Ubisoft may not always show games coming out in the same calendar year. They may make a lot of similar games with similar flaws people have criticized for years. They may have often terrible press conferences. Even still, I should have never doubted that they could surprise me. Love them or hate them, they always seem to have something up their sleeve.

If you want to watch it before reading all the HOT TAKES, you can do so here:

  • Ubisoft finally “revealed” Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and… wait, this is XCOM. THEY MADE AN XCOM TYPE GAME WITH MARIO AND RABBIDS. YOU ABSOLUTE MADMEN!
  • Miyamoto coming on stage was awkward and cringe-worthy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. From he and Yves posing with the arm cannons to the director of the project tearing up when they pointed him out to thank him, this entire segment moved me in a way that Ubisoft often fails to.
  • There was little surprise that after demoing the game on Xbox’s stage, Assassin’s Creed Origins only got a cinematic trailer. More importantly, the developer’s speech about it really sounded like it was written without taking into account that the game was debuting at an earlier presser.
  • Whose idea was it to throw over to the post-show team after only two games and let them show a game with only off-screen footage?
  • Is there any way Ubisoft is going to sell me on The Crew 2? They revealed the game today and I had to ask myself why they were giving the game so much time when all they seemed to have added was more vehicles. I just don’t think that’s going to cut it.
  • Ubisoft. I’m proud of you. You spent over 10 minutes on South Park: The Fractured but Whole last year, which was way more than anyone needed to see. This year, you just gave is a clean, short trailer with a release date, and left it at that. Good job.
  • Ubisoft needed to scratch “VR Experience”, “New IP”, and “No Gameplay” off their list and managed to do all that in one reveal. When “I have no idea what this is” is the only thing you can say about a game, that’s probably not going to help sell it.
  • My first thought seeing Skulls & Bones was that they saw how successful Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was and then made a whole game out of the ship battles. Imagine my surprise, and exuberant laughter, when they literally said that’s why the game exists.
  • Ah, South Park mobile game. Good idea. Cowboys vs. Indians in this day and age? I’m not as sure. The game will probably play fine.
  • Ubisoft is jumping in on the Toys-to-Life category at just the right time– right after Disney Infinity collapsed, Skylanders took the year off, and the entire genre is in limbo over sales. But hey, you can build your own spaceship! Kids like that, right?
  • What do you do when your snow-sports game doesn’t sell and you need to try to come up with something new? Just make an expansion with an Olympic license. Somehow this feels like it’s trading off its most interesting aspect– the open world.
  • The jury is still out on whether Far Cry 5 is going to handle its topics well, since they seem to relate to modern day politics in the US. But the villain sure seems creepy, and the gameplay sure looks like fun.
  • I thought we’d get something new to close the show. I thought it would be something unexpected. Not for one second did I think it would be Beyond Good & Evil 2. Holy…
  • Okay so I know it was just a cinematic trailer showing zero gameplay and this title’s probably not coming out until 2019 at the earliest, but what a great way to close the show.

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