First stop was Ubisoft, simply because a towering Rabbid can’t be overlooked. Sometimes size matters, especially when promoting a cool game like Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Even if playing the game wasn’t possible due to so many people waiting in line, this was a perfect opportunity to stand next to a life-sized version of the big wrestling Rabbid, with a smaller Rabbid on top of it. It’s strange how this reminded me of a certain life-sized troll figure I saw at a The Witcher 3 booth, with the same posture.
AAA games were the name of the game(s) when looking at Ubisoft’s portfolio, with well-established franchises Far Cry 5, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Blood Orchid, Just Dance 2018, and The Crew 2 being ever present.
Come to think of it, when I was waiting to enter the premises, there was even an advertisement in the sky for Far Cry 5.
Of course some titles weren’t made by the numbers, like RPG South Park: The Fractured Whole and medieval multiplayer battle-simulation For Honor.
Konami used to be quite a name in the industry with lots of great coin-up games and other titles, but it seems they played it pretty safe with Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 and Metal Gear Survive, the sports game I’m not particularly interested in and the multiplayer action title without Hideo Kojima taking part in also not being on top of my to-play list.
Speaking of big titles that were advertised in a big manner, EA obviously had the largest area for itself, and while it didn’t look much different from last year, it was certainly cool to see an X-Wing (complete with an R2-D2 unit) hovering over people’s heads.
If you wanted to join the dark side of the Force, then standing next to a very high TIE-Fighter and two stormtroopers was the next best thing when not being able to play Star Wars: Battlefront II.
It seems there was also Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes on mobile devices, but with all the Battlefield 1: In the Name of the Tsar, FIFA 18, FIFA Mobile hype going on, it was easy to miss something like this. However, it was near impossible to pass by the cool car advertising of Need for Speed: Payback. Unfortunately, no stunt show took place, and it would have been nice to take it for a drive, although with masses of people in the way, it would have been more like a stop & go affair.
Finally I went to see Bandai Namco which had quite a few anime projects, the biggest and most anticipated title being action-RPG Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom which had playable versions behind castle-like walls. As always, waiting queues were too long, but it sure looked fantastic, even without Studio Ghibli’s involvement.
Silly titles and anime fit together quite well, and even if they didn’t make me excited to play them, at least they got me interested what was behind them, e.g. Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing, and Naruto Bo Boruto Shinobi Striker.
The winner of the most nonsensical titles but with great artwork was Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet.
More franchise continuations were Project Cars 2 and Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, the arcade flight action pulling in quite a crowd due to its VR compatibility. Apparently there were also Tales of the Rays, Tekken 7 and Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth: Hackers Memory, but I didn’t see the first one and the others were invitation-only.
Creepy puzzle-platformer Little Nightmares also made an appearance, but as it was already released, with the first add-on in season pass-form following suit (see the news for the base game and The Depths DLC in their respective articles), only a photo contest with the strange cook creature was behind the booth.
All in all, this was a no-play area for me, and even if there were some cool games on display (especially Star Wars: Battlefront II), I couldn’t find the time or motivation to have a closer look, as more public areas were waiting to be explored…
To be continued…
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