Without sounding too much like a fanboy, I have been a big Ubisoft fan for quite some time now. Many people stood in the corner of the developer when Assassin’s Creed hit the scene many years ago. Although Assassin’s Creed is one of my favorite franchises out there (okay maybe not AC III), I always was a big Rainbow Six fan. I will discuss some of the titles Ubisoft reviewed this year at their E3 Live Conference. Outside of their bizarre opening Just Dance sequence, Ubisoft opened up their conference this year with the highly anticipated Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
I have been following Ghost Recon: Wildlands for quite some time now. I consider this a mashup between The Division, Just Cause, and Battlefield: Hardline. The game itself is open world and has 4-player cooperative play. It looks entertaining enough, with an array of vehicles like trucks, helicopters, and dirt bikes.
There is definitely an “exploration” kind of feeling you get when you see this being played. The graphics from what I have seen look pretty good when you consider the grand scale of the map itself. I hope that this doesn’t fall flat when it comes to in-game missions/content that will justify the $59.99 price point. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is set to release in March of 2017.
The next big title Ubisoft discussed was the sequel to 2014’s, South Park: The Stick of Truth. The “appropriately named” sequel, is South Park: The Fractured But Whole. For those of you familiar with the South Park universe, you are yet again immersed in the imagination of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. On stage, the creators joined Ubisoft to discuss changes between the two South Park titles.
Unlike Stick of Truth, the kids of South Park now have switched to playing Superheroes. You can create and customize your character with an array of options. The combat and movement system has been opened up a bit and is less linear than in the previous game. For those of you who like South Park/enjoyed the firs game, this looks like a must for you.
A nice bonus that was announced, was that if you pre-order the game, you get South Park: The Stick of Truth for free. This offer is available to PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions of the game. South Park: The Fractured But Whole will be available on December 6, 2016.
The next title I want to discuss is a game I have been following for quite some time now. And that title is For Honor. The core concept of the game is to choose your allegiance, and drive out your enemies. The three main factions are Knights, Samurai, and Vikings. Ubisoft then proceeded to play a live demo of the game. While playing as the Vikings, they were battling Samurai in an attempt to siege their enemies stronghold.
The combat system in For Honor would be classified as a hack and slash. I would compare the combat/game style as a mix between Dark Souls and older Assassin’s Creed titles. The combat is a slower style, but relies heavily on timing and countering as well. The demo being played also showed off the dynamic weather system in a heavy rainstorm. I am interested to see what else For Honor has to offer in the coming months. There will be a multiplayer component to the game and there hasn’t been a lot of information on it as of yet. For Honor will release in February of 2017. (Yeah, another 2017 launch).
As expected, Ubisoft also gave some attention to the upcoming film adaptation of Assassin’s Creed. Starring Michael Fassbender, he dives into the familiar (to us gamers) Animus machine to relive the history of his Assassin ancestors. In the film, Fassbender will experience the life of his 15th Century Spanish ancestor Aguilar de Nerha. The movie itself looks promising, but we all know the track record of films based on video game franchises. I am sure the recently released Warcraft comes to mind. Ugh. The film will hit theaters this December.
Other titles that Ubisoft showcased includes: Watch Dogs 2, Steep, and VR titles like Star Trek and Eagle Flight. Overall, I think they did a decent job at their conference. Ubisoft’s conference didn’t “wow” me, but they did show off a fair amount of live game play. I would prefer to see something new from them, instead of updates on previously announced games, but I wouldn’t call it a bad conference by any means. I am eagerly anticipating some of these titles and look forward to what Ubisoft can deliver on starting this holiday season.