E3: Ubisoft Forward 2020

Posted on 13 Jul 2020 by
Jay Shaw

Last night was the Ubisoft Forward stream and we got to see plenty of upcoming big games as well as a few extras. Originally, copies of Watch Dogs 2 were promised to those who watched the stream but due to technical issues the rewards are now available to everyone via this page. Ubisoft also revealed some updates and new features coming to a few games that are already out so we’ll be taking a look at those first. As usual you can see the entire stream above and we’ll take a look at individual games below, so without further ado, let’s get into it.

Just Dance 2020

Just Dance 2020 will be receiving six new songs. We’re not sure if they’re going to be DLC or a free download as the trailer doesn’t make it clear but we can list them for you: Hype – Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris, La Respuesta – Becky G ft. Maluma, Crayon – G-Dragon, Barbara Streisand (2019 edit) – Duck Sauce, Giddy On Up (Giddy On Out) – Laura Bell Bundy, and Mas Que Nada – Sergio Mendes Ft. The Black Eyed Peas. Additionally, online tournaments will also be coming in this update on 23 July 2020.

Curious Expedition 2

German studio Maschinen-Mensch introduced their upcoming indie project Curious Expedition 2. The game is set in 1899 and you’ll play a party of explorers who travel to and explore islands and make contacts with the tribes who live there. Combat will be a turn based RPG style and everything is procedurally generated. Curious Expedition 2 is available now in Early Access.

The Crew 2

Ivory Tower, developers of The Crew 2 talked about the updates and DLC the game has received over the last two years as well as a surprise reward in-game: Players can buy the 1967 Volkswagen Beetle for a single Crew Credit. We also get to see a roadmap of update names that are coming over the next few months. July includes: Roll Out, The Beach, Neon Battle, and Dust Bowl. August includes: So French 2, Human Nosball, Super 70s, and Flashy. It looks like each update will include at least one new vehicle too. Lastly, 26 August will be when an update titled Flashy 80s drops and will include the DMC 12 (DeLorean) and some faux-80s style neon designs. The segment concludes by showing the roadmap extending out to July next year but is just populated with mystery icons beyond August.

Surgeon Simulator 2

Bossa Studios insane surgery screwup simulator got a segment where the developers talk about how they’ve expanded the game. As we’ve seen at previous shows you’ll have a full first-person experience and be able to explore the whole medical facility. There will also be a story mode and creation mode that will allow players to create their own experiences. We see the creation tools being used to create a three lane bowling alley complete with bowling ball dispensers and pins. The developers also talk about how the creation tools have been used during the closed alpha to create space ships, pirate ships, and even a horror themed escape room. Pre-orders of the game will receive closed beta access or you can wait another month because the game is releasing in August 2020.

The Division 2

Ubisoft revealed the secret behind the game’s rubber ducks. Turns out, there’s a thing in programming and design where you “talk to a rubber duck” to work through a problem. One of the level designers put a giant rubber duck into a level to remind them that it needed further work. This is a common practice, though usually done with some other item or texture that doesn’t belong, and can be found in many games both in accessible areas and out of bounds. The developers liked the duck so much they put more in the game and started telling little stories with them. So now you know the secret behind all the ducks found throughout apocalyptic Washington DC.


Thunder Lotus beautiful looking 2D management-adventure Spiritfarer got a segment. For those who don’t know, Spiritfarer is a game where you’ll build a boat and explore the world looking for more spirit passengers who you can spend time with and get to know. There was a little gameplay in the segment too but we didn’t really see anything new. Spiritfarer is releasing later this year.

Trials Rising

Ubisoft Redlynx revealed that the gigatrack (originally in Trials Evolution) will be making a return but won’t be a remake of the original. The new track is apparently the longest track in Trials history and will take players across many of the game’s environments from desert and snowy mountains to mineshafts and lava filled caves. The gigatrack will be releasing for free on 16 July 2020.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Fans of Breakpoint have been waiting a long time for this update: We’re finally getting AI teammates. The three teammates will be; Fury, Fixit, Vasily. The AI will be available to solo players at any point after they reach Erewhon, the game’s hub area. You don’t have to stick with the default characters and gear either – all three of them will be fully customizable from their looks, gender, and gear to their weapons via the full gunsmith system. As in previous games the AI will attempt to follow the players style, equipping suppressors when you do and following your stance choices. A new order wheel will allow you to command the team via four commands: Regroup, hold, go to, and cleared hot. You can even give commands via the binoculars and drone. Sync shots will also be a possible tactic and can be combined with the sync shot drone to allow seven targets to be taken out simultaneously. The biggest surprise of all is that the update is coming on 15 July.

In addition to the AI teammates, the update will include some quality of life updates, new PvP content, and an upgraded gunsmith system amongst others. Breakpoint will also be getting a free weekend from 16-20 July. We’re not done yet – a new live event was announced titled Resistance! The trailer shows a new vehicle, a car with a minigun on it. The event will be free for all and will take place from 16-29 July.

