World Premieres took place, New IPs were revealed, Nintendo’s legendary Shigeru Miyamoto took stage, and we got deep dives on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Beyond Good and Evil 2, and more. Ubisoft took more of a Hollywood Movie Awards style approach with the vibe of their E3 2018 Press Conference and also gave one fan the chance to join thanks to his win in the pre-show tournaments.
One of the major themes in Ubisoft’s Press Conference was listening to what gamers had to say, and fine-tuning their business practices to be more in-line with what their audience expects of them. They brought a lot of games this year and gave ample time to showing off each one, even running 30 minutes longer than originally planned with a total run time of 1 and a half hours.
JUST DANCE 2019
A marching band begins the show with a dancing panda conductor and full dance crew outfitted in various costumes. Familiar tones rang out of trumpets, saxophones, and drum squads as the impressive choreography continued to lead viewers into the event and onto the stage. The presentation of this show cannot be denied already, in a theatrical performance that just made everyone feel good before the games show began. We are then shown that it’s all to introduce Just Dance 2019 which will kick Ubisoft’s Press Conference off in style.
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2
After a quick encore from the band we are given an Ubisoft logo and taken directly to space. Beyond Good and Evil 2 gets a yell from the crowd as a pig-like humanoid is cooking up a chef’s meal and our ape-brethren hero is receiving some sort of high-tech acupuncture. A long-play cinematic continues as an attack on our ship takes place. A huge weather disaster occurs and turns out to be just a side effect of the massive enemy ship that approaches and latches on. Peril seems imminent, a villain with a bloody sword appears, it’s Jade.
The game’s producer and narrative director take stage and discuss the story behind Beyond Good and Evil 2 which indeed features Jade as an enemy as well as a number of other returning cast characters. This is a prequel to the original title which Ubisoft is thankful to present Pre-Alpha gameplay footage to the fans for the first time.
In the footage we see sacred temples, gardens, and shops with a dark underworld full of alleys and shady characters. The game is co-op or solo with ground and space ship combat seamlessly housed in an open world that will be built using feedback from the fans. The Space Monkey Program is announced to make sure fans truly have a say, in which music, artwork, and other content can be submitted for inclusion in Beyond Good and Evil 2. This can be anything from radio content, street murals, and more. This is done by a partnership with Hit Record, a place for collaborators to work together on short films and other forms of art. Collaboration is a huge part of the platform so it won’t only be a contest for winners to be included in the game but rather a full production set made by the combined work of artists around the world.
RAINBOW SIX SIEGE – ESPORTS, NEW OPERATORS
Community Manager Justin Kruger took the stage next to announce that Rainbow Six Siege is now a community of 35 million active players. Team Rainbow adds two new operators to the total of 40 operators available for free in the game. The new content operation and live competitions are mentioned including the SIX MAJOR’s in August 2018 taking place in Paris, with Brazil in November 2018, and Montreal in February 2019. These are the world’s biggest Rainbow Six Siege tournaments and are a huge part of Ubisoft’s eSports plans. Some of the most influential players are highlighted and a new documentary is announced.
A man drove a dirt bike up to the stage in an Evel Knievel style outfit with “Trials” written on the back. He seemed to have fallen onto the podium which crushed into pieces, but this was probably planned judging by how easy it broke. It was still a hilarious moment. It turns out this man is the Creative Director of Trials who brings a new trailer onto the screen, it’s for a brand new game.
The new Trials will feature multiplayer focus with many dirt bikes flying around in the air at once through various obstacles and tracks with the style fans know and love. Trials Rising takes you around the world to iconic locations, your neighbors ride along and competition is everywhere. The community is a huge part of the game and Professor FatShady of University of Trials is brought on stage to prove the point. He discusses how challenging yet rewarding the game is, and how the struggle of some players inspired him to create University of Trials to help everyone around the world master the game.
Professor FatShady’s been enlisted to help a team of gamers including 20 community members known as the Trials Elite who helped develop the game and its tutorials for the past two years. TrialsGame.com is where you can sign up today for a Beta for Trials Rising that will happen latest this year. The game comes February 2019 for PS4, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch. We are then given a montage of hilarious accidents that can occur in Trials Rising.
THE DIVISION 2
Julian Gerighty, Creative Director of The Division 2, took the stage to talk about the plot of the game. A strain of deadly virus was released on dollar bills during Black Friday. Several months later the virus is mostly gone, but the world has torn itself apart already. Washington D.C. is where the chaos runs rampant the most.
We are given a trailer that shows very colorful, hopeful scenes of a people rebuilding. But that’s only life inside the gates. On the outside, starvation, death, misery, fear, and horror rule. In a land where you’ll be killed over a sip of drinkable water, players must participate in the divided landscape which struggles between bringing back the corrupted governments of the last era or forging something new.
