As we do every year, today we're here with our thoughts on the E3 Press Conferences. Today we're grading the E3 press conference for Ubisoft. In a show that decided to not have Aisha Tyler come back as host, how did the worldwide studios at Ubisoft fare? According to our writers, splendidly.
Ubisoft, Deliver Us From Boredom
You can always count on Ubisoft to bring make a colorful appearance at E3. And although they arrived noticeably subdued, I feel confident that there was the best presentation of E3. The benefit, of course, is that Ubisoft doesn’t need to waste time trying to sell me hardware. That said, I think they convinced me to purchase a Nintendo Switch so I can play Mario + Rabbids, an X-COM game set in the Mushroom Kingdom. From there, they delivered game after game that really attracted my interest. Skull & Bones had me ready to jump on my couch like Tom Cruise until they revealed to be an online-only multiplayer game. Booooooo.
The biggest surprise, however, was the existence of Beyond Good & Evil 2. Seeing Michel Ancel on stage crying after the reveal trailer made me so happy considering the game’s long absence since the teaser in 2008. I’ve been anxiously awaiting a follow-up to one of my favorite games and while it didn’t really explore how it will play, the realization of the game’s aesthetic was jaw dropping. I could have done without the all the swearing because it seems out of character but if that’s what it takes to get a sequel in my hands, well….
Great job, Ubisoft! We can always count on you to keep things fun and lively.
PS. Please bring back Aisha Tyler.
An Excellent Showing
Apparently, Ubisoft is the only company that remembered to bring surprises to E3. The show kicked off by showcasing gameplay from Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, which, shockingly, looks like an excellent take on the strategy role-playing genre. We received another trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Origins, in addition to more info on other well-known entities, such as gameplay from Far Cry 5 and a release date for South Park: The Fractured But Whole. T
here was a performance-fueled announcement for Just Dance! 2018 that was mercifully short. Where Ubisoft really knocked it out of the park, however, were the new games and the teases. Ubisoft finally answered all the prayers of Black Flag fans and are making a full-fledged pirate game in Skull & Bones, transforming naval combat into a For Honor PVP-styled experience. South Park will be getting an entry on mobile devices. Starlink is a new way to sell expensive toys. There’s even some kind of weird VR project in the works featuring. . . Elijah Wood?
Of course, the biggest announcement was the show’s closer: Beyond Good and Evil 2. The former vaporware received a breathtaking (and surprisingly vulgar) new trailer before an emotional Michel Ancel came out on stage to personally thank the audience. It’s hard to say when BGE2 is actually coming, or what, exactly, the “Space Monkey Program” is, considering that the game’s website immediately went down following the reveal. Nevertheless, Ubisoft knocked it out of the park, giving us a great mix of what’s coming this year, as well as glimpses into the company’s future.
Ubisoft is Reborn
Every E3, I can’t help but wonder what Ubisoft will do to make us cringe that year. This year, I was pleasantly surprised. The Mario and Rabbids crossover game may be a bit strange, but it looks genuinely fun and interesting. There were a few titles like The Crew 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and Steep that snuck their way into the conference, but the rest of the games showed were really great to see. Ubisoft has seemed to take the route of being different and unique with games like Transference, a psychological horror game created for VR that seems to be very unconventional and certainly interesting. They even decided to change up the formula for games like Far Cry 5, which seems to have abandoned the typical themes we’ve seen since the first in favor of a more relatable and interesting plot structure. I am genuinely interested in this new entry in the series for the first time in years.
We got a new trailer for South Park: The Fractured But Whole, as well as a new mobile game of the same franchise. There was also a reveal of a new pirate game that takes inspiration from Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and looks like a great new addition to the list of Ubisoft’s IPs. Of course there was a lot of fluff, but the final bombshell at the end of the presentation absolutely destroyed any chance that the competition had over the past two days. Beyond Good and Evil 2: enough said. It looks gorgeous, hilarious, and takes place before the first game. This title is very clearly filled with passion and love from the developers, and the weight of the announcement felt very real. Overall, it was a very enjoyable conference and has officially restored my faith in Ubisoft as a company.
That So Called Showstopper...
Let’s get it out of the way right away. The so-called showstopper, the long-awaited sequel to Beyond Good & Evil, or prequel as it turns out, probably amazed a whole lot people. But I’m downright appalled. This swearing and rioting lump with obnoxious cast of characters, obviously meant as comic reliefs, couldn’t be farther from the ideals Beyond Good & Evil was built on. I’d better say no more, it made me so upset. As for the rest of the games, the sequels we already knew about failed to impress as they seem to concentrate on all the wrong things, like turning Assassin’s Creed into a Tom Clancy game.
Come on, you can’t fool, that hawk in Origins is a drone from Ghost Recon! Some new IP’s surprised though. Mario & Rabbids is probably cool for the fans. I’m not a fan so... Skull & Bones could be fun. Basing a game entirely on naval battles from Assassin’s Creed III and Black Flag, where they were only part of the package, is risky. Hopefully Ubisoft can expand it into a working sea battle environment with as much planning as unexpected events involved.
A Heartfelt Show
This year, Ubisoft put on the best press conference it’s ever had. That’s not actually saying much; I haven’t really been impressed by any of its previous showings. Regardless, this one had a lot of heart, from the excitement of Shigeru Miyamoto appearing on-stage to show off the Ubisoft-developed Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle to the finale announcement of one of the most long-awaited games, Beyond Good and Evil 2. My excitement upon these two games’ official reveals made up for other lowlights, like the annual awkward Just Dance presentation. Seeing everyone on stage crying with excitement over their games’ lineup was a beautiful sight, and I could truly see the passion they claimed to have. Overall, while not every game was interesting to me, the overall presentation brought a smile to my face.
Leave it to Ubisoft to break from tradition and host the most solid of the press conferences so far. Beginning with an almost out of no-where (except Laura Kate Dale told us about this MONTHS ago) home run, Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and ending with the long, long, LONG awaited Beyond Good and Evil 2, I was content throughout their show. Thanks, Ubi and Yves for holding down Monday for us.
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