I’m not usually a fan of Ubisoft’s games, but their show was the most fun. They hired the super-talented Aisha Tyler to host and tell jokes, instead of rolling out one of their creepy mummified executives to cough up a bunch on nonsense about how they’re re-inventing innovation itself because games are our future, or somesuch piffle. This show felt fast and fun, instead of like boilerplate speeches between meaningless cinematic trailers. In fact, the Ubisoft show was so good they just tricked me into spending my first paragraph talking about the show instead of the games.
Some brief comments on each game:
South Park: Fractured But Whole: No real comment on it. I never really watched the show, and so I didn’t mess with the videogame. But I’m led to believe it’s good.
For Honor: I dunno. The medieval period is super played out, I have no interest in PvP multiplayer, and I’m not a MOBA guy, but this game fascinates me anyway. I really want to try that swordfighting.
The Crew: It’s like Need for Speed starring Aiden Pierce. In an MMO. I am aggressively not interested.
Trials Fusion: Not my thing, but that trailer was a wonderful way to lighten the mood.
The Division: Oh man. This freakin’ game. A game where your team can betray you at any moment. The incredibly staged demo makes it look like a game of paranoia and betrayal, but anyone who’s played Day Z or GTA Online should know exactly how this will go with a bunch of internet strangers. If the game incentivizes betrayal, then it will be routine for the entire team to collapse into a dumb deathmatch the moment their goal is in sight. It won’t be an unexpected turn, it will just be a predictable phase of the game: Spend a bunch of time acquiring your goal, and then have a short firefight to see which one person gets to keep it all. Remember: A game isn’t fun until you’re ruining someone else’s fun!
And if the game doesn’t incentivize betrayal? People will do it anyway, because anonymous internet people are assholes. It’s like Prisoner’s Dilemma: The Videogame, except every round takes twenty minutes, none of the participants are rational, and everyone is always screaming slurs at everyone else. It’s like a version of Left 4 Dead where you go through the entire campaign and then at the very end you murder the rest of your team and ride away on the helicopter alone.
I’m just bitter because I loved how co-op and mutual dependence was woven into the mechanics of Left 4 Dead, and nobody is interested in doing that these days.
Anno 2205: This reminds me that I should check and see if there are any cool mods out for Cities Skylines.
Just Dance: Whatever.
Rainbow Six: Siege: I don’t have a lot to say about this, except that virtual Angela Basset looks amazing. I saw virtual Kevin Spacey last year, and he was pretty good. But this is even better.
Track Mania: This looks like fun.
Assassins Whatever: I can’t possibly complain about this game in a way that’s remotely fresh or interesting. I’ve said it, you’ve heard it. Let’s just move on.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands: Huh. An open world multiplayer shooter? With story? For as exhaustively long as that trailer was, it told us almost nothing about how the game would work. Do we all play as the same Aiden Pierce type guy? The official site explains that it’s co-op with up to 4 players, and shows us a team of 4 dudes. I guess Ubisoft just really loved hearing all those, “Why can’t I play as a female?” questions when Unity came out, so they decided to do it again.
Wrapping up: I don’t want anything they’re selling, but I did enjoy the show.
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