Ubisoft kicked off E3 2019 in a very pleasant way, with a string and voice orchestra performing music from the Assassin’s Creed series. The performance heralds a world tour for the 80-piece Assassin’s Creed Symphony orchestra and choir, with performances through Summer and Fall in the US, Canada, the UK and Europe.
After that pleasant lead-in, Ubisoft got busy with a huge announcement for a very ambitious new chapter in one of the publisher’s core series.
Watch Dogs Legion
Everyone is a secret weapon in the new Watch Dogs title, which drastically reimagines some of the core concepts in the first two games. Legion takes place in London, which as the trailer notes, “was the greatest city in the world,” but has become a repressive surveillance state thanks to an organization called Albion. There’s no single lead character in Legion — as the title implies, the character set is huge. In fact, producers say you can recruit literally anyone in London to be part of a resistance against the oppressive state.
The debut footage begins with a guy named Ian on a mission, which leads to an encounter with Albion forces, a chase, and Ian’s death. There’s no respawn. Ian is dead, period. While Watch Dogs: Legion allows you to recruit from the city’s entire population, permadeath is a real thing. With Ian dead, a character select screen pops up from which other recruited citizens can be chosen. For this demo, the pick was Helen, an older woman who happens to be a retired assassin. She isn’t entirely agile as she leaps over a barrier, but is quite game to get the job done. She knows a bit of club soda can get blood out of her shirt. (Presumably not everyone in this version of London is a retired espionage agent or former assassin.) but The concept at play in Legion is compelling and ambitious, and clearly very informed by modern political concerns.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
It’s Ghosts versus Wolves in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. The game pits a four-player spec-ops squad against the Wolves, a masked and very skilled crew led by Cole D. Walker, a former special ops soldier and former teammate with the player characters. He’s played by Jon Bernthal (“The Punisher,” “The Walking Dead”) who brought his constant companion — his dog — on stage to help introduce the game.
Counter to early announcements, Breakpoint will have AI teammates after all, so those who want to play solo won’t have to face the action alone. And the Ghost Recon Delta Company program courts the game’s community, with a set of new content creation and community connection offerings. The game arrives on October 4, with a beta going live on September 5.
Oh, and the Terminator seems to be coming to Breakpoint. We don’t know how or when, but the signature silhouette and music played at the end of the game presentation left no mistake about the future.
Alongside a number of brief announcements — slight additional details were provided for Episodes 2 and 3 of The Division 2; Adventure Time characters are coming to Brawlhalla; Just Dance 2020 arrives in November; and For Honor has the Shadows of the Hitokiri in-game event now through June 27 — there were a few new game teases.
The competitive sport Roller Champions looks like a nicer version of the old movie “Rollerball,” or maybe a less deadly version of the game in “Alita: Battle Angel” — it’s basically basketball fused with roller skating, with two teams competing to put a ball through big goal hoops placed on either side of a large oval track with sloping sides.
Based on the first trailer, the action is fast, with the potential for high-flying leaps and tricks as players fly up off the sides of the track. See for yourself this week, as a demo is available June 10-14 on Uplay for PC players.
Gods & Monsters
The February 25, 2020 release Gods & Monsters makes new use of some of the Greek research done for Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. The bright, almost pastoral landscape of the first trailer looks like an idealized version of the land around Olympus.
The pitch is simple: when heroes need help, they turn to gods, and when gods need help they come to you. The trailer features a glimpse of Medusa and the player’s hero — clad in white tunic and bronze or gold armor, holding a sword — leap into battle with a winged and feathered creature out of mythology. Marc-Alexis Côté, the senior producer on Odyssey, said the idea of the game is to make tales of mythology accessible to everyone.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Quarantine
How about a Rainbow Six game with a survival horror influence? Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Quarantine is a stand-alone release that appears to build on the Outbreak event from Rainbow Six: Siege. But while Siege’s gameplay is focused on PvP, lead designer Bio Jade Adam Granger said Quarantine is all about PvE co-op, with players battling a mysterious and pervasive parasite.
The first trailer does not reveal many details, but with flickering lights, screams, ominous shadows, and the presence of what looks like some kind of mutated monster, the game looks like the blend of Rainbow Six and Alien we didn’t realize we wanted — until now.
And that wraps all the news from today’s Ubisoft press conference. Stay tuned to Xbox Wire as we bring you the latest news from E3.