A company that’s typically seen as a mixed bag – they’ve disappointed and they’ve satisfied. E3 2019 was always going to be a weird one, with Sony being absent and the next-gen console war was looming on the horizon. How did Ubisoft fare in this tumultuous time? Well, I’m here to tell you.
Watch Dogs Legion
My personal highlight of the conference, Watch Dogs Legion (or, if you prefer, Watch Dogs 3) takes place in dystopian London, England, and instead of adopting a central protagonist the game has decided to allow the player to choose their protagonist – as the game’s main gimmick is that you can play as any NPC in the world.
It’s a fairly ambitious premise, as it’s not yet clear how varied, ranged, and endless this NPC roster actually is. The brief demo we saw showed us ex-MI5 agents, London bruisers, and old women who used to dabble in the art of assassination (who we are now calling Helen) so there might be hope. Yes, you heard that correctly.
What is really promising about this game is how far it has come since its original – Watch Dogs didn’t do well – though we should be wary as E3 was exactly where Ubisoft started the lies about what Watch Dogs was never going to be. However, the attention to detail when it came to London – notable landmarks such as Camden, Piccadilly, and Trafalgar Square all featured – and that’s enticing for English gamers due to the sense of familiarity, but may also attract gamers from elsewhere due to the novel environment.
It’s even fresh for us British gamers, as the game takes place in the future where London and England has crumbled (I wonder how far in the future that ACTUALLY is, huh?) and its residents are oppressed by totalitarian control in an (almost) Sci-Fi city. I’m excited – but I’m scared to let this game too close to burn me.
It’s Always Sunny but with video games?
An interesting reveal at a gaming conference, Rob McElhenny, writer and star of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia came onto the Ubisoft stage to announce that he had been working with Ubisoft and the producers of It’s Always Sunny to create a video game oriented comedy show. The show is focused on game development, and follows a development team working on the newest and most popular MMO at the time called “Mythic Quest”, as they work on releasing the latest expansion, “Mythic Quest: Devil’s Banquet”. We didn’t see very much in the brief trailer, though It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is heavily praised – so I’d like to hope this is in safe hands.
The Division 2
I don’t know about others, but The Division 2 was a surprise to me last E3, and now it’s been released, Ubisoft decided to throw some DLC (I think?) our way to entertain The Division 2’s playerbase. The DLC featured some really nice environments such as dense and lush woodlands and a deserted funfair on an abandoned pier. They’re also apparently going back to New York with some new content. It all looks lovely and I’m sure the playerbase of The Division 2 are bound to enjoy it. I hope they do.
The other main The Division related news is that there’s a new The Division movie going straight to Netflix starring Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal. With no personal bias and considering this is a Netflix original, I’m going to go out on a limb and say from an objective standpoint that this’ll be pretty bad.
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad
A mobile game that’s DEFINITELY giving Avengers and the MCU a run for its money, Ubisoft’s latest expedition into the mobile realm features every Tom Clancy character you can imagine! You wanted Sam Fisher, Montagne from Rainbow Six Siege and Jon Bernthal’s new character in Ghost Recon Breakpoint to kick butt together? Look no further because this game is covering all of that burning desire.
Just Dance 2020
Every year we get a dancing panda on the Ubisoft stage and this year was no different. We had a few lovely dance numbers that displayed what songs were coming to the latest Just Dance, with songs like Panic! At The Disco’s High Hopes and some K-Pop tunes that are slowly making their way into the mainstream. This was all after a lovely trailer marking Just Dance’s 10-year anniversary. Happy Birthday Just Dance, don’t ever stop doing you.
There’s nothing groundbreaking with Rainbow Six (at least from where I’m standing) but there’s some pretty enjoyable stuff. They’ve added a new agent to Rainbow Six Siege ahead of their new Operation Phantom Sight who’s very British spy James Bond chic. He looks pretty fun.
Also, a new Rainbow Six game called Rainbow Six Quarantine was announced – a 3-player co-op (sticking to the multiplayer format Rainbow Six games were now known for) game – which seemed focused on you and two others teaming up to kill zombies. Zombies are a tried and tired concept at this point, but Rainbow Six Siege already tested this with a brief limited event that added a zombie horde mode to the game, and it showed that Rainbow Six’s harsh and punishing difficulty was something yet to collaborate with the walking dead. It sounds and looks pretty fun. Fingers crossed.
Subscription services are kind of par for the course this E3, and since everyone loves Microsoft talking about the Game Pass so bloody much, everyone’s jumping aboard. Ubisoft is creating their own personal subscription service called Uplay+, which allows access to all Ubisoft games (including all of its newest releases) for a monthly fee. I’m sure we’ll see plenty of these coming out of the works for other major publishers soon enough.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint
A game that looks pretty exciting and features The Punisher’s Jon Bernthal, this game looks pumped with testosterone. An open-world game along the same vein as Ghost Recon Wildlands; we can assume it’s going to be striving to be better. They’re clearly listening to the players though – as a big criticism of Wildlands was that it had a necessity for multiplayer and other people to play with – and they’re re-introducing AI teammates for people that may not have an internet connection or just don’t have friends to play with.
Gods and Monsters
This new IP is made by the same people who created Assassin’s Creed Odyssey but there’s not much more we know about this title. It looks mythology based and has a fairly cute art style, and it could be good? The teaser trailer was pretty short so there isn’t much to make of it.
Ubisoft did have some pretty good titles – and then some with other fun things for niche, smaller player bases – but with how Ubisoft has been in the past it’d be wise to practice some caution. We’ve been burnt by Ubisoft in the past and I really don’t want them to burn me again. Please let Watch Dogs Legion be good. Please.