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Monday, June 4, 2012

E3 2012 - Part 2: Ubisoft Press Conference

Ubisoft had a strong showing today at E3 2012.  They opened with a title we expected (Let's Dance 3) in a rather unexpected way.  Hip-hop star Flo Rida rapping while sexy babes dance and the game fills the screen behind them.  It was definitely bombastic.  While I'm not all that excited about Let's Dance, what Ubisoft had in store for us following that display... Wow!

Farcry 3 gave an impressive showing this year.  The distinctly NSFW trailer/demo shows the game to be a strong, gorgeous entry into a solid action series.  The island motif is amazing, with stunning graphics throughout. This is going to be a good one.  I was impressed by what I saw, and it only got better from there.  We then followed that up with a teaser for the new Splinter Cell title Blacklist, which looked great.

We then saw Ubisoft's first implementation of Wii U with Rayman Legends, a fun-looking co-op platformer that uses the different Wii U controllers to manipulate the different characters.  Following that up was ZombiU, and though all we got was a teaser, it was a good one.  Showing a moment frozen in time spread all across the city of London at the height of a zombie attack.  We pan through blood splatter frozen in the air and a car frozen  in time as careens off the London Bridge.

Moving on, we all expected the new Assassin's Creed to be good, but what was showing on E3 sets the bar so much higher than before.  From the captivating opening trailer to the beautiful gameplay footage, Assassin's Creed 3 did not fail to please.  The audience erupted in excited applause as we watched our new hero Connor glide through a frozen forest and infiltrate a British camp in the heart of the Revolutionary War.

Ubisoft also gave us a glimpse of what they have to offer in the world of social and online multiplayer gaming in the form of Shootmaina and Ubisoft Worlds.  Shootmania is an online multiplayer experience that is Ubisoft's entry into the online competative shooter world dominated by Counter Strike and Team Fortress 2.  Ubisoft Worlds Online is a combination of new smaller IPs and free-to-play game experiences available as part of an online community.  The games shown included a 2D motocross game called Trails Evolution and an online version of their classic Settlers series.  The showcase game in this run was Ghost Recon Online, a free-to-play multiplayer shooter that looks like a AAA title.

Last, but far, far, FAR from least was the official reveal of their new IP, Watch_Dogs.  Set in the not-too-distant future where everyone has a digital footprint, you take control of a man who has the ability to hack and manipulate virtually every single piece of technology around him as everything in the city is run by a central computer.  During the gameplay demo we see our character jam all cellular communications around him to create a distraction to sneak into an exclusive event.  Countless icons representing computer cameras and things that can be hacked populate the scene, giving a number of options on how you can apporach any scenario.  Scanning nearby people reveals their information, as it's all at your fingertips.  You can see their age, their jobs, and their darkest secrets, all gathered from their digital footpring.  The traffic lights are hacked causing a massive pile up, all as part of the core gameplay.  This is one amazing-looking game.  The character models are amazing and the lighting is unbleievably realistic this is way on-par with, if not better than, Naughty Dog's best work.  This is going to be one of the ones to keep your eyes on people!

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