Ubisoft conferences are usually the most mental of the conferences each year, with dancing, crude jokes, awesome game trailers that never represent the final product and Aisha Tyler! However, this year Aisha will not be hosting the Ubi party which might be disappointing for some but do not fear! Because there were plenty of surprises during this conference, so scroll down dear reader and come with me (Sharn) and experience the highs of the Ubisoft press conference, because my god this year was a corker.
Well, Ubisoft kicked off their press conference with quite the surprise. You see, Mr. Miyamoto was welcomed to the stage to unveil a new game in partnership with Ubisoft mixing the world of the crazy Rabbids and the Super Mario franchise and I for one never see this coming! “Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle” is a strategy game in the style of “XCOM” with character-based abilities, various weapons and skill trees, blending the crazy Rabbids and the wonderful world of Mario into a fantastic package. I have been a huge fan of the “XCOM” games and never in my wildest dreams had I expected to see such a thing in a Mario game! “Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle” is releasing exclusively on the Nintendo Switch 29th August 2017!
“Assassins creed origins” was the next game to be shown (we got a nice look of ACO during Microsoft’s conference). ACO has been in development since Black Flag’s release, and this really does look to be the most ambitious Assassin’s title to date. Sure, the franchise has grown stale recently, but having Egypt as a setting looks absolutely incredible (Dat 4K tho), we got to see a very pretty trailer showing off Lions, Crocs, Hippos, the Nile and lots of killing. You can earn XP, level up and tackle missions as you like, it looks to have more freedom than the linear missions from the previous games, there’s also a larger arsenal of weapons from the deadly Khopesh sword to the Bow. AC Origins looks to be a vast improvement on Syndicate in both gameplay and technical aspect, taking a year off from “Assassin’s creed” really was a good move for Ubisoft. “Assassins Creed Origins” releases 27th October 2017.
“The Crew 2” will let you dominate the ground, air and sea. In other words, you are no longer confined to the road (or off-road). As you will be able to take to the sea and air to pull of crazy stunts and races. Visually, the Crew 2 looks like a huge improvement on its predecessor. Ubisoft look to improve on it in every way and with games like “Forza Horizon” doing so well, it looks like they have been taking a few notes from the competition and trying to find a way to make the Crew stand out among other racing games, the trailer showed off some incredible visuals, especially from the first-person perspective. The release date is set for early 2018.
“South Park: The Fractured but whole” made an appearance, without Matt or Trey taking the stage, there wasn’t really anything new shown. However, you should know what to expect when it comes to South Park, you might need a safe space if you’re easily offended because South Park pulls no punches, it finally releases October 17th 2017, keep in mind if you Pre-order digitally you get the Stick of truth free! South Park also appeared again with “Phone Destroyer” which is a South Park Mobile game, separate to “The Fractured but Whole”, which features Cowboys vs (insert whatever possible) providing tactical combat and laughs on your smart phone. The mobile game also releases in 2017.
The next game was a random one, but featured everyone’s favorite Hobbit Elijah Wood, from what I could tell it was some kind of VR horror experience game? Not much was really shown in terms of gameplay but it’s called “Transference” and releases spring 2018.
Now the next game had me shouting and screaming in a pirate voice because Ubisoft announced its very own pirate game called “Skull and Bones“! It is 1721 and “the pirates’ arr ere to plunder”, Ubisoft touted it as the “ultimate pirate experience”, which takes place in a shared world where you can come across other players, fight or join them, sink or board it’s up to you. We were treated to a multiplayer demo called loot hunt which was a 5vs5 team based mode. Visually, the game looks stunning, taking the best part of Black Flag (Naval Combat) and giving it it’s very own game, think of it as For Honor but with pirate ships, fights seem to be very tactical where you can use a variety of weapons from rams to canons while working with team mates to send the opposition to the bottom of the sea! There was also another little trailer showing off the mighty Kraken, this is certainly one to watch! The release date is said to be fall 2018.
It’s not a Ubisoft conference without some sort of singing or dancing, and we got just that with “Just Dance 2018“. We were treated to funky dancing, bubble pop, a Panda, Bebe Rexha and a release date, “Just Dance 2018″ releases October 24th 2017.
This game, in particular, piqued my interest. I’m talking about “Starlink battle for Atlas”, which is a sci-fi adventure game that has cool Spaceships and collectible models (which clip on to your controller, basically think of the “Skylander” concept with spaceships). There was a short gameplay trailer that featured space exploration and combat, but how it all works is slightly confusing and how does the ship connect to your controller? The trailer gave more questions than answers leading to some confusion; it had an aesthetic similar to “No Man’s Sky” but also has multiplayer functionality too. Starlink is one to watch and I hope they release more information soon. The release date is set to fall 2018 and will also be launching on the Switch.
Steep also had a small announcement detailing its brand new expansion arriving December 5th 2017 “Winter Olympic sports“, adding a variety of Olympic events and challenges for players to tackle. Oddly enough, there were no expansion announcements for “For Honor” or “Rainbow 6 Siege”, and that might be disappointing for some.
Ubisoft then delivered their next two games, first up was “Far Cry 5” kicking off with Amazing grace being sung by religious fanatics with guns; we got a chance to see some raw gameplay from the heart of Hope County, Montana. The gameplay demo showed off some stunning visuals and how you can cause chaos by utilizing AI companions to cover your ass while you paint the town red. Online Co-Op is also back so you can tear the town up with a buddy, whether you’re making strafing runs in a plane or ramming checkpoints with an 18 Wheeler. Far Cry 5 looks to deliver a nice blend of action and stealth, whether you can befriend Bears and send them to war remains to be seen but when it comes to Far Cry, anything can happen. Release date 27th February 2018.
Ubisoft ended as good as they started and this one was a big surprise for sure, and that surprise would be “Beyond good and Evil 2“! Yes, the game has finally been officially announced (we have been waiting nearly 15 years for this to happen!). The slight downside was the entire trailer was all CG. So we didn’t see any raw gameplay but it did featuring a Gangster monkey, one angry pig and a wonderful sci-fi setting. Once the trailer ended it was announced the game will have online functionality, and you can sign up to experience the game and help shape it. So, yes, you will be able to travel to other worlds and explore space. Simply put, this is without a doubt one of the most long-awaited games from Ubisoft but how long will we have to wait until it is finally released?. Release date TBA.
Ubisoft delivered a solid conference, and this is without a doubt one of the best conferences they have done in a long time. However, keep in mind this is Ubisoft and much of what we’ve seen might not represent the final product and I blame past experiences for that (*cough* “Watchdogs” *cough* “Rainbow 6”). Nevertheless, it was a great show, and I’m sure Aisha Tyler would have been proud! My game of the show is “Mario & Rabbids Kingdom battle”!
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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