Ubisoft E3 Press Conference 2016 recap - Steep, For Honor, Star Trek VR

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Ubisoft's E3 2016 press conference coincided with the studio's 30-year anniversary, and the proceedings were worthy of such a milestone. It had something for everyone, from the intense battles of For Honor, to the foul-mouthed hilarity of South Park, and even the snowy extreme sports of the newly revealed Steep. In case you missed the press conference hosted once again by the lovable Aisha Tyler, click on through the gallery for a completely recap of everything that was shown.

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Just Dance busts a move to Queen

If Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" doesn't make you want to dance, well... you have no taste. Just Dance kicked off Ubisoft's press conference with a squad of carnival-themed(?) dancers. At this point, you have to expect as much from Just Dance's annual reveal, but at least we got some great music out of it.

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Ghost Recon: Wildlands gets an early 2017 release date

Drugs ahoy! A new cinematic trailer for the next Ghost Recon reinforced its theme of fighting back against Mexican drug cartels, with their countless bricks of cocaine and trunks full of weaponry. The voiceover and parting shot gave us a look at the tattooed man El Sueno, the imposing drug lord and main villain of this desert-based shooter. Bolivia serves as the backdrop in an alternate reality where drugs rule society, which supports everything between solo play and four-player co-op.

This will reportedly be Ubisoft's largest open-world to date, with sprawling countryside surrounding each objective. The approach shown off in the new gameplay trailer was a systematic elimination of guards around the an intel-filled laptop (complete with Ubisoft's trademark fake multiplayer banter), then a quick chopper ride to the target's location for more co-op takedowns of Tangos and scouting with a flying drone. The evil chemist tried to escape in a car, so our heroes hopped on motorcycles and took chase, eventually nailing their mark and flying off to the next mission in the massive world. Wildlands will release on March 7, 2017.

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South Park: The Fractured But Whole lampoons The Avengers

A stylised trailer of cities in chaos was a clever tease for South Park: The Fractured But Whole, where Cartman and the gang don superhero outfits and save the world somehow. Trey Parker and Matt Stone took the stage to reveal that the story is still in the process of being written (nice), but picks up after The Stick of Truth. A gameplay trailer full of classic Cartman profanity followed our silent protagonist as he poked around the secret lair of Eric's alter ego The Coon. Cartman crafted the character's class (Blast, Speedster, Brawler were shown, with mention of a dozen total) which all revolve around classic superhero archetypes. Then he told the tragic tale of your origin story: walking in on your parents in the throes of coitus.

Stone teased that the combat is improved over Stick of Truth, mimicking the board games that Parker loves: you can now move around environments to set up attacks like a tactical RPG where positioning and obstacles in the environments matter. We also got to see some flashy superhero attacks. Meanwhile, farts let you rearrange turn order. And bonus: anyone who buys The Fractured But Whole will get the newly ported version of The Stick of Truth. South Park: TFBW will be released on December 6, 2016.

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The Division: Survival will be the second expansion for the MMO shooter

Ubisoft revealed that The Division: Underground is the kickoff to a year-long content plan for the MMO shooter - great news for those pining for more dungeons and loot to chase after. A new expansion was also announced for The Division entitled Survival, which drops you into a terrible blizzard in the heart of post-pandemic NYC. The cinematic reveal trailer showed an agent getting jumped by a group of thugs, rescued just in time by his compadres. That expansion will be coming soon.

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Eagle Flight VR shows off a 3v3 competitive mode

Hey, it's Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey! The candid man took the stage to play a multiplayer round of Eagle Flight VR's PvP mode, Capture the Prey (aka, 3v3 CTF). If you don't believe that majestic eagles could coordinate a competitive contest set in an overgrown Paris, you clearly haven't played Eagle Flight VR. There was much avian screeching as players fought over possession of a dead rabbit while swooping around buildings and firing shots at their opponents. Palmer Luckey was incredibly proud of scoring some unrehearsed double kills, and dammit, why shouldn't he be?

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Star Trek: Bridge Crew in VR brings us one step closer to the Holodeck

Looks like Ubisoft is making a push for VR, with the reveal of a new Star Trek game called Bridge Crew. The reveal trailer followed crew of the USS Aegis ship, manned by cast and crew from throughout Star Trek history: LeVar Burton, Karl Urban, and Jeri Ryan. Players can be captain, piloting at the helm, and many other specialised roles around the bridge with up to four players; everyone will have to cooperate in order to successfully navigate space and evade (or destroy) any unfriendly ships. LeVar Burton then took the stage to sing Bridge Crew's praises, immediately implanting the Reading Rainbow theme song into our heads. We can't wait to tap those colourful, nondescript buttons in VR while doing our best Picard impressions.

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For Honor introduces a mysterious villain...

