E3 might not be happening in LA this year, but that shouldn't stop Ubisoft delivering what's become one of the highlights of the season - 60 minutes of camp charm and maybe even some game reveals too.
Hello, good evening and welcome to Ubisoft's 2021 E3 show!
Now excuse me while I set up my screens (and figure out how to get the iPlayer up and running out here so I can sneakily have the Belgium v Russia game on as well).
(and also thank heavens Christian Eriksen is okay after those terrifying scenes earlier).
But we're not here for football! We're here for video games!
What to expect tonight?
Well, it's mostly leaked already, but to keep things spicy I won't post any spoilers here.
Though allow me a small 'lol' at the fact that Nintendo itself was one of those who leaked one of the games.
I do believe there is still room for a few more surprises, though.
And I'm not saying that just to keep you here for the next hour!
Though the company would be nice as I slowly slip into madness and the kind of low-key drunk that happens while sipping this beer I just poured after a day spent out in the sun.
If past years are anything to go by it'll be the opener - and I really hope it is as it's always upbeat and nutty.
That's the weird thing about Ubisoft's E3 conferences - I'm not a big player of their games at all, and yet I'm a massive fan of their conferences.
They typically do a wonderful job of capturing so much of what's brilliant about video games.
I hope I'm not giving this the commentator's curse and what follows is an hour of neckstabbing and moody swears.
Is it weird I miss Aisha Tyler presenting these shows still?
Absolutely not - that was when Ubi's conferences peaked!
Though you could also argue that was the Mr. Caffeine year.
I was there for the birth of my daughter, I've got to see my team lift the FA Cup, stand under the podium as the motorsport outfit I love the most take Le Mans after years of trying, and yet when I'm on my deathbed I will lean forward and proudly proclaim 'I was there for that Mr. Caffeine year at E3'.
God it was brilliant.
The kind of thing that's not really possible away from a live E3.
I should probably start watching the stream tbh.
How long dis?
Just over an hour, I believe.
And here we go!
We have presenters!
And they're a smartly turned-out, professional pair. I fear they are too good to start making jokes about 'poop on your toothpaste'.
All these years later I still have no idea what he was on about.
But I digress!
Here we have freshly retitled Rainbow Six: Extraction.
You can't say that anymore!
I do understand the reasoning though. Given all that's happened the past year it'd be about as popular a title as Rainbow Six: Poking a Swab in Your Gob Until You Really Start to Gag.
I have to say though.
Having gotten excited about a Just Dance opener.
A CG trailer for a zombie shooter is possibly the most disappointing thing possible.
Well that was a complete waste of everyone's time.
... I... I did say I wanted a new Zombi... but not like this. Not like this...
This is all your fault.
Given how tight the mechanics are in R6: Siege I've still got plenty of hope for this.
I am not so much of a fan of this painfully scripted, overly long presentation.
Is this a parody?
Perhaps? It's weirdly po-faced and drawn out.
I presume this is because this is Ubi's big best this year and they are going all in on it.
Which is fair enough.
The end result is after ten minutes of pre-amble we are finally getting to see the game in action.
Like Siege, the probe plays a big part - it's all about planning and execution, like a real-time XCOM.
Also isn't it weird how Tom Clancy did mostly cold-war espionage and now his ideas are getting tagged onto zomb... I mean, alien shooters?
I'm hoping the full game will have a 60fps mode
I'm hoping 60fps is a given on current gen!
Is this still the same game???
We have just been asking ourselves that...
Why do i get the feeling if they are spending so much time on this, they have very little to show this year.
I think you might be on to something there!
Is Belgium Russia any good?
Well, I really did condemn us all with my hype earlier didn't I?
Even I couldn't have imagined something as dreary as this.
Guess they dont want to see the feedback. Chat disabled on YouTube.
That's one brilliant thing they have done.
Those comment sections are cesspools.
Unlike our lovely comments here, of course.
(Honestly, thank you so much for joining me here tonight - it's always lovely to watch these alongside all of you).
