E3 2017 was a memorable one for the UbiBlog as we cheered big announcements, interviewed passionate developers, and played great games from Ubisoft’s E3 line-up. Now that we’ve had some time to reflect on the big event, we put together a list of some of our favorite moments.
The Irresistible Joy of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
When we visited Ubisoft Milan & Ubisoft Paris, we went in wondering how the unexpected team-up of Mario and the Rabbids could possibly have come to be, and came away with an answer. It’s the same answer that everyone saw during the incredible opener to Ubisoft’s E3 conference; Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle exists because of the unabashed love that the teams have for creating games, and for the games that inspired them to become creators. No one was a better representative of this passion than Davide Soliani, the creative director who was overcome with emotion seeing his game introduced to the world by the creator of Mario himself, Shigeru Miyamoto. Soliani became a symbol of the pride and dedication that developers put into their work, and of the many ways video games can bring us joy.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 Makes a Big Splash
One of the biggest surprises of E3 2017 was a closely guarded secret, so when the stage went dark for a few seconds too long, only to blaze to life with a view of a far-future back alley, the auditorium went nuts. Beyond Good and Evil 2 had made its explosive entrance at last, and the moment hit home when the trailer was followed by a dewy-eyed appearance from Creative Director Michel Ancel, Narrative Director Gabrielle Shrager, and their development team, who invited the audience to join them in creating this new adventure through the Space Monkey Program.
Assassin’s Creed Origins’ Living World
Assassin’s Creed Origins impressed with its reinvented combat, exploration, and detailed recreation of Ancient Egypt, but what really stuck out was something that happened while we were just out exploring the world. While we swam in the middle of the vast expanse of Lake Moeris, a crocodile, apparently annoyed by our opposable thumbs and flagrant tool use, had just bashed our little boat to flinders, leaving us stranded and hunted – for all of a few seconds. A friendly fisherman almost immediately steered his boat into our path, pulled it to a stop, and waited patiently for us to climb aboard and take the tiller. We even heard a muttered “Bayek” mixed in with his slightly resigned, untranslated Ancient Egyptian as he shuffled off to sit at the bow.
It was a small moment, but one that instantly forged a connection between us, Bayek, and the world – here was a place where Bayek was known and seen as a hero, someone the locals wouldn’t turn their backs on. Here was a civilian who wasn’t there to fill out a scene, but who unhesitatingly took a risk to help us out of a jam, and stuck around until he was no longer needed. In that moment, the ancient world felt real, alive, and relatable – and that’s what makes Assassin’s Creed such a special series.
Wreaking Havoc in Far Cry 5’s Heartland
It’s hard to pinpoint the moment we enjoyed most while exploring the lengthy demo for Far Cry 5. Was it the first time Boomer the dog brought us the gun from a cultist? The time we ordered pilot Nick Rye to bomb a tanker-truck roadblock, creating a massive explosion? Or how about when we caught a friggin’ sturgeon while fishing, setting a demo-room record for the day? Tell you what: let’s split the difference and go for the time we stole a combine harvester from an angry-looking beardo and ran down all his friends with it, thereby freeing a little slice of Hope County in the most gruesome way possible.
Starry-Eyed for the Starships of Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Beyond Good & Evil 2 wasn’t the only space-faring surprise at the Ubisoft conference. We’re mesmerized by the world of Starlink: Battle for Atlas; after all, flying seamlessly between planetary exploration and interstellar travel is the dream of any space cowboy. But seeing the way you can customize your in-game vessel by swapping pieces on your toy starship is what really stands out, not to mention how light the expertly balanced ships feel when mounted on your controller.
The Tension of Skull & Bones
The seas of Skull & Bones are gorgeous to behold, and when we traveled to Ubisoft Singapore to see the game, we felt like we could stare at the rolling waves for hours. The competitive Loot Hunt mode demoed at E3, however, is not a place for peaceful contemplation, especially at the end of a match. With your hold laden with loot, you must make a mad dash for a narrow opening in the reef to escape the menacing pirate hunters. Your enemies are making the same move too, and as you draw closer, you must weigh the need to get away with your haul against the desire to deny your foes their spoils. Cannons boom, splinters fly, and the tension rises to a fever pitch as the placid waters are stirred into a frenzy with the excitement of high-seas combat.
The Crew 2 Says “Why Not?”
As if it wasn’t enough for The Crew 2 to let you boat, drive, and fly your way across a reimagined open world take on the United States, the development team went and added one of the coolest features we’ve seen in a racing game – the world actually folds on itself during some races. When we asked Producer Stephan Jankowski why the team wanted to put that feature in the game, his response was “why not?” We couldn’t agree more.
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