It’s Always Sunny in (Post-Brexit) London: A Recap of the Ubisoft E3 2019 Conference
June 11, 2019
Written by Jamie Galea
For whatever you think about Ubisoft and the kinds of games it releases, there’s usually one constant: it has always put on an entertaining E3. Whether it’s high energy dance numbers or concentrated doses of cringe, you can reliably count on Ubisoft for having a worthwhile E3 conference. And while there were some highlights this year, Ubisoft delivered something without much spark or warmth, something that was sorely missing compared to last year’s show.
Part of the problem was starting with the showstopper. After being leaked last week, Ubisoft revealed Watch Dogs Legion. Set in a post-Brexit London, the government has abandoned its people and everything has gone to hell. While you’re tasked with controlling the Resistance, you aren’t playing a specific character. Instead, you play as the population of London, and you recruit members to the Resistance.
While there is still the open-world stealth action that Watch Dogs is known for, the biggest emphasis is placed on the people you meet and recruit. Every Londoner has a routine and has unique voices and animations. Cinematics will reflect the character you’re currently playing as. It’s not advisable to get too attached to the characters, as permadeath is a concept in Watch Dogs Legion. You’ve got time to save up for your London trip, as Watch Dogs Legion releases on 6 March 2020.
The other game that was given a lot of stage time was Ghost Recon Breakpoint, releasing on 4 October 2019. After feedback was received by the team, a post-launch update will add AI partners back into the game. Much like with Ghost Recon Wildlands, it will have extensive post-launch support, with a tease of the Terminator (who’s really getting around) coming to the game. Jon Bernthal, who plays the game’s antagonist, made a brief appearance to talk about how excited he is to be a part of the project. He even brought his dog along to show off to the world.
Continuing the Tom Clancy block, we got a bit more insight into the next few months of The Division 2, with more information on the three episodes making up game’s Year 1 content. You’ll be heading outside the city as you battle it out at the National Zoo and Kenly college in Episode 1. Episode 2 sees you battle the Black Tusk to regain control of the Pentagon, with a new raid coming later this year. Episode 3, coming in 2020 , will see you on a manhunt.
Rainbow Six fans will be happy to know there’s a new game coming in early 2020 known as Rainbow Six Quarantine, a three-player tactical co-op game. Not much was shown but was described as being the PvE equivalent to Rainbow Six Siege’s PvP.
Ubisoft’s press conferences always reliably announce new IP, and this year was no exception. Roller Champions was announced as a free to play competitive sports game, where two teams of three compete. The game is set to launch in 2020. Also launching in 2020, and the game that closed out the show, was Gods & Monsters. You play as Fenyx, a warrior on a quest to restore power to the Greek gods. The game is being helmed by Ubisoft Quebec, who developed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and looks to continue where that game left off. The game will release on 25 February 2020.
Film and television production remain an interest at Ubisoft, with Rob McElhenney of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia coming on stage to announce he’s collaborating with the company on an Apple TV Plus show. Titled Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, it will follow the narcissistic creative director of the most successful MMO ever as it launches its first expansion. Ubisoft also announced that its live-action adaptation of The Division, starring Jake Gyllenhall and Jessica Chastain, will be coming to Netflix.
Fans of subscription services will be thrilled to know Ubisoft is getting into this market with Uplay Plus. The subscription will allow for access to the complete Ubisoft library on PC, as well as early access to the games and their respective premium editions. No pricing was announced, but it will be launching in September. Uplay Plus will also be available on Google Stadia, with this announcement furthering the partnership between Ubisoft and Google.
For the first time in a while, Ubisoft’s event lacked the punch it usually has. Whether that’s due to most of the show being leaked ahead of time, the new IP lacking much information or a pretty serious tone throughout, it felt safe and boring –something that you don’t want to see in an E3 showing like this. Even the prerequisite Just Dance 2020 announcement video, celebrating its 10th anniversary, lacked energy. Perhaps the 2020 roadmap will feature a more exciting showcase for E3.