Ubisoft at E3 2017: Far Cry 5 looks great, Beyond Good and Evil 2 stuns the crowd
Ubisoft’s E3 press conferences are known for being beautiful trainwrecks, but with Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Far Cry 5, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and hints at some new IP on the horizon, this year the show ended up being relatively cringe-free and actually packed with genuine excitement.
You can watch a replay of the full event below, then read on for our roundup of the big announcements.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
I swear the Raving Rabbids are just the Minions of video games.
Anyway, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle started off the conference with surprise guest Shigeru Miyamoto, coming back to E3 after Nintendo decided to stop having press conferences. He came out holding a bullet bill arm cannon, one of the weapons in in this brand new roleplaying game. Every character will have their own signature weapon, the bullet bill canon being Mario’s.
The game takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom, which has been corrupted by the influence of the Rabbids. The game will be largely exploration based, allowing your party to travel through massive 3D worlds and solve puzzles to progress onward. Coins and items will be picked up on the overworld, similar to Super Mario RPG.
When you enter a battle zone, the game turns into a tactical RPG. Characters will move and utilize cover, similar to XCOM. A large portion of the game will be utilizing character abilities in combinations. For example, characters can jump off of each other to expand their movement. Several special abilities were shown including the ability to move the opponent around the field, warp via warp pipes, cause elemental damage, and much more. It’s an incredibly deep tactical system. It’s just bizarre that this complex RPG style system is in a Mario and Rabbids crossover.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will release exclusively on the Switch, August 29 this year.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
We already saw Assassin’s Creed: Origins at previous press conferences, but here’s a run down if you missed its launch trailer. The game takes place in ancient Egypt. You are in control of Bayek, an Egyptian sheriff and assassin. Bayek will have access to bows and arrows, hand weapons, and other assassin gadgets, as well as a hawk who can give him a bird’s eye view, taking place of the towers in past Assassin’s Creed games. It will take players back to the very start of the Assassin’s Creed narrative.
The new trailer showed off a few new gameplay elements including horseback riding, inter-city travel, boat travel, naval combat, and tomb raiding. The world of Egypt will take place in a large open world, although player objectives will largely be linear. Ubisoft also has a 30 minute gameplay demo which we will be sure to see in full as the conference goes on.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins will release on October 27, 2017 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. You can pre-order the game now on Newegg.
The Crew 2
The Crew 2 was announced early on in the press conference. It seems to involve car, boat, plane, and off road racing. Once again gameplay takes place in a huge open world, with tons of different objectives scattered around for you and your friends to complete.
This new open world is perhaps the most interesting part of The Crew 2, a mish-mash of city, bayou, desert, an ocean; a complete multi-environment all within a single game world. City racing will feature traditional car races, while off-road areas will include ATVs, dirt-bikes, and even hot-air balloons. River, sea, and marsh lands will allow you to race speed and hover boats with different environmental hazards in each differing locale. Finally, the entire map can be flown through in biplanes.
The Crew 2 will launch on all major consoles and PC in early 2018. You can sign up for beta access now.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 takes place in Hope Montana where a psychotic religious cult has taken over. This cult has twisted patriotism and Christianity into a militant and terrifying regime, and it’s up to you and your hired guns to take them out.
The demo showed you and your small band of allies sneaking up on a cult gathering that was smashing in the heads of non-believers with a baseball bat. Once again you can mark tower sand waypoints on your map as you wander through the open world. Stealth will play a major part in the game, but not as big of a part as your TRAINED ATTACK DOG THAT STEALS OPPONENT’S GUNS FOR YOU! It has a colorful cast including a hardcore military sniper, Grace Armstrong, a hippie that flies a plane, Nick Rye, and of course you, the player and his co-op buddies! In fact, the entire campaign can be played in co-op.
Far Cry 5 will release on February 27, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Pre-orders are now live.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park: The Fractured But Whole will be available on October 17 on all major platforms. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any new gameplay, just a trailer detailing the major conflict of the game, which appears to be parodying a Marvel vs. DC rivalry.
