Art by Empanda.
Day two of the pre-E3 press conferences started with Square Enix early in the morning, with Ubisoft, the PC Gaming Show, and Sony playing back to back throughout the rest of the day.
The Square Enix Conference
There wasn’t much that stood out during the Square Enix conference this morning, and it was remarkably short. Possibly the most interesting thing about the conference is that it was narrated by Keith David.
A few of the games on display were already covered during the Microsoft conference: Tomb Raider, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, Nier: Automata, Just Cause 4, and Kingdom Hearts. For details, head over to last night’s article!
Square showcased a few new games during the conference:
- Monster Hunter World X Final Fantasy Online (summer 2018)
- Dragon Quest XI Echoes of an Elusive Age (9/4/18)
- Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius X Dragon Quest (9/2018)
- Babylon’s Fall (on PS4 and PC, 2019)
- Octopath Traveler (7/13/2018)
- The Quiet Man (more details in August)
For additional information, head over to their YouTube page.
The only other thing Square showed at its conference was an update to Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood, with news of patch 4.3, Under the Moonlight.
While the Square conference was lean, I hope that at least one announcement during the Sony conference that may be worthwhile. It’s been a few years since the announcement of the Final Fantasy VII remake, so it might be time for more news on that. And there’s always the potential for more Final Fantasy XV content considering how popular that game is. (Note: I was very wrong on both counts, but some other fantastic stuff did debut at the Sony conference. See below!)
The Ubisoft Conference
Last year, Ubisoft’s conference was a winner with some fantastic reveals, so going into this year, I had some pretty high hopes.
Just Dance 2019
It seems like a yearly thing for Ubisoft to kick off their E3 conference with a dance performance to announce the next game in the series. They did it again this year, which was interesting, but probably not necessary. Either way, it’s pretty clear that the next game in the series is coming.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
Ubisoft first announced this sequel last year, but came to the stage with a little more than a cinematic trailer. This year, they’ve returned with a new trailer and some very limited alpha footage.
The most interesting announcement regarding Beyond Good and Evil 2, however, was a partnership with HitRecord (an online collaboration site founded by Joseph Gordon Levitt). He showed up to announce the collaboration and provide a few of the details. Working with the team developing Beyond Good and Evil 2, Hitrecord hopes to source artwork, writing, and music from the community to directly impact development of the game. It’s a bold move that’s definitely interesting, and seeing where it goes should be entertaining.
Rainbow Six Siege
While there isn’t any new content coming to Siege, there is going to be a LOT of professional Esports surrounding the game this year. The Pro League kicks off on June 18, followed by the Major in Paris on August 18. After that, the Pro League will take place in Brazil on November 18, finished off by the Invitational on February 19 of next year. To top it all off, Ubisoft will be releasing a documentary about Siege called “Another Mindset” during the Major in August.
The Division 2
While a trailer for the game was shown at Microsoft’s conference last night, Ubisoft showcased a bit more about what we can expect from the game. First, at max level, specializations unlock that allow players to further customize their characters as they play. Featuring unique weapons, special powers, new tools, and extra abilities, each specialization looks to add a wealth of depth to the late game. Next, eight-player raids will be available in the sequel. And finally, the Division 2 will be “launching with plans for years of frequent, major content updates.” In the first year alone, Ubisoft has three DLC packs planned, each with new stories, areas, and activities. And all of them are free!
Anyone interested in checking the game out can register for the beta over at thedivisiongame.com ahead of its release on March 15, 2019.
Skull and Bones
Ubisoft first announced this game last year in a very general sense, but the game seems to have matured quite a bit since it was shown last year.
It seems like Ubisoft has spent the last year molding this game into what many people feel like Sea of Thieves should have been. Whether on purpose or by accident, Skull and Bones seems to be shaping up to be a direct competitor to Microsoft’s pirate game. But, as things stand, Skull and Bones seems to offer quite a bit more content and a far deeper combat system.
For anyone interested in playing the game earlier, head over to skullandbonesgame.com for the chance to play before its 2019 release.
The latest update for the game, Marching Fire, will release 10/16/2018.
In addition, Ubisoft is giving away the starter edition of For Honor this week on Uplay PC, to keep and play after E3. Anyone interested should be sure to log on before the end of the week and get it added to their Uplay library!
The Crew 2
This game comes out on June 29, but Ubisoft took the opportunity to advertise the open beta – on PC, PS4, and Xbox One – available June 21. But for those interested, the Beta can be preloaded now!
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
After the release of Assassin’s Creed Origins, I’m actually surprised to see another AC title so soon, but the rumor mill about the latest Assassin’s Creed game taking place in Greece seemed to ring true. Ubisoft spent a few minutes talking about some of the changes they made to the game, but I think it’s probably better to let the trailer, and gameplay demo, speak for themselves. Though I’m not sure what the story holds, the gameplay looks fantastic! Oh, and it’s available on October 5.
A few smaller games took the stage during the conference. Here they are:
- Trials Rising (a closed beta is happening later this year – signup at Ubisoft’s website – and it will release 2/2019 on Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Switch) Editor’s Note: The original posted link was incorrect, and has been updated.
- Mario + Rabbids: Donkey Kong Adventure (June 26)
- Transference (That strange game by Elijah Wood makes another appearance this year, but with a release date of fall, 2018)
- Starlink Battle for Atlas (this is the game with the modular ships that plug into the console controllers, but with exclusive StarFox content for the switch and a release date of of 10/16/2018)
And you can find additional info on them over at the Ubisoft YouTube page.
