Who won E3 this year? Was it Microsoft with their massive reveal of the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio? Did Sony one-up all the competition with the reveal of The Last Guardian’s release date and Hideo Kojima’s superstar entrance for Death Stranding? Or did Nintendo manage to come from behind with their unorthodox strategy of just focusing on the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the official announcement of the Nintendo NX? Who went to E3 and stole the entire show?
Well, that question is up for debate. But you know what’s without question? Who had the weirdest and strangest E3 Press Conference this year. That “honor” has got to clearly go to Ubisoft! Because this year’s show was a mess! It was filled with awkward moments that just made me cringe while watching. And you know what? I loved almost every minute of it! It was like watching a B-movie that’s was just so bad that it was good! I don’t think that’s what Ubisoft was going for but… good job, I guess?
First, let’s talk about the actual “good” moments. The moments that were meant to be cool and actually were! Actually, I can only think of three things. The first thing that comes to mind was the behind-the-scenes clips for the live-action Assassin’s Creed movie. I am very cautiously optimistic about the film because I, like every gamer before, has been burned before with the promise of a great video game being turned into an actual good movie. However, we’ve never really gotten any! I do hope Assassin’s Creed break the pattern! It does look promising but I don’t really want to keep my hopes up since I don’t want to be heartbroken by another terrible video game movie.
Another truly cool thing Ubisoft showed was Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Call me a geek (because I am) but I just love Star Trek and I’ve always wanted a game that would simulate working on a bridge of a starship like the USS Enterprise. However, there isn’t a game yet that could properly duplicate the feeling because, well, they don’t actually have keyboards and mice on an interplanetary starship, do they? Well, it does look like Star Trek: Bridge Crew would allow me to do that! However, since it will require at least one VR system, like the Oculus Rift, I’m not sure how I’ll be able to enjoy it since I don’t have any plans to get one. Still, it looks really, really cool!
Finally, we have the upcoming South Park RPG, The Fractured But Whole. It’s the sequel to the fantastic South Park: The Stick of Truth. The Stick of Truth managed to hit all the right notes to make it feel like is belongs in the South Park universe and, based on what I saw in E3, it looks like The Fractured But Whole is going to follow suit! I can’t wait!
I guess it helped that the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, went up on stage and were entertaining and knew how to have a good time. Too bad, save for a couple of exceptions, the rest of the other people who took the stage bored me to tears! Most of the presenters were very stilted and obviously either reading from a script or had one memorized. It was just awful!
Also, I hate to say this, but most of the games didn’t really pique my interest all that much. Eagle Flight looked unfinished. For Honor looked like it’s going to be the next The Order: 1886 or Ryse: Son of Rome… which means it’s going to be a bore-fest. The Division DLC: Survival didn’t make me want to rush out and get The Division. Even the gameplay footage of the upcoming Watch Dogs 2, which closed the show, looked bland and a paint-by-numbers action game! Very disappointing!
With that being said, there were a lot more “bad” stuff. There were a lot of cringeworthy moments. But, you know what? I kind of enjoyed those atrocious moments! Yes, they were bad! But after a while, they kinda grew on me. The first thing I have to mention is the really obvious scripted “in-game” chatter the “gamers” were using during the playthrough for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands! They sounded like they were gamers that only played tactical/military shooters their entire lives so they talked like they were actually in the military… or robots since they delivered their lines with virtually no emotion. Either that or the guys they got were just psychopaths that love making tactical strikes and killing people in real life! It was awful but if you didn’t take it too seriously, it was kind of funny!
And, honestly, how could you take the 2016 Ubisoft E3 Press Conference seriously when they opened the show with a totally insane dance number to promote the next Just Dance game? Man, I knew the opening was a celebration for Just Dance but it was a really trippy thing to see! It was stupid but stupid in the best way possible!
And, of course, the best “terrible” thing of the entire Ubisoft E3 Press Conference this year has to be Aisha Tyler as host. She’s been hosting the Ubisoft show for five years running and I’m still not used to seeing Aisha Tyler on stage for E3! However, I wouldn’t call her performance cringeworthy! Far from it! She always manages to tell the best self-depreciating jokes and she does have great improv skills, making her pull out quick quips out of nowhere! Sure, some of her jokes didn’t land well but the majority worked well for me.
Overall, I would say Ubisoft’s E3 Press Conference this year is… a hot mess. Don’t get me wrong: it was awful. But it was a kind of awful that had a lot of heart. So… yeah. It’s good but for all the wrong reasons. If you wanna watch it in its God-awful entirety, you can go watch it below. Just be ready to cringe now and then.
What did you think of Ubisoft’s performance this E3? Let me know in the comments section below!