E3 2017 Day 3: Ubisoft

By Shamus
on Jun 12, 2017
Filed under:
Video Games

Now it’s Ubiosoft’s turn. I expect I’ll be pretty negative here, assuming I have anything to say at all. For most of these companies I can at least say, “Sure, the company leadership is annoying, but I really like their products!” But that’s not the case here. I hate their particular house style of open-world collect-a-thon. I can’t stand Assassins Creed. I’ve never connected with Far Cry. The Tom Clancy stuff doesn’t do anything for me. I hated WATCH_DOGS. Okay, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is one of my all-time favorites, but that was, what? 2003? And I’ve disliked where the sequels went after that one. For Honor isn’t my thing.

And then there’s UPlay, this unsightly growth on the face of the company that they’re still insisting is a “beauty mark”. And before that was their ridiculous dedication to always-online DRM.

So yeah. Obnoxious company with terrible policies, bad taste, an abusive approach to DRM, and a library of games I don’t care about. Probably not going to be a fun show for me. I guess I can at least look forward to seeing presenter Aisha Tyler do her thing, right?

Actually, no. The rumor is that they’re not going to have Tyler hosting their press conference this year. That’s bad news, since she’s always been the best part (only good part) of their show. Ubisoft is the stiffest of the corporate stiffs, to the point where they make Microsoft look punk rock by comparisonThe Division staged demos were always an epic cringe-fest. On the other hand, the For Honor guy was probably the coolest dude at E3 last year.. So they really need a professional to make their presentation feel more like a party and less like a board meeting with an audience.

They claim Tyler isn’t appearing this year so they can have a better focus on their developers. This seems like a strange reason, since one of the duties of a good host is to bring people out on stage and make them feel comfortable, even if they’re not in show business. If we’re talking about putting designers, programmers, and artists out on stage, then the last thing in the world you’d want is to have them address that great big crowd directly. Instead you can have them come out and talk to the host.


Aisha Tyler.

Aisha Tyler.

Imagine a programmer walking onto the Tonight Show stage and trying to talk directly to the crowd. Now imagine how much easier it would be for them to come out and talk to Jimmy Fallon. He can greet them with a smile, make them feel relaxed (or just slightly less terrified) and give them a single face to focus on. Jimmy knows the script and can make sure they hit all their cues. He can prompt them if they freeze up or forget a line. He can make a joke to smooth over some awkwardness.

Basically if you’re bringing a bunch of developers out on stage then you need a professional host more than ever, and so I have no idea why they would drop Tyler.

On the other hand, who’s to say they dropped her? Maybe she passed on the job this year for whatever reason, and this is their plan B.

On the other, OTHER hand, this show is being held in LA. It’s not like it’s hard to find a show business professional in the area. If Tyler can’t do it, just hire someone else.

I don’t know. Maybe they’ve got a lot of really confident / charismatic / quick-witted / photogenic game developers and it will all be fine. Or maybe they’re going to do a lot of pre-recorded interview stuff. Or maybe it’s going to be CringeFest 2017. Or maybe Cringe-Con. Or The Cringe Expo. CringeDEX. Cringella. San Diego Cringie-Con. CringieCade. Sakura-Cringe. Cringeapolooza. EuroCringe.

I guess we’ll see once the show starts. You can watch the stream here.

First up:

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

This is happening. This is a real game.

This is happening. This is a real game.

Shigeru Miyamoto!!

Ubisoft brings legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto out on stage. I love this guy. It’s very strange to see him out on Ubisoft’s stage. I know Ubi works with Nintendo, but I don’t think they’ve ever done something like this before. They’re bringing the Rabbids to the world of Mario. That seems like a strange blend. It’s like Ren & Stimpy visiting Phineas & Ferb.

But it turns out the game is a… turn-based tactical shooter? I’m not sure I’m okay with Mario using a gun. Maybe he’s done that before, but it feels a little off for the character.

The look and feel of this game seems just right. The controls, the colors, the interface, the music. It was developed by Ubisoft, but it feels like a Nintendo-style product. Lots of developers have tried to do this sort of thing and come up short.

