Ubisoft Press Briefing Impressions
The Ubisoft press briefing was definitely impressive. With a large retinue of action packed games coming out in the near future, Ubisoft kept the energy in the room high by mixing the action games in with their casual or mobile offerings. The displays were impressive and the humor of Aisha Tyler was entertaining, if not a little heavy handed. Also, they handed out cool Watch Dogs swag.
The Division is a newly announced tactical-third-person-online-RPG-shooter. An interesting mix of genre’s the trailer and subsequent gameplay featured squad combat in an diseased apocalyptic world. The combat looked like fairly standard cover-based shooting, but with each attack generating damage numbers over the heads of the enemies, ala Defiance. The gameplay briefly ran through some of the RPG aspects of the game, showing a large list of skills to purchase and use. One of the most interesting aspects of the preview was one of the players was participating in the game via a tablet, which allowed the player to control an aircraft that supported the soldiers on the ground. This could be an interesting way to provide players on the move to be able to continue to interact with their friends that are still playing the game. During the closing moments of the preview, it revealed a map covered in other players doing missions and exploring the desolated city. This is where the online aspects come into play. How ubiquitous the online aspects of the game will be is yet unknown.
Watch Dogs revealed a new trailer that highlighted some of the well known aspects of the game. The way the trailer differed from others we have seen is that is was much more action oriented than usual Watch Dogs material. It seems to be reminding the world “Hey, I AM an action game.”
Assassin’s Creed 4. It’s the next Assassin’s Creed game. You’re a pirate. What else is there to know? Nothing new was revealed for AC4, but it did show some good examples of ship based Assassin combat. I still have my same concerns with the game though. Assassin’s Creed has traditionally been about climbing around large cities and tall buildings. There aren’t very many locales on ships or Caribbean Islands that fit that bill.
Splinter Cell Blacklist. More of the same. Like AC4, we didn’t learn anything new, save a deeper look into the story. They did spotlight the multiplayer portion of the game, which is a good sign. If they are focusing on it, then they are probably proud of the work they put into it and how it turned out.
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is another new game announced by Ubisoft. It is a mix between a tower-defense and a tower-attack game. Players construct their own castles, populate it with monsters and traps, then assault other castles constructed by players and steal their loot. An interesting game concept that I am greatly looking forward to, despite a trailer that was trying oh so hard to be humorous.
The Crew. While watching the trailer and gameplay footage for The Crew I repeatedly got the same impression. Multiplayer Burnout Paradise. Not that this is bad, in fact, I think it could be a very good thing with tons of potential for entertainment. With huge depth to car customization and some RPG elements, it looks like The Crew could be a racing game I am actually looking forward to come out.
Just Dance. It’s another Just Dance game. Enough said (although, the trailer did show a “Dance Master” mode where a player of the Wii U Gamepad could interact with the game in some way).
Raving Rabbids. Announced as an “Interactive TV show” I couldn’t help but be confused. Isn’t that just a video game? We will definitely need to wait until more details are released about this one.
Rayman Legends. This game definitely looked beautiful. The art style of the gameplay footage is a mixture of what appears to be hand-drawn sprites and 3-D backgrounds. This makes for an interesting, unique style. And the game LOOKS fun, but it is hard to tell for platformers by just trailers.
Trails Fusion/Frontier. New installations in the Trails BMX series. They are BMX games. Fusion will be released on PC and consoles, while Frontier will be released on Mobile platforms. Really isn’t too much to say.
Rocksmith 2014. Looks very similar to the previous Rocksmith game, with the addition of a new mode that allows the player to jam and play their own music and be accompanied by AI players that will play along with the player. Seems pretty sweet. Now I wish I knew how to play the guitar.
South Park: The stick of truth. Like the Trails games. It’s a South Park game. There were lots of fart jokes. No gameplay or anything revealed, so there is not much to analyze.
Overall, it looks like Ubisoft has a very impressive list of games coming out in the near future, although I want to hear more about The Diversion than anything else.