This E3 was a special one for Ubisoft, as it signified their 30th birthday as a video game publisher and creative giant in the industry. So what would this veteran company have in store for us? This year, their conference culminated into an oddly-paced gaming fever dream — starting off with a choreographed dance number to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” and ending with a reveal that can only really be described as “interesting.” (You think I’m joking, but I assure you, I’m not.) The eccentricity of it all was led by host Aisha Tyler — who celebrated her fifth anniversary as an E3 MC, who seemed to navigate the questionable dialogue and appearances you’d have to see to believe with a relative finesse. Here’s how it all went down.
Just Dance 2017
Ubisoft started their E32016 press conference with a live action dance stage show which included performers dressed as Giraffes, Crabs and what I can only assume to be Candy Canes. Of course this was all for Ubisoft’s flagship dance title ‘Just Dance’ – which Aisha Tyler announced would hit Xbox One and PS4 in October 2016 and will also launch on Nintendo’s unrevealed NX in 2017.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Continuing where last year’s Ubisoft conference ended, Dominic Butler – lead game designer at Ubisoft Paris revealed that the game will drop next March on PC, Xbox One and PS4. To accompany this, we were also treated to a new Cartel Cinematic, explaining the outrageous premise of the evil Santa Blanca Cartel who now tyrannically rules over Bolivia. A scripted gameplay walkthrough of the El Pozolero Takedown was also shown, which showcased the games strategic playstyles as a four man of American Special Ops.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole
Trey Parker and Matt Stone graced the stage after revealing the story for the highly anticipated sequel to ‘The Stick of Truth’. South Park: Fractured But Whole will take place immediately after the previous title and will follow the new kid the day after his misadventures of the first game. The game will feature super hero based class customisation and freer movement in combat, which now involves time ripping farts and environmental attacks. The game will be purchasable December 6th on PC, Xbox One and PS4 and will include a download of The Stick of Truth with all Pre orders.
Ubisoft kept the ball rolling by showing new content for The Division. The previously announced ‘The Underground’ expansion will arrive on the PS4 on August 2nd and then later on the Xbox One and PC on June the 28th. Julian Gerighty, creative director at Massive Entertainment also revealed all Division players registered to the Ubisoft Club will receive three exclusive outfits based on other Ubisoft IP’s. To finish off the Division announcements a ‘Survival DLC teaser trailer’ was shown for The Divisions second major expansion titled ‘Survival’, which introduces a “new way of playing” as players will face harsher environments and new enemies. No release date was given.
Eagle Flight VR
Ubisoft’s conference took a turn towards VR when a bizarre on stage 3v3 demo of Ubisoft’s new multiplayer game that has you play as an Eagle snatching rabbits in an over grown Paris was played live on stage. No for real, I’m serious. None other than Oculus Founder Palmer Lucky hit the stage wearing his signature Hawaiian shirt and thongs to showcase the game, which plays like capture the flag, but with rabbits. The game will hit all VR units this fall and is playable this week on the E3 floor.
Star Trek Bridge Crew
Ubisoft continued the VR conversation by announcing ‘Star Trek: Bridge Crew’ which allows players to each take a role on the bridge of the Enterprise. To demo the game Star Trek actors, Karl Urban, Jeri Ryan and most importantly Levar Burton all were shown working together to pilot the famous Sci-Fi spaceship. Star Trek: Bridge Crew arrives later this year.
For after what felt like an eternity more was revealed about For Honor, one of Ubisofts hot new titles. For the first time signal player gameplay was shown as well as a story campaign that explains how three of human kinds most notable warriors came to conflict. The story had a much more fantasy setting than previously believed as dark forces have torn the world asunder in the game, forcing European knights, Nordic Vikings and Shogun samurai to fight. The game will hit retailers on Valentine’s day, 14th of February 2017.
Grow Up 2 was unveiled, showing off a complete new premise for Bud, the beloved protagonist of Grown Up 1. This time the little red robot will hit outer space and be able to explore and traverse entire planets using plants to navigate. Grow home 2 will be available on PC, XBOX One and Ps4 in August.
Trials of the Blood Dragon
Sporting matching track suits and bling, Creative Director at Red Lynux Antti Ilvessuo and creative director Dean Evans of Ubisoft Montreal unveiled the new retro inspired Trials game. The game displayed ridiculous over the top stunts, even for Trials and radiated with cheesy 80’s action movie charm. After showing off the extreme gameplay they announced its available right now from the Uplay store on PC, Xbox One and PS4.
Assassin’s Creed Movie
It wouldn’t be a Ubisoft conference without a little Assassins Creed, except this time it wasn’t the game. In the games absence a behind the scenes featurette of the new film starring Michael Fassbender was shown.
Watch Dogs 2
Watch Dogs 2 undoubtedly seemed to be Ubisofts biggest game at this years E3. Plenty of gameplay was shown including the new protagonist’s abilities and the new setting of San Francisco. Their was also a live stage Demo that followed Marcus and his Dedsec buddies through a mission to infiltrate a corrupt politicians apartment to hack his files in order to reveal him to the public. Yves Guillemot took to the stage after the gameplay to announced all Watchdogs 2 DLC will be timed exclusives on the PS4 for 30 days before Xbox One and PC.
To finish off the show Yves Guillemot again returned to the stage to announce a ‘new genre’ of game and a new IP at Ubisoft that “Combines action sports with open world exploration”. The game itself seems an adrenaline packing extreme sports game consisting of snowboarding, skiing and wing gliding. Oh and bone crushing impacts. This new title called ‘Steep’ will ship this December and arrive on consoles and PC.
Ubisofts 2016 conference was a touch and go experience with ever so brief moments of excitement between strange VR showings and celebrity marketing. It will be incredibly interesting to see if Ubisoft potentially held back information and reveals knowing Gamescom is in the not too distant future.