The Year Ahead: Ubisoft’s Potential for a Killer Year

While Ubisoft is still one of the premiere game developers in the industry, they too have gone through some ups and downs over the last couple of years.

The French developer has put out some great games such as their Rayman titles, “South Park: Stick of Truth,” and almost everything that comes out of UbiArt.

There have also been some stumbles along the way with games such as “Assassin’s Creed: Unity” and its bug-laden launch and the somewhat disappointing critical reception of “Watch_Dogs.”

Things are looking up though for the next 365 days as Ubi fans should have a lot to look forward to stemming from this year and beyond.

According to the NPD Group, “Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate” was October’s third highest-selling game and “Rainbow Six: Siege” looks to bring fans back to the days of classic tactical multiplayer that should keep them busy for the next year.

From Tom Clancy to a new IP, here are some of Ubisoft’s big hitters of the next year:

The Division

This one feels like a long time coming. Revealed all the way back in 2013, this third-person-shooter puts players in the sprawling open world of New York City, where a plague-like disease has broken out, the power has gone out, and society as people know it has completely fallen apart. “The Division” is similar to games such as “Destiny” because of the fact that gamers are playing in a living and always online world, similar to an MMO. Gameplay in the PVP centric streets of the Dark Zone sound most intriguing, in that players will go head-to-head with other squads and NPC gangs in order to obtain better loot and gear. Player choice is key here. Do squads team up with each other to take out a gang that is giving them trouble, only to stab them in the back later, or do they take them out on sight? These kinds of moments potentially bring a fresh and tension-filled atmosphere that could hook players in for the long haul. Finally, fans will be able to dive into the decrepit streets of New York City on March 8.

For Honor

You had me at Samurais vs. Vikings vs. Knights. “For Honor” caught many off guard (this writer included) during its reveal at this year’s E3. What so striking and refreshing about the game is how tactical the sword play actually is. Players will die consistently and quickly if they just resort to the button mashing style of other hack-and-slash games, where as in “For Honor,” players need to time and plan out their blocks and attacks in order to defeat other opponents. The difficultly looks daunting at times and could scare off some players, but the kills look to be extremely satisfying once the final blow is struck. But if Ubisoft Montreal can pull off the aesthetic and give players varying and engaging game modes to get lost in, this is a game that could find a solid audience when it drops next year.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands

This is one game that could ultimately slip to 2017, but nonetheless, people should be excited for the newest entry in the Ghost Recon series. Ubisoft seems to be emphasizing open worlds and player choice in the coming year and “Wildlands” is no exception. Gamers team up with their friends to take down drug cartel members and ne’er-do-wells all around the world in classic third-person, Ghost Recon style. What is really enticing is the ability to take on a mission in a multitude of different ways. Whether players prefer going in stealthy, ambushing their targets, or taking the long range approach, gamers can mix and match their own styles to an explosive effect. The potential for replay value in “Wildlands” seems tremendous. What can really set this game apart from others is if Ubisoft Paris and Red Storm can enable players feel like they are making a difference in the game world and see the results of their actions. While still far out, Ubisoft has said they are aiming for 2016. Hopefully they hit their mark.

Next year is shaping up to be another banner year for gaming.

Along with the games on this list, players will get their hands on a new entry in the “Assassin’s Creed” series, potentially “South Park: Fractured But Whole,” and a handful of virtual reality games. Here’s hoping that somewhere in the fray, we also get another beautiful UbiArt game. Fingers crossed.


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