If there’s one publisher who can be relied upon to bring fun and energy to proceedings at E3, it’s Ubisoft. Settle in as we take you through the highlights.
Beyond Good & Evil 2 is starting to look like a game
After its well-hyped reveal last year, your favourite anthropomorphic animals are back to offer a little more than just a CGI trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2 this time around. The language remains utter filth, but the characters and action endearing, as we got talked through the world. Ubisoft are making an effort to get the community involved too, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Hit Record organisation being trotted out to coordinate content like music, art and game design ideas from the community. No release date just yet, so we’ll have to be patient and write a song or two in the meantime.
Skull and Bones has so many cannonballs - SO MANY
After Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag hit the high seas there were rumours about spinning off its sailing mechanic into a standalone pirate game. After its reveal last year, we now have a better idea of how pirate-'em-up Skull and Bones will actually play.
Ships have special abilities (like firing EIGHT cannonballs in a single shot), as well as different strengths and an awful lot of on-screen prompts, lines and dials to help you navigate the treacherous waters. The world seems to be playing the old ‘living, breathing’ tune quite loudly and there’s plenty of customisation options too. A nice touch was the ability to disguise your ship as another faction to stay undetected during a mission. Setting sail next year.
Elijah Wood makes it weird in Transference
The second celeb to hit the stage was none other than Frodo Baggins himself, showing off his VR experience, which combines live action with CGI to explore a dark, corrupted mind. There’s sinister music abound and worrying actions from a father towards his son, but what does it all mean? Prepare for jump scares this autumn.
Nintendo continues its stealth Ubisoft takeover
A new DLC for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle sees Donkey Kong take centre stage and introduces a bunch of new characters and enemy types. To celebrate DK’s arrival, the audience were even treated to a live musical performance accompanying the gameplay trailer.
There was also a Nintendo nugget hidden away inside space adventure Starlink: Battle For Atlas, which you can see in the above trailer. The game has a Skylanders-style toys to life component to change your ship upgrades on the fly and, for the Nintendo Switch version only, that might include the Star Fox’s team, led by a Fox McCloud that looks more realistic than ever before. You’ll have to pick up the game on 16 October for some space exploration.
Scripted banter detected in The Division 2
It wouldn’t be a Ubisoft show without a bit of scripted banter, and this time a team of Division agents explore a lush garden in Washington in the game’s sequel. There’s a run through of how the narrative progresses, picking up side quests as you go, but it seems like pretty standard fare. The most exciting moment is a showdown at the downed Air Force One, which redefines how spongey an enemy can be. Will the final product impress? Look out for a review around 15 March 2019.
Who got their Origins in my Assassin’s Creed Odyssey?
The return of the Assassin’s Creed franchise last year after a brief hiatus was met with success, and so it follows that Ubisoft would want to get back onto their game-per-year release schedule. So, after an unceremonious leak, we have Odyssey, which sees you play as one of two would-be Spartans (either male or female) in Ancient Greece during the time when Sparta and Athens weren’t getting along too well.
Much of the actual gameplay seems very reminiscent of Origins, making us worry the series is already repeating past mistakes, but Ubisoft are also leaning into the RPG elements a bit more this time around, adding dialogue options that can alter the story as well as romanceable characters for greater player choice. Expect plenty of back-stabbing on 5 October 2018.
What was your highlight? Do you also hope Yves Guillemot was in that panda costume? Let us know in the forums, and don't forget to comment and check out the show in full below.