E3: Ubisoft 2016

Posted on 15 Jun 2016 by
Sawyer Scherbenske

Ubisoft’s E3 press conference started the day of many gamers eagerly awaiting to hear about upcoming news and IP’s, and to some degree, Ubisoft delivered. For Honor and the new South Park RPG stole the show, but Watch Dogs 2, new VR tech, and Tom Clancy games made splashes of their own.

For Honor

The winner this year was hands down For Honor; a Chivalry/War of the Roses type multiplayer “hack and slash” game that looks better, plays smoother, and seems to be more promising overall. For Honor has your standard armored knight combat, but added in Japanese samurai and Viking hordes. It’s also 3rd person, has a full campaign mode, environmental kills, class-specific abilities like the Viking’s shoulder tackle, and has some serious Ubisoft money behind it. In the sea of Ubisoft’s triple-A action and shooter sequels, promising and original new IP’s like For Honor really stand out.

South Park: Fractured but Whole

I can’t decide if it’s hilarious or sad that Ubisoft’s second most anticipated title was a South Park RPG sequel, but it’s certainly deserved. South Park: Fractured but Whole is the direct sequel to South Park: The Stick of Truth, but it’s trading its fantasy theme for a superhero one. The Coon, Mysterion, and Professor Chaos are in the middle of a “civil war” over who can start the most profitable movie franchise, and you’re caught in the middle once again. The first South Park RPG was shockingly good at both gameplay and humor, and South Park: Fractured but Whole looks better yet.

Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2 was shown off extensively and called a “wild hacker playground.” New Gameplay trailers and a cinematic trailer were shown off to add to the parkour demo and behind the scenes stuff already available on YouTube. It’s filled with angsty teens, angst, and technophilia, but as gamer forums like Reddit’s /r and Neogaf have been quick to point out, what we saw in the Watch Dogs trailer might not ring true for the actual game. If nothing else, the protagonists look infinitely better than Aiden Pierce was, and Watch Dogs 2 will be an interesting title to follow.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wild Lands

It looks like Tom Clancy has been playing a lot of Just Cause and Watch Dogs because Ghost Recon: Wild Land’s high-action open world multiplayer environments with car chases and gunfights seem to be following in the same vein.

Trials of the Blood Dragon

The Trials series is merging with Farcry: Blood Dragon to create a 2.5D motorcycle (and other vehicles) stunt game with a totally radical 80’s aesthetic complete with animated child protagonists and dinosaurs. In addition to motorcycles there are on-foot stages where you gun down enemies, truck-driving missions, and most likely plenty of challenge missions to keep you playing.

Grow Up

Ubisoft loves their cute indie games, and Grow Home was proof of that when it was released about a year ago. Grow Up is Grow Home’s sequel, and while details are scarce, it sounds like it’ll continue the unmatched verticality and follow the same character as the original as he uses his environment to travel upwards and into space.

Eagle Fly

Ubisoft is officially hopping on the VR train with Eagle Fly, a game where, surprise, you’re an eagle. It’s a competitive multiplayer game where you score points by killing your prey and delivering it to your nest before your opponents do or steal it from you. It’s a Capture the Flag type game at its roots, but the cool part is that you fly around in a 3d environment using your head as the controller. Instead of tilting an analogue stick left, just look left and you’ll soar off in that direction. It’ll look goofy to people watching, but what VR game doesn’t these days?

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

Joining Eagle Fly is another flying game, but instead of an eagle you and your team are piloting the USS Enterprise. Each player gets different roles like captain, engineer, commander, lieutenant, etc., and each player is in charge of a specific role. It takes a whole team of people to manage shields, engines, navigation, hyperdrive, and beams, so if one person is off it could be the difference between winning the battle and flying into the sun. The models could use some work still, but the concept and Star Trek settings are stellar.


Steep is Ubisoft’s answer to EA’s athletics games. EA may own basketball, soccer, and football, but Ubisoft is fighting back with snowboarding, skiing, and gliding. It’s a gorgeous game set in snowy mountains and beautiful peaks over Wildlands flat plains or For Honors feudal kingdoms. Gameplay is simple sliding and gliding down mountains, not over-the-top SSX stunt jumping, but additions like a replay option, cameras, and slow-mo mode are sure to make some good YouTube videos when it’s released.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

The Division is nothing new, but the DLC will be. The first expansion will be set in the underground of New York while the second will be in a wintery not-so-wonderland. The Underground and Survivor DLC’s will come in that order with Underground coming out on June 28th with some new gear and gimmicks to pull on players.

More than the games, Ubisoft showed off a new company direction. While For Honor and Wild Lands clearly have the big bucks backing them, there was a shortage of games that weren’t massive triple-A endeavours to create. Smaller games like Grow Up and Eagle Fly were present of course, but it’s worrying to see a studio so dedicated to promoting sequels and tired genres over new innovations. Small, original creations like Valiant Hearts or Child of Light don’t sell as well Tom Clancy’s games, but they add character, are some of Ubisoft’s most memorable games cost pennies to make in comparison. They’re more original than EA, but that’s not saying much.

What Ubisoft was really missing was a knockout blockbuster like they had with Watch_Dogs in 2012. For Honor was neat, but the response that Watch_Dogs had broke people’s minds and nearly broke E3. To be fair, EA and Microsoft didn’t have one either, but this E3 hasn’t had the “pop” that other E3’s have had before.

On the stage it was more of a show than a conference what with the dancing men in animal costumes and Aisha Tyler’s jokes, but that’s nothing new for E3. Thankfully it wasn’t the tragic mess that 2013 E3 was, but things like explaining what e-sports still made it clear that Ubisoft’s target was sponsors and businessmen just as much as it was the average gamer.

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