Compared to EA's grab-bag of known quantities, Ubisoft's press conference was a literal font of surprises. Surprise! A new South Park game. Surprise! A new game called For Honor. Surprise! Some dude you've never heard of dancing and singing on stage, because…well, it wouldn't be a Ubisoft presser without ten minutes of absolute cringe.
Read on for full details of Ubisoft's E3 2015 presser, and stay tuned for our last conference of the day, Sony. We've almost made it through E3 2015 Day Zero!
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Wow. South Park: The Stick of Truth must've done really well for Ubisoft, because even after it suffered from multiple delays, we're still getting a second game, South Park: The Fractured But Whole. "We might regret it, but we're doing it again," said Matt Parker.
The Fractured But Whole (get it?) ditches the fantasy wrappings of Stick of Truth in favor of a superhero-themed adventure, and yes, Butters in his Professor Chaos supervillian role.
"A new IP in a new genre." That's how Ubisoft described For Honor, some sort of medieval combat game about Knights/Vikings/Samurai hitting each other with swords.
For what it's worth, this "new genre" looks pretty much like what PC people have been playing for years with Chivalry and War of the Roses/Vikings—multiplayer sword-fighting. Maybe with some light MOBA elements. It looks good! But nothing revolutionary by any means.
The Crew and Trials Fusion expansions
Open-world racer The Crew is getting an expansion, as is Trials Fusion—the latter of which has an amazing trailer that made me go from "Oh, is this Darksiders?!" to "No, it is a cat riding a unicorn." I don't understand, and I don't care. I still laughed.
As expected, we did get a second look at The Division during Ubisoft's presser after a brief trailer at Microsoft's event earlier in the day. Our second look introduced something called "The Dark Zone," which looked just as snowy and grim as any other area we've seen so far in The Division. In the Dark Zone, radio signals are unreliable, and Division agents are free to turn against other Division agents if a juicy opportunity emerges.
Of note: There's a beta coming early next year, and the game will totally, actually, finally release March 8, 2016.
Check the demo out for more of Ubisoft's "Forced Multiplayer Banter" hilarity. Also, a surprise appearance by the Wilhelm Scream.
Okay, you've played city builders, but what about a city-builder on the moon? Ubisoft showed off the next entry in its acclaimed Anno series, Anno 2205. And this one takes humans to a lunar colony—eventually. First you've got to earn it.
SimCity cribbing elements from Kerbal Space Program and Alpha Centauri? Well, I'm sold.
Dance. Dance. Dance your butts off. Now you can dance your butts off without a camera hooked up to your console, apparently. Keep on living out those Footloose dreams, people.
Oh, and Ubisoft's launching a "Just Dance Unlimited" streaming service subscription for folks who want to keep receiving new songs and updates on a continual basis, in exchange for shelling out continual money.
Rainbow Six: Siege
The most interesting part of our second Rainbow Six demo of the day? A brief look at the game's singleplayer/co-op experience. It looks like the destructibility of the multiplayer experience is still present, but playing against an AI the game looks quite a bit slower and more tactical.
I'm curious to see how this mode pans out, since I honestly didn't even expect there to be a non-PvP component. You'll be able to try it for yourself when Rainbow Six: Siege's beta goes live September 24.
No Need for Speed? No problem. Ubisoft is just going to show off more of the ridiculous, physics-defying stunts you can do in a new TrackMania, subtitled Turbo. Honestly I didn't know Ubisoft still supported TrackMania in any way.
Cool, though! And maybe the game will finally catch on, thanks to Twitch streaming's affinity for silly antics. Now…are we ever getting Questmania and all that jazz? Or did we give up on that?
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
Ubisoft introduced Assassin's Creed: Syndicate by saying the game "has it all," by which I assume they mean "It has all the things you've seen before."
Jokes aside, we didn't see any real game footage this year—just another grimy CG trailer full of trains, child labor, and dudes yelling in cockney accents. My only opinion so far? It looks more like a parody of Victorian London than a real historical era, but that opinion is also based on two trailers devoid of useful information.
After Assassin's Creed: Unity's disastrous reception last year, I think we'll hold off commenting on this one until we've seen something real.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
"Design who lives and who dies." That's apparently the selling point on Ubisoft's last big surprise of E3: An open-world Ghost Recon, dubbed Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
The trailer we saw showed operatives parachuting into a jungle wilderness before doing a Far Cry-style outpost takedown on a drug dealer's shantytown. My snap take: It looks like a cross between Far Cry and Just Cause 2, and I can sort of get behind that. Hopefully we'll get our hands on it later this week.