E3 2016: Ubisoft Media Briefing Impressions

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Ubisoft kicked off their E3 2016 showing in the usual Monday slot, with a host of big franchises making an appearance.

To say the show started off with a bang would be an understatement, as dancers in all sorts of different costumes got moving to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, from Just Dance 2017. It was quite the spectacle, and a fun way to start the show.

The MC for the night was again Aisha Tyler, who was funny and self-deprecating. The first game shown was Ghost Recon: Wildlands, for which the cinematic trailer looked fantastic.

The game is set in a huge open world and was shown off in a long gameplay demo. The intense trailer had multiple locations, large environments, and even had a car chase. The game looked good but ultimately fell a little flat for me. At the end of the presentation, a release date of March 7, 2017 was given.

 

The next trailer showed a what seemed to be a criminal state running wild through the US, but in truth was just a gag to introduce South Park: The Fractured But Whole – already a clear winner for the best name of E3.

The creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, took the stage to discuss the game. The sequel picks up from the end of South Park: The Stick of Truth, and instead of playing fantasy characters, the main characters are playing super heroes.

The gameplay showed the humor we are looking for from this property, and they did not hold back. Some of the new features are class creation, updated combat system, and more of a backstory. With the improvements to combat, there is a new movement system in place, which is a good idea.

A ton of footage was shown for the game, which looked quite impressive and polished. A release date of December 6, 2016 was announced to loud cheers.

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For Tom Clancy’s The Division, some impressive facts were given out – there are up to 10 million players, who are playing up to three hours a day, which I found staggering.

The Underground DLC was discussed too, with a release date of August 2, 2016 for PS4 announced. A trailer for the next expansion pack followed, titled ‘Survival’, which is all about the harsh weather and surviving the elements.

Next was Eagle Flight, which was shown in PvP with folks from Oculus and Ubisoft playing. Eagle Flight was the most disappointing demo shown, partially due to not being able to experience it yourself, which is sure to be a common theme with upcoming VR games. It looked really bland on the screen and not fun at all.

The opposite can be said for Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Set in the J.J. Abrams universe, you play as bridge members of the Starship Aegis, with VR used quite effectively to set you in the universe.

As a Star Trek fan, this title interested me very much. A launch time-frame of Fall 2016 was given and it will be available for all major VR units, including PlayStation VR.

 

Next up was a cinematic trailer featuring For Honor, which looked very good. This is a melee combat game somewhat like the Dynasty Warriors series. You are able to play as a few different races or classes like Barbarians, Vikings, and Samurais. The combat demo looked like the action is fast and furious, which was great. For Honor is set to release February 14, 2017.

After a successful showing and launch since last year’s E3, there is a sequel to Grow Home in the works, named Grow Up. As Bud, players will be on their own this time, with the title set for release this August.

 

Trials of Blood Dragon was up next and was very unique. This side-scrolling adventure seems very off-beat but true to the Trials formula. It is available today to download.

For Watch_Dogs 2, we were treated to a Dedsec Infiltration mission. This vertical slice of the game looked very promising and seemed to correct some of the issues of the first game. The game allows you to decide for yourself how to go about finishing the mission. Also announced was early access to the DLC for PS4.

 

The last game was a surprise to end the conference, and promises to be a unique experience. Steep is an open world extreme sports game. Anything from wing-suits to snowboards are available to use and it looks beautiful.

Ubisoft had a great line-up this year, with VR and new IPs along with sequels and new ideas. While nothing was earth-shattering or a huge surprise, Ubisoft has proved why it remains one of the biggest publishers in the industry.

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