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Ubisoft is arguably the most consistent press conference at E3 each year. While they tend to trot out all the flagship franchises with either new installments or content updates – all to massive fanfare – they almost always hit us with a pleasant surprise that keeps me hungry for the future. From Watch Dogs 3 to a possible new Splinter Cell, this year should be jam packed with satisfying announcements.

  • The show began with a beautiful performance by the brand new Assassin’s Creed Symphony. An 80-piece orchestra led by Ivan Linn, this musical montage through AC history provided a burst of nostalgia I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t expecting to shed a tear in the first five minutes either. The only disappointments here came from the fact that the closest tour stop for me is Las Vegas (not even New York, guys?), and the crowd clapping the loudest for Black Flag. Bunch of overrated predictable little…
  • Moving onto the biggest leak of the show, Watch Dogs Legion! The latest installment in the hacking franchise takes place in post-Brexit London, complete with Cockney accents, futuristic self-driving cars and drones everywhere. It’s like Detroit, but with less androids and Connor doesn’t hate it…yet.
  • As we’d heard through reports and rumors, Legion focuses on NPC’s rather than a central protagonist. In the E3 demo, the player took control of a man named Ian, who scanned the surrounding NPC’s (as Watch Dogs is known for) to find a drone specialist for his DedSec branch. Every NPC has a set of attributes, from increased melee damage to technological know-how.
  • Combat seems pretty standard to the franchise, with guns, fisticuffs (sans yo-yo this time around), and hacking skills that can be seamlessly triggered. At one point the player was running through combat and caused a car to drive into a crowd before hacking a guard’s earpiece and finishing him off with a gunshot to the face. Brutal and frantic combat is the aim of the game.
  • Stealth is still a big draw, with each character having their own unique mask to protect their identity in combat. I say every character, because Watch Dogs Legion has an endless amount of player characters, all bound together by an AI named Bagley. Every operative is expendable, with the story seeming to shift around the NPC’s used and the choices you make.
  • Eventually the aforementioned Ian is gunned down in the line of fire, but Helen (a little old lady hacker) is sent to collect intel on the drone expert he found. Using new gadgets, such as a lethal crab drone, Helen gets the job done, and when the drone expert Jimmy asks “what happened to that bloke who helped me?” He’s told “he didn’t make it.” Does this mean the cutscenes adapt to character deaths and the choices being made? Is every NPC fully voiced and ready to pick up a weapon to fight for DedSec?
  • One thing’s for sure, your band of misfits in Legion is yours alone. You can customize your hackers and form anything from a group of ex-spies, to bare knuckle fighters, to retired granny assassins. Better yet, these grannies walk, fight, and parkour like, well, elderly.
  • I must admit the way that Watch Dogs shakes up their environment and their play style in each installment is refreshing. It seems like the London hackers have a new set of skills – such as invisibility – to fight back in this dangerous futuristic world.
  • Clint Hocking, known for the steaming pile of garbage that is Far Cry 2, came out onstage to announce that Legion is his new child, and it’ll be released…wait, what?
  • Watch Dogs Legion is coming March 6, 2020.
  • MARCH 6?!?! That’s ludicrous. That means we’re not getting a Watch Dogs or an Assassin’s Creed this year. I’ll just be in the corner sobbing, if you need me.
  • That dude (not Charlie Day) from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia took the stage next to talk about a show he’s making with Ubisoft, I guess? It’s called Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet and it’s like The Office but in a video game studio. I think. It’s being produced by the Always Sunny producers, and…that’s all we know. Literally it. No channel, date, anything. Super weird.
  • Rainbow Six Siege‘s 13th season started yesterday, bringing a new character, Warden. He’s a James Bond wannabe who looks really out of place in Siege, but also really bad ass. This game is entering its fourth year, and I’m honestly quite surprised this 10-year plan is working out for them. They have a massive fan base and I’m quite proud.
  • Adventure Time is grasping for relevance by joining the roster of Brawlhalla. I didn’t know this game was even out, let alone published by Ubisoft. Apparently this Adventure Time expansion is out now, including Jake the Dog and Finn the Human, and…girl. The fun will never end its Adventure Time! Enjoy!
