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This article was published on September 10, 2020

Ubisoft Forward was all Greek gods, sands of time, and extreme sports

Ubisoft Forward was all Greek gods, sands of time, and extreme sports
Rachel Kaser
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Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Ubisoft today had its second Forward presentation, in which it revealed more details about its upcoming games they didn’t have time for in between the news about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6 last time. Here are the major reveals you need to know about.

Just as a side note, Ubisoft’s virtual conference comes at a particularly difficult time for the company, as several incidents of sexual misconduct, harassment, and racism have come to light. CEO Yves Guillemot issued a statement before the show started acknowledging the issues, and pledging to do better, as is usual for these sorts of things. While it doesn’t really have a bearing on the game reveals, it’s important to acknowledge that the company doing the revealing is rather… problematic.

Immortals: Fenyx Rising

The biggest reveal was probably the newly rebranded Immortals: Fenyx Rising. Originally a vaguely Greco-Roman game called Gods & Monsters, the game was properly revealed for the first time. It’s a comedic take on several Greek myths as told with the style of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

To be more specific, it’s an open-world action-adventure game, starring a customizable player character called Fenyx. Fenyx’s story, which involves kicking the crap out of traditional mythological monsters, is one told by Prometheus to Zeus, who insists on adding his own commentary. And I wasn’t kidding about the resemblance to Breath of the Wild. My initial fear when this game was release was that it’d be a little too much like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which also took place in Ancient Greece and involved fights with mythical beings. But the moment you see it, you’ll see the BotW inspiration. Still, any new IP in this market is welcome, as far as I’m concerned. The game launches on December 3.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake

A dark horse reveal was the remake of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. A creation of Ubisoft’s Pune and Mumbai studios, its a full rebuild of the original game, complete with the same voice actor for the Prince.

I’m not sure how I feel about this likely unnecessary remake rather than a new Prince of Persia game, but the graphics have divided Gaming Twitter. I think they’re alright, but lack some of the charm of the stylized original. And I can’t exactly disagree with anyone who outright says they look disappointing. But otherwise, everything else about the game is accounted for: parkour, time-reversing mechanic, the Prince’s inexplicable British accent. While the footage shown was labeled “alpha footage,” the Sands of Time remake will release on January 21, 2021.

Riders Republic

Did you like Steep, but wish it was more like Trials? Ubisoft apparently intends to fill that very specific niche with Riders Republic, a new IP that involves an open world and extreme sports.

So far, we can’t discern too much about the game other than the aforementioned description, but it’s got that bizarrely fantastical neon spray paint-drenched aesthetic Ubisoft has been applying to everything from Far Cry New Dawn to Watch Dogs 2. It’ll also feature 50-player PvP in the various different kinds of sports. It’ll launch on February 25, 2021, so we’ll probably be seeing more of it in the next few weeks.

And some other stuff

Scott Pilgrim is back! The game adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was delisted from digital storefronts quite years ago, meaning there was no way to buy or play it if you didn’t already own it. Perhaps the only real surprise of the show was that Ubisoft is finally bringing it back. The Complete Edition will be releasing during the holiday season.

It’s kind of a shame we didn’t get a reveal of Rainbow Six: Quarantine, which was rumored to be part of this year’s release slate. But perhaps Ubisoft felt releasing a game with that title during a year like this was rather insensitive. In other Rainbow Six news, Sam Fisher of Splinter Cell fame has been added as a playable character. It feels like Ubisoft is deliberately needling the fans who have been begging for a full-blown Splinter Cell game, but it’s more likely they’re not sure Sam can sustain a new game of his own and they’re using these breadcrumbs to gauge interest.

One particularly hilarious reveal was for Watch Dogs: Legion. The inclusion of an in-game Stormzy music video was… okay, I suppose. But the funny part was Ubisoft triumphantly revealing it’d listened to fan demand and added a previous player character to the game as a potential recruit and it was… Aiden Pierce, the forgettable, milquetoast protagonist of the original Watch_Dogs, now rendered incredibly dull by the color of its sequels. Just about everyone on Twitter was wondering why they’d chosen Aiden over Marcus, a much more delightful character who fits in the setting better than Aiden does. It was like Ubisoft opened their mouth to proudly display its last remaining baby tooth.

I’m sorry we didn’t get to see Skull & Bones or Beyond Good and Evil 2, but maybe that was too much to hope for.

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