Asassins Creed Origins

This happened. They pointed a camera at a laptop.

This happened. They pointed a camera at a laptop.

I don’t play Mario games, but I still care about him as a franchise due to the massive cultural significance and the interesting things the series is always doing with gameplay. By contrast, I don’t play Assassins Creed and I also don’t care about the series.

Although, it was ridiculous that they just aimed the camera at a washed-out laptop screen. It’s like, you’ve got a jumbo screen there. Just play some pre-recorded game footage on that.

The Crew 2

I know I’m often down on adding stories to mechanics-focused genres. It’s not because I’m against the idea of stories. It’s because I have no confidence in their ability to create a proper story. A story isn’t just a bunch of crap that happens in sequence. You need characters with internal conflict and character arcs. You need to introduce opposition, establish motivations, raise stakes, and have the internal character conflict expressed through their external actions. It’s hard to do, and too many games just have a chain of tasks that increase spectacle without really doing any of the nuts & bolts of storytelling. The trailer for the Crew 2 looks exactly like that sort of story. I mean, I don’t think we met a single character in all that footage.

Which, fine. They’re showing off the gameplay now. But that’s my point. They’re showing us how fun the game is to play, but when you play the game yourself all that action will be locked behind a bunch of idiotic cutscenes. That’s what it looks like to me, anyway.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Transference, Skull and Bones, Just Dance

A South Park game, a VR horror game, a PVP pirate game, and Just Dance. None of this is really in my wheelhouse. There are some interesting ideas in these titles, but I don’t really have any desire to play them.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

You can attach a huge toy spaceship to your controller to help you control your in-game spaceship. I hate this. I hate the idea of this. I hate the look of it.

I get that this is sort of taking the Amiibo idea to the next level. I’m going to assume SOMEONE out there wants this, but it’s not me.

Far Cry 5

For me the Far Cry series has always been a few interesting mechanics and a lovely open world, but hopelessly buried in hours of repetitive grinding. I just can’t get into it.

Beyond Good & Evil 2

Well, that won me over. It doesn’t look or feel anything like the original, but it looked spectacular. I don’t know if I want to play the game, but I really want to watch that movie. BG & E doesn’t have a release date yet and they didn’t even tell us what platforms it would be on, so we’re probably still pretty far from launch.

Still, that movie was beautiful. It was new. It was charming. It’s the best thing I’ve seen at E3 so far this year. I’ll link to the video once someone uploads it. It really is worth watching.

EDIT: Here it is:


Link (YouTube)

So that’s the Ubisoft show. I know I was pretty negative / indifferent, but I’m glad we ended on a positive note.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] The Division staged demos were always an epic cringe-fest. On the other hand, the For Honor guy was probably the coolest dude at E3 last year.



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From the Archives:

  1. The Rocketeer says:

    Ubisoft is the stiffest of the corporate stiffs, to the point where they make Microsoft look punk rock by comparison.

    Ubisoft is presently settling for second place. Square-Enix’s presentation last year might be the dullest of all time, notwithstanding Yoko Taro’s grotesquely inimitable presence.

    But Square doesn’t have their own conference this year, so it’s the frogs’ chance to step up and take gold.

    • Shamus says:

      Did I miss the SE show last year? I don’t remember that bit at all.

      Then again, I think the worst presentation of all time was Konami during their final outing. (Was that 2015? 2014? I don’t remember.) I actually turned it off. It was surreal in its awfulness.

      • The Rocketeer says:

        By “that part,” I don’t know if you mean Yoko Taro or the whole conference, but I couldn’t blame your for memory-holing either. (Disclosure: I’m a big Yoko fan and NieR: Automata floored my ass.) Likewise, I’ll take your word on Konami’s conference. If you didn’t livestream it when it happened, I probably didn’t see it. If you did, and neither of us remember it… that says a lot, too.

        Then again, last year’s PC conference was infamously terrible, not least for its marathon length, but that can’t be laid at the feet of a particular developer.

