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E3 2015: Takeaways from the Ubisoft Press Conference

by: Travis -
More On: E3 2015

Aisha Tyler continued her trend this year of hosting the Ubisoft Press Conference, which also followed past trends of showcasing franchise favorites as well as bold and risky new titles.

One of the new titles in particular was medieval combat game For Honor, which seemed awfully similar to other sword fighting games previously released on the PC. However, For Honor focuses on four versus four team combat in which the players fight along an array of AI units in signature settings including the Vikings, medieval Europe, and Samurai. This will definitely be a game to watch as more gameplay is showcased at E3, which will be offering live demos on the convention show floor.

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As expected Ubisoft showcased new footage of Tom Clancy's The Division which personally I was excited to see how the game has progressed since last year's brief showing. More multiplayer footage was shown with a team of agents entering the game's everything goes region known as the Dark Zone, or pretty much the equivalent of DayZ and other similar online survival games that have followed on PC. While the gameplay demo was heavily scripted, I was excited to hear that the game would be playable on the convention show floor. I'll report back this week if I'm able to see more of the game being played live in person.

Rainbow Six: Siege also made an appearance with new footage of players live on stage performing a cooperative bomb hunt mission in what developers call the TerroHunt mode. Just as last year's demo succeeded in exciting me, I'm glad to see a major focus is being put on the game's narrative as well as the multiplayer mode. The destructible level environments were better than ever as walls, floors, and doors proved little resistance to explosions and bullets. It was also revealed that actress Angela Bassett will act as the head of the Rainbow team with her nickname in the game as Six.

City builder genre fans will be happy to know that developer Blue Byte is developing another entry in the long running Anno franchise with Anno 2205. Where the game differs from past entries in the series is that players begin their cities on the Earth, but expand with the goal in mind to eventually be able to colonize the Moon. The gameplay showcased had the game's highly-detailed visual style along with bustling settlements and cities that seem even more alive than past games. Anno 2205's announcement took me by surprise and am now excited to begin building my future settlements on the Moon.

The standout surprise of the press conference was the unveiling of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. Following in the trend of other recent game releases, Wildlands ditches linear levels in favor of an open world that allows for a great deal of gameplay freedom for players. One mission showcased during the presentation was completed via three different methods ranging from a front-on assault to a more stealth-focused approach. The scenic views of the world were stunning and hinted at multiple types of terrains that players will encounter in their missions. As the presentation ended the camera zoomed out to reveal various player icons pop up on the game's map that mimicked the first reveal of Ubisoft's online racing game The Crew.

This year at E3 Ubisoft succeeded at showcasing some great upcoming games. Specifically Anno 2205 and Ghost Recon Wildlands are two games I'll be keeping on the top of my watch list for more details to be revealed.