Watch Dogs Legion

Kicking off the show proper we have a short film for Watch Dogs Legion. The short shows a store robbery escalating into shooting in the streets and talks about how the authorities escalated a campaign of oppression by detaining foreigners, protestors (hitting a bit close to home there, Ubisoft,) and journalists. Street artists were also taken but that wasn’t really a big loss if you’ve seen the state of London’s street art. The narrator talks about how he never spoke up as others were detained but as the character running from the trigger happy security forces chasing her encounters a taxi driver it’s revealed that the narrator is the driver and that’s the moment he chooses to step up and resist. Naturally, this ties into one of the game’s mechanics where you can recruit anyone by approaching them and completing their introduction mission. Characters recruited can then become the main character of your adventure, at least until you get bored of playing a granny and decide to look for someone new.

We’re also treated to a new CG trailer that introduces some of the game’s backstory. After terrorist bombings the city hires a private security company called Albion to keep the peace and things begin to go wrong as they implement their oppressive regime. Villain Nigel Cass is revealed as the leader of Albion and a man driven to control the whole city. We’re also introduced to Mary Kelley, a sinister criminal who sells drugs, organs, and slaves via her gang and the dark web.

We’re treated to a look at one of the game’s missions where players must infiltrate the Tower of London, which has been turned into Albion’s headquarters, to get information on Nigel Cass. During this segment we can see that each recruited character has their own weapons and unique abilities. Quite a variety of abilities are on show from a street artist’s paint bombs, a spy watch that disables enemy weapons, a spy car with missiles, and outfits that grant certain characters access to otherwise off-limits facilities without having to sneak around security. For instance, we see that a construction worker can access construction sites and a paramedic can access medical facilities. The construction worker even gets a huge ridable cargo drone. A character called Amy is introduced as a drone expert and we see her using little spider robots as well as a fast and stealthy drone that can shock enemies from a distance. Her abilities also include a drone swarm with homing bombs and hacking enemy drones. The segment then rewinds to show us an approach that doesn’t involve direct combat with an Albion officer who can walk in without being arousing suspicion. Even so, you’ll have to be careful not to do anything that will alert the guards or they’ll turn hostile.

Next up we have another mission where players must put a stop to one of Mary Kelley’s operations but the trailer doesn’t really take a full look at it. We’re introduced to drunken brawler Mickey briefly but move on to a Leon (from the movie) looking guy who goes in all John Wick style, engaging in direct gunfights and taking down enemies with a mix of close range gunfire and brutal melee attacks that also use his guns to finish off opponents. It’s clear by now that each character will be more than just a cosmetic choice and will drastically change what options are available to the player. Watch Dogs Legion will be releasing on 29 October 2020.


Ubisoft’s futuristic battle royale is up next with a new CGI trailer that exposes some more of the game’s back story. Basically, growing cities turned into dull, crappy megacities and a company invented the titular virtual reality world. We see a new character who seems to be able to teleport and are introduced to a mystery; people are disappearing and getting hurt in the real world when in the virtual world. The segment goes over some of the stuff we already knew; that players can battle on rooftops, in the streets and interiors of buildings, pick up power-ups that give them new abilities, and Twitch integration that allows viewers to vote on effects to apply to the game such as low gravity and infinite ammo. Lastly, the game is now in open beta and can be downloaded via Uplay.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Ubisoft have had a lot of leaks over the last few weeks with regards to footage of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla that have served well to increase our interest in the pillaging adventure. The game will put you in the role of a Viking chieftain called Eivor, who can be male or female, who must go to England to find new lands for their people to settle. We’re told that the fighting system has been revamped to show off the brutality of Viking combat. Once the introduction is over we launch into some new footage from the game and an explanation of what you’ll be doing. Eivor and their crew can explore England via the longship on rivers and can raid settlements along the way. Fire arrows set rooftops on fire and pillaged resources are used to improve the player settlement and gain new colonists. When it comes to enemies we’re told we’ll face the largest variety of enemies ever seen in an Assassin’s Creed game. The gameplay shows a range of enemies from huge guys with shields and polearms to enemies who will even throw their fallen brethren at you. New combat skills are shown too – a viking harpoon with a rope that can snare enemies, throwing axes, and a new stun system that will allow you to deliver coup-de-grace attacks to downed enemies. Players will also be able to dual wield any weapons in the game and we see the expected swords, spears, axes, and shields but also a flail. You can even dual wield shields, so we know our Viking is definitely taking after Sir Schmoopy.

Stealth is also an option. Eivor can blend into crowds by wearing their hood and cloak to avoid the watchful eyes of the guards. You’ll also be exploring and hunting beasts across England and it looks like the legendary beasts from Odyssey will be making a return as we can see Eivor fighting a humongous dire wolf called The Cricket Wolf of the Pit. Pagan temples and Roman ruins such as Stonehenge will unlock new activities and challenges, in this regard we see Stonehenge presenting a puzzle where parts of a symbol must be lined up correctly. We’re also shown some gameplay from the game’s assaults where you must lead an army into battle against Saxon fortresses. In this segment we can see battering rams and siege ladders in use. The segment closes out with a release date announcement of 17 November 2020, an appropriately cold month for a Viking adventure.

