Ubisoft just concluded its digital E3 replacement event, ‘Ubisoft Forward’. The digital showcase lasted roughly 45 minutes; featuring announcements and updates across just over half a dozen titles, including a deep-dive into gameplay for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, as well as release dates for Watch Dogs: Legion and Far Cry 6.
Watch Dogs: Legion
The showcase began with a reintroduction to Watch Dogs: Legion, featuring a highly-stylised ‘short film’ providing an insight into the thematic elements of the upcoming stealth-action open world hacking game. The premise for Watch Dogs: Legion follows in the wake of a terrorist attack on London, leading to a private military being hired in order to ‘restore order’ to the city.
The private military, which goes by the name Albion, appears to have taken its powers of control too far – and so needs to be taken down. Alongside Albion is a crime syndicate headed by ‘Mary Kelly’ who engages in illegal and violent activities including the selling of organs through the dark web. With these two organisations established as the antagonists, you as the player must build a resistance to take back London.
Following this introduction, gameplay was shown off, highlighting the unique aspects to Watch Dogs: Legion, and showcasing the fact that “anyone can be recruited”. Each mission can be approached differently depending on the character you play as. Ubisoft showed off some of these characters, including a drone expert, who can control and hack drones in order to stealth their way through the mission. Alternatively, you can recruit defected Albion members to walk right through the gates and into enemy territory. For those who enjoy being flashy, you can play as an assassin, whose gameplay evokes many similarities to that of John Wick (in fact, the music playing during this sequence was also featured in John Wick). Following the mantra that “everyone can be a hero,” Ubisoft unveiled the release date for Watch Dogs: Legion, which is set to arrive on the 29th of October 2020.
Next, Ubisoft announced that Brawlhalla, the popular free-to-play Smash Bros-esque fighting game, will be coming to iOS and Android on the 6th of August. Furthermore, the game will include cross-play, meaning that even those on mobile will be able to play with PC and console players.
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad
Announced back at E3 2019, Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad was given another cinematic trailer. This mobile exclusive military role-playing game brings together a number of iconic characters across Ubisoft’s plethora of franchises all into one game. Ubisoft announced that Elite Squad is now available to pre-register for both iOS and Android.
Rainbow Six Siege
Though there were no new announcements regarding Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft did dedicate a short amount of time to thank its fans for the success of Siege. That being said, a few small nuggets of information was revealed, including the fact that the publisher has no plans for a sequel, with Siege instead touted to be “here for the next 10 years” and “just getting started”. Furthermore, it was confirmed that the tactical online competitive first-person shooter had surpassed 60 million players – an increase in 5 million players since February.
Ubisoft then dedicated some time to HyperScape, its recently announced Battle Royale shooter. Reiterating some of the previously announced information, a cinematic trailer was shown off, offering details on the in-game lore and story for HyperScape. The segment concluded with the announcement that the open beta for PC is now live, and includes a new weapon, new hack, and a free Battle Pass.
Next, Phil Spencer took to the screen to announce that Watch Dogs: Legion would support Xbox Smart Delivery, meaning that players would only need to purchase the game once, and could then play the best version on both the Xbox One and Series X. Spencer also hinted at some of the upgrades coming to the Series X version of Legion – such as the fact that the game will feature Ray-Tracing. No information was provided on what upgrades the PlayStation 5 could see.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Finally, after many leaks and previous disappointments, Ubisoft gave fans a true first official look at Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gameplay. The premise of Valhalla sees you play as Eivor, a Viking who has decided to leave Norway in order to develop their own settlement in England. The story has been described as a “personal adventure” which wanted to tell the “real story of Vikings.”
With that, Ubisoft detailed a number of new features included in order to make the game as authentic as possible. The game is said to feature a revamped combat system in order to leverage the brutality that Vikings are known for. That being said, the Vikings were also “masters of stealth and deception” and so Assassin’s Creed Valhalla makes sure to highlight this aspect too, allowing you to blend in with the crowd to conduct your business undisturbed. Some of the new combat enhancements include the ability to dual-wield any two weapons, even shields, in order to allow you to customise combat as you wish. New equipment and combat abilities include throwing axes, Viking harpoons, a new stun system, and finishers. Valhalla is said to have the “largest variety of enemies ever” in an Assassin’s Creed title.
Other new elements built for Valhalla include the Viking Longship, which you can use to conduct and take part in raids. During these raids, you’ll set houses on fire dynamically, and steal cargo in order to improve and develop your own settlement. You can keep track of the world of Valhalla through an ‘alliance map’.
Exploration has been improved, with various challenges and secrets scattered across the world for you to discover and complete. You can hunt animals for food and to fortify your equipment. Like previous entries, Valhalla will include a supernatural element, inspired by both Norse and Pagan mythologies.
Lastly, new ‘massive assaults’ were shown off, where you’ll invade Saxon fortresses as part of a large scale battle with impressive setpieces. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was confirmed to be releasing on the 17th of November for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, UPlay, Epic Games Store, and Stadia.
Far Cry 6
The showcase concluded with an announcement trailer for Far Cry 6. Though the announcement previously leaked early, prompting an official confirmation by Ubisoft, Far Cry 6 was shown off here through a cinematic story trailer, focusing on Diego and his father – the President/Dictator of the Cuba-inspired city of Yara. The trailer did not reveal too much, but did highlight the tense, dark, and gritty atmosphere that players can expect to encounter when Far Cry 6 releases on the 18th of February 2021.
The showcase concluded with confirmation that a second Ubisoft Forward would take place sometime later this year, featuring more game news and updates – though no more specifics were detailed. Following the conclusion of the showcase, a further 30 minutes of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gameplay was shown off in a post-show – more than making up for the lack of promised gameplay at Microsoft’s most recent next-gen event.
Though the Ubisoft Forward digital event contained fewer announcements perhaps than what was hoped, the promise of a second digital showcase later this year should hopefully fill in the gaps in Ubisoft’s announcement library.
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KitGuru says: What did you think of the event? Which game interests you the most? Are you excited for a second Ubisoft Forward later this year? Let us know down below.