Ubisoft may not have had huge surprises like last year, but their 2018 conference still packed some heat. While they showed at lot of cool games, I have a big problem with their presentation style. Each game doesn’t need so many trailers split up by minutes of description, but we’ll get into that more in a bit.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
Beyond Good and Evil 2 was quite the surprise last year, and this CG trailer lived up to expectations. Are they making a movie, because I’d watch it. I love the style and tone but… is that Jade? I thought this was a prequel? What’s Jade doing here? Did anyone play the first game? This doesn’t quite add up. Then we get to the gameplay and again I must ask, “Did anyone play the first game?” This looks nothing like Beyond Good and Evil. The CG was stunning and the gameplay looks like it could be a lot of fun, but what’s the point of using what little name recognition BGE has for something that is so different?
My personal feelings aside, this was a very strong start to the conference, but it set the precedent of Over Trailerization Syndrome (OTS). It’s no secret Ubisoft has been suffering from OTS for many years; take a look at last year’s 2.5 hour epic for a glimpse of them at the height of their sickness. I thought they would be better this year, but they still insisted on having 2 or 3 trailers for every single game shown with minutes of gamplay-less talking heads in between them. I don’t understand this approach at all.
For example, Trial Rising had an intro, a trailer, more behind the scenes talk with some footage, a tad more banter, and then another trailer. OTS is real and someone needs to get Ubisoft help. Remember when Sony started just having trailer after trailer after trailer and everyone loved it? EA and Ubisoft seem very reluctant to embrace this newer, more streamlined approach to press conferences.
I’m giving Ubisoft a lot of crap about their format but there was also a lot to be happy about. From a Rainbow Six Siege documentary to a way for your art to get into Beyond Good and Evil 2, Ubisoft is clearly a big fan of its fans. There was even talk of three free pieces of DLC for The Division 2 and a free version of For Honor on PC. Speaking of The Division 2, OTS led to 10 minutes about the game with 2 showing something in-game. Am I saltly? Yes.
Skull and Bones
Whereas Skull and Bones got 6 full minutes of gameplay that showed off pretty much everything you might want to know about sailing in its world. I’m not sure it’s for me, but at least I got to see something meaty.
Star Fox in Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Remember when Ubisoft said they were going to launch a toys to life game in 2018 and we laughed and admired their spunk? Well this open world space adenture acually looks pretty good. Oh and Star Fox is in the Nintendo Switch version. Looks like I have more toys to buy!
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Odyssey looks almost exactly like Origins and that’s a good thing. In addition to a lengthy display of NPC interaction and combat, the menus were shown off and revealed more abilities and a much cleaner skill tree. I’m stunned that it is not only coming out October 5 but that the date is under a year since Origins came out. I don’t know how I feel about Assassin’s Creed becoming annual again, but if Origins is anything to go on, we’re moving in an excellent direction.
While OTS really did bother me, Ubisoft showed off a lot of games and did a great job of showing real gameplay for almost all of them. We get a lot of CG and vertical slice nonsense these days, but Ubisoft brought the goods and showed a lot of heart. But where’s my new Splinter Cell game?
To catch all the trailers showed off during the conference check out our ongoing E3 trailer post.