Ubisoft as a publisher has really grown during the past two console generations, and has some of the most beloved franchises in gaming under its umbrella. Yet, many of their games don't personally excite me or are often underwhelming. I went into this year's conference with a skeptical mind, but I was blown away by some of the reveals, and enjoyed the conference as a whole. Here are five things that really stood out to me about Ubisoft's E3 conference, in the order they were revealed.
The first Rabbids game on the Wii was an early favorite for my (then-future) wife and I, although the novelty wore thin eventually. This Mario + Rabbids game has sounded kind of ridiculous from the start, but given my recent re-introduction into Nintendo, the idea is intriguing and just plain fun.
The game oozes charm, and is essentially XCOM with Mario and the Rabbids. I love XCOM, and I’m excited to share that style of gameplay with my kids.
While this game was essentially the worst-kept secret in gaming, it was still cool to see the official announcement and to know that the rumors that were most intriguing — combat style — were absolutely spot on. I also love that Ubisoft opened their full conference with this delightfully ridiculous game.
The Crew 2
I’ve been jonesing for a new racing game for a while — honestly, since Forza Horizon 3 came out and dominated last year. As a PS4 owner, I’ve been looking forward to seeing GT Sport revealed. I was underwhelmed by its reveal in the Sony pre-show, and thought that it looked steps behind Forza.
But I’m still in the market for a realistic-ish racer. And The Crew 2 looks to fit that bill. The game looks gorgeous, fast and fun. The environments are varied, as are the vehicle types. While I wish it was coming out sooner, I’m absolutely pumped for the game.
Starlink: Battle For Atlas
I get the trepidation behind another toys to life game, and this looks a little bit cumbersome.
But...man!...That game looks exactly like my kind of game. I love games set in space. The visual style looks right at-home on the Switch, and I’m sure it’ll look great on PS4 and Xbox as well. From the sounds of what was said at the conference, the physical versions of the ships won’t be absolutely necessary, but they just look cool.
I adored No Man’s Sky at launch, and would love a slightly more directed game of space travel. That game also taught me the value of not getting too hyped about a new property, so I’ll remain cautiously optimistic about Starlink. But as an initial reveal, it has shot to (nearly) the top of my most anticipated announced games.
Far Cry 5
It isn’t the rumored 1800s Wild West setting, which I’m so much a mark for, but I’m still digging the feel of this Far Cry game more than any in the franchise before it. I love the atmosphere, and it makes me think a little bit of the TV series Justified, which I also loved.
The game seems like it’s going to deliver on the villain, which is what the Far Cry games are known for outside of over-the-top action. I love that the game takes place in the United States, and in a part of the country I’ve never been to, and that just doesn’t get featured in gaming, or much other entertainment.
I just liked seeing Ubisoft’s representation and the passion they all clearly have for their games. I know it’s true for every company that showed games during this conference, but I like the way Ubisoft people carried themselves from beginning-to-end (well, minus the dancing…). Ubisoft seems to have something for just about everyone, whether you love FPS, open worlds, tactical games, racing, extreme sports and so-on. The company gets their fans. Even as someone who hasn’t played Beyond Good & Evil, I was excited for that reveal for other people.
Assassin’s Creed looks to be going to an interesting place. The South Park reveals are hilarious and make me want to try them out. The pirate game looked amazing, even if it won’t be for me. And Ubisoft’s library as a whole might feature the most colorful palate of any of the conferences so far (possible hyperbole, and sure to be eclipsed by Nintendo). It was a good show, and I’m excited to try out a lot of Ubisoft’s games as they are released.