E3 2018 Highlights: Ubisoft Press Conference

By Mike Sousa on June 11, 2018, 8:53PM EDT
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E3 2018 had some really great conferences so far this year, but Ubisoft is here and ready to claim the spotlight of the whole show. With a strong line-up of games, including The Crew 2, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Skull & Bones, and the new Assassin's Creed title, Ubisoft had everything going for it to deliver a great show.

Ubisoft kicked off its conference with the announcement of Just Dance 2019 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, Nintnedo Wii U, and Nintendo Wii. Just Dance 2019 will feature 40 brand new songs including "Finesse (Remix)" by Bruno Mars Ft. Cardi B, "Bum Bum Tam Tam" by MC Fioti, and plenty of other dance hits from around the world, as well as brand new dance stages designed by creative experts like street artist Chanoir and stop-motion studio Clay Animation. With the return of Kids mode, even the youngest dancers can make sure their big Bronx boogie's got all the dancers shook.

Just Dance 2019 also offers up a completely personalized experience. The game learns your dancing habits and offers up custom recommendations based off your previous song selections. You can also create your own custom playlists to make sure that you can easily access your favorite jams and have Bruno sing to you while you do your money dance whenever you want. Just Dance 2019 launches on the 23rd of October in North America and on the 25th of October in Europe.

Ubisoft then unveiled a new cinematic trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2, and announced it's partnering with HitRECord – a collaborative creative platform founded by Joseph Gordon-Levitt – and inviting artists to create content for the game, such as poster designs, radio ads, and music. Open to artists of all skill levels and fields, the partnership encourages participants to work with others – including the developers of Beyond Good and Evil 2 themselves – and will offer creative briefings to guide the process. Artists will be able to link their HitRECord and Space Monkey Program accounts, and start submitting content with the tag "BGE2" for review by the development team. Creators will also be credited and paid for their contributions based on item type, scope of work, and intention for its use.

Justin Kruger, Community Developer on Rainbow Six Siege, came up on stage to announce that Rainbow Six Siege has officially surpassed 35 million registered players across all platforms. To celebrate the ever-growing Siege community, Ubisoft will debut "Another Mindset," a documentary that highlights Siege's role in forming bonds that transcend gaming.

Ubisoft then officially announced Trials Rising for PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch. Developed by Ubisoft RedLynx and Ubisoft Kiev, Trials Rising will introduce riders to tracks set in famous real-world locations with creative twists. With more tracks than ever, Trials Rising will challenge players to earn a spot on the leaderboards, compete against other riders, and take on contract challenges from in-game sponsors to rise through the ranks on their way to Trials glory.

The game will feature local and online multiplayer, as well as the ability to compete against the ghosts of other players' best times in single player. The game will also feature a new mode called Tandem Bike that will test riders' cooperation as two players split control of one bike and try to navigate action-packed tracks. Players can register now for a chance to join the upcoming closed beta for Trials Rising. Trails Rising releases in February 2019.

Julian Gerighty, Creative Director on Tom Clancy's The Division 2 was the next person to go up on stage and revealed lots of new details on The Division 2, as well as a new cinematic trailer and some gameplay footage. The Division 2 is set in Washington D.C, seven months after a deadly virus was released in New York City and the nation has become a shell of its former glory. While the virus has been contained, its effects are most evident in the devastated streets of the nation's capital where survivors cling to hope and struggle to rebuild. Enter The Division, a unit of civilian sleeper agents who now must work to stop enemy factions from completely taking over the city – and ultimately, the nation. With civilians helpless and fearing for their lives, players will be the last line of defense in preventing the total collapse of society.

Progress also continues long after Level 30. Once you reach the level cap, you'll be able to select a Specialization. Each Specialization, like sharpshooter, demolitionist, or survivalist, comes with its own progression path. These paths introduce new skill mods, talents, and tools, including brand new signature weapons. As you further customize your Agent, you'll also have access to a wealth of PvP experiences, including a fully revamped Dark Zone experience. The game will also feature eight-player raids will make their way to The Division 2. These challenging missions will test the skill, communication, and teamwork of even the most expert Agents. The Division 2 will see the inclusion of a year's worth of story-driven missions, map expansions, and new modes for free. The Division 2 will arrive on the 15th of March for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Following up, Ubisoft announced that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure, the game's upcoming DLC, will launch on the 26th of June. Spread across four new zones, Donkey Kong Adventure focuses on Donkey Kong and Rabbid Cranky, who team up with Rabbid Peach to fight off Rabbid Kong, who's angrier and more powerful than ever. Donkey Kong Adventure introduces new gameplay elements, with one of the biggest being DK's grab-and-throw skill. Giving him the ability to pick up and throw enemies, allies, explosive sentries, or even pieces of cover around the map, it opens up new ways for creative players to devastate their enemies.