  2. Bubble181 says:

    Ubisoft does have some games that (can) interest me…But they’re not the games likely to be on big display. And even so, the last entries in those series were both horrible.
    I am, of course, talking about Heroes of Might and Magic, and Settlers. So, um, yeah.

    Also, didn’t they also publish Might and Magic X? While I absolutely agree about their shitty DRM and always-online, their main titles, and their corporate culture, they do publish some interesting indie-like things, no?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Heroes of Might and Magic

      Which theyve ruined completely.

      and Settlers.

      Wait,ubisoft has that one?That explains why the last one was 7,almost a decade ago.I mean,if we dont count online,which we wont.

      they do publish some interesting indie-like things, no?

      They do have a few interesting ones from time to time.

    • djw says:

      Heroes of Might and Magic III was one of the best games ever made, but the series has gone linearly downhill since then. VII was the first one that I just skipped entirely. VIII (if they make it) will probably cause cancer.

      I really liked Might and Magic X, so I guess it is *possible* for a game that I like to be created and published by Ubisoft, but the odds are stacked the other way.

      • Corsair says:

        Eh, I’d say Heroes had a more chaotic movement. 3 is amazing, 4 was meh, 5 was pretty good, and then 6 was a hideous nosedive that continued right into 7.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          4 was good if you got the fan made content.User made maps and campaigns are great,and the equilibris mod is fantastic.Sadly it was released as an unfinished mess.

          5 was good after the expansions.Vanilla is bland,poorly balanced and often boring.

        • djw says:

          I liked 4 better than 5. Heroes 5 tried to remake heroes 3, but was inferior in pretty much all important respects. Heroes 4 at least attempted to make a different game that was interesting in its own right, even if it was not as good as 3.

          That said, Heroes 5 did have some merit, and I enjoyed the time that I spent with it. Heroes 6 was bland and crappy. I can’t really comment on 7 since I did not play it, but it looked pretty bad.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            You have to look at just the opening cinematic of 7 to see how shitty it is.Its the worst one in the whole series,and worse than even the trailer they had for the game.

          • djw says:

            Also, Jon Van Caneghem was still involved in the production of Heroes IV. The lore direction for Heroes V onward is pretty bad.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Yeah.Not even the worst of the previous heroes had something as stupid as aaeglr.

              • RCN says:

                Eh… I thought 7 was better than 6. Better hero advancement. Better faction identity. Better strategy and better overall gameplay.

                Where it really dropped the ball was in the polish. The game was simply HORRIBLE at launch. The UI was a disaster. The animation, even though most of it was copy-pasted DIRECTLY from 6, was somehow off (6 had VERY good animation direction and design). The sound design was beyond atrocious. And every single spell in the game from the weakest to the most powerful, felt stiff and pathetic.

                Things DID improve with updates and the DLC, but Ubisoft is depending too much on this kind of thing to correct their mistakes when they would be in a much better standing on these games if they JUST RELEASED THEM COMPLETE FROM THE START.

                I really hope some other guy in the team wins the internal raffle so we can get a Might & Magic XI though.

                But I’m pretty sure they’re at a point they’d just call it “Might & Magic”, because dropping the number has become the cool thing to do.

                • djw says:

                  I really liked X. Almost enough to load it up and play it again right now.

                  My thought on VII is that I might give it a try someday when the price is really, really low. The $50 price on Steam right now is a complete non-starter. If I see it for $10 (with all expansions and DLC) I’ll give it a look.

                • djw says:

                  That said, the crappy hero advancement was the main reason that I found VI so dull. At first I was relieved that I did not need a freaking phd to figure out how to get the “ultimate” skill (a la heroes V) but the skill tree was boring, and all the characters wound up carbon copies of each other.

                  If VII improved on that then they might earn my $10 (but certainly not $50).

                  • RCN says:

                    It improved because it is almost impossible for 2 different heroes to end up identical, because each hero has a specific subclass and each class is limited to which skills it can reach Grandmaster (only 3), which can reach master (5, including the grandmaster ones) and which can go to expert (10 total), other skills being off-limits to that class.

