An armchair view of E3 2011: Ubisoft

Ubisoft Conference: June 6th 10:30pm GMT

Here we go with Ubisoft. We already know about Assassin’s Creed Revelations, but what else will they have? E3 2010 saw them largely focus on fitness and dancing – hopefully they will have learned their lesson since then. Oh and the horrible comedian and that weird laser-tag thing. Let’s try to forget all that.

 

  • Show begins with a video showing 25 years of Ubisoft.
  • CEO Yves Guillemot takes to the stage to once again attempt English. Starts showing off total game sales over the years, links back to starting with Rayman and thanks the crowd.
  • Yves brings Michel Angel to the stage to talk about Rayman Origins. He also attempts English…then some horrible back and fourth with Yves.
  • The on-stage demo of the game begins. Apparently the demo is hard to play. They are playing co-op. Has a very old school charm to its style. Tetris music + in-game joke meets my approval.
  • An underwater section is next, they are being chased by a very strange looking creature.
  • A snow section is next mixed with aerial combat, I wonder if they are picking stereotypical annoying environments from most games on purpose? Demo ends with a very awkward joke that fails to land in the cinema.
  • Aaron Priceman takes the stage. Mister Caffeine? Oh, he’s quite hyper. I’m going to hate this individual.
  • Yes, let’s all talk about the 80s. And make fun of Charlie Sheen. That’s modern! Please stop talking Aaron. No. That wasn’t funny. Nor was that. Or that. Shut up, Aaron.
  • Gaming is adventure. He’s talking so fast I’m losing the will to listen to him. I still don’t know which game he’s talking about. Get on with it!
  • A trailer starts retro style. Ah, it’s Driver. Driver San Francisco. He mentions a game changing twist. Trailer seemed to skip a little at one point, don’t think it was on purpose. Either way it isn’t actual gameplay.
  • I just noticed that Aaron’s microphone is quite large. Another reason to hate him.
  • From Ubisoft Montreal Dan Hay and Jamie Keen take the stage. You are Jason Broady. That’s good to know. After that confusing introduction a trailer begins for what I’m guessing is a new Farcry.
  • We get to listen to a very foul-mouthed evil person whine on and on about being evil. Then our hero escapes and also swears a bit. How edgy. Now he’s acquired a weapon.
  • Some general exploration mixed with gun play and rather brutal knife kills. Then things start exploding and get rather fast-paced. The visuals for the most part are particularly nice, especially given it’s a console he’s playing it on. I wouldn’t want to be Jason Broady, he has a bit habit of running into nut cases.
  • Closes on Farcry 3 title, coming 2012.
  • The irritating Aaron is back to announce Randy Pitchford from Gearbox. He’s here to talk about Brothers in Arms games. He says they were challenged to make a new take on WW2 games, because the world needs more of those. It’s about “kicking Nazi ass”, they’ve clearly made some innovations here.
  • A trailer about the ‘furious four’ plays. Seems you get to play as one of four stereotypical gits in a very action focused game that doesn’t look very good at all.
  • Aaron is back. Apparently marriage is next. The one between gaming and Hollywood. A trailer plays. Steven Spielberg talks about Tintin. If anyone asks the point at which I lost interest in this trailer – that was it.
  • I don’t know about you but what makes a trailer for me is two old guys talking for about five minutes on a subject they know nothing about. To be fair, afterwards they did show some real gameplay. Not good gameplay, but you know. The Adventures of Tintin The Game, coming soon.
  • Aaron is talking about Ghost Recon now. More bad jokes. Where are you, snipers? An old school style trailer plays, guessing it will then advance and show proper Ghost action.
  • Yup, Tommy Jacob and Roman Oriola take the stage to talk about Future Soldier. It’ll be on the floor playable for the crowds. An on stage demo then begins.
  • Swampy village type area, the Ghost team wading through it. It’s a stage set in Nigeria. The team activates camo suits. That’s cheating a bit, isn’t it? A saved civilian doesn’t seem phased by stealth suit using Americans. It is revealed that it isn’t just one person playing, it’s four of them.