Well that's a decent looking video game but I don't think it quite necessitated that.
Here's that new Rocksmith that leaked earlier by Gibson!
Like a lot of others, I'm sure, my midlife crisis has been accelerated by the pandemic and I spent a lot of the last year fiddling around with guitars.
So I'd be quite keen to have a crack at a new generation of Rocksmith - it always seemed like a fun and useful thing.
My 31 guitars are willing to accept this challenge
OMG I DEMAND A LIST OF THEM!
Rocksmith +, coming from Ubisoft San Francisco.
You can use your phone as a mic now - I presume bypassing the interface of old?
Indeed that is the case.
I have a vintage Ukelele and an old 90's keyboard. One of the massive ones. I like playing it every so often.
That's all you need for a killer band tbh.
The Rocksmith+ beta is on its way. And that looks like fun!
Now its on to Steep follow-up Riders Republic.
I hope it's alright to say that we'll have a bit more on this later on tonight on the site - it looks incredible and I'm really hoping it catches on in the way that Steep sadly never could.
Games look so nice these days.
Don't they just! I feel bad for being miserable about them sometimes when the truth is they're often bloody astounding these days.
Ahh, Steep. Wasn't that meant to be coming to the Switch?
I don't believe that was ever properly cancelled. Maybe it's waiting for Switch Pro!
Or maybe not...
For Martin, Gibson ES335 and Les Paul, Fender Strat, Telecaster, Coronado and Hellcat,,3 Grestch, a 2008 Signature Porl Thompson (The Cure) Schecter Corsair, 6 epiphones, 5 Squier, Vintage 12 String, Hagstrom Viking, a Jackson, and a few more dotted about
This makes me feel better about my collection. Also a Coronado is my dream guitar atm. That's an amazing haul!
Anyway back to Riders Republic - there's a lot to love here, with a bustling Ubi open world pieced together by some off-the-wall takes on extreme sports.
Thank you, x201.As bearer of bad news, however, I'm holding you responsible
Thanks for being the one to tell them... I didn't have the heart.
I totally forgot it's coming out in 2021 - September 2nd, to be precise.
So there will be some fun games to play this year!
A quick update on Siege, and time for me to feel guilty again for not checking in on Siege for a while.
It's very bloody tense isn't it?
Crossplay is coming to cloud platforms this year, and to consoles next year - which is of course welcome news.
That's your progression shared across all plaftforms too. It really is time for me to start playing this again isn't it?
Well, it's not a gameplay trailer exactly - I will excuse a stylish cartoon trailer like the one we're getting now for Rainbow Six Siege and....
I was going to say a new operator but I won't pretend I know that for sure.
30 mins in and 25 of them have been Rainbow 6. This really could have been shortened if they have so little to show.
The pacing is not great, for sure.
Well there you have it a new operator.
This game looks like an old Ace Combat 4 cutscene.
Is that a compliment?
It sounds to me like a pretty awesome compliment.
Oh no it's another game I really like and have lost track of - Trackmania, funnily enough, which has some nice look ing new DLC.
As does The Crew 2 (like that one) Brawlhalla (never played it - sorry) Watch Dogs: Legion (accents lol) and For Honor.
Live service games everyone!
I feel ashamed for not playing more of them.
checked stream at odd time. Footage of Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles followed immediately by a logo for 'Crew 2'
Would play that crossover.
It's what we actually genuinely I'm not even being sarcastic here all came for!
This has honestly woken me right up.
Ru Paul choreographer Todrick Hall is stepping up for this new Just Dance.
Please give Just Dance as much time if not more than you gave Rainbow Six Ubisoft.
Yeah at this stage i much pefer listening to Lee Dixon
I would also take Lee Dixon appearing in Ru Paul Drag Race.
Yeah at this stage i much pefer listening to Lee Dixon
I would also take Lee Dixon appearing in Ru Paul Drag Race.
That's Just Dance 2022, anyway.
