What can you say about the dancing crabs and people dressed as candy canes? The opening of the Ubisoft presentation at E3 2016 was so bizarre and over the top it would’ve made more sense if it was the backdrop to a Flaming Lips concert.
Despite the madness, viewers got a pretty good idea of what the French publisher is bringing to consoles and the PC.
Amongst the gaming delights, which we’ll get to in a bit, Ubisoft also took some time out to speak about the Assassin’s Creed movie showing attendees and those on stream exclusive behind-the-scenes footage punctuated with footage from the trailer we’ve all likely seen by now.
Three years ago there were murmurings of a Watch_Dogs movie and Ubisoft confirmed last night that the project is still in the works but failed to provide any more info about the project.
Right, on to the reason we all watched the show: games.
Kicking off proceedings was the aforementioned fever dream which was actually the reveal for Just Dance 3, though that was more of an aside before the publisher dived into the latest Ghost Recon game, Wildlands.
While I am quite excited to hunt down drug cartels in an open world, the gameplay footage we were treated to looks a bit like Far Cry, a lot like The Division and even more like the gadget laden Ghost Recon games of old.
The game has been given a release date of 2017 so don’t expect to be doling out justice to cartels this year, sadly. The gameplay video below is not safe for work, the dialogue is cringe worthy but this game looks slick.
Next was the f-bomb riddled preview of South Park The Fractured But Whole. What can I really say other than it’s a South Park RPG much like Stick of Truth only this time with more JRPG type visuals.
Rather than a fantasy setting, this time, the foul mouthed offspring are playing super heroes and get into a toss up about who will get a movie and who will get a series which results in a civil war, ahem. What’s more is that if you pre-order Fractured But Whole, you get a free copy of Stick of Truth. The Fractured But Whole lands on PC and consoles December 6th.
The video below has some colourful language so use your discretion as to when you decide to watch it.
For Honor, Ubisoft’s free-for-all hack ‘n slash was something of a dark horse at this year’s keynote.
The game footage we were treated to was very pretty but the combat looks stale. Yes, there are hordes of enemies, but they wait their turn to attack you, because having even when their homes torched are being torched, fighters in this game have manners, apparently.
Still, being able to swing a war axe into the face of your enemy seems like it will be fun for a while when the game releases 14th February 2017.
Just when you felt safe, a fever dream started up, starring two reps from Ubisoft Montreal and Red Lynx clad in luminous animal print onesies. The pair took to stage to announce Trials of the Blood Dragon. What more do you need to know other than it’s Trials meets Blood Dragon, which is about as chaotic as that combination sounds. Bombs, motorbikes, shooting communist aliens, fun; the game is out now and retails for €14.99 (R258.68) on PC.
The publisher also showed off some VR projects. First off was a game where you play as a bird and you capture prey and drop it in a clock tower to earn points. The presentation felt a lot like soccer (football -ed.), even the Ubi rep commentating as Palmer Lucky and friends faced off for the demo felt like I was watching the Euro, if the Euro was played by birds.
Then, Trekkies may or may not be excited for a new Star Trek VR game where players take on the role of an Enterprise crew member. The concept looks cool and if you’ve ever wanted to live the fantasy of being Kirk or Piccard, this may be a good way to do that.
Of course Watch_Dogs 2 got some stage time. The new protagnist, Marcus, looks great and oozes character unlike Aidan “generic white dude” Pierce. The hacking seems like more of the same and there are some cool new gadgets which seem pointless because gun fighting is still being heavily pushed.
The story that Ubi presented though feels like it was plucked from Mr. Robot. An evil corporation wants to control our lives and the last line of defence we have is band of street smart hackers. Watch_Dogs 2 comes out November 15th.
Finally, Steep was unveiled; this extreme mountain sports game looks sexy and is based in the oh-so scenic Alps. Snowboarding, base jumping, para-gliding, and wing suits abound. Yes, it’s not the SSX successor some of us were all praying we would see, but its a new IP that has snow sports in what looks like a very open world, or erm, slopes. You’ll be able to get your ski on in December this year.
Anything here got your motor running? Not? Well, if you’re a cheapskate like me then as part of Ubisoft’s 30th Birthday you can pick up some free games.
Every month UbiClub members can pick up a free game starting with Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. The offer has a limited time but if you act now you can fill up your Uplay library really easily.
And that’s it from Ubi. I’m excited to see For Honor, Steep and South Park because I’m still a child that finds Cartman hilarious. What are you excited about if anything?