The PC Gaming Show
Thirty games were covered during the PC Gaming show today, and most were from small indie studios. I’d love to say a bit about every game covered, but most were accompanied by a trailer and a short Q&A session. For the sake of brevity, I’ll list the games covered below, which you can find more information for in this video.
- Neo Cab
- Mavericks Proving Grounds (a battle royale game with a dynamic world and 1000 player matches)
- The Forgotten City (2019)
- Star Control Origins (preorder and play today, releases on 9/20/2018)
- Hunt: Showdown
- Archangel Hellfire (currently in early access, but releases 7/17/2018)
- The Sinking City
- Warframe The Sacrifice (June 2018)
- A SEGA showcase that included Baynetta, Vanquish, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Shenmue I and II, Shining Resonance Refrain, Yakuza Kiwami, Valkyria Chronicles 4, and Yakuza 0 (available to preorder now and available in early August)
- Killing Floor 2 – The summer Sideshow Treacherous Skies (available tomorrow, plus a free PC weekend this coming weekend)
- Tripwire moving towards publishing with Road Redemption and Man Eater
- A new publisher called “Untitled Publisher” bringing out Bravery Network Online (2019), Morningstar, and Overwhelm (available now)
- Jurassic World Evolution (Out June 12, 2018, on PC, PS4, and Xbox)
- Stormland (open world VR by insomniac)
- Night Call
- Star Citizen Alpha 3.2 (coming soon)
- Genesis Alpha One (coming 9/4/2018 on PC, PS4, and Xbox)
- Don’t Starve Hamlet (12/2018)
- Just Cause 4
- Overkill’s The Walking Dead (releases 11/6/2018 in North and South America)
- The Walking Dead: The Final Season (8/14/2018)
- Two Point Hospital (Fall 2018)
- Realm Royale (can play the alpha for free on steam right now)
- Anno 1800
- Rapture Rejects (sign up for the beta @rapturerejects.com)
- Hitman 2 (avaliable 11/13/2018)
Sony Press Conference
The final show of the night had the potential to be the most exciting, but wound up being the most awkward. Sony made it clear that they wanted to tell a story, but for everyone at home, the pursuit of a story resulted in some intermissions that boiled down to some annoying wait times. And this wasn’t helped by the fact that the show was fairly short at only a little over one hour long.
The Last of Us Part 2
The conference opened with everyone in attendance seated in a tent made up to look like a church. Instead of seats, there were pews, and the ribbing of the tent was made to look like a wooden, steepled ceiling. Lights dangled from above and an older gentleman came out on stage to play the banjo for a bit. After that, a sample of The Last of Us Part 2 began playing on the screen. Unsurprisingly, the locale of the scene looked remarkably like the tent everyone was seated in. What followed was a story mode/gameplay mashup.
Ghost of Tsushima
Between the previous showcase and this one, everyone was moved to a different, larger tent and treated to a gentleman playing the flute. Afterwards, we were shown an extended gameplay trailer for Ghost of Tsushima.
I’ve got to say that this game looks fantastic and I’m really digging the lack of clutter on the screen (in this game and in The Last of Us Part 2). While we weren’t given a release date for the game, I’m very interested to know when we can expect to get our hands on it.
This trailer doesn’t give us much info on the game (due out in 2019), but it definitely looks interesting.
Resident Evil 2
This one was definitely a surprise. The original Residen Evil 2 is an iconic game and no one expected there to be a remake. It’s definitely looking good and it will be a treat for a new generation of gamers to have an opportunity to play it.
Trover Saves the Universe
As a fan of Rick and Morty, I’m all for anything that embodies the same type of humor. I loved Accounting, and Virtual Rickality was hilarious, so this game should be equally fun/interesting to experience.
Kingdom Hearts III
An extended Trailer of Kingdom Hearts III was displayed at the Sony Conference. And it’s also worth noting that 1.5 + II.5, II.8, and 3 are available in one package on PS4. I also have to note that this same game was announced for Xbox. In my previous article, I mentioned that it was just Kingdom Hearts announced for the Xbox, but it wasn’t until tonight that I realized the III was hidden in the heart behind the words “Kingdom Hearts”.
While I still have no idea what’s going on in Hideo Kojima’s latest game, it’s safe to say that each time I see it, I’m drawn in more by the world he’s creating. The trailer for Death Stranding is much longer this year, with much more dialogue, but none of it is comprehensible. It definitely looks good, but I hope the game is equally enjoyable when it finally arrives.
By now, everyone knows that the latest Spider-Man game is coming out this fall, but Sony isn’t letting any of us forget. And they upped the ante this year by closing the show with an action packed glimpse at even more gamplay.
While I expected Sony to end the night with a bang, they did so with a whimper. They covered only a handful of games tonight, but none of them really grabbed my attention liked I hoped they would. The Last of Us 2 looks fantastic, Ghost of Tsushima looks just as amazing, and Death Stranding is bewildering in a way that only Hideo Kojima can manage, but I’m left wanting more. For the first time in a few years, I’m somewhat disappointed by what Sony brought to E3. That isn’t to say that Sony doesn’t have it’s fare share of fantastic games. Just last month, the new God of War debuted to critical acclaim. And I’m sure that the few major headliners Sony showed at tonight’s conference will be good. But we saw most of the same stuff last year.
That’s all for today. Join me again tomorrow as I close out our roundup of E3 2018 with coverage of the Nintendo Press Conference!