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Friday, September 30, 2022
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Friday, September 30, 2022
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    Bracing for an entertaining year

    Danial Norjidi

    During the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game industry showcase, publisher Ubisoft conducted a digital conference, providing updates and unveilings for some of their latest games and projects.

    Titled ‘Ubisoft Forward’, the presentation began with a look at the next mainline game in the Rainbow Six franchise, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction, a one- to three-player co-op tactical first-person shooter developed by Ubisoft Montreal.

    According to Ubisoft, “To confront and eventually contain a growing alien threat known as Archaeans, your squad can choose from a roster of 18 Rainbow Six Operators, each with their own set of gadgets, weapons, and abilities.” The game is set across four regions in the United States (US), featuring 12 maps that have “procedurally generated challenges, a diverse set of enemies, and infestations with increasing difficulty the further you go in the map”.

    “After completing the mission within each containment sub-zone, you’ll have the option to extract your squad and net the rewards you’ve earned so far, or venture deeper into containment and risk what you’ve earned to confront tougher enemies and earn greater rewards.”

    Rainbow Six Extraction releases on September 16 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, PC and Stadia.

    The digital conference continued with a segment on Rocksmith+, a new subscription service that teaches users how to play electric and acoustic guitar and bass.

    Riders Republic. PHOTOS: UBISOFT
    Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
    Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. PHOTO: UBISOFT

    Speaking during the presentation, lead producer at Ubisoft San Francisco Arthur Von Nagel said, “Connect your instrument to your PC, console or mobile device and get real-time feedback as you play. Connecting with Rocksmith+ will be easier than ever now that you can use your phone as a microphone.”

    It was shared that the service will feature a vast and ever-expanding library of songs in a variety of arrangements across multiple genres.

    Also being introduced is Rocksmith Workshop, which Von Nagel described as “a new tool that lets users create and add their own arrangements for songs we’ve licensed”.

    Rocksmith+ will be available this Summer on PC, Fall on console, and to-be-announced timing on mobile.

    Also shown during the presentation was a deep dive into Riders Republic, developed by Ubisoft Annecy and will be launching on September 2 for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Amazon Luna and Stadia.

    According to the Ubisoft website, “Riders Republic allows you to jump into a huge, vibrant open world of outdoor sports such as biking, skiing, snowboarding, wing suiting, and rocket wing suiting. Ride solo or with friends through a gigantic outdoor sports park that combines some of the best-known American National Parks, including Bryce Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Sequoia Park, Zion, Canyonlands, Mammoth Mountain, and Grand Teton.

    “You’ll be able to customise your rider with progression-based gear, and if you want to dominate solo, you can prove your worth in career mode through five different career progressions.

    “As you progress, you’ll sign with legendary sponsors and get invited to renowned sports competitions including Red Bull Rampage and the X Games. Or, you can squad up with or against friends in a variety of multiplayer modes.”

    Next up was a segment on Rainbow Six Siege, a title that was first launched in 2016. The presentation showed the crossplay and cross-progression deployment map for the title, where it was announced that the game will launch on Stadia on June 30, with crossplay and cross-progression available between PC, Stadia and Luna. In addition, early 2022 will see crossplay for Rainbow Six Siege available between Xbox and PlayStation, while cross progression will available between all platforms.

    Also featured was a look at the game’s new season, North Star, which launched on June 14 and introduces a new operator named Thunderbird, who was showcased during the presentation in an anime trailer.

    The Ubisoft Forward conference continued with a quick look at updates coming to live games this year, including: the year five season two Mirage update for action fighting game For Honor; new animated and dynamic items as well as new physics for racing game TrackMania; a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover coming to free-to-play fighting game Brawlhalla; a new live update for racing game The Crew 2; and the new DLC expansion for Watchdogs: Legion called Bloodline.

    Also shared was an update on Ghost Recon Breakpoint. “From the release of the Ghost Experience to the latest teammate update, Ghost Recon Breakpoint keeps evolving, thanks to your feedback. But that’s not all. As 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Ghost Recon franchise, we are happy to announce that there are still many more surprises to come.”

    Announced with a November 4 release date was Just Dance 2022, the latest edition in the rhythm game series, which will include 40 new songs when as it makes its way to Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Stadia.

    Action-adventure game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was the next to feature, with Senior Community Developer at Ubisoft Montreal Karen Lee sharing that the title had “the biggest launch for any Assassin’s Creed game to date”.

    She noted the recent release of the Wrath of the Druid expansion for the game and the upcoming summer release of the second expansion Siege of Paris. “This is the most ambitious battle in Viking history, taking place in war-torn Frankia. You’ll have to do everything in your power to uncover enemy secrets and form strategic alliances in order to safeguard your clan’s future.”

    Also announced was a new Discovery Tour releasing this fall, free to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla owners, where players will get to “explore the world and take a deeper dive into the history of the Viking Age”. Lee added that the developers will support the game well into its second year and that they are already working on more expansions for next year.

    In addition to the upcoming games, the presentation also provided a sneak peak at Ubisoft’s film and television projects, including a trailer for the new second season of comedy television series Mythic Quest now streaming on Apple TV+, as well as a trailer for feature-length horror-comedy movie Werewolves Within.

    Returning to the video games, the Ubisoft Forward showcase shifted focus to upcoming first-person shooter title Far Cry 6, which launches on October 7 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, PC, Stadia, and Amazon Luna.

    The presentation highlighted the game’s Season Pass, which includes three DLC episodes where the player gets to play as the antagonists from Far Cry 3, 4 and 5. Also announced was the inclusion in the Season Pass of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, which sees players go to a grim cyber-world as action hero Sergeant Rex ‘Power’ Colt.

    The showcase’s penultimate announcement was that of strategy game Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, which will be making its way to Nintendo Switch in 2022.

    A sequel to the 2017 title Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the upcoming Sparks of Hope sees Mario, Rabbid Peach and their friends “back for a new adventure of cosmic scale” to take on a mysterious and malevolent entity called Cursa and its dangerous minions “while exploring a variety of planets filled with strange inhabitants and hilarious secrets”.

    Players will have to “outwit enemies in an innovative combat system mixing turn-based tactics and real time action”.

    Ubisoft CEO and founder Yves Guillemot introduced the presentation’s final game announcement Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, which is described as a first person, action-adventure game developed by Massive Entertainment – a Ubisoft studio – in collaboration with Lightstorm Entertainment and Disney.

    According to Ubisoft, “Built using the latest iteration of the Snowdrop engine, and developed exclusively for the new generation of consoles and PC, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora brings to life the alluring world of Pandora with all of its beauty and danger in an immersive, open world experience.

    “In this new, standalone story, play as a Na’vi and embark on a journey across the Western Frontier, a never-before-seen part of Pandora. Explore a living and reactive world inhabited by unique creatures and new characters, and push back the formidable RDA forces that
    threaten it.”

    The game is set for release on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia, Amazon Luna, and PC in 2022.

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