No Wii version this time, goodnight champ
Tekken and Gran Turismo used to be our go-tos with our old dance mat.
A game that everyone here loves, but one that I know I'll never have the time to play.
You can drive a car with a dance mat?
Aye - you have one arse cheek steering left, one steering right, then you use your feet to accelerate or brake.
It's called Groin Turismo.
Mr Robinson seek medical help
I'm ringing them right now!
Anyway back to Valhalla!
There's a new Discovery Tour coming this autumn - which always sounds so very appealing to me, as it's a chance to explore the world without the game getting in the way.
Valhalla is also getting a second year of DLC.
A pivot to television - Mythic Quest, which I passed on after a handful of episodes but which I'm reliably informed gets a lot, lot better and actually becomes quite brilliant.
Ah so now I'm feeling bad about not watching TV series as well as not playing video games.
I'm a huge fan of Sam Richardson so will probably watch this bizarre werewolf sitcom.
But yes, that does feel odd sitting here in this E3 conference. Convergence, ey?
(Is the Belgium Russia game still any good?)
I just watched 'Nodlbody' and it's basically John Air Wick. John Wick meets the A Team. It's pretty pretty good.
Getting on this as soon as possible!
My attention perhaps drifted.
But I had no idea what this was for the last few minutes.
Why is everyone so serious?
"I have caught a very big fish today" why don't you catch a map editor instead
That's all our dear Ian Higton wants as well.
I'm not sure who plays these games for this kind of drama.
Maybe it makes sense in context!
that would be me martin
Hello! I think I'm just an impatient idiot!
This twisted take on Far Cry does look brilliantly unhinged, mind.
And a tease of the return of Blood Dragon?
Or simply a re-release/remaster!
Okay, that did win me over.
And now, could you please look surprised as the new Mario + Rabbids game is unveiled.
If you weren't aware Nintendo leaked this earlier.
Yes, that Nintendo.
And they did so by simply publishing the game details - screenshots and all - on its own website.
That's the sort of E3 drama I live for.
Rabbid Luna is so, so cursed.
Well, after the look at the unhinged post-launch plans for Far Cry 6, it makes sense that we segue into the fever dream of this crossover.
Sparks of Hope be its name.
In keeping with the format of the evening, we're getting a quick interview with the developers after that CGI reveal, before we move into the gameplay itself a bit later.
This better not be the closer
I think it may well be!
I could be wrong, though.
I'm wrong about most things, and have been about pretty much everything tonight.
Whatâ€™s Sparks of Hoorp?
It's a typo that our CMS will no longer let me edit out. *sadface*
Oh I thought you were dissing my spelling. As you were!
I'm in awe at that Spanish French accent
I'm in awe of how crisply pressed his shirt is.
You could cut your fingers on that collar.
It would be fitting if Ubisoft retaliated by announcing that it will launch this year on Switch Pro...
It would be the sweetest revenge.
Tell you what, though.
This looks bloody good and very technically impressive given it's running on a Switch.
It is for Switch, right?
Interestingly I didn't see a platform announced for that...
Anyway, as you were! Here's a final surprise from Yvvvveessss.
Here we go!
Oh it's Avatar.
A lovely surprise!
As is the reminder that more Avatar movies are somehow being made.
That will happen when you're the highest grossing film of all-time, of course.
Doesn't mean it isn't a piece of vapid shit.
What it is certainly, though, is very pretty.
And this looks absolutely breathtaking.
Avatar was probably better off as a video game anyway - this looks like proof of that.
Avatar Frontiers of Pandora, coming in 2022.
Well... that was certainly a wild end.
Wasn't it just?
An odd one, but a staggeringly beautiful one.
And while that was protracted beyond all reason, there was still plenty to find cheer in there.
Also that was probably first look at a game running on the new Switch so I'll take that.
Devolver is later! I won't be joining live, I'm afraid, as I'm old and need a liedown, but I will be back at 6pm tomorrow for Microsoft. Hope to see some of you back here then - and thanks for joining me tonight!