Oh Ubisoft, why you gotta play with my heart like that? It turns out those Walmart leaks weren’t entirely reliable, and for this I’m sad. Ubisoft’s show was solid overall, and I’m excited to see the games the company showed, but I can’t help but be disappointed.
What was missing? For me, Splinter Cell. That Walmart Canada leak showed a bunch of games that ended up being real, such as Bethesda’s Rage 2, and the list had Splinter Cell in it as well. That got my hopes up. The last Splinter Cell game was Splinter Cell: Blacklist back in 2013. It was one of the best games in the series, if not the best. The series has been dead ever since, until this year when Ubisoft brought protagonist Sam Fisher into Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Actor Michael Ironside was back as the voice, and did a round of interviews for it. That’s a lot of work for some downloadable content, so that seemed to confirm that the game was coming. But the show started and ended without so much as a whisper.
With that said, Ubisoft still has a lot on offer, and the company did a good job of showing it off.
The show started off very strong with an exciting new cinematic trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2.
This set the tone for the show. Ubisoft showed off tons of stuff and kept the show tight and focused on games and what’s in the games. No skits, a little silliness. Just games, and with a tone that suggested that fans were the intended audience, not investors.
Nintendo fans can look forward to further collaboration with Ubisoft. The first is a Donkey Kong-specific expansion for Mario+Rabbids, the surprisingly fun strategy game Ubisoft released last year.
The second comes in the form of Starlink, the space exploration-and-combat ship-building toys-to-life game. That’s a lot of hyphens, right? It looks a bit like a scaled down No Man’s Sky from what little we’ve seen. Switch users, though, will be able to bring Star Fox along for the ride. Ubisoft trotted out Star Fox creator Shigeru Miyamoto to give him a model of Fox’s ship built specifically for Starlink.
Other games like Trials Rising and Just Dance had their charm, while Rainbow Six Siege and For Honor are continuing to chug along.
The real core of the show though, were the presentations for Skull & Bones, The Division 2 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Pirates, secret agents, and assassins.
The Division 2 showed that Ubisoft is looking at what fans what by bringing 8-player cooperative play to the table, while Assassin’s Creed Odyssey lets players play as a male or female character and brings in elements like dialogue trees and romance options for the first time. Skull & Bones meanwhile, looks like a grim and gritty pirate game for people who are less “The Curse of Monkey Island” and more “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The game features deep ship customization down to the ship’s figurehead and what kinds of cannons it packs.
Ubisoft didn’t say how much time we’ll be spending on foot, but the game is definitely focused on that ship-to-ship combat. The cinematic trailer hints at supernatural elements, too.
The show ended with Ubisoft’s president Yves Guillemot and his staff coming out as en masse to thank everyone for playing their games. It was a very gamer-oriented show with a big focus on games coming soon. We won’t have to wait long for any of this stuff.
But I still want my Splinter Cell.