Published on June 12th, 2013 | by Muse Shake0
Ubisoft’s E3 Keynote
Ubisoft is one of my personal favourite developers. I didn’t realise this until a year or so ago when I listed a couple of my favourite games and a lot of them were emblazoned with the purple swirl. From unique and quirky games from Michel Ancel and his team like Beyond Good and Evil and the Rayman series, to the bigger block busters of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, it’s always just felt to me that they make solid games with a little bit of personality that you don’t always see from the bigger publishers. Needless to say I was pretty pumped for their keynote.
Only very recently I was reading that the success of Rocksmith has lead to proper university studies about how good the game is at teaching people guitar. Well it turns out that it’s very good and has proven to be one of the fastest ways to learn how to shred it with the best of them. With that in mind Ubi started us off with a Rock and Roll Performance by Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains to promote the next generation of Rocksmith. I usually turn my nose up at showiness in these things like last year where the presentations seemed to be more about the bling than the games, however I’ve got to say in this case it felt fairly appropriate.
Speaking of bling in presentations I was surprised to see Aisha Tyler back on stage this year. Despite liking the actress and who she is as a person last year I found her aggressively unfunny and it felt like all her jokes were falling on deaf ears. She copped a ridiculously uncalled for backlash of it on the internet as well, and most of it was targeted at the unfortunate ‘I bet she doesn’t even play games angle’. Because of all this, when she walked on stage I felt myself fill with respect, but also apprehension. I was pleasantly surprised. I Personally found her to be a delight this year, I laughed, which was a big change from last year, and I believed her enthusiasm about the games, which helps fuel my own and is very important for a speaker at one of these things. She delivered with confidence and never missed a beat, and damn girl she was as the tumblrs would say ‘fierce’. Now that I’ve had my little lady crush sentiments over and done with, on with the recap!
Splinter Cell: Black List was first up on the big screen, and it’s a game we’ve been teased with for quite a while now. For me even new information on older revealed games are kind of a downer on E3 as it all feels like stuff that I’d rather be finding out in game. As such there wasn’t really anything new in the gameplay that was shown, it’s a stealthy super violent shooter, you have three green lights on your head, somehow people still don’t see you. We all know the drill.
Another kick in the pants of things we should already have (why yes I am a butt hurt wii U owner) in Rayman Legends. Now anyone who owns a Wii U has gotten a fair taste of this game already in the challenge app available on the eshop. This trailer showed off the new art style of the game absolutely beautifully with the HD graphics and cartoony art style partnering together in ways that not many other games can achieve. The game has been confirmed for September 3rd and the new competitive multiplayer modes and music levels are sure to be an amazing addition to this already strong series.
A little while ago I wrote a little piece on the announcement of the game Mighty Quest for Epic Loot with the charismatic Sir Painhammer trailer. The game still looks wickedly humorous and fun, by building castles and looting those of other players. It feels like a game that could be quite addictive and time consuming which is why for now I’m staying away. You can join the free Beta now by going to www.themightyquest.com
One of the most awaited games from this company is SouthPark: The Stick of Truth. It feels like this game has been in development for the past decade with how long we’ve been waiting for. The trailer itself made fun of this, by promising the game this holiday season.. hopefully. Other than that no new information from this trailer, despite how amusing it may have been.
Racing games seem to be the staple of this years E3 with every developer trying to push out something that will take fast cars to the next level of social with the dawn of a new generation. The Crew from Ubisoft is their effort in utilising the new tech to fight the barrage of other driving games trying to gain air time. One of the things they’re trying to push in this game is tonnes of different environments to give players different tracks and experiences to race on. A neat feature of the game is being paired with tablets so you can create and customise your vehicles to play in the console game while out and about. As for the social the entire game is said to have an online world, so you can play either solo or co-op in every race available. As for whether this racing game is a contender, it’s impossible to say. So many high quality car games are spewing out of studios with the launch of next gen that it’s anyone’s guess which will rain supreme.
The much awaited Watchdogs hit the stage next up and with many people hungry for more information on the new IP the excitement from the crowd was real. If you’ve not seen last years presentation this game runs around the idea of a connected world by technologies and smart phones, where a skilled hacker can use this to gain information about anyone around them, open doors, change traffic lights, and generally hack the city to get the job done. Unfortunately for this years E3 this presentation didn’t really show us anything we didn’t know about the game. The protagonists hacks things, gets bad guy, and gets out of there. They did promise us more information but in the mean time what we did get to see was some amazing use of cloth and hair graphics, that really shows off what the next gen of consoles can achieve.
Then Just Dance showed up. More dancers per game. I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing that’s new about this game.
Another one for the younger or more casual crowd is Rabbids Invasion. This is an interesting little idea where the Rabbids are getting their own TV show but the real kicker is that it’s interactive. Now I don’t fully understand how interactive this is going to be as I think we’re going to have to wait and see it for real on TV screens in our homes before we can get a true idea for that, however if it is as promised it feels like something kids will love and parents will hate – making it an almost perfect example of what the Rabbids would want. Also there’s a scene where they put a chick back in an egg, and shove it back up a chicken which was pretty amazing.
Assassin’s Creed 3 was a massive let down for me. I have loved every single Assassin’s Creed previous in the series, and when most found the were getting long winded and samey I was still happy to have more. 3 killed it. It felt buggy and uninspired and incredibly repetitive when it came out and the protagonist was dull after the hyper charisma of Ezio. I had washed my hands of one of my favourite series of all time, and now we have Black Flag. “Oh No!” I cried “Not another BAD Assassin’s Creed game!” but damnit Ubisoft I’m back on board. Pirates.. How does one say no to pirates? The trailer looks fun, the life and energy of the world felt real, and he’s a freaking Assassin Pirate. It feels more like old assassin’s creed again, and maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part but I’m back aboard the hype.. ship?
A new take on an old IP revealed next up once again focussing on a dystopian world based on how reliant our current world is on technology and complicated processes. When our world is ravaged within days by an unstoppable disease the world screeches to a halt, and presumably the government has had processes involved to deal with this kind of disaster for years. It would seem that as a player we are a part of a task force involved in this process and as such you take part in missions cooperatively investigating what’s going on in the newly shaken world and how you can help. The cooperative third person shooter gun play looked really solid, with various classes and powers being utilised to support your team mates. Apocalyptic games almost feel like easy targets though with so many games focussing on destroyed worlds or zombie hordes I wonder if Tom Clancy’s: The Division will really stand out.
That wrapped it up for the Ubisoft E3 conference. It feels like another case of nothing really new and just a lot of closer looks at older games. More importantly though, no mention of Beyond Good and Evil 2, so for me Ubisoft didn’t really bring it this year to E3.
What were your thoughts on the Ubisoft presentation? Looking for more like I was or happy with the lineup? Do you think The Crew will be the next big racer? Leave us a comment on this, or any other piece in our E3 coverage on this website and whether you play on 360 or PS3 and you will be in the running to win one of our mystery games. Most of the games we have were released this year, with the oldest ones being late 2012 so it’s definitely worth your while. Stay tuned for more E3 coverage here on XXP.