Ubisoft’s conference largely cemented the dominance of its existing franchises, with additional details on known upcoming titles and expansions for released games. However, there were a couple of new exciting announcements and returns of fan favourites. Like Beyond Good & Evil 2? You’ll have to hit the jump to find out.
The answer is “No”, unfortunately. But chin up, slugger, because the rest of it was pretty great. Presented by Aisha Tyler — enthusiastic and likeable dank memes host — Ubisoft’s conference opened appropriately with a new South Park game. Riffing on all the blockbuster tent-pole Marvel superhero releases, South Park: The Fractured but Whole has the gang switching up their Lord of the Rings outfits for the ‘Coon Friends ensemble.
Featuring Butters as tin-foiled antagonist Magneto-lookalike and Cartman as Racoonerine (I just made that up, but it’s clear who he’s parodying), South Park’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker indicated that the game will continue where Stick of Truth left off.
“You’re still the new kid, where you’ve moved to South Park,” explains Matt, “But now the kids are obviously playing superheroes, so we really get into the back-story of… why your butt-hole is so amazing, basically.”
Next up we had a sweeping battle cinematic cutting across medieval Europe, Japan and Scandanavia as vikings, samurais and knights battle, which revealed a new title, For Honor. A 4v4 co-operative multiplayer slash-em-up that seems quite similar to the Dynasty Warrior series, Jason Vanenberghe, Creative Director of For Honor and a real-life Jarl explains that the game will use a new combat system called The Art of Battle which will make combat more visceral.
Leading into a “live” 4v4 demonstration of the combat system, complete with Dynasty cannon fodder and strategic control zones, the game does look incredible. Characters animate nicely and combat seems to have a degree of flexibility and, seemingly, lethality as a single good strike seems enough to take another player down. You can check out more about the combat system and gameplay below.
The Clancy Corner: The Division, Rainbow Six, new GhostRecon
In the interest of fans of clandestine military groups, I’m going to do a bit of a hop skip and combine some of the announcements into the Clancy corner. Tom Clancy’s: The Division got another showing in the form of a rehearsed co-operative demonstration of the Dark Zone multiplayer, the PvP portion of the game. Showing off the lush city environs Ubisoft has become known for, the demo highlighted some of the combat mechanics as well as revealing the ability to betray your comrades (Spoilers) via the faction system. You can check that out below. The release date has been confirmed as the 8th March, 2016.
Next up we had a trailer for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege, revealing the antogonists of the single-player campaign, the White Masks, as well as the Deputy Director of the Rainbow Six programme, Six, as played by Angela Bassett. I’m going to digress here and say that to have both Tyler and Bassett, on stage at E3, discussing their work in both video games and their careers was super awesome and something we could do with more of. It’s a hell of a lot better than scripted chatter.
It was followed by a multiplayer demo of the co-operative player versus AI terrorist hunt, which is a welcome return for the franchise. I’ve got some fond memories of Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 terrohunt sessions, and hopefully Siege will recapture that nostalgia. You can check out some of the mechanics and strategies you’ll be able to employ below. A beta will be available on the 24th September for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC, prior to it’s release on October 13th.
Finally, Ubisoft announced Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, which expands Ghost Recon into a massive environment based on South-American state Bolivia. In it, you’ll be tasked with combating the Santa Blanca drug cartel in a non-linear open-word extravaganza.
Making several direct and oblique references to real-world drug organisations and individuals — such as Santa Muerta (one of the more interesting Catholic folk saints who protects both police officers and drug traffickers under her cowl), the Gulf Cartel and its leader “White Hat” Juan Guerra — the game looks suitably impressive albeit in the now templated style of the Far Cry franchise.
Nostalgia Hour: Anno 2205, Trackmania Turbo
Strategy fans can look forward to the next installment of the Anno franchise, which sees you pushing beyond the cradle of Earth and expanding your city-building to the moon with Anno 2205. I’ve always been a fan of Anno and it’s very optimistic outlook on the future of human endeavours — it contrasts to how the future has actually turned out. You can check out both the CGI and caveat emptor gameplay trailer below.
One of my favourites from the show, Trackmania is getting a new title for next-gen consoles with the announcement of Trackmania Turbo. Trackmania is a series that filled my younger years and had quite a bit of a local following. Trackmania Turbo, in addition to upgraded graphics, will feature over 200 tracks across multiple stadiums and a level creator which includes a one-button press track generator. Oh, and it’ll all support virtual realityeeeeeeEEEEEE I’m super excited.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
The Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate section was more of a Dead Island stunt, with a gorgeous CGI trailer which highlights some of the features of this industrialised grim London and its cockney gangs. “No gameplay, guv?” you ask with your best Dicken’s-inspired accent. “Don’t you like a few pretties, chum, wot ho, sally on pip pip?” I reply, since I know how they really spoke in good ol’ Englandland. It mainly features Jacob, though as previously announced Syndicate will allow you to play as his sister, Evie.
Anyway, check out the trailer below.
The Crew expansion, memes, Just Dance Unlimited
Collecting a hodge-podge of minor announcements throughout the show for the we-have-other-franchises-guys-really, The Crew (Which received lackluster reviews and for whom our own Wesley had mixed feelings), is getting an expansion in the form of The Crew: Wild Ride, which introduces new vehicles and on-going competitions called Summits.
Similarly, Trials Fusion is getting a Internet-infused expansion in the form of Awesome Level Max, which featured a gun-wielding bandana-wearing cat riding a dark unicorn under triple-rainbows, which reminds me of something similar which is free. Cool, right? Wow, very memes, much dank.
Also, there’s Just Dance 2016 (of course there is), in case you were afraid that the dance had died. But it also introduces a new streaming subscription-based service called Just Dance: Unlimited, which apparently fans have been ,”asking for for a long time”. The service will stream over 150 of Just Dance‘s favourite hits directly to your Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One. I enjoy music rhythm games but Just Dance isn’t my cup of tea, so I’ll take their word for it.
What’s your highlight? What stands out for you? Let us know in the comments!