Coming off of the Square-Enix conference, it was easy to feel really let down by E3 this year. Sure, Microsoft’s showing was outstanding and full of surprises, but everything else was mediocre at best and atrocious at worst. And then along came Ubisoft, who had what was arguably the best conference of last year. But were they capable of lifting my spirits?
Well, kind of. Ubisoft put on a solid show, but it was one that was more about showing progress on the games that were announced last year, and less about announcing anything new. And honestly, that’s okay if what you have to show is really good, and for the most part, it was.
Last year, we were surprised by Beyond Good and Evil 2, especially since what was shown barely resembled the original. This year, Ubisoft wasted no time getting straight to the game with a new trailer that featured some familiar faces, helping it feel like a true sequel rather than some weird offshoot. They even showed off some early footage of the game, which was definitely early, but still looked cool. They also talked about a new program that would allow people to submit art and music that could end up being featured in the game, which is a really neat idea.
Another game that’s come a long way since we last saw it was Skull and Bones. Last year, it really just looked like the ship combat from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was spun out into a competitive multiplayer mode. Now, the game seems much more fully featured, with merchant ships you can steal from and other players you can team up with or kill. In the demo, they showed a warship retaliating against the player for stealing some loot. As it was too much for them to take on by themselves, they recruited other ships to assist in sinking the warship. Looks cool.
Do you remember Starlink from last year? That toys-to-life game where you put toy spaceships on your controller to use them in game? Yeah, despite the toys-to-life genre being all but dead, that’s still coming. It looks pretty cool though, but as I already own way too many Amiibos, I don’t really know about buying toy spaceships too. But, all of a sudden, the trailer shows a character calling for help, and who should answer the call but the Star Fox team! Yep, if you play the game on Switch, you get Star Fox content. They are trying really hard to get me to care about the game, and I’ll admit, this got me really excited.
There were a few updates for games that are already out, like Rainbow Six: Siege and For Honor. It seemed like what they showed was pretty cool, especially a new faction in For Honor, but I actually haven’t played either of these games so it didn’t really do a whole lot for me. It is good to see Ubisoft continuing to support their games long after their release though.
What was clearly supposed to be the big reveal of the night, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, really wasn’t thanks to our old friend the Canadian WalMart leak as well as a promotional keychain that found it’s way onto the internet. Now, I don’t like Assassin’s Creed and I’ve given it multiple chances, but from what I’ve heard, I should probably check out last year’s game, Origins. And apparently Ubisoft agrees, because Odyssey looked like more of that, except this time you could choose between two different characters and it takes place in ancient Greece. Could be cool, but again, I’m not a fan of the series, so I’m probably not the one to ask.
The presentation itself was good, and there were some fun moments from the presenters. A new Trials game was announced, and while I don’t really care about that series, having a guy drive in on a motorcycle, get on stage, trip and knock over a TV was a lot of fun. Also, Miyamoto was in the audience for that Star Fox segment, and that was great. It’s too bad Aisha Taylor wasn’t here for the second year in a row though. She’ll continue to be missed.
So yeah, not a mind-blowing press conference, but a good one. There’s plenty of stuff to like and it was a lot of fun to watch. Hopefully, the games themselves turn out to be as good as they look.
And on to predictions. Once again, I got none right. No Splinter Cell, which seems crazy, no Watch Dogs, which I was sure would be here instead of an Assassin’s Creed before all the leaks hit, and no 3D Rayman. That brings my current score to 2/15.