LOS ANGELES—Ubisoft held a press conference at E3 today to show off its upcoming slate of games. As is usually the case with Ubisoft, the conference was heartfelt, zany, and high on showmanship. The company announced very few new games, but it went deeper on a few that players have been anticipating from big franchises.
Here's what they covered.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
Since it's been so long since the first installment in this series (and the first game was a cult hit), you'd be forgiven for not knowing much about this game. That's OK though—Ubisoft put it front and center. The narratively acclaimed space opera is back with several of the quirky characters players originally enjoyed and a few new ones.
We saw space travel, aerial combat in a crowded city that reminded us of The Fifth Element, and a diverse cast of characters with a wide range of interesting looks and accents. B&G2 looks to be hodgepodge of weird and delightful—but we still don't know that much about either the story or gameplay, which were both excellent in the original game.
The Division 2
The Division 2's big reveal was actually during the Microsoft press conference yesterday. This presentation had a little less gameplay, but it involved a long trailer with civilians dying in a ruined Washington, DC, set to sad music. A Ubisoft rep took the stage to talk about the first year of content for the game.
Year one will include three DLC packs with unique stories and locations. Ubisoft also announced that eight-player raids are coming to the pseudo-MMO franchise.
The Division launched in a rough state, but it was greatly improved by later updates. We're hoping the sequel starts out strong. It's slated to launch on March 19, 2018 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.
Skull & Bones
Remember the ship combat in Assassin's Creed IV? It was a lot of fun, though it wasn't quite varied enough to carry the numerous hours of it you had to play through in that game.
Ubisoft clearly thinks it was worth further exploration. Skull & Bones is a big, flashy game that pits crews of sexy pirates ("wolves in a dog-eat-dog world") against The Man in the Indian Ocean. The gameplay looks identical to the ship battles in Assassin's Creed IV but with more polish and several new features.
Skull & Bones will hit this year for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Its existence had already leaked, but we knew nothing about Assassin's Creed Odyssey other than its setting—Ancient Greece. Ubisoft closed the show with this game, and showed a lot of it.
Odyssey is set during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, and it lets you pick between two characters to play through the game with—one male, one female. We saw dialogue choices, including romance options, ala Mass Effect or The Witcher.
That's not surprising, given that last year's Assassin's Creed Origins had so much in common with The Witcher 3. And Odyssey looks more than a little like Origins. The controls, combat, and exploration all look very similar. Ships seem have an expanded role, though.
For the most part, it looks like exactly what you'd expect from a follow up to Origins—more of the same, but with a few more options. The game will land on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on October 5, 2018. For more on Assassin's Creed Odyssey, check out our hands-on.
Ubisoft made some smaller announcements, too—updates on already detailed games, DLC, and more.
- Trials is back with more motorcycle stunt antics in Trials Rising. The tagline is "eat dirt, taste victory," which you know to be perfect if you've ever enjoyed that franchise. The game is slated for 2019.
- A new Donkey Kong DLC is coming to Mario + Rabbids on the Switch.
- Fox from Star Fox will appear in Ubisoft's toy-driven space game Starlink, which was announced last year.
- The company gave a brief talk on its ambitions for Rainbow Six Siege esports. Specifically, it has them, and three events are happening in the next year.
- For Honor will get a DLC that adds a new faction—Chinese warriors, including a monk who wields a staff. There will also be a castle siege mode.
- The Crew 2 will have an open beta later this month.
- Elijah Wood came out to talk about Transference, an FMV and horror experience for both VR and traditional platforms his production company is working on with Ubisoft. He mentioned it's open world, and it's coming in fall of 2018.
- Just Dance 2019 is coming this October.
Listing image by Nathan Mattise