Assassins are apparently terrible at keeping secrets. We know a lot about Ubisoft’s upcoming E3 show early next week, but the details still remain to be filled in. We’re going to hear a lot about sequels, and there’s as much to worry about there as there is with a brand new game. With a brand new game, you wonder if it’ll be interesting in the first place, where sequels just might not be fresh enough to warrant release. With so many sequels this year, Ubisoft has a lot of work to do. Here are a few things we’d like to see at their show.
Something fresh in Far Cry 5
The little we know about Far Cry 5 so far definitely has us intrigued. The move from exotic locales to something decidedly domestic (as opposed to Clearly Canadian) (sean you can take this joke out if you want) closes one political can of worms and opens up a completely different one. The game is set in Montana and focuses on an extremist religious cult with a penchant for firearms. If you’re old enough, you just thought of at least a few different actual things in very recent American history. Yeah, Ubisoft picked a really good nerve to pluck this time, and I’m excited to see if the writers can do something interesting with the characters and story.
But a video game isn’t just characters, story, and controversy. It has to be fun to play, it has to be interesting. The first few Far Cry games were all quite different from each other, and each was interesting and memorable in its own way. Far Cry 4, though, simply felt like Far Cry 3 in a different country. Far Cry Primal was interesting, but it wasn’t quite a full Far Cry game. The number on the end of this game’s title means it’s definitely a full-sized game, so the pressure is on for it to satisfy. If it feels like a skinned Far Cry 3 the same way Far Cry 4 did, the drama the subject matter drums up will hardly matter.
Far Cry 5 needs to do something fresh for the series to warrant another entry. The planes are a good start, but they won’t make or break the game.
A new Splinter Cell game
Splinter Cell: Blacklist, arguably the best of the Splinter Cell games, came out a whopping four years ago, back in 2013, and it released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Ask your parents what those are, kids. The series has been asleep for a while, and we’d love to see it come back. Blacklist was crafted in such a way that it was friendly for multiple gameplay styles and warranted multiple replays of levels. It was tightly made and tons of fun. Now that we’re on a whole new set of consoles and a few years removed, it’s time to look at the series again.
As if the time away weren’t enough, there’s still word floating around that a new Splinter Cell movie is actively under development. That seems like the kind of thing Ubisoft would want to have a game for. We wouldn’t expect them to try to pair the two, but keeping the license in gamers brains is a no-brainer.
That new IP isn’t an open-world shooter or sports game
Ubisoft has, in the last decade or so, developed a bit of a formula that started with Assassin’s Creed, continued with Far Cry, then added in elements of Tom Clancy. It becomes harder to distinguish one Ubisoft game from another over time. We see games like For Honor and Rainbow Six: Siege that break away from the strictly open-world formula, but everything from the aforementioned games to The Division, Watch Dogs, and Steep have featured elements of the formula to some degree or another.
Whatever Ubisoft is working on, we’d love to see it go in the polar opposite direction of their other stuff. A linear single-player game. An overhead RPG. Something totally out of left field.
Assassin’s Creed truly mixing things up
It’s been a whole two years since our last Assassin’s Creed game, Syndicate. It was pretty good, but it didn’t light the world on fire. A couple years off has given the team time to soup up the engine powering these games and, we’re hoping, integrate some new concepts. I don’t necessarily want to see the core parts of Assassin’s Creed go away. I love climbing things and stabbing historical figures. But, as with Far Cry, we really want Assassin’s Creed go somewhere new. And we don’t just mean to Egypt.
A new UbiArt game
Some of Ubisoft’s most memorable games in the past few years have been built on Ubisoft’s UbiArt engine. They’re always small and always creative. Child of Light was a sweet, beautiful take on JRPGs. Valiant Hearts was, at the time, just about the only game daring to venture into World War I. And Rayman is, well, Rayman. It’s been two years since the last UbiArt game hit, though, and it’s time for another weird, cute, and memorable game from Ubisoft.
Ubisoft’s E3 press conference takes place on Monday, June 12, at 1 p.m. PST.