Ubisoft's E3 event brings back Assassin's Creed, Beyond Good & Evil, and Black Flag's ship battles

Ubisoft answered its fans' prayers at E3 with the Beyond Good & Evil 2's unveiling and a standalone ship battle game called Skull and Bones.

It seemed like a press conference of zero surprises as we rolled through Ubisoft’s E3 2017 spectacular. Which is not to say there were no games—just that almost all the games on offer were announced beforehand, either officially or unofficially (read: leaked). Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Far Cry 5, The Crew 2, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole. That being said, we did get extended looks at all the above—some, like The Crew 2, for the first time ever.

Then Ubisoft started pulling stuff out of left field. Transference had a bizarre cinematic trailer, while Skull and Bones looks to be the standalone pirate game Ubisoft hinted at after everyone loved Black Flag. Oh, and it turns out Michel Ancel lied—Beyond Good and Evil 2 absolutely made an appearance.

Check out all the trailers PC gamers need to know about below. 

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Yesterday’s Microsoft press conference gave us our first look up the much-leaked Assassin’s Creed: Origins, but as per usual Ubisoft had more to add during its own event. Not much more to add, mind you—just a cinematic trailer showing off more of its Ancient Egyptian setting, which you’ll explore while you pry at the roots of the titular Assassin Order.

I’d recommend checking out the actual game footage from Microsoft’s event, but today’s trailer is pretty, at least. 

The Crew 2

The Crew was an interesting idea for a racing game sandbagged by one tragic flaw: The driving just wasn’t very good. Let’s hope that’s been rectified as Ubisoft preps a sequel, The Crew 2.

That’s not all, though. The Crew 2 adds in airplane and boat racing, as well as what looks like far more expansive offroad sections. Not only does Ubisoft need to nail the driving, but also these new elements. Ambitious.

If nothing else, it looks like the America-spanning map is back, and reworked with bigger cities and more variety. That’s enough to get me tepidly interested—I enjoyed the virtual tourism aspects of The Crew more than the actual driving. We’ll hopefully have some hands-on time during E3 this week to see if the rest has been improved. 

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

South Park: The Fractured But Whole was originally supposed to release last December, but the superhero-themed sequel slipped its release date and now won’t arrive until October 17 of this year. You know what that means? Yet another South Park: The Fractured But Whole trailer at an E3 press conference. It’s funny if you dig South Park’s humor. 

Transference

Ubisoft ran a star-studded trailer for Transference but...well, no game. Elijah Wood and Co. talked about some weird VR neurotech for a few minutes in a vaguely creepy way, as video feeds glitched out. A Spring 2018 release date was dropped, but otherwise I have no idea what this is going to be.

Skull and Bones

After name-dropping Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag earlier in the press conference while discussing Origins, Ubisoft showed off the standalone pirate game that’s been rumored for years now. It’s called Skull and Bones, and looks like it takes the best aspect of Black Flag (a.k.a. the ship combat) and focuses it into a much larger game.

A moody cinematic trailer introduced the game, but more interesting was a multiplayer demo showing off a huge sea battle between ships large and small battling over loot. Think World of Warships, but with pirates. This one’s not exactly arriving at ramming speed though, with a projected Fall of 2018 release date. We’ll see you back here next year, Skull and Bones.

Steep expansion

There’s an expansion coming December 5. It has something to do with the Olympics. That’s pretty much all Ubisoft said.

Far Cry 5

After last month’s reveal we pretty much knew everything we needed about Far Cry 5—coming this fall, taking place in Montana, and dealing with a cult of religious extremists.

Today we got a more comprehensive look at the actual game though, with Ubisoft showing off some of your companions as well as a raucous outpost mission, a dog that steals guns, and a female sniper companion that picks off bad guys while shouting out combat status updates. It looked like more Far Cry with an American skin, honestly. While that formula still works well enough, here’s hoping Ubisoft manages to add a new twist (beyond the setting alone) to keep the series feeling fresh.

Beyond Good & Evil 2

Does a cinematic trailer count as “showing off” a game? If so, then Michel Ancel totally lied about Beyond Good & Evil 2 skipping E3 this year.

We didn’t really get a glimpse of the game though, so I guess we can make a case that he told the truth. Instead we got an extended cinematic trailer—one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen, I might add—showing off characters new and old. And despite being called Beyond Good & Evil 2, the game is actually a prequel. Interesting. 

Also Michel Ancel came out on stage and cried a bit, so that was nice.

The weird and kind of unnerving part: Ubisoft...might be trying to crowdfund the game? No official reports on that, but that’s the vibe I got from the stage presentation. Hopefully we’ll know more soon. Soon-ish, at least.

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