For Honor's premise sounds like pure historical fantasy, but Ubisoft might be giving it a canonical background to explain the war between elite soldiers from divergent time periods. A cinematic trailer started with what seemed to be a plain earthquake which soon escalated into a biblical disaster event, setting For Honor's stage in a dimension where Knights, Samurai, and Vikings can co-exist (before immediately declaring all-out war on one another and kicking off a millennium of conflict). Suddenly, an arrow flew from the distance, revealing Apoleon, leader of the Black Stone Legions, who solemnly declares "I bring war." She will no doubt be at the center of For Honor's story mode, which we previously knew existed and nothing else. 

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...and debuts the Viking Raider's fighting style

New gameplay finally revealed how the Viking faction will play, starting off with an intense cinematic as an armada of Viking ships stormed a seaside Samurai fortress. This transitioned into a beach siege as our Viking Raider bashed fodder with his two-handed axe. We also got a glimpse at more of the Samurai warrior types, including a bulky bruiser wielding a giant club. The battle on the beach transitioned to a tense scaling of the fortress walls, as the Viking slashed everyone in his way to bits (and even impaled a poor soldier on a spiked barricade before pushing another poor sap to a fatal fall). The slaughter culminated in a one-on-one duel against an elite Samurai, who fell to the Viking's mighty axe swing. For Honor will release on Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2017, and we can't wait.

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Grow Home gets a sequel in Grow Up

BUD is back! The ever-stumbling, lovable red robot from Ubisoft's indie platformer is getting another game, and it looks just as delightful, colourful, and clever as the first. Grow Up looks like it massively expands the world, and introduces new power-ups like a biplane. You'll be able to use seeds to propel yourself from the surface of a planet all the way to a moon, which is sure to be a long and charming journey. Grow Up will release this August on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Trials of the Blood Dragon is '80s TO THE MAX

Radical! A new Trials game of hilariously chaotic cycling is here, with super stylized '80s attitude, neon backdrops, and unbridled patriotism. And hey, it's out now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC!

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Assassin's Creed film has a story, if you can believe that

Ubisoft is obliged to promote the Assassin's Creed movie, but the interview about its narrative link to the games was kinda a momentum killer. Luckily, the segment was saved by a behind-the-scenes reel with Michael Fassbender and bits of new footage. We also love the way Fassbender says "Temp-lers" when talking about the Assassin's eternal rivals.

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Watch Dogs 2 gameplay shows off a successful breaking, entering, and hacking

Hacker group Deadsec 'interrupted' the show to warn the public about the corrupt (and fictitious) politician Mark Thruss, who could very well be the primary antagonist in Watch Dogs 2's San Francisco. This transitioned into gameplay footage of new protagonist Marcus exploring the Bay Area, who has the knowhow to hack everything around him (even cars, for some reason). There will also be other Deadsec compatriots in the world as they try to spread the movement via social media.  We also got some lines from Marcus' pals Wrench (who wears a motorcycle mask fitted with LED eyes) and Sitara as they gave him some mission details.

Later that night, Marcus did some recon on a hacking target with his trusty drone, then made his way over using a remote-controlled crane. Eric B. & Rakim's classic "Don't Sweat the Technique" served as the soundtrack for a stealth segment through a skyscraper, showing off more tech like stun mines and Marcus' RC car that can hack terminals from afar. Marcus downloaded what he needed, shot the place up with a taser, then escaped via 30-story zipline to the ground. Watch Dogs 2 will be released on November 15th, 2016.

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Sony is helping bankroll a Watch Dogs film

Turns out, Sony has been shopping around a Watch Dogs movie ever since the debut of the first game, which will be Ubisoft's next film after Assassin's Creed. As a perk, PlayStation owners will have access to all Watch Dogs 2 DLC 30 days early. To bring the Watch Dogs 2 segment home, a new cinematic trailer showed off Marcus doing what he does best: hacking everything in sight to the sweet sounds of rap. Also, the Collector's Edition of Watch Dogs 2 comes with a little droid - hurrah!

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Steep revives mountainous extreme sports in gaming

Here's a surprise: an 'action sports' game from Ubisoft Annecy, a studio that worked on Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed multiplayer, as well as assisting on The Division. A cinematic trailer pieced together from game footage showed off Steep's many methods of travel, with skiers, snowboarders, and adrenaline junkies in wind suits suits zipping all over a snow-covered mountain. Next was some gameplay footage that opened with a parachute drop to the top of a mountain, as the character gasped for air in the freezing high altitude.

Zooming out to 'MountainView' shows off just how giant the environment is, showing each potential drop zone for future runs. With that, the player dropped into a proximity race challenge, risking life and limb to bomb through the sky while flying as close to craggy rocks as possible. This is the kind of activity we'd only like to take on in a video game, and looks startlingly real in the game's GoPro camera view. You can also edit instant replays of any amazing stunts or humiliating wipeouts you pull off as you play. If Steep plays its cards right, it could offer the best extreme mountain sports since SSX. That first-person view is intense, and the lifelike graphics don't include the freezing cold you'd get from being on an actual mountain. Steep will be released this December, 2016.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucas likes his games like he likes his music: eclectic. With all the weird and wonderful stuff he's played over the years, the two of you are bound to feel the same way about something!

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