Classic Meets Modern

Ubisoft Entertainment kicked off its E3 press conference with a reaffirmation of its commitment to fans, punctuated with an hysterical view of the new South Park: The Fractured But Whole, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone announced that the new game would feature kids from the television show--this time playing as superheroes--and would delve deep into the back story of the nameless new kid hero of the original game. The Fractured But Whole is available for pre-order now, though Ubisoft did not announce on which platforms or release dates.

Completely new for 2015 is For Honor, a medieval combat game described by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot as a new idea in a new genre. In For Honor, two teams of four players take part in hand-to-hand combat battles featuring realistic weapons, moves, and tactics. A playable demo is available on the E3 show floor for gamers to test drive. For Honor will be released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC; the date has not yet been announced.

The Crew: Wild Run, available November 17 for the same platforms, is an expansion to the wildly popular, massively multiplayer auto racing game. Wild Run gives The Crew a graphical upgrade and expands the multiplayer to an even larger scope, allowing for truly massive interactions.

Also on the racing front, Ubisoft announced that Trackmania Turbo will be available on Xbox One and PS4, although no specific release date was given. The highly customizable, arcade-style racing game will now include a Track Builder mode that generates racetracks randomly, at the touch of a button. In addition to the huge number of pre-made tracks across various difficulty tiers, the Track Builder ensures that players will have unlimited content to keep the adrenaline pumping.

Speaking of adrenaline, Ubisoft revealed Trials Fusion: Awesome Level Max, a new expansion for Trials Fusion. The racing title allows players to perform crazy stunts as they blast through the game's obstacle-filled tracks. The Awesome Level Max expansion releases July 14 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC--and Ubisoft's new trailer featured a pistol-wielding cat riding a flaming unicorn, underscoring the over-the-top style of the expansion.

This strategy game Anno 2205 was featured next--the latest in developer Blue Byte's popular Anno series of city-builder titles. Anno 2205 begins on a futuristic, sci-fi Earth and challenges players to create a city that is efficient and populous enough to send colony ships out to the stars. From there, players eventually have to build cities on the surface of the moon, for a completely different challenge. Anno 2205 releases November 3 for PC.

Perhaps no Ubisoft title has been as hotly anticipated as Tom Clancy's The Division, and the demo at the press conference highlighted that game's complex, free-form multiplayer mode. A group of players entered into the dark zone of New York City--an area infected by a deadly virus--and hunted for valuable treasure amidst the zone's many dangers. Once there, the players encountered A.I. enemies, but were also met by another unaffiliated group of players. These groups decided to form an impromptu alliance and take down the A.I., but by the time they were ready to extract, things had changed. In rapid succession, the first group decided to steal their fellow players' loot and bushwhack their former allies. Then they were betrayed by one of their own--who kept all the loot for himself and ran off.

It's clear that The Division will be a game that emphasizes player choice and emergent circumstances above all else. In addition to fast-paced action and tactical combat skill, The Division will demand the rarest of all gamer qualities: trust. Ubisoft encouraged players to try it for themselves on the E3 show floor, and announced that a beta version for Xbox One, PS4, and PC will be available in early 2016. The Division will hit store shelves March 8, 2016.

Coming just in time for 2016 is Just Dance 2016, the latest in the massively popular series of dancing titles for Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One. Available for all platforms this October, Just Dance 2016 no longer requires players to use camera peripherals in order to play. Instead, they will be able to integrate their smartphones into camera-less consoles or computers in order to play--although players who do have camera-equipped consoles can continue using them. The game will come with Just Dance Unlimited, a music-streaming service that allows players to get the newest songs on a regular basis for a monthly fee.

Another Tom Clancy series came next: Rainbow Six: Siege, which made a huge splash when it was announced at E3 2014. Continuing to delight fans, Ubisoft focused on showcasing the solo and cooperative modes for the close-quarters tactical shooter. The game's Terrorhunt--playable alone or with up to four friends--pits players against the game's A.I. in four modes. One mode requires players to assault a fortified terrorist position and disarm a bomb.. While Ubisoft focused on the player-versus-A.I. Terrorhunt mode at its press conference, it announced that players could try player-versus-player combat at the Ubisoft booth on the E3 show floor. The Rainbow Six: Siege beta will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC beginning September 24.

Of course, no Ubisoft press conference would be complete without a look at the publisher's famed Assassin's Creed series. Set in London circa 1868, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate puts players in the shoes of brother-and-sister assassins, both set on taking over the mean streets of Victorian London. Ubisoft debuted an extended trailer for the game and stated this was the first modern Assassin's Creed game ever. Syndicate arrives October 23 on PS4 and Xbox One, with a PC version following at a later date.

Finally, Guillemot revealed that Ubisoft is working on an entirely new title in the beloved Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series. Titled Ghost Recon: Wildlands, this game is an open-world, military-themed action-stealth title where players can approach challenges in different ways to fit their own play styles. Fighting against ruthless drug cartels, players must work together to overcome heavy odds by any means necessary. Ubisoft did not announce platforms or release dates for Wildlands.

With a combination of exciting new properties, innovative updates of beloved series, and highly anticipated sequels, Ubisoft has proven yet again its commitment to gamers and the games they love.

  • Exhibitor:
  • Ubisoft Entertainment

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