Far Cry 6

The last game to be shown is the recently leaked Far Cry 6. Confirming an earlier leak the trailer has Giancarlo Esposito’s (Gus from Better Call Saul) name front and center. Young actor Anthony Gonzalez (lead character Miguel from Coco) also gets his name up-front in the trailer. A few others are named but the first two are the ones of most note. As the CGI trailer progresses we see a drug being developed followed by bullets raining down as a machine gun fires before it transitions to a stack of gold and a line of workers leaving a field as a man sprays nasty looking red clouds from a handheld sprayer. We also see what looks like a destroyed T-54 or T-62 tank still smoking before it too gets engulfed in the red clouds sprayed from three planes flying overhead. After a transition to the game’s title we shift to young Diego (played by Gonzalez) building a model car before his father Anton Castillo (Esposito) walks in and hands a grenade to him. Anton explains the parts of a grenade and pulls the pin, telling a frightened Diego to hold the grenade tightly so it doesn’t explode. The pair walk out onto a rooftop to see a city in chaos as riots can be heard below and statues are being toppled. Anton says the people will see Diego as a monster and evil, revealing that the grenade says “muerte a castillo” (death to Castillo) on it, before he asks Diego if he’s evil or a monster. Diego watches the violence below while Anton explains he must be ruthless to survive and the trailer stops short of Diego dropping the grenade on the crowd below, instead cutting to a release date: 18 February 2021.

30 Minutes of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Gameplay

That wraps up the main portion of the show but there’s thirty minutes of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gameplay different to the thirty minutes that was previously leaked still to go. The gameplay begins with a castle siege that we’re told takes place about half way through the story so we’ll be avoiding any details that may be spoilers. Eivor faces off against a few different enemy types; spear wielders and the fast stabby guys that look very similar to the same type from Odyssey. Combat moves on to fighting a boss character and his pet wolf. After the boss battle the player is given a choice whether to kill or spare her opponent.

At this point the gameplay cuts back to pre-assault and we get a lengthy segment where Eivor travels around the countryside, visiting settlements and their leaders to raise an army for the coming battle. To recruit some available the player must complete a raid on a nearby settlement to prove that the enemy can be beaten and raise their spirits. We see the Odin Sight ability too, a pulse that highlights interactive objects. Players can also find books that will unlock skills and abilities hidden throughout the world. Climbing to the top of the keep, Eivor blows a huge horn and reclaims the settlement.

The gameplay continues to show more of the story after the assault and then moves on to some more exploration gameplay. First-up is talking to a cat which triggers a dialogue that also explains a little Viking lore and triggers a side quest where you can recruit what the developers call a “cat raider.” The cat joins the longship crew. We’re told that the longship will be able to traverse rivers and you can stop anywhere and disembark with your men to raid whatever you see along the way before jumping back aboard with your new treasures to continue on to the next opportunity. Ship songs will also be making a return to the game and will be supplemented by additional stories told by your crew which will reveal more of their personalities and history. The longship will also have a kind of “cruise control” type mode where you can put up your sails and just relax to enjoy the journey.

Flyting, basically an old-timey rap battle where contestants exchange poetic insults while trying to one-up each other, is also a feature and players can bet on matches. Taking part means listening to an insult and then choosing from several replies before a timer counts down. Another side activity includes fishing. This activity also feeds back into the game’s health system which requires players to heal with supplies rather than regenerating health for no reason. Offerings can be made at altars and these can be interrupted with quests. We also get to see Eivor chasing a piece of paper blown on the wind and are told it’s a freerunning challenge, much like you’d find in earlier games, and the paper is a tattoo piece which you can actually apply to Eivor as a cosmetic change.

We get to see a second boss fight where players face off against a shaman with magical abilities and we see her summon ghostly images to attack and dash around the arena. We’re told that this is part of a larger story and chain of events that will revolve around a faction called the Daughters of Lerion who you can find and hunt down much like the cult members in Odyssey and Origins but as a side mission rather than main objective. After this fight we’re introduced to another side activity: building cairns. This physics based mode will have players stacking differently sized and shaped stones into the highest pile of rocks you can manage. There’s no one solution either and player built cairns will stay in the world as you created them. After some more story, which we won’t spoil, we see a drinking mini game where Eivor gets absolutely smashed before taking part in a drunken archery competition. We’re also shown that player decisions will have consequences in future events but again, we won’t go into specifics so as not to spoil anything.

In conclusion, Ubisoft have had a very strong presentation today. We’d have liked to see gameplay from Far Cry 6 but what we’ve seen of Watch Dogs Legion and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has greatly raised our interest in those games. Legion in particular is looking a lot more interesting and complex than we’d originally expected while Valhalla looks to be refining the open world meets history aspect of the series into an even more tightly knit form. We can safely say that we’re looking forward to a lot of these releases and personally I’m especially eager to see more of Far Cry 6 because those games, though all kind of same-y, scratch a particular gameplay itch for me.

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