E3 2011: Ubisoft press conference impressions

Posted: June 6, 2011 by Tony Polanco in REVIEWS

The third big conference of the day was held by Ubisoft. This year Ubisoft decided to put on a “real” press conference and not have a comedian host their show. How’d they do? Read on to find out.

This is the 25th anniversary of Ubisoft and as such a slick montage trailer was shown that highlighted their biggest franchises. Ubisoft President Yves Guillemot came out and introduced the creator of Rayman, Michel Ancel who showed off a very cool demo for the upcoming Rayman: Origins. Origins takes the series back to it’s 2d roots and looked like a lot of fun. The game has up to four player coop and a lot of insane platforming action. This is going to be a day 1 purchase for sure when it comes out this fall.

At this point the defacto host appeared and it was none other than Mr Caffeine himself, Aaron Priceman. This guy kept the energy level high with his infectious enthusiasm. He introduced the new Driver game which itself was also introduced by a film showing what a driver game would have looked like in 1986. Very funny stuff. Driver looked like what you would expect a current gen Driver game to look like. No surprises here.

Next up, Dan Hay and Jamie Keen introduced an fps game that takes place on an island. After all of the generic fps stuff it was revealed to be Farcry 3. I gotta be honest here, I’m getting really sick of fps games. They all look the same to me. If you’re a Farcry fan then you’re probably excited but for me, it was just the same old fps song and dance.

Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford took the stage to show off a trailer for another fps game, the new Brothers in arms. Brothers in arms: Furious 4 is an over the top World war II game so that’s at least kinda cool. There was no actual gameplay shown. Instead we got to see an all cg trailer that had four characters killing Nazis in brutal and excessive ways.

Next up super star directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson (via video) talked about the upcoming movie based game called The adventures of Tin Tin. The game appears to be an action adventure romp which mixes both 3d and 2d elements. Looks interesting but I’m not going to hold out much hope for a movie based game as those usually suck all kinds of suck.

Back to the shooting action, Ghost recon: Future soldier was showcased by Tommy Jacob & Roman Campos. The demo showed off significantly more footage than what was shown at the Microsoft press conference. In the demo the “Ghosts” are in Nigeria and must rescue a target of interest. Various methods for attacking were shown like stealth kills, cover shooting and all out gun battles. There was even an airstrike called near the end. Not my cup of tea but it looked cool. The game supports up to four player co-op and this will probably be its biggest highlight.

Next two ladies whose names were so French that I’m not even going to try to type showed up to talk about something called Mania planet. Mania planet is essentially Ubisoft’s take on social pc games. There was a game called Canyon which looked like a hotwheels video game. There are other genres in this mania planet called Shootmania for fps games and Questmania for rpgs. No more details were given.

Antoine Henry and his epic beard & pony tail were next to show off the augmented reality Raving Rabbids game. It’s for Kinect and you and up to four of your friends can play various mini games together. There where two games shown. One was like whack-a-mole that you play using your body to stomp the Rabbids and the other has you and 3 of your friends bunching up together to create shapes that appear on screen such as a UFO and Dracula.

Just dance 3 was shown next and the trailer had a bunch of random people and celebrities playing it. Despite the fact that this game has supposedly sold 30 million copies, I’ve never heard of it nor do I know anyone who plays it. I guess it must be a big hit in Europe or something. The very boobalicious Katy Perry was in the video so it wasn’t a total loss.

An interesting guitar based game, Rocksmith was announced next. Unlike Guitar hero or Rock band, Rocksmith has you using a real guitar and therefore is automatically more skill based. With this game you will learn to play guitar. This is very cool even though I doubt it will sell well due to the fact that it’s not mindless like the previously mentioned plastic guitar games.

Last but certainly not least was Assassin’s creed: Revelations. After an impressive CG trailer which had Ezio climbing mountains and kicking Templar ass, we are then taken to a gameplay demo that had Ezio in the streets of Constantinople and fighting against the Ottomans. The demo had it all. Sword fights, platforming and huge explosions. Ezio is a really old man now but he is no less deadly. The game also appears to have received a significant graphical upgrade. This was by far the highlight of the conference and the audience loved every minute of it.

Overall the Ubisoft conference was very strong. They ditched the comedian host and focused on showing their extensive lineup of hit games. Although I’m not a fan of everything shown Assassin’s creed: Revelations and Rayman: Origins made the entire show worthwhile. Good job Ubisoft!

Check out our impressions of the other conferences

Microsoft E3 press conference

EA E3 press conference

Sony E3 conference

Nintendo E3 press conference


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