Ubisoft's E3 2018 conference is never as huge as console giants like Sony and Microsoft, but this year it gave them a good run for their money. The French publisher had few surprises for its fans but featured copious amounts of gameplay for upcoming titles.
Perhaps the most anticipated is Beyond Good and Evil 2, which is making a return after a fifteen-year hiatus. In a beautiful CGI trailer, Ubisoft re-introduced viewers to its gritty world, featuring franchise favorites and an introduction to its main antagonist – Jade.
However, director Micheal Ancel also revealed unexpected pre-alpha gameplay. Showcasing the city of Ganesha, it gave a glimpse at the first in-game visuals while also revealing co-op functionality. In an even stranger move, renowned actor Joseph Gordon Levitt then stepped onstage, revealing that fans creations will be put into the game via his platform, Hit Record.
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
After the success of Origins and a few leaks, fans were also eager to see gameplay of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Ubisoft delivered on that front. An eight-minute gameplay snippet draws back the curtain during the Peloponnesian Wars in ancient Greece.
It's easily one of the most colorful installments in recent years, following a mercenary who seeks to reunite their family and confront enemies. It looks stunning, but the main takeaway was some very interesting new features.
Odyssey will feature a much higher degree of choice, giving the ability to play as a male or female, as well as dialogue choices for every conversation. Essentially, it pulls in RPG features from games like Fallout or Mass Effect, presenting players with three choices for each conversation. Ubisoft says this will impact, characters, the world, and the outcome of their adventures, but the extent of the difference is yet to be seen.
Skull & Bones
The next major gameplay showcase comes in the form of Skull and Bones, Ubisoft's answer to Sea of Thieves. It takes the popular ship combat from the Assassin's Creed franchise and revamps it a little, letting players inhabit a shared world where choice matters.
On the way, you'll be able to upgrade your ships, from figureheads to cannons, wheels, artillery, and more. Destroying other vessels will give access to loot, but you'll have to fight your past allies and enemies alike to get home. The game will release in 2019, with beta sign up available now.
The Crew 2, The Division 2, and Trials Rising
Of course, Ubisoft didn't forget its existing franchises, it showcased new DLC coming to Rainbow Six Siege and For Honor, as well as new iterations of existing franchises.
The company gave users a reminder of the Crew 2, which is available later this month, as well as The Division 2 gameplay and CGI. The online co-op game will have a story-based campaign with specializations, as well as 8-player raids and 3 free DLCs in the first year. It will launch on March 15, 2019.
Ubisoft RedLynx co-founder Antti Ilvessuo also took the stage via an entrance on a stunt bike, before jumping on stage and crashing through wooden panels. The game director announced Trials Rising, the next game in the popular series. It will release in February 2019.
In typical Ubisoft fashion, another random celebrity materialized on stage. This time, Elijah Wood, known for his role as Frodo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, the actor came to reveal not a LotR spinoff, but his own game. Transference was described as a mind-bending psychological thriller where players inhabit the minds of others.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas also made an appearance, announcing a release date of October 16 on Xbox One. It will feature Star Fox as a Switch exclusive, and draws parallels with No Mans Sky.
As usual, the conference opened with the usual strange and colorful dance-off, ushering in Just Dance 2019, which will launch on October 23. Most, if not all of these titles will be coming to Xbox, and the first Division game will be available on Game Pass very soon.