  • In other news, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint looks sexy as all hell. The cutscenes do, at least. Here’s hoping the rest of the game does, too! Jon Bernthal is scary, as always, and as the antagonist of a story that revolves around betrayal and revenge, he fits right in as a terrifying lead. While I found myself easily bored of Wildlands, Breakpoint includes new technology, a tropical setting akin to Far Cry 3, and the return of AI teammates to make playing solo more convenient. Also Bam Bam (Bernthal’s dog wins E3.
  • The Breakpoint devs also announced Ghost Recon Delta Company, which is essentially an online community devoted to Ghost Recon fans, like the Space Monkeys program for Beyond Good & Evil 2. Here, fans can share their experiences and talk about this new direction for the Ghost Recon franchise.
  • Ghost Recon: Breakpoint‘s beta begins on September 4, with registration open now, and releases on October 5.
  • Breakpoint will be supported for “years to come,” with free content updates, and mysterious partnerships like… Terminator? Didn’t Gears 5 announce that, too? Man, they really want people to see this movie.
  • Holy shit, they announced a mobile game where you can play as any Tom Clancy video game character, from Siege operatives to Sam Fisher. The game also has a really eye-catching art style, and turn-based combat, it seems.
  • Elite Squad looks freaking rad, and if you pre-register you’ll gain access to an exclusive Breakpoint character. No release date was mentioned, however.
  • Just Dance made a return this year, but they kept it short and sweet. Beginning with a really cute video to celebrate 10 years of dancing, a crowd – including the iconic panda – swarmed the stage to songs by Panic! at the Disco and BLACKPINK.
  • Man, I love Just Dance. I know many many people are tired of it, but that shit built me. I lost weight back when I played it every day. Just Dance fueled my preteen years and I’m so glad it’s celebrating 10 successful years. Still on the original Wii, no less!
  • Just Dance 2020 comes out in November.
  • For Honor is still going strong, with a special event going on now through June 27. Shadows of the Hitokiri challenges players with a new female foe, the spirit of death.
  • Out of nowhere, Rainbow Six Quarantine was announced. Made by an entirely new team and led by a female designer, this “3-player tactical co-op” game brings a parasitic outbreak to the world of Rainbow Six. As stated by the lead developer Bio Jade Adam Granger, “What Siege is to the PvP shooter genre, we will be to PvE co-op.”
  • Rainbow Six Quarantine will release in early 2020, and registration is now open at their website for future info.
  • From June 13-16, The Division 2 will be free for all to test the waters.
  • The first major content update for The Division 2 is coming soon.
  • Episode 1 is called D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions, and takes place in The National Zoo. A new area, Kenly College, offers a new game mode focusing on exploration and finding clues.
  • Episode 2, releasing in the fall, is called Pentagon: The Last Castle. This update will include the game’s second 8-player raid.
  • Lastly, Episode 3 features a manhunt on Coney Island, though no release window was specified.
  • Finally, it was announced that The Division 2 movie starring Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal will be airing exclusively on Netflix.
  • The worst news of E3, Uplay+ is a new subscription service coming to PC.
  • EA Access for Ubisoft? Noooooooo!!!
  • Okay, maybe it’s not all bad. $14.99 a month, access to over a hundred games – including new releases – and if you sign up now you’ll get free access when it launches in September. Plus, it’s coming to Google Stadia in 2020!
  • Booooo cloud gaming boo.
  • It is an interesting name, though. Must be why “Uplay” became “Ubisoft Club” a while back.
  • Anyway, Uplay.com is where you can pre-register.
  • We had previously heard about a roller derby game being made by Ubisoft, and it was officially announced at E3 as Roller Champions!
  • A “team-based PvP sports game,” Roller Champions looks like Team Fortress 2 and feels like Rocket League.
  • There’s a pre-alpha demo going on right now through June 14, so get on that. Looks gorgeous and fun as hell.
  • A wild Yves has appeared!
  • Last, but not least, we heard about a new game from the creators of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey called Monster & Gods.
  • Not much was shown besides a short trailer with a cartoonish art style, but with a solid release date of February 25, 2020, this game will most likely be shown off in the near future. It focuses on mythology and dungeon exploration, so we may be in for a real treat!

No Splinter Cell, no Beyond Good & Evil 2, no big release this year besides Breakpoint. Disappointed? Kinda. But overall a fairly entertaining presser from my favorite company. Hopefully Watch Dogs Legion and Rainbow Six Quarantine will keep Ubisoft’s current hype train a-rolling down the track.

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