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E3: Ubisoft shows a bit of everything, Bethesda highlights Fallout 4

Jun 18, 2015

By Daniel Barron, Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada

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Ubisoft E3With the potty-mouthed actress Aisha Tyler once again MC'ing the proceedings, Ubisoft's E3 press conference proved the game company is moving - slowly, but surely - beyond the usual suspects in its large portfolio of existing IPs.

As eager as she was to blurt expletives, Tyler may have met her match when South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker walked onstage to help introduce their new game, South Park: The Fractured But Whole.

The follow-up to 2014's The Stick of Truth, the new game will focus on the kids of South Park becoming superheroes. Based on the trailer that premiered at the event, The Fractured But Whole will feature the same instantly recognizable humour that the cartoon series has long been known for.

Ubisoft E3Ubisoft didn't waste time showing off a brand new IP in the form of For Honor, a multiplayer-focused sword melee game where players can choose from three different factions - The Chosen, The Legions, and The Warborn. Large-scale battles can split off into one-on-one duels where players gain precise control of their weapons as they try to violently kill the warrior they're facing off against.

That game was followed up by some DLC announcements for vehicular games Trials Fusion and The Crew, titled "Awesome Level Max" and "Wild Run," respectively.

Ubisoft then kicked things back up a notch with a gameplay demo for the long-in-gestation The Division. One of the newest titles under the Tom Clancy banner, The Division's post-apocalyptic world looks a lot like Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, except the focus is on multiplayer gun battles.

After a tense firefight led to a helicopter extraction, Ubisoft showed off one of The Division's cool new features, which is the ability to double-cross the people you're working together with, in order to escape with all of their supplies. It looks to be a cool gameplay mechanic that's sure to have friends at each other's throats once the game is released.

Ubisoft E3Once the demo was completed, Ubisoft also announced a March 8, 2016 release date for The Division.

A Ubisoft E3 presentation isn't complete without some mention of a Just Dance title, and sure enough, Just Dance 2016 was introduced with the help of recording artist Jason Derulo, who performed a live song before taking part in an awkward interview with Tyler.

Ubisoft announced that for the first time in a Just Dance game, players won't require a camera with their console. They'll be able to use their smartphone to play the game. The audience also found out that the game will have a new streaming service. Ubisoft didn't get into specifics with any particular feature, but promised more info in the future.

Ubisoft E3Rainbow Six: Siege was the next game to be highlighted on stage. Another playable demo was shown, with five players taking on a team of AI-controlled terrorists. It showed off many of the gadgets and destructible environments that were featured in past demos for the game.

One surprise was actress Angela Bassett coming up on stage, where she was introduced as the voice and likeness for the new director for the Rainbow Six team in the game.

Ubisoft typically ends its E3 press conferences with a big surprise, and this year was no different. A lengthy trailer was shown, featuring a team of soldiers in plain clothes finishing in-game objectives in a variety of different ways. After a camera zoomed out to show off that the game could (presumably) be played in an open world, the name "Ghost Recon: Wildlands" was shown onscreen.

Ubisoft E3As with a lot of the surprise announcements at E3, there wasn't a lot of info on the newest Ghost Recon game, but based on the impressive-looking trailer, fans got enough to chew on - for the time being, at least.

Bethesda picked quite the year to hold their very first press conference. With a fair amount of hotly anticipated titles in their catalogue, it was a pretty safe bet that they would put on an impressive showing.

The conference kicked off with the world premier gameplay reveal of the upcoming Doom reboot. For quite some time now, fans eagerly speculated on how one of the most illustrious shooters of all-time would reinvent itself over twenty years after its initial debut.

The trailer began with the uncommunicative space marine putting on his iconic helmet and inspecting his shiny next-gen looking firearm. After briefly skulking around what looks to be a cosmic mining colony, it didn't take long for the lead to start busting and the guts to start splatting.
Players now have the ability to finish off their wakened demon adversaries with a time sensitive melee finisher. The crowd cheered in approval at the sight of the space marine ripping of a demon's limb and proceeding to beat said demon to death with it.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't chuckle a couple times while watching the demo. It was immediately apparent that the folks over at ID are perusing a more self-aware and arcade approach to the games combat and overall tone, a stark contrast to what was found in 2005's critically divisive Doom 3. Doom's action looks to be fast, frantic and chockfull of twitchy gunplay that is sure to make 90s shooter fans everywhere revel in glee. Doom is slated to be released for PS4, PC and Xbox One in spring of 2016.

Ubisoft E3Next up, Bethesda showed off their new IP Battlecry. An online multiplayer shooter-brawler with an emphasis on team-based tactile gameplay. Beta registration is now live and the full game is set to release sometime this year. While I'm all for new IP's, as I believe our industry is in dire need of them, Battlecry simply looked unpolished. The announcement stuck out like a sore thumb, especially following Doom and coming right before Dishonored, only time will tell if this one will be something to pay attention to.

Shortly after Battlcry, Arkane Studios took the stage and premiered Dishonoured 2. A cinematic teaser was then shown displaying an obscured nimble assassin scurrying along rooftops and stylishly dispatching an incredibly haunting looking robot. Players now have the option to play through the games campaign as either Corvo Atano, main star of the original Dishonoured or Emily Kaldwin, a familiar name to Dishonoured faithful. Each character will have their own unique set of supernatural abilities and weapons at their disposal. Dishonoured 2 is set to hit store shelves in 2016.
Bethesda closed off the show with a big bang. Todd Howard, game director of Bethesda Studios, devoted a staggering thirty-four minutes to the intensely anticipated Fallout 4. It was genuinely admirable of Bethesda to divulge such a sizable amount of footage and information to fans, especially considering how long it had been since the last fallout title.

Ubisoft E3The demo started off with games intro, which takes place in a peachy pre-war Boston suburb. Fallout 4 now has an incredibly deep level of character customization. Everything from cheek muscles to nostril width can be customized. Additionally, dialogue trees are now more refined this time around and appear to be taking cues from Mass Effect's and Telltale game's dynamic dialogue systems.

If a deeper narrative structure wasn't enough, how about a fully-fledged crafting system? Think Minecraft meets Mad Max. Whole settlements can now be created and populated via looting and collecting various amounts of items throughout post apocalyptic Boston. Things such as bases with multiple stories, to turret placements and even farms can now be created, modified and moved around to your heart's content. The customization doesn't stop there however; weapons and power armour can now be deeply tailored to a preferred play style. Furthermore, The clunky shooting of Fallout games past seems to be no more as slick snappy modern shooter gameplay looks take its place. Bethesda also wasn't keen on making its fans wait much longer, as Fallout 4 is set to release this year, yes this year, on November 11th. 2015.

Ubisoft E3Bethesda kicked off E3 with a bang and, for the most part maintained a steady pace throughout its one hour and twenty minute keynote.

The full Bethesda press conference can be watched here:

Other highlights during the press conference included:

The announcement and immediate release of Fallout: Shelter, a free to play mobile game in the vein of FTL and XCOM. Make your own Fallout shelter and tend to the needs of your ever-growing community as overseer of your very own vault.

Doom Snap Map, an accessible tool for those who wish to create interactive maps, game objectives and different match types and conveniently share them amongst the Doom community.

Elder Scrolls Legends. A strategy card game featuring characters, settings and lore from the Elder Scrolls series.

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