After saving everyone's bacon last year, Ubisoft arrive at this year's E3 with enough IPs and invention in the bank to o the same again. We've got a good idea of half of the stuff they have planned for next week, but there's plenty of room for a few surprises.
Let's just hope that none of them turn out to be Mr Caffeine.
I fully expect Ubisoft to absolutely rock this E3. They've been on show-stealing, platform-saving form over the past few years, and this summer will be no different.
Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed Unity will head the bill in terms of sequels, and Ubisoft will have their focus firmly placed on the six months. But what will be interesting to see is how balance Ubi's presser is in terms of generational balance. FC4 is certainly going to be another cross-gen, feature complete jack of all trades, and Unity may well follow suit in the manner of AC4.
There'll be next-gen offerings in the form of The Division and The Crew, but I want a bombshell from Ubisoft. It's time for next-gen Prince of Persia. The Forgotten Sands did a decent job of recreating the thrilling platforming ushered in by The Sands of Time, but with more power comes greater possibilities of utterly unbridled level design.
If not that, then it's time Patriots resurfaced. The Rainbow Six feed has been dead for over two years. It's time someone resuscitated it.
Anticipated Highlight – Michel Ancel announces Ubi Art as a game dev service available to all, draws himself and Aisha Tyler, and then makes the two of them playable characters in some sort of Rabbids minigame.
The last few E3’s have seen Ubisoft rescuing the press conferences of Sony and Microsoft, so it would be nice to see them not have to do that this time around, saving the big guns for their own showcase. That said, this year is clearly going to be all about The Crew and The Division, but I do hope that much like previous years they have a surprise up their sleeve to wow us with.
We should hopefully be seeing more of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and in particular I’m looking forward to seeing what Ubisoft can achieve when they are focusing on the PS4 and Xbox One, allowing for some true innovation within the assassination sandbox. Elsewhere, there will almost certainly be Rabbids invading the presentation somewhere. You know, for the kids. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to seeing Ubisoft proving once and for all how idiotic the witch-hunt-brigade were for accusing Far Cry 4 of being racist, by showing us all it is in fact an elephant-riding simulator. Or, at the very least, a fun sandbox set in the mountains. Either or.
Anticipated Highlight – Aisha Tyler drags Tobuscus and Mr Caffeine on stage, apologies for their existence, and then crushes their heads with her bare hands. The crowd then rejoices.
It's time for Beyond Good & Evil 2 now, Ubisoft.
No, really, do it. For years you've been raising our hopes and dashing them expertly. With vague rumoured promises of a "next-gen" release and Michel Ancel free from Rayman duty, we want it and we want it before Christmas. Well, Christmas 2015 at any rate.
In terms of dead certs, we can guarantee that Aisha Tyler will introduce Assassin's Creed Unity and its Parisian setting, reveal the last-gen Assassin's Creed 'Comet' project (that could just be a port) and mention that Just Dance 2015 is on the way.
Then we'll get down to business. Far Cry 4 will warrant some serious attention -- likely a live demo showing off its crazy Himalayan hijinks -- alongside The Crew, which will try to become this year's biggest Christmas racer. Ubisoft would be mad not to stoke the massive hype engine surrounding The Division too, even though it's probably still a year from completion.
I hope beyond hope that they won't derail their event with a poxy eSports match (Ghost Recon Phantoms?), but let's face it, they probably will. Fingers crossed that they'll focus more on innovative digital offerings, which they've been ramping up lately with the likes of Child Of Light and Valiant Hearts. More like that, please.
Anticipated Highlight – Aisha Tyler stealing the show yet again.