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E3 2018: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Beyond Good & Evil 2, The Division 2 and More Wow the Crowd at Ubisoft’s E3 Press Conference

Fans of Ubisoft’s many franchises were treated to a smorgasbord of reveals and demonstrations during the company’s crowd-pleasing E3 2018 Press Conference.

Opening with a surreal marching band led by a dancing panda (note: no real pandas were harmed), the show began with an homage to Ubisoft’s immensely popular Just Dance series. The next entry, Just Dance 2019, is out for Xbox One on October 23.

It quickly segued into a stunning new trailer for the highly-anticipated Beyond Good & Evil 2, introducing us to the game’s colorful characters, including an enigmatic look at former protagonist Jade. The game’s developers took to the stage to introduce the motley cast and give viewers a glimpse at the city of Ganesha, showing off the game’s action-RPG gameplay in a massive, seamless world. No release date yet, sadly.

They also issued an open invitation to let players contribute to the game’s development through a partnership with actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s crowdsourcing platform, HitRECORD. Gordon-Levitt addressed the crowd, explaining how players can add their content to the game through the hitrecord.org site.

On a more extreme note, Antti Ilvessuo, creative director of the Trials series, literally crashed the stage on a motorcycle to reveal Trials Rising. With new multiplayer mechanics and loads of impossibly dangerous courses to tackle, the next game in the bone-breaking platforming franchise will feature a closed beta later this year. It’s due out in February 2019.

The Division 2 from Massive Entertainment lent a more somber tone to the conference. Set seven months after the initial outbreak in The Division, it moves players to a new city – Washington D.C. – torn apart by flooded streets, nefarious gangs, and failing infrastructure. A grim trailer showing the brutal reality of life in a near-apocalyptic metropolis set the stage for another riveting story-based co-operative shooter. Featuring new Specialist classes, new weaponry, potent new skills, and 8-player raids, it’s coming to Xbox One on March 15, 2019, but players can register for the beta now.

If you’d rather play as a bad guy, Ubisoft will let you swashbuckle through the open seas in Skull & Bones. Aboard a sturdy galleon, players will track down treasure by intercepting convoys, trading cannon fire with enemy ships and boarding after ramming. Different Fortunes will affect the dynamic world, changing the direction of the winds or sending an unfortunate storm right to your position. And while real pirates worked alone, you won’t have to: co-operative multiplayer will let pirate gangs plunder rich warships together. This scintillating seafaring action game is coming to Xbox One in 2019.

More playful ships appeared in the form of Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Ubisoft’s entry in the toys-to-life space ups the ante with a huge open world and a robust assortment of physical toys, parts, and pilots to customize and warp into the game. It’s coming October 16.

Ubisoft’s done an incredible job maintaining its many franchises, such as the competitive fighter, For Honor. The popular melee esport will get an expansion, Marching Fire, on October 16, bringing four new fighters, visual enhancements, and a new 4v4 Castle Siege mode. Prefer to race? An open beta for The Crew 2 is coming to Xbox One on June 21. Players will be able to race bikes, boats, planes, trains and automobiles (ok, not trains) in another extreme, arcade-oriented race across open environments.

Just one year after re-inventing the Assassin’s Creed franchise with the excellent Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Ubisoft is taking its killer franchise to Greece with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Set during the Peloponnesian War, Odyssey lets you transform an outcast into a legendary Greek hero. It doubles down on the role-playing elements, letting players choose to play as male character Alexios or female character Kassandra as they wield the broken spear of Leonidas (and other weapons) to take down enemies near and far. The storytelling is broader as well; dialogue trees will let players direct their narrative – and based on one option, possibly engage in a little romance as well.

A gameplay demo walked viewers through an assassination mission. A powered-up combat sequence showed off brutal new moves; large ability trees will let players upgrade their character’s skills.  After choosing to join a Spartan faction in need, Kassandra entered a sprawling battle on the shores of the sea, dodging and striking until she defeated the enemy captain. Players will be able to do the same on October 5 when the game arrives on Xbox One.

Keep the dial on Xbox Wire to learn more about Ubisoft’s eclectic lineup over the course of E3 2018.