This week at Ubisoft, Stephanie Economou won a Grammy for her work on Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök in the first-ever category dedicated to videogames, a historian discussed the real history and impact of the Harlem Hellfighters during World War I, and Ubisoft developers talked about how they use futuristic technology and themes to create unique aesthetics. Check it all out and more in this week's recap of Ubisoft News.
On February 5, composer Stephanie Economou won a Grammy for her work on Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök in the first-ever category dedicated specifically to videogames. Ubisoft News spoke with Economou about the significance of the new category, how industry perceptions towards videogame musical scores are shifting, and what it was like to work on the music for Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök.
Valiant Hearts: Coming Home, available now exclusively for Netflix members on the Netflix mobile app, tells the story of four characters reckoning with WWI, including James, a member of the Harlem Hellfighters looking for his brother. Though James is fictional, the Harlem Hellfighters, the first primarily African American infantry unit in WWI, have a very real history. Ubisoft News spoke with Ubisoft's Manager of Inclusive Games and Content Maya Loréal and World War I historian Dr. John H. Morrow Jr. about how they ensured the stories in Valiant Hearts: Coming Home were authentic, and about the impact the real Harlem Hellfighters had on Black history in WWI.
Ubisoft began its 14th Ubisoft Developers Conference (UDC) on February 7, an annual event that brings a global community of Ubisoft developers together to attend presentations and workshops, share innovations, and network with colleagues. To learn more about UDC's importance to Ubisoft, how it has evolved since its inception, and what's planned for this year, Ubisoft News spoke with Director of Production Communities and Competitive Intelligence Vicky Lagarre.
Just Dance 2023 Edition and Roller Champions are two recent Ubisoft games that use futuristic aesthetics in their design, each in their own distinct way. The Just Dance team uses new technology, like 3D printing, to create futuristic fashion, while Roller Champions merges futuristic trends with nostalgic elements for a neo-retro vibe (not coincidentally, Neo-Retro is the name of Roller Champions' most recent season). Just Dance's Costume Designer and Character Lead Benjamin Jouffret and Roller Champions Concept Artist Michael Verhaaf shed light on each team's respective strategy on current game aesthetics, as well as where the future might take them.
Share Play, a free new service through Ubisoft Connect PC, is available now for Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, Riders Republic, and OddBallers. The program allows players to share their screen or controls with a friend remotely, as long as both parties are logged into Ubisoft Connect.
Ubisoft+ Spotlight - Heroes of Might and Magic III
(Editorial note: This is a series of quick weekly highlights written by Ubisoft News team writers that feature games available with a Ubisoft+ subscription. We hope you'll enjoy reminiscing with us, or perhaps discover something new.)
Brittany Spurlin, Writer/Editor: Step into a world of nostalgia and retro-gaming fun with Heroes of Might and Magic III. The turn-based strategy game is set in the world of Antagarich, where Queen Catharine's husband has disappeared and her father assassinated, and the kingdom of Erathia overrun with dark forces and villainous beasts. Now, Queen Catharine must reclaim the kingdom from the forces of evil - and that's where you come in.
There are two primary aspects to gameplay in Heroes of Might and Magic III: combat, and exploration and expansion. Let's talk about the latter first, because it'll set you up for success during combat. In most scenarios, you'll begin with a small town that contains a humble variety of buildings, maybe a town hall, fort, and a tavern. From these humble beginnings, you'll construct buildings that produce resources, provide protection from attacks, or help your heroes learn magic spells. Most importantly, many buildings will generate creatures for your Hero to recruit into their army. As you find more supplies and claim resource-generating mines while exploring the realm, you'll be able to upgrade the buildings to increase the power of the creatures they generate, expand the array of spells you can learn, and fortify your redoubt. And the more enemy castles you can capture, the more your power will grow.
But to do so, you'll have to explore. Out in the world, you'll also come across useful artifacts and intriguing fantasy locations, from mage towers to mercenary camps to Gorgon lairs, but they are often guarded by creatures who may be spoiling for a fight. With the right skills, you may be able to entice them to join your legions, and with a big enough legion, you may scare them away entirely. But whenever you step up to an enemy stack, you'd better be ready for a fight.
This is where Heroes of Might and Magic III's turn-based combat comes into play. Before each encounter, be sure to check your inventory and adjust equipped items to best prepare and protect you during the fight to come. You should also carefully craft your army, stacking creatures that will come in most handy (flying creatures are great for bypassing defensive walls, for example). The battle itself takes place on hexagonal grid, and creatures can act in order of their speed attribute. Maneuvering wisely and targeting the right enemies can give you an edge, as can some well-placed spells and war machines. Combat grows in complexity as your armies and spellbooks grow, and the combat music underscoring it all makes each encounter feel like a grand battle.
With a Ubisoft+ subscription, you can get access to Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete Edition, which includes the base game and its two expansions, Armageddon's Blade and The Shadow of Death. You can also get Heroes of Might and Magic III HD Edition from the Ubisoft Store.
Roller Champions launched Neo Retro's mid-season title update on February 6, bringing new game features, gameplay balances, and bug fixes to the game.
- Daily Match Bonus now gives three escalating rewards: Match 1 will earn players 75 fans, Match 2 earns 100 fans, and Match 3 nets 300 fans and a lootball
- Achievements are now available for Roller Champions on Steam
- Air Dodge and Dodge Dive hitboxes have been increased
- Fixed an issue that occasionally prevented players from being able to pass after receiving a pass
Brawlhalla kicked off Valhallentine 2023 on February 8 with patch 7.03, bringing some love-ly new content to the game.
- New skins, including Love Bug Val, Matchmaker Vector, Red Rose Kaya, Date Night Dusk, and more
- Battle Pass Season 7 is now live, featuring new weekly missions, 85 tiers of content, and more
- Unlock a new "Brawlentine" title reward by logging in during Valhallentine 2023