                    You can also choose to have a randomized advancement style like in previous Heroes, where the skills you can advance are not set in stone. Rather, the skills your class could usually reach GM are the skills you’re most likely to be offered on level up, but it is up to you which skills you choose on level up and which skills you’ll advance to grandmaster (though still with the same limitations).

                    This advancement system makes it so that even if you plan ahead, your hero will be different from every other hero because of his class.

                    I really, really liked this advancement style, because it calls back to the skill system of the Might & Magic RPGs.

                    As for M&M X, I’m currently in my 3rd run. It is so good to finally play a party-based RPG in this style again.

                    • Sleeping Dragon says:

                      RE M&MX: I kinda bounced off it on my initial run (got past the first castle, was about to begin forge, kinda lost interest. I also heard you can screw yourself over with a wrong build and not realise until the final boss fight), might give it a try again seeing how so many people seem to enjoy it. I think I prefered Grimrock 2 for this style of game and I wish M&M stuck to the open maps of parts VI-VIII.

                    • RCN says:

                      That was a problem with budget. Ubisoft destined about 0.5% of the budget and crew of an Assassins Creed to M¨&MX. So open-world movement was a no-no. The grid movement was a compromise.

                      Still, it did wonders with what little resources it had. But the first trip into the forge is easily one of the low points of the game. And the early game. Once the game opens up AFTER the first trip to the forge, then its strengths can be experienced. You’re basically free to explore most of the map (except a few spots where you need the correct blessings) and the follow-up trips to the forge have much less combat (though the combat there is is pretty hardcore) and much more puzzles. Also, there’s a tower you can visit as soon as you’re free to roam the entire island that is nothing BUT old school puzzles, with some nice rewards.

                      My main criticism with the game is that you have access to ALL Relics in every playthrough. I’d rather the relics were more randomized, but guaranteed to at least find one relic for each of your characters. The relics are too powerful and break the game a bit and having such easy and guaranteed access to most of them makes the itemization aspect of the game weaker. Still, Mana drain weapons are the most powerful and useful in the game and no relic gives this magic bonus.

                      My second main criticism is that potions are too plentiful and too powerful. I’d rather that acquiring potions took some real effort and making them powerful even more so, like with the alchemy system of other M&M games. But the lack of alchemy and time for balancing the potions are precisely two things the lead designer said they didn’t had the time to do. At least they nerfed them from the early access, where it didn’t even cost an action to use a potion. On the other hand, unconscious characters can’t use potions and most of the time you lose a battle in a single turn of fucking up.

      • LCF says:

        I loved the HoMM3 art direction. It was great.
        I skipped HoMM4, then played HoMM5. I was greatly disappointed by the Warcraft3/Final Fantasy-retarded graphics. Gorilla passing as human peasant, anyone? Also, pauldrons bigger than in Warhammer 40K. Undeads were relatively nice, but still, I miss Heroes 3 art style.

  3. Jeff R. says:

    I’m just looking forward to whatever bizarre thing they do with the Trials engine this year.

  4. Groboclown says:

    I’m not sure I’m okay with Mario using a gun.

    I’m not sure about that, but I’m less okay with Yoshi trying to look mean while firing one.

    • Matt Downie says:

      I remember once reading an April Fool’s Hoax about a new Streetfighter-esque Mario game coming out where he and various other Nintendo characters would beat each other to a bloody pulp. It was funny because it was so out-of-character for Nintendo.

      A couple of years later, Super Smash Bros was announced for real.

      Nintendo has a fairly good track record for expanding their characters into other genres. Once upon a time, who’d have thought sworn enemies Mario and Bowser would race go-karts together?

      (Also, Yoshi is a dinosaur monster who swallows enemies whole and craps them out as eggs. He ought to look mean.)

      • Syal says:

        Yoshi also started out as shoes.

        He’s a really complicated character when you think about it.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yoshi also started out as shoes.

          I have just found that out half an hour ago in a completely unrelated video.Life is strange like that.

        • Scampi says:

          To be sure: we’re talking about the boot in SMB 3?
          Huh. I never thought about the boots this way, but now that you say it, it actually makes sense.

          • Syal says:

            Some people think they never brought that boot back. Little do they know.

