Following Sony and Microsoft’s tantalising presentations, two more major names in the gaming industry have wowed visitors at this year’s E3.
Ubisoft and Nintendo held wildly different events, but both gave us all plenty to be excited for …
Ubisoft: Dancing, VR, and Cheeky Titles
Ubisoft is one of THE companies to watch at E3, as much for their games as for their dynamic presentations. In the past, their mix of strange humour and skits has kept the expo crowds entertained (at the very least), and this time, they kicked their show off with a dance routine to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ … performed by pandas and giraffes.
Not real ones, of course.
Anyway, what teasers did Ubisoft give us?
One of the most impressive tasters was for Star Trek: The Bridge. Under development by Ubisoft’s Red Storm studio, this VR game puts players directly into Gene Roddenberry’s universe. Not a million miles away from the multiplayer mobile title Spaceteam, this asks players to take control of a ship (in this case, the USS Aegis), with a captain, tactical experts, and navigators running the show as a whole unit.
The footage from the game is definitely impressive, and having celebrity endorsement from across three different Star Trek properties (Karl Urban from the rebooted movies; Levar Burton from The Next Generation; Jeri Ryan from Voyager) should help to bring fans aboard. After all, the promise of actually immersing yourself in that world will be irresistible to seasoned and new Trekkies alike.
Star Trek: The Bridge hits the Vive, Rift, and PlayStation VR this autumn (timed nicely to follow the summer’s cinematic release of Star Trek Beyond).
Ubisoft also showed off Grow Up, a sequel to the experimental Grow Home. Starring robot BUD once again, Grow Up sees him hunting for the remains of MOM, his spaceship, across the galaxy. The team has added fresh mechanics, such as being able to clone alien plants and make use of their unique abilities. This will be out in August, for the Xbox One, PC, and PS4.
Meanwhile, Steep looks set to be a breath of fresh, icy air. This open-world winter-sports game sees multiple players given free rein in a gorgeous, snowy, mountainous area, able to try wingsuiting, paragliding, skiing, and snowboarding at their leisure.
Not only are the visuals stunning, but the sense of speed is incredible – check out the wingsuiting footage to see just how smooth the animations are. You’ll want to throw yourself off the nearest tall structure to experience a similar rush for yourself (don’t, though!).
This is one to watch, and having other players in the same location should help to create a real feeling of competitiveness and camaraderie.
Ubisoft also covered Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, an open-world mix of tactical and shooting. The trailer is nicely put-together, and the footage itself is guaranteed to whet fans’ appetites.
However, perhaps the most exciting trailer in Ubisoft’s presentation was for South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Not only does this have one of the most eye- and ear-catching titles ever, but the trailer itself echoes the epic, earnest style of many superhero-movie trailers we see again and again. However, this being South Park, the tone is bitingly satirical, seeing the kids embarking on a war over how to launch their own superhero franchise.
The Stick of Truth was, to many people’s surprise, a great adaptation of the long-running series, and there’s no reason to think The Fractured But Whole will be any different.
Nintendo: Zelda, Pokemon, and the NX No-Show
We all knew a new Zelda game would show up at Nintendo’s E3 event, and the reveal didn’t disappoint. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s trailer is a must-watch for fans: featuring stunning open-world landscapes, forests, castles, and horse-riding, this looks to be as big and luscious as Skyrim or The Witcher 3, only with that colourful Nintendo sheen.
This looks to be a deeper, more organic Hyrule than we’ve seen before. Link can get around by hang-gliding, diving, riding, climbing trees, walls, and mountains, giving the world a true sense of being alive. Link also has to forage food to restore health. On the action front, the combat looks set to be similar to previous 3D Zelda titles, with targeting and movement beautifully accessible.
As well as Zelda, Nintendo also showed off Pokemon Sun and Moon, due in November exclusively to the 3DS. The footage revealed gave a glimpse of new types of Pokemon, and a new battle-style known as Battle Royal: this sees four players fighting each other at the same time, rather than one-on-one.
Nintendo had warned us ahead of time that the NX would not make an appearance at E3, and they were true to their word: the NX was nowhere to be seen. Still, it can’t be long until we get to see it in action.
And that’s it for these two powerhouses!
What are your highlights from the Ubisoft and Nintendo E3 presentations? Let us know!