Considered as the biggest video gaming event of the year, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) was not spared from the series of live event cancellations due to the pandemic. Many developers, game publishers, and computer manufacturers were left without an avenue to advertise their latest products to retailers and the public.
Big industry names like Xbox and Limited Run Games considered the possibility of hosting their own digital events. Still, French video game company Ubisoft was the first one out of the bunch.
Ubisoft’s online-only showcase, titled Ubisoft Forward, was held last 12 July in a livestream you can still watch here. The company showed exclusive trailers and gameplay footage from its beloved franchises, which include Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Watch Dogs.Though spoilers from Far Cry 6, the latest installment of Far Cry, was leaked days before the event.The live digital show ended with a free giveaway for Watch Dogs 2 and a week-long sale of Ubisoft’s past titles.
Here are some highly awaited games announced during Ubisoft Forward:
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Promised to have the most stunning graphics from the franchise, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes place in 873 AD with an alternative retelling of the Viking invasion of Britain. Players follow a Viking raider named Eivor, who can be either male or female depending on the player’s choice, as they try to lay siege on the different Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. That will be the first game from the series where players can customize the main character’s gender, hair, clothing, tattoos, and other features. Its predecessors didn’t offer this feature, having set characters that didn’t give players an opportunity to have personalized gameplay. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is scheduled to be released on 17 November for all available gaming platforms.
While already released as a PC game in 2017, Brawlhalla’s announcement was the game’s availability in iOS and Android mobile devices by August 6. It will also have a crossplay feature, allowing all players, no matter their platform, to play and fight together – which is rare for video games. Brawlhalla is a freemium game where players battle to knock each other off the stage, much like the mechanics of battle royale Super Smash Bros. There are 50 playable characters available with different skins inspired from other Ubisoft franchise characters. The character designs are well-drawn, with no hints if Ubisoft outsourced the 2D game art or had a dedicated in-house team.
Far Cry 6
A PlayStation Store in Hong Kong leaked, just days before Ubisoft Froward, the big news that Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito will play dictator Anton Castillo, the main villain of the game. Gamers will play as a guerilla fighter attempting to remove Castillo from his seat of power and bring peace to Yara, a Cuba-inspired Caribbean island. The gameplay remains an action-adventure shooter game, much like the previous titles from the Far Cry franchise. Gamers can expect the release of Far cry 6 on 18 February 2021 on all platforms.
Despite E3’s cancellation, Ubisoft managed to continue its annual tradition of showcasing upcoming games. They also revealed that a second Ubisoft Forward event will happen in the latter part of the year with more updates.