E3 2018 Impressions - Ubisoft
Ubisoft provided fans with a handful of cringy moments, a lineup of overly familiar games, and terrible pacing. Although it's not E3 2018's worst conference, it was unsurprisingly bland.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
After the announcement of Beyond Good & Evil 2 at Ubisoft's last E3, the company started off this year's conference with another cinematic trailer. Showcasing a gorgeous space setting, the audience gets more context to the prequel's story. We were shown a bit of gameplay, but it seemed very far from finished. We got to see some basic attacks along with the world's design, but these bits of gameplay seemed painfully unpolished.
Additionally, Joseph Gordon-Levitt suddenly appeared on stage, advertising that fans could provide their own assets to go into the game. This may seem cool, but to me it just seems like Ubisoft wants their audience to finish the game for them.
We're also getting a new Trials game, which should be great, as the series is a blast to play, but this iteration seemed too similar to Trials Fusion. I hope more has changed than they revealed. Trials Rising is set to release at some point in February of next year for PS4, PC, and Xbox One.
Tom Clancy's The Division 2
With The Division 2, it feels like Ubisoft doesn't particularly care about changing what made people skeptical about the first one. There seemed to be no difference between this sequel and its predecessor. In fact, I'd argue that the first game had more compelling trailers. It seemed like The Division 2 is okay with pandering to their specific audience, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I'm sure it'll get old six games down the line. The Division 2 will be available March 15 of next year on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle - Donkey Kong Adventure
Ubisoft's newest addition to their Mario + Rabbids franchise seemed like an absolute blast. Along with the cute musical performance, it's nice to see Donkey Kong get some love in the adorable strategy game. With this sudden announcement, I can't imagine which other Nintendo characters we'll see through DLC. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle - Donkey Kong Adventure is set to release on June 26.
Skull & Bones
Sure, Skull & Bones has been highly anticipated by fans of Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, but what Ubisoft showed us disappointed me. Skull & Bones' gameplay trailer had cool ship battles, but that's far from enough for the game to succeed. Black Flag worked because it had the standard Assassin's Creed mechanics, where being a pirate was just a fun addition. Skull & Bones just seems like Black Flag but without Assassin's Creed's combat system.
One of Ubisoft's more interesting titles, Transference, is a VR project in collaboration with Elijah Wood's production company, SpectreVision. Although the game is meant to be played on VR, it's not mandatory. Narrative driven video games with interesting stories are rare, but the latest trailer for Transference has me hoping that this will be one of them.
Starlink: Battle For Atlas
With a new trailer for Starlink: Battle For Atlas, Fox McCloud has been confirmed for the toy-based game. Although it does seem like a lot of fun, it's sad to see that the game is adopting a business model powered by physical purchases. Additionally, Shigeru Miyamoto came out on stage to accept a miniature version of McCloud's ship, which was definitely the cutest moment of the conference. Starlink: Battle For Atlas comes out October 16 of this year.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Due to many leaks, it's no surprise that the newest Assassin's Creed was at Ubisoft's conference. Like many expected, the game takes place in Ancient Greece, around 400 BC. However, there were a few surprises. First of all, we can finally play a female character in a main Assassin's Creed game. You can still play a male character, as players choose their gender at the start of the game.
However, it's pretty strange that they didn't just make the main character a woman, as it's not too much trouble to let a female character conquer a main Assassin's Creed on her own. I suppose they wanted to give players more choice. Fitting with the theme of "choice," Ubisoft's Mel MacCoubrey claimed that Odyssey will have players making many decisions.
Ubisoft missed a number of beats, but they provided fans with enough to keep them satisfied. However, I'm incredibly disappointed that we didn't get any word on a new Splinter Cell. Most people were certain that it would show up at their conference, but it was nowhere to be found.