E3: Ubisoft reveals surprises from start to finish

Ubisoft’s presentation at E3 brought several surprises, along with an appearance by an unexpected guest and brand-new titles. And they started it off with a Rabbid.

Mario and Rabbids will be coming together in “Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle” as the Rabbids invade the Mushroom Kingdom and the famous plumber will need some help setting things right. On stage, the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto helped kick off the announcement with oversized weapon replicas that will be used by players in the game.

An exclusive title for the Nintendo Switch, it is a turn-based tactical shooting game in a similar vein as XCOM. However, the game features combo moves, cover systems and destructive environments as Rabbid Mario, Rabbid Luigi, Rabbid Peach, and Rabbid Yoshi join Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Yoshi to restore the Mushroom Kingdom.

Whether in the main campaign or in additional co-op challenges, players will explore unique worlds.

“We are huge fans of Mario and are honored to be entrusted by Nintendo to create a new Rabbids Nintendo Switch game featuring Mario and friends,” said Xavier Poix, managing director of French Studios at Ubisoft. “It was very important to us to stay true to the legendary characters Nintendo has created, but also to create a new experience for fans of Mario and the Rabbids alike. In order to restore the Mushroom Kingdom and come out victorious, Mario and the Rabbids will need to work together as a team and it’s from their differences that they will get their strengths.”

The game will be available on Aug. 29 only on the Nintendo Switch.

Ubisoft moved on to “Assassin’s Creed Origins” with more of a flavor trailer than gameplay. When they went to three announcers to show some gameplay, all the viewers were left with was a camera shot of a screen. Oops.

The game will be available on Oct. 27.

A trailer filled with many different kinds of racing, road, off-road, flying, and on the water, heralded the arrival of “The Crew 2.” Players will race all over the United States in different motorsports to find out who is the best driver in the world.

A sequel to the first title, the open world is your race course, no matter how you want to challenge it. Use cars, bikes, boats and planes across some of the most iconic locations in the U.S. to become the greatest motorsports champion.

The game will be available in early 2018.

It was time for some foul-mouthed, cartoon fun with the gang at South Park for “South Park: The Fractured But Whole” (say it out loud for a better effect). The kids are playing superheroes and will have to save the day as Professor Chaos comes up with an evil plan to eliminate the group.

Create a superhero, design your costume, use your superpowers and save the day. The characters are direct from their TV show without worrying about the censors, providing humor the only way South Park knows how.

The game is scheduled for release on Oct. 17.

Ubisoft also announced a new mobile game featuring the “South Park” characters. Combining real-time strategy and collectible cards, “South Park: Phone Destroyer” will be available for iOS and Android devices sometime in 2017.

The announcement of “Transference” was spooky, strange, and oddly inviting. It will be a psychological thriller as the gameplay challenges you to figure out what is real and what is just a memory.

It looks like it will be a virtual reality came for the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift, and it appears to be playable outside of VR as well for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One family of devices.

It is the first collaboration with SpectreVision, a company founded by Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah, and John C. Waller. Every choice made by the player will have consequences and influence the fate of other characters.

“The game is a thrilling mixture of both our experience in story-telling and Ubisoft’s unparalleled skill at crafting deeply immersive worlds,” said Wood. “We jumped at the chance of working in VR with Ubisoft, and we believe we have a beautiful and haunting game that will really resonate with players, even after they’ve taken off their headset.”

The game will be released in spring 2018.

Pirates! Touted as the ultimate pirate experience, “Skull & Bones” puts players in charge of their own pirate ship and crew and sets them on the high seas of the Indian Ocean.

A tactical game, players can act on their own or part of a pirate gang to battle other ships, gather treasure, and escapes from those who wish to do them harm. Gamers will also be able to build their own fleet of ships, which can specialize in different battle conditions using the game’s customization options.

In preparation for launch in the fall 2018, “Skull & Bones” will conduct several live alphas and betas. Gamers interested in participating can sign up at http://www.skullandbonesgame.com/beta.

If it is Ubisoft, there is a dance party. Singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha came out and joined dancers, including a dancing panda, to sing and dance to “Just Dance 2018.”

The biggest music video game franchise of all time is coming back this fall and bringing the latest tunes, including some from K-Pop. However, there wasn’t any actual gameplay shown during their presentation.

Keeping their hand in the toys-to-life genre, “Starlink: Battle for Atlas” is a sci-fi, aerial combat game where players can use the toy starcrafts to attach to the controllers and use them in the game.

Each part of the ship appears in the game as the game is playing. This lets players change out weapons, parts or entire ships while the combat is underway.

The game will be available in the fall 2018, so we’ve got plenty of time to see how well this is going to play and how much of a dent it is going to make in our wallets.

Ubisoft’s skiing game, “Steep,” will be getting an expansion in December, and it looked like there will be a Winter Olympics tie-in.

They also showed off a new trailer for “Far Cry 5,” where players will be part of a group trying to retake a Montana city away from fanatical doomsday cult. Teamwork will be key to defeating the overwhelming odds.

Oh, and there was one more thing.

“Beyond Good & Evil” was launched in 2003 to critical acclaim but failed to garner commercial success. There were long rumored to be plans for a follow-up, but as the years ticked off, it seemed like more of a dream than reality.

Until now.

“Beyond Good & Evil 2” hopes to call on a bit of nostalgia for those unforgettable characters and high drama from the first title. A multicultural world, filled with talking animals, is just one part of a vast universe where players will become captains of star vessels as well as their own fate.

The trailer is high action, explosive outcomes, and language you’d expect from New York. The game is also being called a prequel to the 2003 title and a quest for freedom.

The game also is calling on players to help with the development of “Beyond Good & Evil 2” by joining the Space Monkey Program. It is their way “of inviting passionate members of the community to be the first to play, to share ideas and inspirations, and to crash test all of the creative and gameplay elements that make up our game world: as early and as often as possible!”

There is no release date announced.