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Live E3 2010 Coverage – Ubisoft Press Conferencemoves to

In Videogames on June 14, 2010 at 4:00 PM

The Ubisoft press conference begins right now.  Remember to refresh for live updates.

5:01 PM – The show opens with a very dramatic demo for a game for Kinect that looks similar to Rez.  This is a long demo showcasing a bunch of the gameplay.  The game looks gorgeous and the soundtrack is great.  Looks like five minutes of uninterrupted gameplay so far.  The feed just died.  It comes back and the game is revealed as Child of Eden.

5:08 PM – Ubisoft’s conference begins with Joel McHale, the same host from last year.  And just like last year his hosting is overly awkward and all his jokes bomb.

5:09 P.M. – Teaser for what looks like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.  The teaser shows little other than vistas of Rome so far.  We then go to the streets for a CG trailer showcasing Ezio fighting through a horde of soldiers.  Ezio is now joined by his brotherhood of Assassin’s and…November 16, 2010.  The trailer gets a big ovation.  After the trailer we get a gameplay video of a cutscene where Ezio’s villa is attacked by hordes of catapults.  After a few minutes, the game actually begins with Ezio leaping onto his horse and riding through the crumbling streets of his city.  He then dismounts and runs around all parkour status because that’s what’s cool.  Finally he reaches a cannon and starts firing on the incoming horde.  I hate to interject my opinion into games like this, but I’ve never been an Assassin’s Creed fan and I don’t see the appeal in this at all.  This just looks awful.  I guess fans of Assassin’s Creed II will love this, but I didn’t feel anything but disgust.  After the demo they announce multiplayer for Brotherhood.

5:22 PM – Next up is Shaun White Skateboarding.  We begin with a teaser trailer that fits in with pretty much everything else the skateboarding videogame genre looks like.  Then Shaun White comes out.  McHale and White shoot the breeze and talk about everything but the game.  When they finally get to the basics of the game, they talk more about the script and voice acting than the actual gameplay.  Then they bring out two of the game’s designers to talk more about the game.  Finally after six minutes of talking we get some game footage.  The world is desaturated to begin, sort of like the Sabotuer.  The more he skates the more live is brought into the game.  Creatively it looks similar to the old Tony Hawk series with a lot of over the top design and tricking.  The graphics aren’t flattering at all, almost PS2 quality.  The main design change seems to be the ability to shift the environment, creating your own lines out of thin air and morphing the world around you.  The design seems a little clever and the world continues to morph, but it seems to defeat the purpose of level design and constantly learning how to adapt to your environment.  However, fresh ideas are always welcome and playing the game will give the full scoop on whether these innovations actually work.  Just judging from the demo this looks like a flop in the making.  Interestingly, the game gets a decent applause after the demo.

5:35 PM – Joel McHale continues to be so awkward right now.  How did they bring this character back?  McHale finally gets interrupted by people playing laser tag around the auditorium.  I’m guessing this is a game for the Kinect.  The game is called Battle Tag.  I have no idea what this has to do with videogames.  This makes no sense to me so I’ll wait until the next game.

5:42 PM – Tommy Francois comes out to display his new game Innergy.  Francois then pulls out something that looks like the Wii vitality sensor and starts the game.  The first demo is a breathing exercise.  They talk some more about the benefits of the game.  It sounds similar to Wii Fit but for the computer and with an emphasis on stress instead of fitness.

5:46 PM – Next up is a video of Ubisoft developers and game designers discussing the evolution of gaming and how they are creating games designed around people, their bodies and their minds.

5:49 PM – Now we get two new titles for Kinect.  The first starts with a video featuring skiing, soccer and football.  The video ends with the game’s name – MotionSports.  After that video we get a second look at Your Shape, which we saw earlier at Microsoft’s conference earlier.  Even the script is the same in Ubisoft’s presentation.  This presentation adds an online element to the game with user challenges and stat sharing.

5:57 PM – Next up is the latest in the Raving Rabids series.  The trailer shows Rabids roaming through time in a magical washing machine, from ancient Egypt to medieval England to prehistory.  McHale announces the game exclusive to the Wii.

6:00 PM – Next up in the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.  We get a quick mention and then move right into the trailer.  Unlike the live action trailer, this one features CGI and explains the four different classes, but does so very briefly.  Designer Adrian Lacey comes out to discuss the game.  Lacey states the concept came from future army planning in militaries across the world, giving the player a glimpse into the future of warfare.  Finally they move to a gameplay demo.  The action looks like typical Rainbow Six action with a third person view.  The use of stealth looks spiffy, but seems to make the game a little too easy as the player walks around completely unnoticed.  After the first mission, the demo moves to another locale and to focus on ranged combat.  Lacey snipes a helicopter, sending the vehicle flying, and then rampage ensues.  The action moves outside into a firefight using the typical cover and fire approach so many games have adopted.  Unfortunately both the action scenes showed very little other than some bullets flying.  After the demo, Lacey says the game will be playable in four player co-op story mode.

6:11 PM – The show moves on to a teaser for what looks like a new Driver game.  The teaser moves to the Golden Gate Bridge, showcasing a cool looking driving sequence.  The title is revealed as Driver: San Francisco.  The game reboots the series by reviving the rivalry between Tanner and Jericho from Driver 2.  Suddenly halfway through the demo they reveal some huge plot twist where Tanner is actually in a coma and in game has an ability that somehow allows him to change cars when necessary.

6::17 PM – Now McHale introduces Yves Guillemot, Presidnet and CEO of Ubisoft.  He says he’ll wrap up with three new projects.  The first project is a digitally distributed title Project Dust (working title).  The video was only a teaser that showed little more than a voice over.

6:20 PM – The second video is discusses a group of artists breathing life into a character the trailer calls a thingamajig.  That character is none other than Rayman.  The Rayman redesign is a typical 2D sidescroller but with some pretty interesting level design.  The game, title Rayman Origins, looks like another digitally distributed title.

6:24 PM – The next video is designed to user-created content games like Mod Nation Racers and LittleBigPlanet, part of Ubisoft’s U-Play line.  The game discusses TrackMania, a cult classic racing game that’s almost entirely designed around user-creation.  ManiaPlanet will be a PC gaming hub for all TrackMania games including a beta for the upcoming TrackMania 2.

6:27 PM – Ubisoft ends with a tease that they’ve signed a legend.  Then we’re left with one final video for a Michael Jackson Ubisoft game.  A slew of dancers come out and begin dancing to “Beat It” by the legend himself.  I’m not exactly sure what the game aspect of that display was, but Guillemot said we’ll learn more on the show floor tomorrow.

That wraps up the Ubisoft press conference and all the coverage for E3 today.  Tomorrow the main show starts with Nintendo bright and early at 9 AM.  Come back for more live coverage all day tomorrow with Nintendo, Sony and the show floor opened up.

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