            “You can jump on your enemies using goomba’s shoe a frog-tongued egg-laying dinosaur.

            • Scampi says:

              Well, Yoshi is a real upgrade.
              He was invincible to some opponents he jumped on which would damage Mario, while the boot didn’t give this ability.
              I think the only ability the shoe gave the player which was transferred to Yoshi was jumping off in the air for amazing double jump action. Do I remember right?

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                In the video I watched,the boot allowed you to jump on spiked turtles and the chomper flowers.So it did give that ability.

                • Syal says:

                  Yep, the kuribo shoe let you walk on the black immortal plant enemies, tank one hit without losing your powerup, and gave you a midair jump like you get by hurling Yoshi into the void, except the shoe stayed on so you could do it more than once.

                  The one level it was in required none of that, and Yoshi’s an upgrade because he can still run and can eat enemies, but most of the mechanics are the same.

                • Scampi says:

                  Hm…strange. In my original version I’m pretty sure it didn’t allow me to jump on the spiked turtles.
                  Also, it would only allow standing/walking on specific chomper flowers and I’m also quite sure I didn’t keep the boot on after double jumping with it.
                  Sadly, I can’t verify it anymore. Maybe I might try an emulator to double check, but I don’t own the actual console anymore.
                  My memory might be fooling me here, but remembering so many details wrong is a bit suspicious to me.

  5. Grimwear says:

    “Hi Jimmy, I’m here to talk about our new game…”

    *Jimmy Fallon smacks his hand on his desk while dying of laughter*

    I’d watch that.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    and so I have no idea why they would drop Tyler.

    Because theyre ubisoft.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    But it turns out the game is a… turn-based tactical shooter?

    Yeah,it seems like they are trying to make a splatoon of turn based strategies.Which I like,even though I dont care for nintendo one bit.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Asassins Creed Origins

    Typo in the rollover text:

    This is happened

  9. Cybron says:

    It’s not e3 without a pointless dance number.

  10. Droid says:

    Sooo, XCOM 2 had its first full expansion announced…

    Video

    • Echo Tango says:

      I don’t even understand what’s happening in XCOM2 anymore. Now there’s space-magic aliens? Nuclear fallout zombies? Who am I supposed to care about now? I thought I already beat Advent in XCOM2. Is this supposed to take place during the normal campaign, or after it as a semi-sequel? I’m so confused…

      • Philadelphus says:

        To be fair, space-magic aliens and zombies have been part of the series from the original game, and showed up in both XCOM 1 and 2. :) I’m unsure how the new space-magic aliens and zombies fit in, though.

        I too am rather confused about the other things you mentioned, however, though I think (from watching the video and reading the blurb on their webpage) that this is supposed to add more content during a campaign (like Enemy Within did with XCOM 1).

        • Droid says:

          Yes, there were the Chryssalid zombies that were supposedly controlled by the unhatched Chryssalid inside them (don’t think about it), the Psi zombies that are basically puppets of the Sectois that resurrected them (I said don’t think about it). Now there is a third distinct group of zombies that are hostile to both ADVENT and XCOM, and the Chosen Ones seem to be the ones to purge them, even though in other parts of the trailer it seems like the Chosen are going to focus on you and not the zombie plague.

          ?????

          I am pretty sure it is an expansion/rehaul of the base game campaign, all their other DLCs worked like that.

  11. Piflik says:

    I was looking forward to anything BG&E2 related. The trailer looked fantastic, but I am a bit disappointed…a prequel, no Jade, no Pey’j, multiplayer…the captain of that ship at the end looked a bit like Jade, might be an ancestor, but I fear that the monkey (I’m sorry…ape) with his grappling-hook arm will be the main character instead of her…don’t know if I like this…

    • Geebs says:

      The BG&E2 trailer was basically the taxi scene from the Fifth Element but with all of the instances of the word “badaboom” replaced with “m*****f*****”.

      I can only assume that Ubisoft think that everybody who liked the Fifth Element is dead by now. Also everybody who liked BG&E 1.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      *sigh*I was kidding in the last post when I said that theyll just pull a random title from their bag and slap an unrelated game to it,but this proves that its how they are actually doing things now.