Ubisoft’s new VR horror game is incredibly meta. It seems to be about the actual horror potential of virtual reality. It allows users to experience someone else’s recorded memories, except those memories appear to be somewhat fragmented. Also it has Elijah Wood in it. Expect it to come out in spring 2018, with more info on the title coming later in the show. Release platforms have not yet been detailed.
Skull and Bones
Ubisoft really has a thing for pirates. Skull and Bones puts you in the shoes of pirate sailing on the high seas. It’s essentially the naval combat of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag but widely expanded. Advertised as a “tactical action game” Skull & Bones will allow you to team up, make a fleet, stab your friends in the back, and generally attempt to control the seas of the Indian Ocean. Attacking a ship can knock off loot from the ship. You can then pick up the loot and attempt to make an escape.
They showed off a five versus five gameplay mode, although there are way more than five characters playing at the same time. Rather, it’s five ships versus five ships. Each ship has a certain amount of loot on it, and the player who ends the game with the most loot wins. However, pirate hunters, massively power ships, will attempt to interrupt your battle and target ships with the most loot.
Ships themselves come in different classes. You can play with heavy ships decided to fire volleys at the opponent, or a ramming ship meant to boarding. There are even sniper style ships with long range canons. You can customize your ships at you like in order to create your perfect fantasy pirate fleet. There are even boss style frigates that take coordination to defeat. If you don’t find long range combat to be your style, you can board a ship to steal loot directly and even heal up your ship. Damage is location based, with each side of the boat having its own HP.
The world of Skull & Bones will be a persistent world that evolves as you play. Make your name for yourself, and new events will unlock. There also might be a kraken that hunts the most notable pirates.
You can sign up for an early beta at www.skullandbonesgame.com. It will release on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC in Fall 2018.
Just Dance 2018
Techno ninjas are dancing with Japanese pop-idols, a panda, a business man, and Bebe Rexha. What the heck am I watching? This was definitely the strangest part of the Ubisoft event.
No particular details have been revealed about Ubisoft’s ongoing dance franchise, but we do know that it will come out on the Wii, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, and PS3 in October.
South Park Phone Destroyer
South Park is coming to mobile devices in a new real time card collecting game called Phone Destroyer. The game will feature classic battles like Cowboys vs. Indians vs. Pigeons vs. Wizards vs…. well you get the idea.
Form your favorite party of foul mouthed South Park regulars and battle to the top! No official release date has been given for this one yet.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Ubisoft’s newest Sci-fi game, Starlink: Battle for Atlas has an interesting gimmick. It’s essentially a toys-to-life game, but for adults. You pilot a star ship, but you build the ship in real life using plastic parts. Swapping out parts swap out the ship’s abilities in-game. Outside of the toys-to-life gimmick, Starlink is an open world experience. Players will hop between plants and defend the universe. There is a lot of potential here, especially if they decide to release expansion packs of ship parts.
Starlink will release in Fall 2018 for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
Steep will be getting a brand new expansion called Road to the Olympics featuring Olympic style events and competitions. It will release on December 5th.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
Ubisoft saved the biggest announcement for last. We watch as a monkey with a British accent and a grappling hook robot arm fleeces a pig with a replica magical artifact, and then escapes on a jet bike before stealing a hovercraft, reuniting with a space ship, and blasting off into outer-space with a rebel alliance. What game is this? Only Beyond Good and Evil 2, a sequel to one of the best games from the PS2 generation.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 takes place far before the events of Beyond Good and Evil 1. Unfortunately, we did not get to see any gameplay, but we do know that it will be a galaxy-wide multi-planet adventure. No release date or platforms have been given, but you can likely expect it to come to all major platforms.
While the pre and post shows were full of that high grade Ubisoft cringe, Ubisoft really did straighten up and focus on their major titles this time around. Beyond Good and Evil 2 was a fantastic way to end the conference and nearly every title they showcased is bound well in the AAA market. Heck, they even managed to turn their normal insanity into a Nintendo crossover! I don’t know about you, but Mario + Rabbids actually does look like a killer Switch app to me, and a reason to get the Switch before the holiday season.
Good show Ubisoft. Good show.