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Ubisoft at E3 2017: The 8 best announcements

Guess what game didn’t leak out ahead of time?

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Ubisoft’s E3 press conference put its development teams front and center with a host of announcements. The presentation touched on sequels to many fan favorite franchises and included details on the new Assassin’s Creed Origins, Far Cry 5 and the first details on Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. The presentation even ended with the reveal of the first trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2.

Here’s a bite-sized summary of the biggest Ubisoft stories of the day.


Shigeru Miyamoto was on hand to introduce Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

The presentation began with a love-fest between Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto vamping with mock-up props from Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, a wacky mashup due out August 29 or Nintendo Switch.

The gameplay took nearly everyone by surprise. We knew it was going to be turn-based, but in motion the game very closely resembled the Firaxis reboot of XCOM. The Rabbids have been teleported to the Mushroom Kingdom and must work together with Mario and his friends to bring peace to the realm.

Bayek raids a treasure-filled tomb in Assassin’s Creed Origins Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Origins is coming on strong

Rather than the lengthy CGI trailers from years past, Ubisoft came in with a succinct trailer setting the tone and theme. Set in ancient Egypt, they showed off vast open deserts, deadly swamps and period weapons. There’s a promise of 30 minutes of actual gameplay right after the show.

The Crew 2 logo

The Crew 2 hits the land, sea and air

The United States is once again the setting the The Crew 2. The splashy trailer focused on exploring what Ubisoft called “motor nation” and included just about every type of racing vehicle imaginable. That includes supercars and high-performance street cars, motorcycles and dune buggies but also stunt planes and cigarette boats. There were WWII-era fighter planes, fixed-wing racing planes and rotor-wing police choppers. One scene even showed off a race through the swamps with shallow-hulled riverboats.

The final game is expected in early 2018 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. There’s a link for beta access now.

transference Spectrevision/Ubisoft

Actor Elijah Wood teams up with Ubisoft for Transference

Little is known about the new virtual reality game called Transference, but it’s being produced by Spectrevision, actor Elijah Wood’s development company. He explained to the player how an obscure research program from the 1990s was able to record brain activity and allow users to experience it first hand. It’s expected in Spring 2018 for major VR headsets.

Ubisoft Singapore

Skull and Bones is a spiritual successor to Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag

Ubisoft Singapore had the enviable task of taking the best feature from Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and turning it into a standalone game called Skull and Bones. The result is a multiplayer tactical action game that encourages players to “climb the food chain and surpass the legend of every pirate who ever sailed the seven seas.”

In Skull and Bones, each player is the captain of their own pirate ship. They can go it alone, or form up with four other players for five-versus-five multiplayer battles.

The game includes heavily armored frigates, brigantines with deadly rams on their prow and sloops of war capable of striking from a distance with massive mortars.

The game is divided into seasons, which will allow players to head back in on a regular basis to climb the leaderboard. In the closing moments Ubisoft also showed off a quick trailer that seemed to show a gigantic, kraken-like creature rising from the depths.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas Ubisoft

Toys to life game Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Collectible starship toys are the centerpiece of Ubisoft’s new toys to life game called Starlink: Battle for Atlas. The hook is that the little toy ships all have interchangeable parts. When you clip them to your controller, the game recognizes the modifications and brings your new kit into the game on the spot.

Far Cry 5 - Daniel Seed holding gun Image: Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft

New gameplay from Far Cry 5

Montana had a cameo on the French publisher’s stage with a long montage of new gameplay footage. Ubisoft showed off the game’s AI companions, including a friendly dog, and showed a bit of cooperative gameplay as well.


Ubisoft’s best kept secret is Beyond Good & Evil 2

A prequel to the 2003 classic, Beyond Good & Evil 2 is real. Ubisoft treated fans to a CGI trailer featuring their favorite 24th century pig/man. The game takes place in System 3, an interstellar hub that Earthlings have migrated to.

Also, all of these games (and more) have trailers which are are absolutely worth your time to check out right here.

E3 2017 begins on June 13, with press conferences starting June 10. For the big announcements, make sure to check out our one-stop shop for the show's streams.

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