In the past, both EA and Ubisoft have produced games that I have spent a lot of time on and thoroughly enjoyed. In recent times this enjoyment has been overshadowed as a consequence of their terrible business models and lack of care for the consumer. The following is an E3 analysis, however, so although a lot of these titles will possibly face death on release by paid DLC and terrible in-game currencies, I have tried to put this aside for the sake of this article.

Ubisoft

“Plz no terrible in-game currencies and business models.”

Ubisoft opened up their E3 press conference on a light note with Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Having played a lot of XCOM, it seems that they have tried to replicate a lot of the features with a more light-hearted twist. Not to say this won’t work – there have been plenty of games that shadow other engines and put a personal spin on things (Shadow of Mordor, for example), and the light-hearted nature of the Rabbids may make this a much more jovial and accessible title.

‘Skull and Bones’ piqued my interest – having recently finished the series Black Sails and having played ‘Assassins Creed: Black Flag’, ‘Skull and Bones’ looks to bring pirating back to the centre stage. What worries me, however, is how much the gameplay demonstration looks like Ubisoft’s early release this year, ‘For Honor.’ One of the reasons ‘For Honor’ lost massive amounts of players early on was due to how quickly the game became stale (must…not…mention…in-game currencies), so we’ll have to wait for the release to see if Skull and Bones will suffer the same fate.

The big guns of this iteration are, of course, the new ‘Assassins Creed: Origins’ and ‘Far Cry 5’. Being a big fan of Assassin’s Creed early on in the series, only to have it killed later by the mundane storyline (seriously, who enjoyed playing as Desmond), I don’t have high hopes for ‘Origin.’ Is it too much to ask that they just scrap the whole animus and let you play as an assassin and do what you want without fear of straying too far from a historical figure? I won’t hold my breath.

“Far Cry 5 on the other hand…high octane and beautiful.”

‘Far Cry 5’ on the other hand appears to be the exact upshot of what I was hoping for from another Far Cry game: high octane and beautiful. ‘Far Cry 3’ was hands down one of my favourite games on release, with its immersive storyline and an exciting mix with drug-fueled shoot-ups. I’d never been more interested in a character more than Far Cry 3’s main antagonist, Vaas, who exemplified everything I’d come to love about Far Cry. My only hope is that they don’t take things too seriously with 5, and stick to the same madness themed mayhem we all learnt to love from 3.

There were a few other titles that were announced and do look exciting including ‘The Crew 2’, ‘Transference’, ‘Starlink battle for Atlas’ and ‘Beyond Good and Evil 2’. Check out their pre-release trailers for more information.

EA

“It’s EA, so I’ll wait…”

Ignoring the amount of cringe that went on throughout the EA E3 press conference, and again ignoring my ethos of “The game looks good but it’s EA, so I’ll wait” there were a couple of titles that did show promise. It’s worth mentioning that I’m not a fan of sports games, so games such as FIFA 18, NBA Live 18 and Madden’s NFL 18 will not be looked at here, but they do show some promise to budding sports gamers out there.

The first title to show promise is Bioware’s ‘Anthem’. Although only a short preview was played to introduce Bioware’s new IP, it was enough to generate some hype for the game amidst concerns. For Bioware, a company famous for its story-driven single player masterpieces, the idea of a Destiny-esque multiplayer focused game wasn’t what a lot of fans were expecting, and rightly so: After the mess that was Andromeda many were hoping Bioware would revert to their original style and quality.

“It’s been a long time since co-op games were in the limelight.”

‘A Way Out’, on the other hand, is the title I am most looking forward to. An intriguing co-op game that boasts an immersive (and novel) prison environment. The immersive game feels refreshing in a tide of rehashes and remakes. It’s been a long time since co-op games were in the limelight and Josef Fares’ (the creator of ‘Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons’) statement “I wanted to make another game that pushed the boundaries on how to tell stories without compromising on gameplay” does excite me somewhat.

Speaking of remakes, ‘Star Wars Battlefront 2’ was announced. The original SWBF2 was possibly one of my most played games from my preteen years, and to re-live this spectacle from my youth would be my biggest dream. So far it looks promising, with stunning visuals and the promise of an immersive story, however again, my ethos of “It’s EA, so I’ll wait” brings me jarring back to an apprehensive reality.

And Finally, ‘Need for Speed’. After playing ‘Need for Speed Most Wanted’ (the remake) for a grand total of 10 minutes, after realising just how dramatically they had moved away from the original NFSMW, A fusion of Need for Speed with Fast and Furious looks to take the franchise in a different direction again. Whether this is a positive direction, we’ll have to wait and see.

Anthony Osmaston

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Media sourced from YouTube and Entertainment Software Association.

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