E3 2017: Highlights from Ubisoft's press briefing
International games publisher Ubisoft just wrapped up its annual E3 press conference here in Los Angeles. We got to see new footage from some previously announced titles and our first look at an all-new series.
What We Expected
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Yes, it's real, and no, wishing it wasn't will not make it so. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto joined the stage to present this much-discussed crossover game. Ambivalence over tone and character design aside, the actual gameplay is basically XCOM with a few new twists, so that's cool. It arrives on the Nintendo Switch this August 29th.
Assassin's Creed: Origins
Teased yesterday at Microsoft's press event, this 10th anniversary Assassin's Creed title takes players all the way back to ancient Egypt and the very first Assassin. Today we got a longer look at some of the game's cinematics and setting, as well as an extended gameplay demo which ran after the conference proper had concluded.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Development on the second South Park RPG continues apace, subtituting Stick of Truth's Dungeons & Dragons motif for superhero movies -- including Marvel's Civil War, which forms the basis for the kids' conflict. It's set for release this October.
Far Cry 5
Set in the fictitious Hope County, Montana, Far Cry 5 substitutes Ambiguous Brown Zealots for White Religious Zealots. In addition to new cinematics footage introducing us a little more to the religious cult at the center of the game, we got our first glimpse of gameplay, which includes squad combat.
Far Cry 5 is currently slated for a February, 2018 release.
Things We Might've Expected, Had We Thought About It More
Existing franchises saw sequels and one of Ubisoft's newer properties saw an expansion unveiled at today's press conference.
Just Dance 2018
Not one to give up the dance game genre without a fight, Just Dance 2018 branches out a little more with performers including Jamiroquai, and K-pop star Hyuna, whom Western audiences might best recognize for her Gangnam Style cover:
Steep: Road to the Olympics
Extreme winter sports game Steep wowed us with its harsh beauty when Ubisoft unveiled it last year. This expansion features most of the same sports, but more tightly structured around Olympic qualifiers. Road to the Olympics will pop out of the snow like daisies this December (two months before the Winter Games in South Korea, whoo).
The Crew 2
Other publishers have shown us car games in their E3 press events, but Ubisoft went much much further. The Crew 2 is an all-encompassing motorsport game including car racing, dirtbikes, motorboats, and small planes. How will one title manage to handle all those different modes equally well? Whoooo knows, but it has our interest. The Crew 2 is due out early 2018.
South Park: Phone Destroyer
It's South Park, but on your phone. Hopefully it doesn't have anything to do with GPS because that Pokemon Go ship has sailed, man. It's due out later this year.
All New Shinies
Starlink: Battle of Atlas
Coming a wee bit late to the toys-to-life market, Ubisoft's twist on the genre has you building your controller-mounted spaceships, Lego-style. It's currently slated for third quarter 2018.
Skull & Bones
Someone decided the ship battles in Assassin's Creed: Black Flag were really something, so now they're their own game. The conference framed it as heavily PvP-focused, but we will reportedly see much more to it than that soon.
What do you get when you cross Elijah Wood, virtual reality, and Videodrome? This wonderful thing.
Long live the new flesh.
The Thing That Made All Your Grown Male Friends Start Crying
Ubisoft ended its press conference with an all new cinematic unambiguously confirming the existence of Beyond Good & Evil 2. Despite the first game ending on a cliffhanger, this is a prequel. Still, it looks nice, and even if you're not a BG&E fan, watching all your adult friends crumble into emotional wrecks from pure joy is pretty well worth it.
There is no current release window.