You are the last line of defense for civilians, if you fail history will be written by tyrants. If you succeed, history will remember the few brave heroes who fought to save a dying nation. This is the landscape in which Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 takes place. Once agents reach the end of the main campaign they must select a new progression path to continue their character’s evolution. They select weapons that compliment the rest of their equipment and unlock additional tools and abilities including exclusive versions of skills. Specializations enable teamwork on the next level.
The Division 2 will feature raids, eight players per squad. Everything that was learned from the first game has inspired years worth of content updates for the sequel. Year One plans are already announced. Three Episodic DLC’s are already scheduled and will be completely free for all players of The Division 2. There will also be a deep dive for the game during Ubisoft’s Post-E3 Show at 2PM Pacific Time. Another sizzle reel is shown with innocent people being hunted by your enemies, squads teaming up in various missions, and specialized armor / equipment on display. Division 2 will launch March 15, 2019 and TheDivision.com/Beta is taking registration for Beta now.
DONKEY KONG ADVENTURE
Lead Producer of Ubisoft Paris took stage with an orchestra concert given in sync with Donkey Kong Adventure. Gameplay is shown for the new mash-up in the Mario / Rabbids co-operative between Ubisoft and Nintendo, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure arriving June 25th for Season Pass Owners.
SKULL & BONES
“Piracy Is Dead”; a scene setting quote hits the screen as we see ships burning, pirates dead in cages, and rough weather for a cinematic introduction over the Indian Ocean. Britain’s flag is lowered and the pirate’s skull and bones flag rises again as we see a conflict brewing.
In this game there’s greedy trading empires, shady pirates, and no heroes. Become the pirate that no empire can take down by choosing your fortune, combating weather, cataclysms, and conflict. The fortune teller can reveal things to players such as “favorable winds” which means more merchants to rob but also more competition. The game is a shared online world where every interaction matters, fight or ally, it’s your choice.
Customizable ship weapons and cosmetics are purchased with in-game gold which is acquired by robbing merchants or other players. Merchants will be armed and escorted, but deception is another tool in your arsenal. Players can put up false flags to sneak into areas they aren’t welcome. Gameplay is shown in which battles on the sea result in sinking ships, as well as boarding ships for sword fights, gun battles, and hand to hand combats. Co-ordinated battle plans can be put together and strategy seeks to be a major part of the game. Siege mode can increase the odds to take ships out with a single hit, if aimed well enough. When fortune can’t hold out much longer, it’s up to you to land the killing blow while navigating the deadly seas simultaneously. The glitter of gold can turn allies to enemies, however, for this is no honor among thieves. Skull & Bones releases 2019 with Beta sign-ups available now at Ubisoft’s Website.
Elijah Wood took the stage next as Creative Director for Spectrevision with Benoit Richter the Game Director of Transference to show off a VR game that aims to combine first person video gaming with film elements in order to show the perspectives of life through another person’s eyes. At its core, Transference is a psychological thriller ripe with secrets and strange happenings. Escape a corrupted mind, this Fall 2018.
STARLINK: BATTLE FOR ATLAS
Next we are given a futuristic sci-fi adventure game in space which is produced by Ubisoft Toronto and combines breathtaking CG visuals with film-quality writing and acting to bring a new adventure. Toys come to life on top of a PlayStation controller in the trailer as well. This looks to be a family-oriented title coming October 16 for PS4, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
Open world is something of an Ubisoft staple, but this one takes place 400 light years away from Earth in the Atlas star system where players forge their own alliances, upgrade their own star ships and gear, and attempt to save the solar system from the deadly Legion. We are shown cinematic clips that have brief clips of gameplay mixed in.
STARLINK: STAR FOX EXPERIENCE
Wait, what… I swear Ubisoft snuck in the sounds of Star Fox… oh wait, he’s here!!! Appearing in dashing space battles, a brand new collaboration between Ubisoft and Nintendo is revealed as Yves Guillemot (Co-Founder and CEO of Ubisoft) takes the stage to discuss how Ubisoft has been dying to include Star Fox as part of the Starlink universe which has become reality. Miyamoto took stage and received the first prototype of the Star Fox ship from Starlink. He thanks Guillemot in French. Suddenly the two industry legends run back-stage, assuredly to play the game’s early prototype build. The game is playable at E3 and will launch on consoles in October 16, 2018 with Star Fox as an exclusive Nintendo Switch experience.
FOR HONOR – FREE TRIAL
A mash-up for For Honor is met with the crowd going wild. The Creative Director comes on stage to discuss balancing, training tools, and dedicated servers as well as thank the fans for sticking with the game through its long-term development and patches. In celebration of E3 Ubisoft invites new players to join For Honor, the game’s PC Starter Edition is free on UPlay from June 11th to June 18th.