  • The fire fights that follow aren’t as impressive as the coordinated stealth sections. Some kind of overhead map section is next, plotting out route and area before they begin moving through it.
  • All four players using active camo in this section to take down various targets. Doesn’t seem to be any limit on the camo, even when ‘spotted’ to a certain degree. Things go loud again. For the most part the gameplay seems solid, getting together four people to play it looks like a lot of fun. No date given for release. Version played was Xbox. Multiplayer will be playable on the E3 floor.
  • There’s talk next about PC. Ubisoft Singapore will be making a Ghost Recon Online, a PC game and it’s “absolutely free”. Looks much simpler but does incorporate the advanced technology. Free to play and applications for the Beta can be put in now.
  • Tommy – don’t clap your own game. It’s bad form.
  • Sadly, Aaron is back yet again. “More and more of gaming, is sharing” – really? Epic fail on the epic fail joke.
  • Two people with names so complicated I will not insult them by trying to spell them here take the stage from Nadeo Publishing. They are here to chat about Trackmania 2 for PC.
  • About three minutes in I’m still not quite sure what they are talking about, but hopefully this video will keep things nice and simple. The video shows some player made maps. Most fairly extreme and some roller-coaster style. Shootmania, Questmania…ah yes I remember this stuff from last year now. Still as confusing now as it was then and very, very strange.
  • Aaron mentioned rabbits. Getting a bit sick of those. The way he described them is exactly how I’d describe him. Antoine Henry is on to blather away about the annoying rabbits, for Kinect.
  • Pro-tip Ubisoft: if you’re going to make a pretend sitting room set to show off a Kinect game, make it a realistic size. Apparently four people can play it at the same time. Really? Oh wait they’re going to try it. Someone better injure themselves or it won’t be a genuine multiplayer Kinect experience.
  • If for whatever reason you wanted your friends to see you pull stupid poses, Kinect Rabbits let you upload to Facebook and so on.
  • Aaron is back, trying to draw attention away from people in the background altering the set. He’s talking about fear. Being locked in a room with him for an hour would scare me. He’s talking about pulling people from the audience to dance. Another retro video playing showing 8-bit dancing.
  • Just Dance 3. Quickly moving on…nope, awful advert first.
  • Tony Key takes the stage. Sadly he’s talking about Just Dance some more. He quickly moves on though to talk about Rocksmith. It’s a good job no one else has made a guitar simulation game. Oh wait.
  • Video plays. It seems that it uses essentially a real guitar, sort of. It might be better than those other franchises if it really teaches guitar actually, a fun way to get around the tedium when you start. Coming Fall 2011.
  • The next subject is…fitness. You learned nothing from last year! Your Shape Evolved. A video plays of people who don’t at all look stupid bouncing around. Out later this year.
  • Aaron blathers on and then there’s a retro style Assassin’s Creed video.
  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations. Alexandre Amancio and Martin Schelling take the stage to talk about the game. After a bit of chatting it’s straight into a trailer. After a lovely CG battle it looks like Ezio is caught and marched off to be hanged, all the while seeing Altair’s ghost.
  • The E3 gameplay demo then begins. The first new thing shown off is area-of-effect bombs. Then it’s straight into combat briefly. Next is line grappling and then more fighting. Next he mounts a flame-thrower for a while before an escape sequence across burning ships. His own fault for setting them alight really. Demo ends with Animus related footage and then a mysterious glowing door. Released this November.
  • Aaron is back to finish the show. Last chance to do something about him, snipers.

 

No real surprises here, but that isn’t to say Ubisoft disappointed. The absence of anything Splinter Cell was interesting. Ghost Recon, Farcry 3 and Revelations look good.

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Written by Ian D

Misanthropic git. Dislikes: Most things. Likes: Obscure references.

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