Ubisoft has announced Project U, an upcoming PvE game that “explores a new concept of session-based co-op shooter, where many players unite to prevail against an overwhelming threat!” Beyond that and one piece of key art, Ubisoft is being light on details: heck, this thing doesn’t even have a name yet but is soliciting participants for an undated closed network test.
The publisher says Project U is “in early development” and the first test will be English-language and PC only, to be held across various European countries. Players in Luxembourg rejoice: you’re on the list.
The official site lists the specs, which are relatively demanding: for 30 FPS you’ll need at least a GTX 1070 or Radeon RX Vega 64, an i5 processor, as well as 16GB of RAM. For 60 FPS it’s an RTX 2060 or the RX Vega 64, i7 processor, and 16GB of RAM. We can probably assume, for now, that these are unoptimized requirements that may go down in the future.
You can register for the closed test here (opens in new tab).
Despite the paucity of information, it seems pretty clear that thiis is Ubisoft lining up for a tilt at the game-as-service path established by Destiny. The colourful key art shows various preppy soldier types and a bunch of grim looking spaceships and mechs set against them, and the promotional copy makes no mention of any competitive element.
Ubisoft recently went this route with Rainbow Six: Extraction, albeit with a much darker tone than Project U seems to have, and while it wasn’t perfect our super-soldier Morgan Park found it a “thrilling and messy” take on PvE. The worry is that Ubisoft is also something of a bandwagon-jumper, and it’s ended badly for games like Hyper Scape (a battle royale contender that was quickly abandoned and shut down).
There are, however, some details about a game in-development at Ubisoft called Pathfinder, which does sound a lot like Project U. PC Gamer has been able to confirm that Pathfinder is real, though we can’t verify the individual details. The rumours, however, are that this game is intended as an objective-based variation on battle royale, where teams of four battle through a map fighting AI enemies and trying to reach a giant AI-controlled boss at the centre. Pathfinder is said to be PvPvE, so presumably the teams fight each other if they cross paths, similar to Hunt: Showdown. Pathfinder definitely exists: whether it is what’s now called Project U is unclear.