E3 2017: Ubisoft Press Conference Recap

Ubisoft has been a huge presence at E3 in years past, and this year was no different. We were given plenty of surprises that left us very excited for the coming months from this publisher. Here’s our recap of what we saw at this presentation.

We already knew that Nintendo was somehow allowing Mario to be in a Ubisoft title, but up until now, we had know clue how the gameplay would work with the Rabbids. Admittedly, this would have been a huge shock had we not already found out about the collaboration, but this was still a pleasant surprise. Shigeryu Miyamoto himself was present at the conference to talk about this crazy move for Mario. The battle system here is strategy based, very similar to X-Com. The game releases on August 29th exclusively for the Switch.

Up to this point, we had already seen “Assassin’s Creed: Origins” unveiled at Microsoft’s press conference, but we were given a fresh trailer here as well. As said before, the game looks stunning and tells the story of how the Brotherhood came to be back in ancient Egypt.

The next trailer to be unveiled was for “The Crew 2”, which has expanded the gameplay to incorporate street racing, boat racing, plane racing, and off-road racing…all into a single game. It’s a very ambitious move from developer Ivory Tower, and the trailer does a fantastic job of selling the concept using very clever camera tricks. The game releases early 2018.

Another hotly-anticipated title from Ubisoft is the sequel to “South Park: the Stick of Truth”. There have been a lot of questions about the actual release date of the hard-to-pronounce-without-sounding-dirty title, “The Fracture, But Whole”, but we finally have a confirmed date of October 27th, 2017. The teams looks to be pushing the envelope even further than the last time around, which is honestly a hard thing to do. The charm of the television series is just as in your face as it was before, and the gameplay looks even more interesting.

The next trailer Ubisoft unveiled was a VR game called “Transference”, which features Hollywood actor Elijah Wood’s development company Spectrevision. Details are a bit fuzzy on exactly how this game works, but it appears that players will be reliving other people’s memories somehow through the use of virtual reality. It’s an interesting concept, and we can’t wait to see more from this title, which releases spring of 2018.

If you’re a fan of the naval combat from previous games like “Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag”, then you might be interested in Ubisoft’s next title, “Skull and Bones”. It looks like they’ve literally lifted that gameplay and made an online multiplayer experience out of that concept. It looks gorgeous, and it just might have “sea legs”. No release date was given as of now.

No Ubisoft conference would be complete without a Just Dance announcement, and this year was no different. This time around, we were given a performance by an artist by the name of Bebe Rexha to announce the new title. “Just Dance 2018” releases this October.

Although we already saw the expected South Park title, we were surprised by a second exclusively for mobile called “Phone Destroyer”. It’s a little hard to determine exactly how this game works mechanically, but it looks like you will be doing a large amount of tapping while playing this game. Look for this one later this year.

While many have considered the “toys to life” model to be a dying concept, Ubisoft is taking it one step further with “Starlink: Battle for Atlas”. The gameplay is spaceship combat that allows players to physically construct their ship and attaching it to their controller, which reads the toys and puts that ship as a playable avatar in the game. It’s an interesting concept, and it will be interesting to see if this clicks with its audience.

“Steep” was released last year, but the ambitious extreme sports title didn’t seem to be a great commercial success. Nevertheless, Ubisoft announced a new DLC pack for the game, called “Road to the Olympics”, and it includes other extreme sports like half-pipe, slalom, and ski-cross.

Ubisoft actually unveiled two trailers for “Far Cry 5”, one cinematic, and one with actual gameplay. There’s not much to be said here other than the fact that it looks very much like the past two Far Cry games in terms of gameplay. One of the best additions to the formula is the inclusion of multiplayer, which is available for the entire campaign. From the trailer, it looks like you’ll still be able to have a full single player experience with AI controlled teammates. It looks like more of the same, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The final trailer shown at Ubisoft’s press conference was a big surprise. “Beyond Good and Evil 2”, which has had a big question mark around it for quite a while, is a prequel to the original game. The trailer was full of mature language, a departure from the family-friendly first title. Although we saw no gameplay whatsoever, the cinematic trailer looks stunning with a very vibrant cast of characters. Michel Ancel himself was on stage looking very emotional about this release. He also told the audience that he needed their help in order to get this released. He gave no further indication as to what that means or how we can help him, but a Kickstarter campaign could be in the near future (but not confirmed). There’s no indication of release date at this point, so we’ll have to wait to see what’s in store for this title.

And that’ll do it for Ubisoft’s 2017 E3 press conference. If you’d like to see the entire presentation, you can find it at the link below. Also, be sure to listen to our reactions of the Spotlight on our Day 3 Podcast episode. You can also hear our reactions to the other press conferences including EA, Microsoft/Bethesda, Nintendo, and Sony.

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Scott Clark

Scott has been a fan of pushing buttons since he was old enough to climb up to his father’s stereo as a toddler. His first console was the Atari 2600 back in the early 80’s, and his passion for the hobby shines through his excitement and wish to share his experiences with anyone who will listen. Scott began his podcasting career with “The Official Thread Podcast”, which was dedicated to news, impressions, and general topics about the subject of video games. That coupled with over four years of experience with “The Hollywood Outsider Podcast” has given him the reputation of being the “every man”, in that he gets along with almost everyone he interacts and also doesn’t speak down to his audience.