Ubisoft plays things safe, bringing their least surprising show in ages.
Ubisoft is usually the most consistent show, being predictable but also bringing about a few surprises along the way. So, opening this year’s show with an Assassin’s Creed symphonic concert was surprising. We aren’t going to get a new Assassin’s Creed game this year, so I expected them to devote that time to things they to show. I was expecting another dancing panda showcase.
They followed the musical performance with the full reveal of Watch Dogs: Legion. They gave a brief voice-over setting up the world, and then they showed a decently long gameplay demo. Somehow you can get invisible now? A large portion of the game is going to be dedicated to drones and surveillance it seems, based on the Amazon listing that leaked and what they showed in the demo. They showed off the “legion” aspect of the game that lets you play as a wide variety of characters that you can recruit. It is easy to let your mind run wild with the possibilities of the system, but it also seems impossible for the game to live up to those ideas. There is an AI that serves to give your characters instructions and tie the missions together. Each of the characters also seems to have their own specialities. I am genuinely curious if they can make a story that feels like it matters when any of your characters can die at any time. Clint Hocking (Creative Director of Far Cry 2) is one of the few people who I would trust to pull off a project so ambitious.
Ubisoft is partnering with the Always Sunny in Philadelphia people to make a TV show about a game studio. It’s for Apple TV Plus and is called Mythic Quest. The trailer they showed came across as more of a Youtube or SNL skit than a trailer for a show. Can’t tell much about the show from the trailer they showed, but I don’t imagine it will be incredibly popular.
Jon Bernthal brought a dog on stage. Ubisoft won E3. Breakpoint is taking a far more serious approach to its marketing than I remember Ghost Recon: Wildlands taking, which is a little silly considering its set in a fictional location and Wildlands was set in a real location.
There is some Clancy-verse mobile game coming. Sam Fisher is in it, with Division operatives and Rainbow Six operatives.
Just Dance is celebrating its tenth year. They brought the Panda back and played BlackPink, so I’m happy. The fact that they didn’t even show the game is amusing and tells me that they have made no changes. Or that there will just be DLC. The event was not clear in the slightest. A quick google informs me there is a Just Dance 2020 coming.
Continuing their trend of supporting games for long periods of time, They showed off a new event for For Honor. I was expecting a sequel possibly, but it makes sense for that to wait for the next generation of consoles.
Rainbow Six: Quarantine is building off of Siege’s formula to create a three-player co-op game. If they mimic the model and support it for a long time and release operators to generate income, I could see it capturing an audience who are intimidated by PvP and like things like Call of Duty: Zombies. If there is one thing I can be sure of with this game, it is that Ubisoft will support it for a long time, especially if new consoles are backwards compatible.
The Division 2 has its first DLC coming in July and will be free to play from June 13th to 16th. A new raid will be becoming in the Fall DLC. The third expansion will take players to the Pentagon. All of the first years of DLC will be free.
Ubisoft announced UPlay+, which will cost $15 a month to get you access to Ubisoft games old and new. Breakpoint is being advertised alongside games like Beyond Good and Evil 1. It is available on PC and Stadia.
Rollerball is the next in a long line of games that somehow Ubisoft will turn into a super successful multiplayer game with a long line of support.
To close out the show they introduced Of Gods and Monsters, a game that sounds like it will explore a variety of mythologies. The teaser they showed did not explain much about the game, but it will be out early in 2020, so we shouldn’t have long to wait.
Once again, Splinter Cell was strangely absent. Only showing up in the trailer for the mobile game that they announced. It seems like the Wildlands cameo really was a one-off. Unless it is being planned for next-gen. Half of this years conference seemed to be dedicated to Tom Clancy properties, so maybe it’s good that they took a step back on one of them.
Overall, Ubisoft’s show was low-key this year. Nothing they showed was truly surprising, and UPass+ seems like it is a little too expensive. But, being able to access new Ubisoft games on launch is plenty worth it. I can see it being used similar to how some people use Origin Access, subscribing for a month when there is a new game they want to play, and then cancelling. Things are slowing down for this generation as the next generation approaches, so it’s not a great surprise that we see fewer games. Maybe Skull and Bones will end up as a next-gen launch title?
The fact that Vivendi is no longer breathing down their necks probably makes Ubisoft feel as if it does not need to swing for the fences every time they take to the stage. That’s not a bad thing, but it does make for a less exciting showcase of their games.