One thing you can always count on from a Ubisoft E3 conference, is it’s gonna be weird, people are gonna be dancing, and they’re going to continue to act like their games are apolitical.  So here we go, let’s take a look at the stuff Ubisoft brought to the stage that I considered worth writing about.

Keep in mind, a lot of this conference was about updating the games they have out at the moment, and considering I don’t really live in any of those ecosystems, don’t expect to see much of that in the feature below.


ODE TO A SOUNDTRACK THAT NO ONE REMEMBERS

Opening the show was something called the Assassin’s Creed Symphony, playing a lovely medley of of what I assume is music from the Assassin’s Creed games.  A weird choice considering this year we’re not supposed to get a new entry in the franchise, and also, I don’t know that any of the music is particularly memorable.  It’s good music for sure, but not something I could ever recall if you asked me to.

But the reality of it was that this was some hype for the Assassin’s Creed Symphony tour that’s coming up.  That’s neat.


WATCH DOGS LEGION

I love the aesthetic that Watch Dogs Legion is hitting upon here, this slightly futuristic, post-Brexit London, where extremists and gangs rein supreme.  Things are kicking off in a major way here though, with so many different gameplay elements being highlighted.  Particularly the part where they went from playing as a street thug, died, and then started playing as an old lady.  She’s a hacking old lady who used a freaking drone that’s just jumping on people’s faces.  Then she pulled out a gun an iced some fools.

The whole pitch here is that you can play as anyone in the city.  You recruit new resistance members based on their stats and abilities.  Some people were better hackers, fighters, drivers, etc.  It actually seems like an awesome idea that probably took a long time to make work well.

Slightly disappointing was the amount of gun-play in the game.  I was hoping to see more focus on using your hacking powers and hand to hand combat than just shooting fools.  Like, sure, in games shooting stuff is fun, but I was hoping that with the gun laws in London, that would be more apparent in the game.

Also, I’m very unclear of how an actual story will weave together when anyone can be a main character.  Either that isn’t the case, or the story is going to feel so nebulous and vague that it feels disjointed.

After the gameplay demo, the director of the game reiterated the fact that anyone can be recruited and played as.  I’m assuming that there are going to be pretty influential NPCs that will kind of shepherd whatever the player character is forward.  At some point, player voices and backstories will have to be reused, right?  It’s gotta be something where, there are like 5 different kind of old ladies in the world with their own voices and animations, and it reused over and over.  Or not, who knows.

It’s out next March.


MYTHIC QUEST

It’s a show from the creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia about a game studio that made the biggest MMO in the world.  Here’s hoping that at least an entire season or two focuses on unionization in the games industry.

20 bucks says that if this show goes well, someone will actually make this fake MMO game into a reality.

The show looks like it could be okay, but boy howdy it’s got one hell of a mountain to climb.  It’s coming to Apple Plus, a service that I’ve only just heard of, right now.


BRAWLHALLA

The free to play Super Smash Bros game is getting some Adventure Time characters in it.  I like both of these properties and it’s nice to see that they’re still supporting this game with new content.  I gotta say, I don’t know if the show is still going or if it’s relevant at all these days, but it seems to be a cool content infusion for a game I forgot existed.


GHOST RECON BREAKPOINT

I didn’t hate Ghost Recon Wildlands, it was just a very repetitive game that I didn’t have people to play with.  Jon Bernthal is in the game as the lead villain which he seems to pull off very well.  After a CG trailer of Mr. Bernthal being angry and hyping up his army, he walked out on stage with an adorable pit bull who looked very scared of being there.  I have no idea why he was out there, but I’m very happy he was.

Then we cut to a trailer of people shooting other people in the woods and doing some military hand signals at each other.  I’d play this game only to get more of Mr. Bernthal’s acting.  My only hope is that this time around, they put in a button that allows me to snap to cover instead of that auto-cover nonsense.

And here’s something for the hardest of the hardcore Ghost Recon fans, an exclusive streaming and content portal just for fans of the games.  It was weird, but probably something the fans will really appreciate and hopefully actually use.

Yet again, there’s another Terminator crossover in this game, cause of course.  It comes out on October 4th.


ELITE SQUAD

Uh, they’re making a Tom Clancy themed mobile game.  It’s some tactical shooting game called Elite Squad.  They put Sam Fisher in it which is the meanest thing they could’ve done quite frankly.  This is what they do with one of their most recognizable characters – put him in a mobile game instead of his own title.


JUST DANCE 2020

They’re doing it!  The big elaborate dancing sequence where a person in a panda bear costume comes out and dances with a bunch of other brightly dressed dancers.  It was just as weird and uncomfortable as it always was.  Thank goodness for Ubisoft.

Also, I guess they’re putting another one of these games out this year.  Whatever.


RAINBOW SIX QUARANTINE

How do you feel about a spooky scary Rainbow Six game where you and two other players take on some monsters or something?  Claiming this to be the Rainbow Six Siege of PVE games, it’s a big claim that I bet could work well.  It’s weird though, cause Rainbow Six was always about some tactical, military realism, and this very much seems like a departure from that.

Hopefully it works out well for them.


UPLAY +

You know what this is.  It’s another game subscription service you can pay into to play all the latest releases along with a catalog of classic games.  The service is coming to Stadia, allowing you to utilize this service anywhere in theory.  The price is in line with other services like this, at $14.99 a month, it seemed almost inevitable that this would happen.


ROLLER CHAMPIONS

“A skill-based, team PVP sports game.”  That’s what they said about the game.  With no real details, they came out and just dropped this trailer for a game without any real information, then said that you can download a demo for the game today.  So that’s cool.  Then, almost as if they had messed up and announced the demo too early, they showed off a gameplay trailer, which also didn’t tell me anything about this game.

It looks like a mesh of NFL Street and a roller derby.  I’ll try the demo though.  Why the hell not?


GODS & MONSTERS

The last trailer of the conference was for a game that I guess exists that had absolutely no information about it.  It was colorful and made it seem like it would be a more lighthearted adventure game in the vein of Assassin’s Creed.  They said it’s a game that heavily focuses on mythology.  So who knows what that means.


And it just ended.  For a Ubisoft conference, it felt kind of lifeless and straightforward.  Also, where the hell is Splinter Cell?  It’s getting to the point where they keep putting Sam Fisher into their games, without providing players any modern context for who the character is.  The last Splinter Cell was in 2013 and was on the Xbox 360.  We’re rapidly approaching the point where we’ve had a generation without a game in the franchise, but the lead character has shown up several times.

What I’m saying is that it’s a crime that there isn’t another Splinter Cell game, and I’m upset.  But Watch Dogs Legion looked cool.  The rest of the conference was a little muted for my taste.  It felt like they’re playing it safe until the next generation of consoles come out.

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