By Jarrod Jones. It’s Ubisoft’s 30th birthday, which is like 200 years old in actual people time when you think about it. And for its milestone year, Ubisoft decided to get classy (and decidedly R-rated) all over E3.
With its single stage presentation and host Aisha Tyler’s interwoven (and deliriously charming) presence, Ubisoft’s E3 press conference felt more like a chill version of the Oscars (which was made to feel even more so with all those fabulously successful white movie producers hanging around). It made Microsoft’s jam-packed multi-tiered slamfest feel like a Ritalin-infused panic to keep audience’s interest.
Of course, Ubisoft had some of that going on too, bringing on Hollywood’s Own Frank Marshall, producer of that Assassin’s Creed movie that we’ll likely get conned into reviewing at some point. Cross-promotion is hardly a foul for a press conference, but the subsequent announcement that a Watch Dogs film adaptation is right around the corner really became just another footnote for what was decidedly the coolest E3 Press Conference thus far. (Sony — it’s on you now! But no movie talk, y’hear?)
But before we get into all of the awesome new games from Ubisoft, let’s give a hearty round of applause for #UbiE3 MVP Jason Vandenberghe (For Honor Creative Director), because he rules and he could probably take us all down, no problem.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
We got to take a long, ponderous look at the open-world cooperative actioner Ghost Recon Wildlands, where I guess we’re taking on the South American drug cartels now. So expect a lot of loose dialogue about geographically-specific neckties and other such grisly things. Coming March 2017.
South Park: Fractured But Whole
The inevitability of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s latest South Park game, titled Fractured But Whole (which, nice one), had the crowd generally amused with its incisive takedown of the Marvel Studios/DC Films paradigm. (It seems that even in its successful videogame incarnation, South Park can’t help itself but remain topical.)
Tom Clancy’s The Division
The Division‘s Underground DLC has you facing off against a bunch of gun-toting hobbits, who have apparently taken control of the entire underground tunnels of New York City. What evils will these furry-footed felon–hm? Oh, they’re not hobbits? Well, then why the hell are we fighting underground?
Anyway, to commemorate Ubisoft’s 30th birthday, The Division will add three skins to the game: you can now play as the iconic soldiers found in Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and Splinter Cell, which is officially 27 skins less than what it would take for that promotion to make sense.
Then there’s Survival, a nasty piece of frost-bitten work that promises to put your nerves at fray for as long as you can handle playing it.
Ubisoft’s stirring flight simulator had a pretty sweet live VR presentation set in a digital Paris. You’ll be able to experience all the soaring good fun on Oculus Rift.
While Ubisoft hasn’t released a video of all this vertigo-inspiring bird action, here’s a hi-res promo image for you to stare at.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
A VR version of a Star Trek bridge simulator? Featuring guest stars (and Trek alumni) Karl Urban, Jeri Ryan and LeVar Burton? Beam us up. No, right now. Beam me the hell up.
Presented by Jason Vandenberghe, who looked and felt like he just stumbled out of this brutal, medieval game (only to then put on a pair of chinos, step onstage and scare everyone), For Honor looks like serious business. You can fight as a knight, a samurai, or, as the live demo presentation showed, a damn viking, scaling walls like a ‘roided-out Spider-Man with a murder lust — when you’re not too busy putting your scary-ass battleaxe into people’s faces. Available on Valentine’s Day 2017, which aw.
Formerly known as Grow Home 2, the adorably phosphorescent Grow Up had the odious responsibility of being completely overshadowed by how awesome For Honor looked. This adorable, but far too brief one minute trailer hardly registered for the Ubisoft audience. But it certainly does look like a million bucks.
Trials of the Blood Dragon
Trials, meet Far Cry: Blood Dragon. With all this side-scrolling, phony 8-bit craziness, Trials of the Blood Dragon is what it would look like if the Nineties just puked all over your screen. Out now. (No, for real. Right now. 15 bucks.)
Watch Dogs 2
Imagine what it would look like if Anonymous decided to oust Twitter and thus socially behead Presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Now there’s an idea.) Parkour, non-stop hacking, and stealth moves for days, Watch Dogs 2 continues to look vastly more impressive than Watch Dogs. And guess what? PlayStation 4 owners (like me!) get all Watch Dogs 2 DLC a week before everyone else! (So take that, Micronauts!)
A open world game where you can ski, snowboard, parachute, and fucking fly all over a damn mountainscape. Where you can switch your point of view to first person, which why would anyone ever want to do that. (What? Everyone’s terrified of heights, amirite?)
Be sure to check out DoomRocket’s LOAD FILE coverage of E3 2016 throughout the week!