Ubisoft’s E3 2019: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Every year Ubisoft comes in and typically delivers a fun conference with dancing Panda Bears, exciting looking games, and something even more unexpected than a dancing bear. With them already announcing that titles like Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Skull and Bones would not be showing at the event, the question was, did they have anything to make us say “wow.” Well, it was Ubisoft, so there were definitely a few times where things were happening that left me surprised, the question is was this a good surprise or a bad surprise?

The Good

Give Me All The Dogs

Between Jon Bernthal coming out on stage with his adorable dog and that amazing Watch Dogs Legion reveal, just give me all the dogs. Give em’ to me Ubisoft!!! In all seriousness though, the things that had leaked about Watch Dogs Legion sounded insane: no guns and you can play as any NPC. While the no guns rumor was definitely not true, from how it looks, you can definitely play as every NPC in the game. WOW! From the unique concept to the game’s gameplay which looked so fun, I can’t wait for this game to come out, and because it’s coming out next year, I have plenty of time to think if I want my group of NPC’s to be old ladies or bare knuckle brawlers. No matter what I decided, Watch Dogs Legion is going to be a lot of fun.

As for Jon Bernthal and his adorable dog Bam Bam, he came out stage to reveal more information about the upcoming sequel to Wildlands, Break Point, coming out later this year. As someone who has dabbled in the first Wildlands, Break Point seems to be diving even deeper into the more hardcore elements of the game. Everything just appears to be even more difficult and punishing than the first game and I’m all for it. I want cover myself in the mud and hide for 20 minutes while I wait for a target to stand in the perfect place. Let’s do it!

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I mentioned this with my EA article, but I just think it’s great to see publishers not give up on their games after the first month. I know we joke about how games are more often more DLC than game, but seeing games that I would never expect to see garner such a big fanbase is awesome. So whether you’re game of choice is For Honor or one of the many games that starts with “Tom Clancy’s,” Ubisoft made it clear that they plan on continuing to support their titles and I think that’s great.

The Bad

Another Streaming Service?

Google, Xbox, EA, PlayStation, and now Ubisoft all have subscription services. Between the other subscription services that people already pay for, how can anyone honestly be expected to subscribe to these? At least what Ubisoft presented sounded great, even if it at $14.99/month I thought it was a bit overpriced. The idea of being able to have their entire lineup of games including new releases sounds great, but once again, where’s the money suppose to come from? Maybe if I sat down and actually did the math, I wouldn’t think this is as bad as it seems but just from looking on the outside, I don’t see how this many subscription models will last. Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if two years from now, some of these companies have started combining their streaming services together in hopes of bringing in more revenue. Then again, the gaming community is crazy so maybe you guys will just figure out how to afford all of these.

Was That The End?

Every year Ubisoft ends their show with one last big trailer to get everyone excited for the future and when this year’s surprise, Gods and Monsters was first shown, I couldn’t wait to see more. A Breath of The Wild-like game made by the team that made Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Sign me up! Just as quickly as the trailer started though, it was over, and because Ubisoft is no longer in danger of being bought by another company, I guess they no longer feel the need to have their developers come out on stage and say thank you to the fans. Because of that, the show just ended. I could understand if Gods and Monsters was two years away, but this game is coming out in February 2020. In theory, the game should be very far into development so why not show gameplay? It just didn’t make any sense.

The Ugly

A TV Show?

One of my favorite shows is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so when actor Rob McElhenney came out on stage I honestly thought that Ubisoft was about to announce an Always Sunny video game. Ubisoft is crazy after all so I honestly thought it was a possibility. Instead what we got was McElhenney announcing a show about video game developers that’s coming to the Apple streaming service… huh? The trailer for the show looked fine, but I was left wondering why it was appearing on Ubisoft’s stage. It the show was going to be based around one of Ubisoft’s properties or if it was going to be appearing on Ubisoft’s own subscription service I would have totally understood. Instead, it just came off like Ubisoft wanted to have a celebrity on stage and since they couldn’t get Jake Gyllenhaal or Jessica Chastain to come and announce their Division movie, they got Rob to come and announce his new show that just so happens to be about video games.

Overall Grade: C+

While titles like Watch Dogs Legion and Breakpoint looked awesome, I jut felt like overall the show struggled at times. Whether it was the pacing of the show being slowed to a crawl to talk about a TV or to show off what I think was a mobile game or the lack of gameplay shown for titles that are relatively close, the show had multiple chances to steal E3 but instead managed to put out a solid conference with just a few impressive reveals.

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