The best part of watching a Ubisoft E3 conference is waiting to see just what type of cringe the audience will be subjected to. From a live laser tag battle to Mr. Caffeine, there’s always something unsettling on the Ubisoft stage. In a big twist, there was surprisingly little of that this year. That is, if you can avoid cringing at the idea of Rabbids dressed as Nintendo characters.


While there have been rumors for a few months, things were finally confirmed just recently, with Ubisoft heading up a development that will take their Rabbids franchise and smashing it together with the Marioverse to make Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. The show began with Shigeru Miyamoto (Creator of Mario) coming up to speak with Yves Guillemont (CEO of Ubisoft) about their respective passion for the project before it was time to see some real gameplay. Before the demo, Miyamoto teased by saying that his one caveat for signing off on the game was that it be a genre Mario’s never done. Given the sheer amount of Mario games that exist outside of the standard platformer, that’s actually quite a tall order.

Even so, I doubt anyone expected Mario XCom. There’s a very solid turn-based tactical game buried beneath the awfulness of Rabbids. Mario and his team run through the fields of the Mushroom kingdom, hiding behind cover, boosting each other’s movement, running through pipes, and using all sorts of skills and weapon abilities, and making use of a variety of different types of terrain. I’m loving what they’ve done with the genre, just hating the aesthetic choices they made to go along with it.

We got to see more of Assassin’s Creed: Origins in a new trailer showing off more of the “oooh, shiny” aspects of the game. It looks gorgeous, with flamingo flocks, pyramid climbing, and priests adorned with Anubis masks. There was more gameplay on display, as well, with the protagonist using his hawk like a Watch Dogs 2 scout to find and mark enemies. I would much rather see how the gameplay is being changed than the setting, but we’ll hear more as we approach the release date this holiday.


Ubisoft’s Stephane Beley spoke all of his hype lines with the excitement level of a man about to fall asleep while standing, but The Crew 2 actually does seem like a dramatic improvement over the first title, which allowed players to drive in cars across the entirety of the United States, sans all but a few major cities. This time around, players will be able to ride “all things motorized”, from helicopters to speed boats to formula 1 cars and more. Maybe lawnmowers and Segway scooters in DLC.

Next up was South Park: The Fractured but Whole, a long, long-delayed sequel to The Stick of Truth. We’ve seen the game at so many E3s that there’s not much else to show off – gimmicky superhero knock-offs, puns, fart jokes, and grid-based tactical combat. And in case that’s not enough South Park for you, later in the show there was a trailer for South Park: Phone Destroyer, a mobile game featuring mini-combat scenarios between different factions.

I’ll admit I never expected to see Elijah Wood touting a VR game, but immediately after South Park the audience witnessed a trailer for Transference. Though details were a bit vague, there were vague messages about being able to transfer the human mind into the virtual realm to deal with trauma and emotional memories. That should work out just fine, right? This is a full partnership with Wood’s Spectrevision production house, which typically focuses on horror titles. Are we about to see a Black Mirror episode play out?

The next title from Ubisoft Singapore was hyped up as something completely original, though it ended up being anything but. The idea behind Skull & Bones seems to be “What if we took the best part of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and just made an entire game out of it?” Players will navigate boats through the Indian Ocean, fighting other frigates, sloops, man-o-wars, and whatever else there might be. Loot can be collected which is used to upgrade the ship. Again, nothing we haven’t seen, save for the fact that this is now a competitive multiplayer game.

Just Dance 2018 is coming.


Extremely late to the toys-to-life party, Ubisoft is making StarLink: Battle for Atlas which has players buy tiny toy spaceships that actually fit onto their controllers. The ships then appear in the game as they fly around and destroy the evil beings of the universe. The trailer featured quite a lot of footage of players snapping pieces in and out of the core unit, which already has me skeptical about durability, not to mention that you’ve got this thing just sitting on your controller and I can’t imagine that will be a comfortable fit.

Briefly touching on Ubisoft’s Steep, there will be a new expansion coming out featuring content related to the Winter Olympics, just in time for the 2018 Winter Games.

The Internet was ablaze with commentary regarding Far Cry 5, announced only a few weeks before the conference began. Some have taken umbrage at the game’s setting, within the US, and its villains, who appear to be radical Christians. A trailer at the press conference steered away from possibly fanning those flames by making it all about the gameplay, reminding us that whatever message may be in the story, the underlying game is still largely the same. Get in a variety of vehicles, drive around, shoot people and hunt animals, etc. Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of AI partners like the sniper or the dog that can accompany the player on their trek.


Ubisoft closed the show with a sequel that that kept fans waiting over a decade. Rumors have been swirling for the past several E3s (fueled by director Michel Ancel himself) but Beyond Good & Evil 2 has finally been confirmed as a real thing. For now, all we have is a trailer that sets up a few characters and gets the show started, but we’re likely to see a lot more in the future.