The Ubisoft E3 2019 has come and gone, with the French publisher making a series of new announcements including big reveals, new release dates, and some surprise announcements. The likes of Watch Dogs Legion, Gods and Monsters, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and Roller Champions were all featured during the event, which offered viewers a look at what the company has up its sleeve over the course of the next year or so. Check out the Ubisoft E3 2019 highlights (and lowlights) below:
Ubisoft E3 2019 | Highlights and lowlights
Highlight: Watch Dogs Legion was perfectly British
I’m surprised to report that Watch Dogs Legion is one of the highlights of E3 2019 thus far. Ubisoft began its press conference with a 10-minute gameplay demo, showing off its NPC-switching mechanic in which players can take control of various different characters (including a granny assassin!) along with its cyberpunk take on London. As a British man, perhaps I am biased when it comes to seeing my country represented in a video game as opposed to a US city I’ve never visited, but it was fun to see a neon-tinged twist on a variety of familiar locations. I’d certainly take wandering through these busy London streets over The Division 2‘s overgrown Washington, at least.
Watch Dogs Legion‘s character-switching mechanic sounds a little too good to be true right now, with it apparently allowing players to take control of any NPC (or, I guess in this context, PC) they see. Hopefully, this works fluidly in practice, but either way its presentation at E3 2019 was a success.
Lowlight: Sam Fisher returns… to mobile
We’re not the sort to get pretentious about mobile games, but Splinter Cell protagonist Sam Fisher returning for an iOS and Android game felt like a punch in the gut. We desperately want a new Splinter Cell game, but it just wasn’t to be. Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad might be a smart move by Ubi, with it featuring the company’s most iconic characters in what will probably be a bank-rolling success given how mobile games usually go, but we just want to play Spies vs Mercs again.
Highlight: Gods and Monsters looks like Assassin’s Creed mixed with BotW
Ubisoft rounded off its E3 2019 press conference with a first look at Gods and Monsters, a brand new IP from the creators of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Based on Greek mythology, Gods and Monsters certainly looks the part, with a similar visual style to Nintendo’s Breath of the Wild and gameplay that looks like Assassin’s Creed albeit less concerned with realism. Not a whole lot was shown during its reveal, but this “storybook adventure” could well bridge the gap between Assassin’s Creed fans and a younger audience, becoming one of Ubisoft’s hottest properties in the process.
Lowlight: No big surprises
This is an issue that has been present across the E3 2019 press conferences, but Ubisoft’s showing was also without any major big surprises. A lot of this is down to the leaks that have plagued this year’s show, with the likes of Watch Dogs Legion and Roller Champions having both been revealed ahead of schedule. However, even if all of the leaks had been kept under wraps, Ubisoft was still without any earth-shattering announcements during the show.
Now that the current console generation is wrapping up, big game announcements are inevitably slowing down. This is understandable but doesn’t exactly make for a jaw-dropping E3, so I reserve the right to complain about it anyway.
Highlight: Roller Champions brings a new multiplayer experience
Ubisoft is one of my favorite developers when it comes to multiplayer games. Even if its ideas don’t always work, games like For Honor and Rainbow Six Siege have proven enduringly popular as a result of following their own paths, rather than following trends. Roller Champions is an idea completely out of left-field, and it’s great to see a multiplayer game borrowing more from Rocket League instead of the latest competitive shooter.
Ubisoft would have to pull something incredible out of the bag for Roller Champions to compete with the popularity of Rocket League, but I can get behind the concept of a high-speed roller derby/handball crossover, and I’m looking forward to trying out the demo throughout this week.
Lowlight: No Assassin’s Creed
This was a surprise. It was widely rumored that Assassin’s Creed Ragnarok, the suspected title for the upcoming new Assassin’s Creed game, would make its debut at this year’s E3. Indeed, with the entire presentation being kicked off with a performance from the Assassin’s Creed Symphony (who also gave accompanying tour dates), you could’ve been forgiven for thinking that a new Assassin’s Creed would make an appearance in some capacity.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Assassin’s Creed was put on the shelf by Ubisoft for E3 2019, with the game presumably being announced elsewhere ahead of its project 2020 release date. Considering that this has been an E3 that has lacked talking points, even a teaser trailer would’ve been nice.
What’s next for Ubisoft after E3 2019?
Ubisoft’s E3 2019 press conference started strong with Watch Dogs Legion, and the company has got plenty of exciting and unique games up its sleeve. With key releases such as Assassin’s Creed and Skull and Bones not even making appearances during the show, there are a lot of new releases that Ubisoft has brewing.
It’s great to see Ubisoft keeping up with franchises such as Watch Dogs that could have easily been lost among the shuffle, retooling them to respond to player feedback and coming back with brand new, innovative ideas. This, coupled with the company’s continued push for unique multiplayer experiences, means that the future is looking particularly bright for the French publisher.