The recent Ubisoft Forward event revealed a wealth of information regarding major up-and-coming titles. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla showcased over 30 minutes of gameplay footage, including combat. Far Cry 6’s teaser trailer featured Giancarlo Esposito as the title’s new antagonist. Watch Dogs Legion demonstrated recruitment mechanics, gameplay, and even announced a release date. Splinter Cell was absent from the lineup as usual. Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Gods and Monsters, however, were oddly missing.
Rumors of new Splinter Cell games pop up endlessly, like weeds, and not without reason. Sam Fisher and his iconic night vision goggles are a staple of modern stealth gameplay, even making an appearance in Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Ubisoft’s new F2P action RPG—Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad. Splinter Cell fans don’t want Elite Squad, however, they want Sam Fisher doing what he does best, infiltrating enemy perimeters and remaining undetected. Despite this, no news has surfaced about the beloved series since a statement in 2017.
At E3 2017, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated: “I can’t say much about [Splinter Cell]. But, for sure, all the Clancy games are taken care of. It’s just we have quite a lot on our plate at the moment…all the Clancy games are really coming along, so we are not forgetting Splinter Cell.” In 2019, Creative Director Julian Gerighty divulged that a game was currently in development, though, Ubisoft later disputed this.
Ubisoft wouldn’t let such a well-known series go to waste. The question isn’t if there will be another Splinter Cell, but when. Judging from recent events, fans won’t see one this year, but there’s always the next. 2013’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist was the series’ last main installment, and a new one is desperately needed. One thing’s certain, Ubisoft needs to make the next one count, or they may kill a great franchise.
Gods and Monsters
Information about Gods and Monsters, the Greek-fantasy inspired adventure RPG, has been sparse. Nothing official has been shown other than its E3 announcement. Stadia recently leaked an unfinished version of the game on its store, however. Listed under the name Orpheus, hundreds of users were briefly given access. The demo contained assets ripped straight from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, including its character models, user interface, and animations, as well as menu and load screens. Combat and climbing systems similar to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were also implemented.
Ubisoft Quebec Senior Producer Marc-Alexis Côté said to Eurogamer, “This footage is from our E3 2019 demo, which was shown to select press last June and is now over one year old. Much has changed since then in terms of features, tone, art and character design, and even the name of the game. We are hard at work and very excited to finally show players what we have created at the end of summer.” However, Autumn is fast approaching and fans have nothing to show for it.
Ubisoft clarified that “end of summer” doesn’t mean the Ubisoft Forward event. It could be too early to showcase gameplay, or perhaps Ubisoft is shifting focus to titles launching sooner. Both mean fans will be waiting some time before laying their hands on a final version. Côté says the game has since evolved from the 2019 demo, even receiving a name change. It’s interesting to imagine what the project code-named Orpheus and Gods and Monsters will finally be titled.
Beyond Good and Evil
Beyond Good and Evil 2, prequel to the 2003 iconic cult classic, is an action-adventure game being developed by Ubisoft Montpellier. The original was commercially unsuccessful, though, it was critically acclaimed. Game director Michel Ancel explained the universe he imagined was too large to be covered by one title. A trilogy was planned, however, poor sales left Ubisoft with reluctance to support a sequel. Rumours and conflicting statements regarding the next installment spread as it lay in development hell, until 2017, when it was finally announced.
The video shown at E3 2017 shocked many fans who were expecting something similar to the 2008 trailer. Instead of a sequel to the original, BG&E 2 was a prequel featuring a new cast of characters, as well as a space pirate theme. While different than anticipated, the cinematic closed to mass applause as the audience watched the title’s name pop up. The excitement was in the air and the need for more information was palpable. A second cinematic debuted at E3 2018 along with a gameplay video in 2019, and since then…nothing.
Making it out of development hell was a big step for BG&E 2 and its developers. The game was in development for years before its 2017 announcement, and it’s been three years since then. There’s no reason BG&E 2 should’ve been missing from Ubisoft Forward, unless it’s further down the pipeline. The furthest release date announced was Far Cry 6’s, and that was for February 2021. Ubisoft is likely focusing on the short term and keeping games with later releases under wraps.