The next game to be shown to the public was one of Ubisoft's most anticipated titles, Skull & Bones. During the conference, Ubisoft showcased a new cinematic trailer, and a new gameplay trailer that shows off a new PvPvE mode called Hunting Grounds. Setting players loose in the open Indian Ocean, this new mode will let them hunt merchant ships, loot trade routes, and sink enemy vessels either as a lone wolf or part of a pirate gang. As you pillage and plunder your way towards fame and notoriety, you'll have to fend off the forces of powerful empires, fiendish rival pirates, and even the treacherous ocean itself. And in true pirate fashion, there's always the possibility of your pirate gang turning on you to take your riches. Skull & Bones will launch in 2019 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

The upcoming VR psychological thriller Transference also received a new trailer at the conference, with Ubisoft announcing that the game will release this fall on PS4, Xbox One and PC, with full support for VR devices. When brilliant-but-troubled scientist Raymond Hayes experiments with brain data collected from himself and his family, their combined consciousness begins to form a dark and twisted digital simulation. In Transference, players will be enveloped in this mind-bending digital world and shift between the perspectives of Raymond, his wife Katherine, and their son Benjamin to recover the fragmented family memories and attempt to piece together their mystery. Transference combines live-action footage with environmental storytelling to unlock haunting emotions that lingers long after you put the controller down.

Ubisoft then announced that Starlink: Battle for Atlas will launch on the 16th of October on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. In addition, Nintendo's Fox McCloud of Star Fox fame, complete with his Arwing, will join The Starlink Initiative as a playable character for the entirety of the game's open-world campaign, including missions exclusive to Fox as add on content on the Nintendo Switch version. The retail Nintendo Switch Starter Pack for Starlink comes with a physical Fox McCloud Pilot and Arwing, along with several in-game items.

Next up, Ubisoft announced the biggest-ever For Honor update, titled Marching Fire, which adds a New Faction, Heroes, and a Game Mode. The Marching Fire update arrives on October 16, introducing a new faction from China, the Wu Lin, who add four new Heroes to the current roster of 18. Marching Fire also adds a new 4v4 multiplayer mode, Breach, which lets players take part in a full-on castle siege. A sizable raft of other improvements and additions are on the way as well, including graphical enhancements and a new mode featuring unlimited PvE content, which will be fully unveiled at a later date. In addition, the Starter Edition of For Honor is free on PC via Uplay from June 11 to June 18. All other digital PC and console versions will be on sale for up to 75% off during this week.

With the launch of The Crew 2 just three weeks away, Ubisoft announced that The Crew 2 Open Beta will begin on the 21st of June on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Giving players access to the game's entire open world – a scale model of the entire US, with nine major cities and seven distinct regions – the open beta is a chance to climb through the first two levels of the progression system. As you earn followers by competing in events, pulling off street stunts, and doing just about any other cool thing you can think of, you'll unlock new vehicles, motorsports disciplines, and events in which to compete. Also, just like in the full version, you'll be able to explore alone or team up with up to three friends in co-op during the beta period. The Crew 2 releases on the 29th of June.

With the conference nearing its end, Ubisoft brought on stage its most anticipated title, Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Set during the Peloponnesian War, an ancient conflict between Athens and Sparta that was a crucial turning point in Grecian history, the Greece of Odyssey is torn between democracy and tyranny, myth and science, order and chaos – and you'll play a crucial role in deciding its fate.

In a series first, Assassin's Creed Odyssey will continually confront players with story-altering choices, letting you pick what to say, who to trust, and what to do. The first choice you'll make is picking who you want to be. Set nearly four centuries before the events of Assassin's Creed Origins and the founding of the Assassin Brotherhood, Assassin's Creed Odyssey doesn't cast you as an Assassin – you're a mercenary (or "misthios"), unbound by any creed and free to forge your own destiny. More specifically, you can play as one of two mercenaries – Spartans Alexios and Kassandra – and the one you choose is locked into the role of protagonist throughout the game. No matter who you choose, the two are evenly matched, and will follow the same storyline and lead the same stalwart crew of adventurers on a seafaring quest for money, fame, justice, and revenge.

You're more than just an adventurous Spartan, however; you're a descendant of King Leonidas, and you'll carry the tip of his spear to prove it. You'll also have control over an eagle, Ikaros, who scouts from above and lets you tag targets. The broken Spear of Leonidas – wielded like a dagger in combat as a secondary blade, or during assassinations in place of the Hidden Blade – is actually a First Civilization artifact, one that grants your chosen mercenary seemingly superhuman abilities that you'll develop as you progress through the game.

Any differences between an Alexios or Kassandra adventure are largely a result of your actions. Throughout the course of the game, you'll be confronted with choices big and small, with control over dialogue options, which side you fight for during conflicts, and which romantic partners you pursue, among other things. You can also outright refuse some quests if you don't want to take them on, which may lead to new ones later. Assassin's Creed Odyssey releases on the 5th of October on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

What were your favorite moments at Ubisoft's E3 conference? Did they go beyond your expectations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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