      • Ander says:

        It’s a bit early to say this game will be completely unlike Beyond Good & Evil. Jade was great, but she was not the only special thing about the game. It had a unique world, stylish art, and other unique characters. While I’ll grant the comparison to 5th Element, this trailer seems to have those things, too. Certainly the tech level could come from the BG&E world.
        Gameplay and themes are other consideration, obviously. This is too little to judge theme other than the vague rebel thing and the swearing. Minigames don’t show well in early trailers, and it’s difficult to replicate the feeling of a living world that the first game produced. Then again, that’s part of what makes video games unique; you can’t make a world feel lived-in in quite the same way in a movie trailer as you can in actual gameplay.

        All that to say–I was excited about that teaser way back when, and I’m glad something is finally coming of it, even if it’s not with the main characters we know and love.

    • tmtvl says:

      I feel like Ubisoft just kicked me where it hurts. I am so angry after seeing that trailer. Angry and disappointed.

      • Echo Tango says:

        I was more flabberghasted and suspicious than angry.

        Why is the game photorealistic? Why are the characters a bunch of sweary too-cool-for-school chumps? How much of the budget did the graphics and cutscenes steal from the gameplay? Did an ape (strong climber) who has a jetpack (flight) really need a friggin’ grappling-hook hand? Why would a missile sized to attack small craft be able to take down an full-sized space-police destroyer? How many of these amazing-looking vistas, worlds, and cities will I actually visit in the game?

        I’d ask more questions, but I can’t comprehend that trailer anymore… :S

    • Torsten says:

      A Sequel to Beyond Good and Evil would be nice, but that trailer looked like Watch Dogs In Space. With gameplay mechanics from Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed.

  12. Thomas says:

    The thing I’m excited for Far Cry 5 about, is it’ll give everyone a chance to see just how crude and blunt Far Cry stories are. Hopefully everyone will hate it?

    • Sunshine says:

      There was an opinion piece on Rock Paper Shotgun that agrees with you, saying that while the story could be interesting, relevant and Saying Something about the lot of troubled people of America, it won’t be. It won’t even amount to much to get upset about, it’ll just bumble about in the background while you claim towns, sneak up on had guys and skin bears.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        That really isn’t going to be possible. The fundamental conceit behind having bad guys in a game like Far Cry is that they’re going to be taking a bunch of people and telling us that they deserve to be killed. The mechanics and structure of the game demand it. Far Cry 3 gave us a fictional island that was being attacked by slavers. Far Cry 4 gave us a fictional country that had been conquered by an oppressive tyrant that we were trying to free.

        Far Cry 5 has picked rural America, and it’s villains are rural Americans, who you’ll be murdering by the truckload. While the story will almost certainly bumble about, it’s bumbling about in a china shop. They’ll be trying to say something nuanced and profound, but given their track record it’s unlikely to be good enough to justify their premise.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    No rollover text for the rest of the pictures?That makes me sad.Youve spoiled us Shamus,dont hold back on us now.

  14. Dreadjaws says:

    Let’s see. I won’t have a Switch for a long time, if ever (at the price Nintendo consoles are where I live i could easily get a PS4 and an Xbox One. Not a joke), so I don’t care about the Rabbids game. I was bored with Assassin’s Creed after Brotherhood (the third game in a series that currently has about seven dozen). Didn’t care for the first The Crew.

    VR is even more cost-prohibitive than the Switch here (surely I could get a PS4, XBOne and Switch for the price of a VR set). PVP is completely out of my area of interest. Just Dance: Just No. Starlink: Battle for Atlas has to be the stupidest implementation of toys-to-life in existence. Never played a Far Cry game (tried the first one and it gave me nausea. Same reason I can’t play the original Unreal or Half-Life 2).

    The only two interesting ones are the sequels to South Park and BGAE, since I loved the first two. I’m a little aprehensive, though. About BGAE because the original was made in a time when Ubisoft used to publish good games regularly, and who knows what direction they’ll take for the sequel. About South Park it’s because, well, it was actually made before being bought by Ubisoft. Still, it’s really the easiest game to crack. The first one was the best Final Fantasy game in over a decade. As long as they don’t ruin the gameplay and they keep the same writing team, it should still be good.

