Once again, Ubisoft centred its pre-E3 invasion on the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. It’s the company’s home away from home, and has become a staple of the event, which doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. That’s fine, though, because while it can be a little cramped and doesn’t allow for as much attendance as one would hope for, the Orpheum is a nice little venue.
Things began with freshly popped popcorn and a surprisingly good pre-show that featured a comedic video centred upon the company’s name. That is, whether it’s You-bee-soft or Ooh-bee-soft. Fans weren’t asked, but many of the firm’s more prominent employees were quizzed and videotaped pertaining to that ever-important question. And, as you’d expect, the responses were quite varied, not to mention humorous.
For the record: I pronounce it You-bee-soft and always have.
The pre-show wasn’t always great, though, as it had at least one or two cringeworthy moments. One of those happened to be when the co-host went outside, randomly selected a guy dressed in a hot pink shirt and ushered him from the standby line to a near front row seat while wholly bypassing security. It was certainly nice of Ubisoft to do that for a fan, but the way it was handled was a bit too cheesy. As such, it’s become part of the event’s ever-popular cringe reels.
MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB
Once all that ended, it was time for the show to begin, and for regular host Aisha Tyler to take to the Orpheum’s familiar stage. As Ubisoft’s adopted daughter, and a big gamer, she’s no stranger to hosting this particular conference and tends to do a pretty good job.
The Ubisoft E3 2016 press conference had some great moments, including every second of South Park: The Fractured but Whole footage that they showed, but it wasn’t the extravaganza that I was hoping for and left me a bit bored. Yes, they have some good-looking games coming out, but certain demos left me wanting and a lot of the presentations went overlong. This included Star Trek VR and Watch_Dogs 2, the latter of which I’m still unsure about. While I hope it will end up being great, nothing has sold me on it as of yet.
Of course, those in attendance (and those who watched online) will also be quick to remind me of the Trials of the Blood Dragon announcement, which began with the series’ two leads coming down separate hallways dressed in tiger-striped onesies. Introduced like boxers at a main stage event, they were filmed and cheered upon as they took the stage to announce the crossover event. It was unique, to say the least, and definitely tough to forget, but not in a good way. Honestly, I just cringed the whole time.
As a fan of most of Ubisoft’s games, I wanted to love their presser. However, this year’s left me feeling a bit disappointed. Their conference wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t great. Simply put, it didn’t live up to the level of their recent showings, and was missing a bit of a wow factor. Some of their decisions — such as the idea of ending by showing the extreme sports game, Steep — also left me confused, because even though it looks like it will end up being a quality and very enjoyable experience, it’s not a blockbuster epic. Then again, Ubisoft likes to march to the beat of its own drum, and I respect that.