LOS ANGELES — Ubisoft’s E3 press conference was riddled with anticipated business heaviness – Tom Clancy, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicateyet another Just dance– but it also contained a few welcome surprises, most notably a sequel to last year’s surprise South Park RPG hit.
South Park: It’s broken but whole got its world premiere with little clear gameplay and a lot of signature South Park humor. The previous game’s developers at Obsidian Entertainment have been replaced this time by Ubisoft San Francisco, but series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are back on board – as evidenced by their cantankerous appearance with the Ubi press.
“Fuck, now we know how to make good games,” Parker told the audience while admitting that he had previously said he would never make a game again. “Fuck it, let’s do it again.” The duo explained that this sequel would continue the journey of “the kid” hero from the last game, this time with more of a superhero angle, and that it would “tell the story of why your asshole is so awesome”. Sure, guys.
Of course, of course, of Class Ubisoft has announced a new one Assassin’s Creed game, set in the steampunky, horse-and-buggy setting of the Devil’s Acre slum in Westminster in 1868. AC: SyndicateThe film’s trailer showed our Victorian hero – wearing a pretty jolly hat – hitching a ride on buggies, dodging hail and using a hook shot to fight his way into a moving train. He also beat up a bunch of teenagers for sport at the caravan, so you know, there’s something for all the family.
No release date has been announced, but the game’s demo will be available for public consumption in multiple cities across Europe and Australia this week.
Last year saw the debut of Rainbow Six: Siege and Tom Clancy’s The Division, and this year saw… the continued hype for both games. Unfortunately, none of their press conference demos looked much different from last year’s The division featuring a co-op team looting enemies and caches around a massive quarantined city, and Siege once again pitting two teams against each other in that game’s gadget-laden asymmetrical battle.
SiegeThe public beta of the game will begin on September 24, but the actual release date of the game has not yet been announced The division starting in March 2016.
The art of fighting
The closing of the conference, “one more thing” moment came in the form of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, a gritty, drug-led co-op game from Ubisoft Paris. Dune buggies, snipers, parachuting machine guns, helicopters, pools of blood accumulating in piles of cocaine, cowboy hats – it filled the gap we’ve come to expect from nearly annual Distant scream announcements lately. No release date was attached, but we have to say that the brutal sensory overload left quite an impression.
The other major new IP press conference introduction came in the form of For honor, a sword-and-axe melee game that debuted a four-on-four melee mode. At first glance, the game seemed like a MOBA meet-Mordor taste, as player characters followed a giant mob of computerized grunts into battle, but it soon turned into a slow, brutal swordsmanship game.
The two-on-two duel we saw, which had been advertised as a system dubbed “the art of combat,” consisted largely of relentless blows and defensive strikes. Bloodborne-like high-speed rolls – and it ended, unsurprisingly, with a blood-spattered decapitation.
The Anno Civilization Building series expands with one more sequel: Anno 2205, which will launch on PC in November this year. The teaser trailer showed players building a city on Earth and developing a space-ready society so they could eventually go into space and build further colonies. Another old PC favorite, the high-speed, loop-loaded racer Trackmania, is finally getting a console version, called Trackmania Turbo.