is a tale about warriors in an age-old war among the three factions. You will play to make sure your people survive against not only each other but also the dark lord. For Honor promises massive battles and epic duels. What’s even better is it’s set for release on Valentine’s Day 2017, making it that perfect gift for your warrior lover.
Impression: For Honor looks, well, majestic. Look at the clip. Its fight scenes are grueling and intense. It pulls together iconic fighters in different cultures together and works well. Vikings, samurais and knights are all unique fighters with their own combat traits, which gives is real depth. A gaming world where three against each other like this will be a fantastic journey to say the least. Color us excited for what For Honor has coming. Which side will be your favorite?
Trials of the Blood Dragon
Time for a little mix and match. Ubisoft went ahead and slammed together two great tastes: Far Cry 3 DLC Blood Dragon, the funny 80s retro gaming spin-off and Trials, a (challenging) platform racing game and said here, enjoy this: Trails of Blood Dragon. It spews 80s vibe like a neon-breathing T-rex and retains the platform racing game that Trials is famous for. Want better news? You got it. You can play it right now! It’s on Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Rad!
Impression: We are no expert at Trials and it is by far a frustratingly challenging game to play (curse you, loops!), however, we played Blood Dragon until our thumbs bled and cried tears of joy with every ‘radiculous’ moment. Part of us is a little disappointed this wasn’t an actual Blood Dragon 2 reveal, but the tone of Trials of the Blood Dragon is incredibly inviting. We love retro games and this play style so this one is screaming out our name. Or those are echoes our rage-quits of Trials still lingering in the air.
Watch Dogs 2
Watch Dogs 2 worldwide premiere launched just a few days before the conference. If that wasn’t enough hype, Watch Dogs 2 gets a riveting gameplay trailer to show us what the main character, Marcus, can do in this sequel. Set in a bigger open world in San Francisco, an intricate hacktivist group called Dedsec, that Marcus is part of, utilizes many little gadgets to use like drones to complete missions, plus all sorts of cars, etc. You know the drill. On top of that, Watch Dogs 2 has a seamless online mode allowing its players to cross other players in their game and join up for co-op without interrupting their game. Watch Dogs 2 is set to be released on November 15, 2016.
Impression: Watch Dogs had its appeal with its hacking and maneuvering through the city but left us disappointed. It looked impressive but had big flaws that marred the experience. Watch Dogs 2 takes gamer feedback into consideration and promises fixes to improve their concept. The world of Watch Dogs is a corrupted place and designed extensively for its hacker play style and nifty gadgets and weapons. The graphics are astounding, especially the similarities of San Francisco to the actual city. The open world feel looks really improved. We’re excited about this one and look forward to more information as it is released. We’ll keep you posted.
Last up is Steep, an open world action-sports game set in the Alps and Alaska where snow sports and wingsuits are always available. You can explore in skis, wingsuits, paragliders and snowboard alone or with friends. It is a world to perform stunts and wipeout to your heart’s desire and just have fun.
Impression: Steep was the big unexpected game to come out of this showcase. A snow sports game that looks jaw-dropping fun to play. That sense of scale is adrenaline-pumping just watching. The wide variety of mechanics will have a big part in how successful it will be, but from the first look, it does bring the fun and who doesn’t want fly at hyper speed through holes in mountains? It does make us wonder how come California Games hasn’t been rebooted yet. We have winter sports, why not summer, right? Somebody get on that.
Other games revealed at Ubisoft:
- Just Dance 2017 (October 2016)
- Ghost Recon Wildlands (March 7, 2017)
- Eagle Flight (Oculus Rift VR)
- Star Trek (VR)
- Grow Up (August 2016)
More to come!