E3: Ubisoft Forward 2021

Posted on 13 Jun 2021 by
L Coulsen

Ubisoft had a pretty lengthy presentation for us, this year. A lot of it is talking about their aims as a game developer, so, PR speak. Though it does contain some interesting insights into their methodology around accessibility. Such as customising fonts and icons to make their more easily visible to people with vision difficulties. It’s worth checking out, but what we’re really here for is the games. So let’s dive right in.

For Honor

Kicking things off this year, we have a look at what’s coming to For Honor. Can you believe that’s five years old, now? And still going strong. The latest event is called Visions of the Kyoshin. A ‘new take’ on the Dominion mode, it sounds rather reminiscent of the Prince of Persia event from a few years back, but with two special enemies, rather than just the Prince.

Defeating one of these specials mobs, known as the Possessed Kyoshin, will grant the titular visions to whoever deals the killing blow. But be quick about it, because the event ends on July 1st. There are new loot items, of course, including special themed outfits and ornaments. So, more of the same. Which isn’t a bad thing, because For Honor still stands as a great game to play. They have made a point of making the new NPCs less powerful than previous side bosses, though. Which is a good thing, because some of them were just a tad on the bullshit side. So that’s nice.


Coming on July 4th we have the Trackmania World Cup. But, because Ubisoft, this isn’t just straightforward racing. They’re effectively turning it into a game of bumper cars, with F1 racing cars. I mean, that’s a bold strategy and all that. It’s actually a surprisingly fun little game. Well worth jumping into for an hour or two even without events running. So if you haven’t tried it already, now is definitely a good time.


Heroes in a half-shell. Do you really need to know more? Yep, that’s right, the Ninja Turtles have come out to play. Or be played, if you prefer. The crossover begins June 16th and brings all the usual suspects. And pizza. Lots of pizza.

The Crew 2

Now more than three years old, The Crew 2 has some new content lined up for us. A new Corvette is up for grabs, extremely cheaply, too. Only one crew credit. Noice. The rest primarily revolvwes around some new, long distance races. Basically hide-speed tours of the United States. Brum brum.

Watch Dogs Legion

Aiden is back. Busting into London more grumpy and bearded than ever. He’s going up against Wrench, the dude with the light-up facemask. So cue lots of explosions and general grumpiness. A chunk of single-player content under the title Bloodlines. It’s a ‘simple job’ with a ‘huge payday’. So, of course, it’s going to be needlessly complicated and you’ll be screwed over by the end.

Rainbow Six Extraction

Okay, now we get into the real meat and two veg of the event. We finally have some solid details about what, exactly, Extraction is. Mixing a series known for its brutally accurate, tactical assault gameplay with an alien virus was…it was certainly a thing. And though I didn’t personally care for the particulars of the Siege event that kicked off this storyline, the concept was one that did get my attention. So seeing a fully realised game based around it is one that I’m willing to give some time to.

The extraction of the title has your team tasked with infiltrating alien containment zones to recover important people, data and biological samples. The interesting thing is that this includes playable characters. If you or an ally are taken down during mission, the character goes MIA and is unusable until you dive back in and save them. Especially concerning because it means you also lose anything unlocked with that character, making this more of a stealth focused game. At least, on paper. How well that will actually end up playing out…time will tell.

Missions take place is a series of areas, called Sub Zones, with the option to leave after completing each one. Instead of pushing in deeper, you can take what you already have for the safe score, or push further for larger returns. Your typical risk/reward approach. And this is where I expect the stealth focus to start falling apart. Earlier areas are easier, so I guarantee most people will end up run and gunning their way through. Then, from the looks of it, later areas pretty more force combat, so…

Riders Republic

So, have you ever been playing The Crew and thought ‘what this really needs is to be on bicycles and the side of mountains’? What do you mean no? Well, me neither, but that’s pretty much what Riders Republic is offering. And you know, I’m actually on board with this. Even if only for an occasional hour or two here and there. Well, actually, it’s more like Steep, but that was pretty much The Crew with snowboards, so you know what I mean. Did I mention the jetpacks? Yeah, there are also jetpacks.

Far Cry 6

So, there’s already talk about upcoming DLC for Far Cry 6. You know, the game that hasn’t been released yet? The one we’re only just getting actual details about. Yeah, that one. Oh Ubi, you are Ubi. Anyhoo. By popular request(?) some of the series’ villains are coming back to perster us again. Including the antagonists from the previous three games. Only, this time, you’re playing as them, rather than against them. I guess insanity or something.

Speaking of villains, we’ve seen some more of far Cry 6’s primary antagonist. Played by Giancarlo Esposito who absolutely dominated as Moff Gideon in Disney’s The Mandalorian. Despite being digitally animated this time, he brings just as much screen presence, if not moreso. It’s going to be extremely satisfying finally shooting him in the face.


So, uhh, we’re also getting an Avatar game. As in James Cameron, Pocahontas in space. Not all that surprising, really. Honestly, the more surprising thing is that there have been so few of them. Running in the Snowdrop (The Division) engine, you take on the role of a Smurphy-cat alien doing Smurphy-cat things and generally making things difficult for the invading Humans whilst eploring everything the world of Pandora has to offer.

That’s all we actually know at the moment. Being devloped by Massive, and given the engine, it will probably play out not dissimilar to The Division, but with an Avatar coat of paint. But despite boasting ‘gameplay powered by snowdrop’ we see next to none, if any, in the reveal trailer. Does look very pretty, though.

The entire show clocks in at over three hours, though the first hour is pre-show content before the show started, but is still part of the show, so…anyway. There’s a lot of stuff in here, as to be expected from a company as large as Ubisoft, so it’s well worth jumping in and checking out the entire thing. But we’ve covered the biggest and the best for easy access. Thought, to be honest, in terms of gaming content, this was actually a pretty lukewarm showing for Ubisoft. Undoubtedly, this is at least in part a result of logistical concerns around the ongoing pandemic. But don’t let that foll you, there’s still a lot to see. If this wasn’t coming from someone as large as Ubisoft, it would be a rather impressive showing. So, just bear that context in mind.

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