E3 2018 – Ubisoft Press Conference

It’s been a few years since Aisha Taylor was the host of Ubisoft’s E3 conference, but they put on a real stage show. In the last few years the company has also changed their approach to many franchises with continuing support rather than yearly updates. This means a bit less new game announcements, but I think it gives us a better idea of their visions for the future of their games.

As usual, they opened with a reminder about Just Dance with a live performance before diving into the meat of their other games. The Division 2 was back on stage here with a much deeper look into what we can expect. Looks like a push towards MMORPGs with more end-game content like raids, and continuing free content updates throughout the year. They also talked about additional progression at max level with picking a specialization. In the first game you could change your build on the fly, and I wonder if these specialization choices will be more permanent.

They showed a commitment to continuing support for their current games. For Honor: Marching Fire is a big update that adds an entire new faction of Chinese warriors and even some single player content. I actually liked that game a ton and hope to use this continued support as a reason to jump back in. Plus my history of watching old Chinese movies totally has me excited to jump into combat as a Shaolin Monk.

They showed us Starlink again, a game that seems to be continuing on the toys-to-life model of Skylanders and Lego Generations. I guess they missed the memo about all of those games getting out of the market? Still not totally clear about what that game is, maybe just a spaceship dog-fighting game? At least there was an announcement about it that I didn’t see coming. Starfox is going to be in there! Honestly, this doesn’t mean much to me, but it does indicate that Nintendo must have been very happy with how the Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle deal worked out.

Closing out their show they showed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. While I never played past the second game in that franchise I do know that last year’s game made some major changes to its structure, combat, and more. This time it is exploring ancient Greece, and looks really damn pretty. I don’t think there was so much dialogue choices in Origins, but they hammered in that this new one is a RPG game. Really it is, they said it like 4 times. And with that in mind watching the gameplay trailer gave me some serious Witcher 3 vibes.

My highlight was seeing them diving into Beyond Good and Evil 2. It is still really unclear exactly what that game is. Well, other than a definite departure from the slightly Zelda-ish adventure of the original. The partnership with HitRECord to crowdsource assets for the game seems like weird move. Ubisoft is definitely experimenting with how they are making this game. They did have some of the developers on stage and when the phrase ‘space opera’ was uttered it made me think of Mass Effect. Hell, with the inspiration it looks like the new Assassin’s Creed is drawing from, it would be fascinating if they are looking towards those games for narrative or character development here too. I know we only got a CG trailer, but it was looking really damn good.

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