FOR HONOR: MARCHING FIRE
Suddenly the expansion of the For Honor universe becomes a reality. A trailer is shown with brutally cut-scenes of medieval murder and an unmasked female protagonist. Music plays as she walks through a frozen snapshot in time, viewing turrets, fire, beasts, and a castle burning to the ground. Smoke engulfs the screen with the shape of a dragon. Suddenly we start seeing a different kind of warrior on screen.
New heroes are said to be coming to For Honor: Marching Fire which takes place after the great cataclysm that caused civil war in China. A visual enhancement, single player content yet to be revealed, and a whole new faction are being added to the game in the Marching Fires update to For Honor. There’s also a 4 vs 4 multiplayer mode being added thanks to fan requests, called Breach, which is all about castle siege warfare. We are given video footage of the new mode which is presented in 4K HDR running on the Xbox ONE X hardware. Marching Fire comes October 16, 2018.
THE CREW 2
Delphine Dosset, Brand Director on The Crew 2, took the stage next to discuss the upcoming open world racing game which takes place all across the United States. Open Beta will be available June 21st for PS4, Xbox, and PC. Air racing is now part of the game, all types of vehicles compete against each other including planes versus dirt bikes, single seat race cars, speed boats racing, and more. Players will be able to pre-load the Open Beta for free starting today.
ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY
A cinematic cut-scene shows the brutal beginnings of a protagonist who is meant for an epic fate built by friendship and family, love and loss, war and bloodshed. Sent by the gods to protect the world, players will take part in the most RPG heavy entry in the Assassin’s Creed series yet with Odyssey from Ubisoft Quebec. The destiny of Greece is at stake. The crowd goes wild again after the cinematics come to a close and Jonathan Dumont, Creative Director of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, takes the stage.
The game is immediately identified as a heavily role playing adventure. On land and on sea, the game takes place during the rise of modern medicine and western philosophy, the war between Athens and Sparta, and more. Ancient Greece sets the stage for a war between the gods. Players start as a simple mercenary but become a legendary hero along the way. The title has been in development for three years and transforms the series into a full RPG game relenting some of the more casual action elements instead for a deeper experience.
Alexios and Kassandra are revealed as the two playable characters in the game. Once selected, this will be who you are for the entire game. Players inherit a mysterious weapon, and bloodline, Leonida’s Broken Spear is the blessing and the curse all players must face. Range, Combat, and Stealth are all possible thanks to this weapon. We are shown snippets of gameplay mixed in with in-engine cinematic scenes that give clues to how the game will feel.
Decision making has become part of the game, as Kassandra is shown speaking with Sokrates about her previous actions. She is given a choice to lie to Sokrates or tell him the truth. This changes the dialogue sequence in which Sokrates warns Kassandra that choices in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey are like ripples in water. The game is playable at E3 and an extended (but edited) gameplay sequence is shown to players.
Very well rendered 4K HDR seas are shown running on the Xbox ONE X hardware with a night and day system evident. Kassandra begins to explore Mykonos City with a brand new, evolved mantle system for running, jumping, and climbing around. She is met by an NPC with one blind eye who reads to her a scroll which reveals her current objective. There is a decision next on how to respond to this man. We are not shown the entire dialogue interaction, which is probably saved to prevent spoilers, and then the mission continues.
Bounty hunting, underlying story lines, and a surprise ambush are events which unfold all too quickly before our hero is horseback and riding across the lush new open world full of new assets. This game certainly looks good and hasn’t simply copy / pasted other AC games as some cynics may have previously feared. The melee system has also been vastly improved with a full inventory, equipment, level up system, and skills overhaul. The title is almost unrecognizable as an AC game and does everything to evolve the series while still maintaining the feel and atmosphere of Assassin’s Creed games.
The conflict between Sparta and Athens is evident all around. More choices are given and our main character appears to have gotten herself deep in a massive-scale war with enemies and NPC’s covering the screen. Brutal kills are taking place, every strike is critical and many of the enemies appear to be unique in equipment, fighting style, and strength. A sizzle reel is shown of cinematic and gameplay elements from the game, followed by an unseen enemy that seems to be a mythical creature from the Odyssey epic by Homer. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey releases October 5, 2018.
The CEO of Ubisoft takes the stage again and thanks the many studios of Ubisoft for all of their hard work as well as the fans of Ubisoft for tuning in to this year’s E3. He admits he is an optimistic person and if looking forward to seeing how video games will influence society. He promises Ubisoft is dedicated to work more closely and openly with the gamers themselves, and the Press Conference concludes.