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Ubisoft Forward 2024: the best bits

From feudal Japan to a galaxy far, far away...

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Summer’s all about the big game reveals. We’ve already had Microsoft’s packed Xbox Games Showcase – a new DOOM, Gears of War and Fable anyone?

But it was Ubisoft’s turn on Monday evening. And they gave us an extended look at some of the big hitters that we’ll be playing this year and beyond. So, here’s which announcements and previews caught our eye on the night…

Assassin’s Creed Shadows

Beyond a short trailer a few days before, this was our first proper glimpse of Assassin’s Creed Shadows gameplay. And it was definitely worth the wait. November 15th can’t come soon enough.

If you didn’t already know, Ubisoft’s latest historical adventure takes place in Sengoku era Japan. Quick history lesson – this wasn’t a particularly happy period, with civil war splitting the country apart, and rival lords jostling for power.

And that’s where our two protagonists come in. Yep, you heard that right. You won’t just be playing as one member of the brotherhood, but a deadly duo instead. Both come with their own unique set of skills and gear, letting you tackle missions however you want with either character.

In the showcase, Yasuke got his time in the spotlight first. The legendary African samurai quickly finds himself on the trail of some soldiers who are roughing up the locals. After smashing his way through the henchmen with a massive two-handed club, there’s a one-on-one duel with the corrupt captain. And it was only ever going to end one way…

Then it was Naoe’s turn. While Yasuke is more about brute force, Naoe is a stealthy, shinobi assassin. She takes the sneaky approach, scuttling her way into a hilltop fortress with the help of her trusty grappling hook. By sticking to the, ahem, shadows, she dodges patrols and takes out a few stragglers with the classic hidden blade.

We also saw some more of her special ninja skills. After years of asking for it, you can finally crawl past guards. And in a first for the series, the use of light and dark are now really important if you don’t want to be detected. Snuff out lamps and candles to cover your movements and takedowns. Otherwise, the enemy troops will raise the alarm!

As for the coolest moment and ability, we’ll leave that to the video up above…

Star Wars Outlaws

Star Wars Outlaws – the first open world Star Wars game ever made - is just around the corner. So, we were treated to a 10 minute gameplay deep dive showing exactly what we can expect from the galactic crime caper.

First off, we took a stroll through a grimy cantina – one of those classic hives of scum and villainy from the movies. It’s the perfect place to pick up missions and resupply before heading back out into the frontier. And if you need to clear your bounty, you might be able to find an official you can bribe too.

It wouldn’t be Star Wars without a dogfight either. Jumping in her ship, the Trailblazer, Kay quickly takes down some space pirates to save a damaged freighter. And it’s these dynamic moments and missions that have a big impact on your reputation. Depending on how you handle them, you’ll likely annoy one underworld boss, while bumping up your street cred with another syndicate.

That might mean cheaper prices from some merchants on a particular planet, but it’ll also put a target on your back. Pick who you double cross carefully…

We’re shown the super unique approach to skills too. Instead of popping points into an ability tree, you’ll actually have to track down and learn from the best in the galaxy. Whether that’s an expert marksman who can help improve your aim with a blaster. Or a trickster who’ll pass on their particular methods of persuasion. You’ll have the gift of the gab in no time. Improving these skills is worth it too - especially if you want access to the most lucrative contracts.

A little later on at Tatooine, we see how you go seamlessly from space to a landing pad. All without a loading screen! Hopping on her speeder bike, it’s then time to infiltrate an enemy camp. It’s here we get to see how Kay and her alien companion Nix work together in combat and stealth. Use Nix to distract the guards while you sneak in to steal the loot. Or even the odds, and team up in hand-to-hand fights to take down powerful enemies.

This one’s out on August 30th, so we haven’t got long to go now.

Anno 117: Pax Romana

Fancy yourself as the next Julius Caesar? We got a live action teaser for Anno 117: Pax Romana, the next instalment in the long-running city builder series. As a governor, you’ll lead the Ancient Roman Empire to glory and expand your borders through trade, diplomacy, or brute force.

Just try not to cheese off the citizens and your fellow senators though. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the wrong end of an assassination attempt.

It’s making its way to PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X and Series S at some point in 2025.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake

If you loved the original game from way back in 2003, you’re in for a treat. Ubi dropped a 30 second teaser announcing a 2026 release date for the long-awaited remake. That’s a long time until we get our hands on it – but there’s plenty of other stuff to play in the meantime.

The best of the rest

Ubisoft haven’t forgotten about their older titles either. They’ve got a heap of fresh updates and content on the way for some recent releases…

Skull and Bones (Season 2 & 3)

Skull and Bones will get a boatload of new content when Season 2: Chorus of Havoc sets sail.

The Brig adds a nippy new ship to your fleet. And you’re definitely going to need that speed when you take part in the time limited boat races. Or when you’re fleeing from the massive Megalodon that’s been spotted stalking sailors on the high seas…

We also got a little tease of Season 3: Dragon’s Wake, and it looks like it’ll really put your pirating skills to the test. You’ll go toe-to-toe with a deadly flying dragon sea monster (we probably should have guessed from that title), plus face off with other captains in chaotic 5v5 multiplayer battles.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora – The Sky Breaker

The Sky Breaker is the first big story expansion for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. And the Na’vi tribes are in danger yet again from the RDA invasion forces. They’ve deployed a devastating super weapon to dominate the skies above the planet, and it’ll be up to you to unite the clans and take it down.

You don’t have to wait around to play either – it’s launching with the season pass on July 16th.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown – Mask of Darkness

The Lost Crown is getting more of the good stuff as part of a free update. There’ll be extra brain bending puzzles to solve, outfits to unlock, Divine Trials and combat challenges to fight your way through.

Plus, this September, Ubisoft will release the first DLC pack for the game – Mask of Darkness. Sounds pretty spooky…

XDefiant – Season 1

It’s early days for XDefiant, Ubisoft’s free to play arena shooter. But on July 2nd, we’ll be getting a full Season 1 launch, which means plenty of new features for us to play about with. There’ll be three more weapons to add to your loadout, a Capture the Flag mode, plus one new map every single month to keep things fresh. So, lock and load soldier!

The Crew Motorfest

Year 2 of The Crew hits the starting line in November, and it seems we’ll be shifting gears completely. Say goodbye to racing across lush, open countryside. This update is all about the murky world of street racing. Think drifting round corners, drag races through the city at night and more neon paintjobs than you can shake a wrench at.

There was also a trailer for The Chase Squad, which showed off some more high-octane story missions that’ll be coming later on too. Fast and Furious, eat your heart out…

What else is coming out soon?

There are loads of cool games hitting consoles and PC this year. For all the latest details on the biggest new titles, head on over to our upcoming games page. You’ll be able to pre-order your favourites, and we might even throw in a few special discounts too!

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