  15. Igfig says:

    Judging by its title alone, Skull and Bones: Just Dance sounds amazing.

  16. mechaninja says:

    As to Ubisoft, specifically the Tom Clancy stuff, I can say this:

    The Division has the seeds of an interesting story with decent shooter and co-op mechanics buried under a bunch of repetitive grinding and non-functional matchmaking (at least compared to what I’m used to, which is WoW). The leveling is fun, but of course you have to level through the story again. At the endgame, the variety of weapons is like Borderlands but without the occasional awesome drop – or at least interesting drop. You get a drop that forces you to completely switch playstyle and gearset (with no way to manage gearsets), or you get a drop with e.g. slightly better dps and one worse talent than you had, and then again in 5000 grinds, you get the same kind of “upgrade” again.

    The firearms feel a little weak but they don’t feel like you’re shooting at a brick wall with an airsoft gun, a problem I’ve seen in other kinds of shooters. Honestly sometimes it makes me want to play Battlefield, but I’m not interested in any WWI/WWII shooters anymore – except the ones starring Mr. Blazkowicz.

    It’s possible I’m too loot oriented for The Division.

    Still, their balancing compares to the see-saw balancing Blizzard does to WoW at times, but every patch, so I’ve kinda quit playing it. When the second one comes out, or if they drop another DLC, I’ll probably check it out again.

  17. Mikey says:

    I can say with relative certainty that Mario has never used a firearm before. The closest he ever personally got was shooting himself out of cannons in the 3D games, and the closest we’ve ever gotten to “guns in the Mario universe” before this was with Geno, one of the original party members in Super Mario RPG, who was a sentient action figure who shot ball bearings out of his fingers.

    As for the game itself, I’m torn. I love Strategy RPGs, and I love Mario spin-offs, (Never been too big on platformers, but the setting and characters are fun) but I hate the Rabbids. They’ve always struck me as the most obnoxious sort of mascot aimed at kids… But from the trailer it looks like Rabbids will also serve as the enemy units. So I guess I can just replace all my Rabbid party members with Mario characters and make it Mario Vs. Rabbids. Alright, sold.

  18. The Rocketeer says:

    Beyond Good and Evil was a decent, blatantly unfinished title elevated by some endearing character writing, and everyone who’s abided fourteen years on the edge of their seat for it is going to erupt into diabolic nuclear rage when the next game in the franchise isn’t the most orgasmically, mind-crashingly perfect game ever conceived. It’s Ubisoft’s Half-Life 3.

    • Christopher says:

      I’m with the Rocketeer on this. That first game is fine, but it’s not exactly a classic, and there are a lot of games with charming characters. Still, I’m happy they’re getting another shot. Apparently they’ve been making this for three years, and unless they’ve just been sitting around doing nothing that gives them a lot of time to make a fully-featured game this time around. Still, I have no clue what they’re gonna have the gameplay be like. They did a Zelda-like last time. Are they just gonna do it again, fifteen years later? I guess there’s an opening now that Breath of the Wild did something unusual for the series.

      It’s just nice to see Michel Ancel happy.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its more like ubisofts duke nukem forever.

    • Echo Tango says:

      I don’t need a sequel to BGE to be amazing. It should just be similar in tone, style, world, and/or themes to that game. The trailer shown appears to only have the world from the original, which by itself would be OK. However, the characters and story appear to be nothing but hip-sexy, too-cool-for-school, your-mom-won’t-believe-we’re-swearing-in-this-game nonsense. It gives every impression that they are trying too hard to be cool, instead of just making a good game, which would actually be cool. :)

    • jawlz says:

      I don’t think I would say that it was blatantly unfinished, but it was rough around the edges. I enjoyed it regardless, though whoever came up with the control scheme was bonkers – setting controls to inverted reversed BOTH the X and Y axes, and there was no way to invert just the Y axis..

