Monday, June 12, 2017

E3 2017: Ubisoft

Whoa! It's a legitimately great press conference!

E3 this year has been pretty blase so far. Yes we've gotten some genuinely interesting titles and a bunch of games, but nothing about this year has felt substantial. Nothing this year made me jump out of my seat in shock and awe and convince me to be interested in any game. But man, Ubisoft managed to make me care about them with a steady stream of good games, big reveals, some good joke material, and a few titles that look intriguing.

Let's start off with OH MY GOD BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2 EXISTS. It's been 8 years since we've last seen this game, and it just feels so nice to finally see new footage and to have Michel Ancel, the head developer come on stage and tear up introducing the game. The trailer looked great, it has a great premise, and while there wasn't any gameplay, I didn't need it for a reveal of this magnitude. However, what is a bit odd to me is that we don't know what consoles the game will be on. Rumors are circulating that it'll be a timed Switch exclusive, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Speaking of, we also got some legitimate support for the Switch from Ubisoft. We have the dreaded Mario + Rabbids Battle Kingdom, which is X-Com for kids, and Starlink: Battle for Atlas, a new IP for all consoles that's pretty much a mature space themed Skylanders. I'm not interested in either game, but they both do look pretty interesting and I didn't have anything inherently wrong with them.

We got more footage of Assassin's Creed: Origins, but we had a really odd cut to a developer playing a build of the game (awesome!), but it was being filmed on the TV they were playing it off of (boo!) and cut out after a minute and told everyone to stay after the show for more footage (double boo!) Farcry 5 got a nice little showing, but nothing more than we've already seen of the game, and a new trailer for South Park: The Fractured But Whole, which still looks like a ton of fun and will hopefully keep its release date this time.

The only other game of note that was announced was actually a new IP called Skull & Bones, an open world pirate themed game not dissimilar from Sea of Thieves. I'm actually more interested in Skull & Bones though because it's developed by the same studio that did Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and they're essentially just making a full on pirate game with the mechanics that we know work so well. It's a smart move and the demo shown looked pretty interesting and the world is much more cohesive and cool than the world in Sea of Thieves. There're sea shanties, pirate battles, and krakens, while Sea of Thieves never really caught my attention, despite the cartoonish aesthetic.

But I cared about a lot of the games shown. I can imagine nearly every gamer is satisfied with what Ubisoft showed, whether you were a Nintendo fan, an RPG fan, an FPS fan, a dance fan, or even just a fan of new, graphically powerful games. Ubisoft has had the best press conference this year, and I'm actually excited for what they have for the next year.

And no Tom Clancy games this year! That's a win enough in my book!


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