      The sequel trailer looks absolutely nothing like the original game in style or tone though. The profanity is also pretty off-putting for me.

  19. Mark says:

    Counterpoint: that BG&E2 trailer made me want to die. It’s nothing like the happy weirdness of the original. I was rooting for the police to take out our instantly dislikable “heroes.”

    (Of course, you can calibrate my taste by the fact that I’m kinda looking forward to Far Cry 5 though. The character trailers just instantly worked for me, what can I say.)

  20. Christopher says:

    I think it was smart of them to dump Tyler. This year has had a lot less CRINGE than usual, and part of that is dropping the stupid presenters and bringing the developers out instead. I actually thought Ubisoft’s conference this year was real sweet and cozy, and those aren’t words I’d ever expect to use about Ubisoft.

  21. RCN says:

    The only franchises currently under Ubisoft I care about are the Might & Magic franchise and Prince of Persia.

    Yes, I still hope they CAN get something good out of the M&M franchise, considering the miracle of how well the RPG one they made turned out considering it had basically no budget. If the publisher would just give it to the right developer and then stopped sabotaging itself… which could happen… maybe. I mean, if you follow the lore of the new M&¨M universe, it is consistent and has some very interesting subversions of expectations, with factions not necessarily pidgeonholed into their good and evil axis (something it took a long time for the original Heroes franchise to get at). If just they’d DO something with it instead of keeping all the good stuff hidden away in extra content that almost no-one has access to.

    It is almost like Mass Effect, where the main storyline is a piss-poor science fiction piece with garbage story and emotion-first dictates the plot, whereas the codex entries show an actually competent sci-fi outing that maybe 1% of the audience ever experienced.

    Eh… as a fan of RPG and strategy titles, it seems my only hope falls on indies.

    What the hell has Stardock been doing all these years? Other creating a successful competitor to Steam with Impulse and then ruining it by selling it to Gamestop, the single most hated game retailer in the planet?

    Also, isn’t it time for a Sins of a Solar Empire 2, Ironclad?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The way ubisoft has been treating the developers of might and magic games is just atrocious.They are basically changing two developers for every game,because….I have no idea.Other than that they are assholes.So Ive given up on the whole franchise as long as ubisoft has their clutches on it.

      What the hell has Stardock been doing all these years?

      Galactic civilizations 3 with its expansions.Crusader one came out recently,and its good.They also made the offworld trading company.

      Also,they are still making some non gaming software,which was always their primary focus.

      • RCN says:

        Oh, I did get Offworld Trading Company. It is a pretty neat economy-only strategy game.

        And I’m pretty sure I had bought GC3 when it was in early access but didn’t gel with the game itself very much at the time. Maybe I should give it another go.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Its neat,though the amount of resources can bog down long games.But the addition of administrators does make it so you can no longer spam colonizers and star bases,you have to pick which ones to use where.

          • RCN says:

            I remember Carriers being a promise. And I’m a sucker for sci-fi strategy games where you can deploy carriers.

            I heard Endless Space was supposed to get a sequel too.

            Damn, I’m way behind in my backlog of games. Now I remembered that I wanted to give Warhammer: Total War a go… but still haven’t even played Rome 2.

            EDIT: Oh, and Bloodbowl 2! Crap

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              I heard Endless Space was supposed to get a sequel too.

              That one was also released a few weeks ago.

              • RCN says:

                I’m way out of the loop then…

                • Sleeping Dragon says:

                  As seems usual fare for the Endless games there are probably going to be at least a couple major, gamechanging DLCs so I’m waiting until those are done.

                  Also, isn’t Ashes of Singularity a Stardock title?

                  • RCN says:

                    I dunno. I saw several gameplay videos of Ashes, but none of them gelled with me. I was expecting a new Supreme Commander. But something was just… off.

                    Maybe if I actually played the game it would click and I would enjoy it. But the way my backlog is going… that seems like a longshot.

      • Groboclown says:

        Hm. The last Stardock game I played was Avarice.

        Crap. This whole blog entry is turning into “Why am I so old?”

  22. Luhrsen says:

    Missed chance for a ‘Gripping Hand’ reference. :(

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