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Live E3 2011 Coverage – Ubisoft

In Videogames on June 6, 2011 at 1:19 PM

This post will feature live, up to date info on the Ubisoft press conference.  In order to keep the news up to date just hit your browsers refresh button.  Coverage for the Ubisoft press conference begins at 2:30 PM PST/5:30 PM EST.  Also, be sure to check out previous coverage of Microsoft’s and EA’s conferences on the main page.

2:30 PM – Ubisoft has yet to take the stage.  Maybe they decided to cancel.  We can only hope.

2:32 PM – Well thank god the guy from the Soup isn’t out here.  Unfortunately we have a bunch of thick French accents instead.  And still the same lame jokes.  Double whammy.

2:34 PM – After a horrible Shakespeare joke we get some Rayman Origins action.  The demo features multiplayer action with one player as Rayman and the other as a “blue thing.”  The blue thing can apparently float.  And their demo lasted about 10 seconds before it goes from Spike Central to Hell.  And I swear they’re using Tetris music as they dodge Tetris blocks in Hell.  I’m flabbergasted.  The games graphics have a 2.5D look akin to Yoshi’s Story but more polished.  It doesn’t look remotely as good as Donkey Kong Country Returns or Kirby’s Epic Yarn though.  Then Rayman and his blue buddy are transported into a water level where they outrun a giant worm.  Now another level playing like a side scrolling space shooter as Rayman and blue thing launch pellets from their floating rocket pack guns at random enemies.  I’m not sure what to make of that other than typical Rayman platforming action.  Nothing really exciting happened though it’s nice to see some diversity in the level design.

2:41 PM – Out comes “Mr. Caffeine” Aaron Priceman and finally we don’t have someone with a crazy thick accent.  However, still have the same lame jokes.  He talks about Ubisoft’s 25 year anniversary and then launches into motion control based penis jokes that no one laughs at.  This is painful.  He calls Ubisoft “badass” a few times before hyping Driver: San Francisco to unleash your “inner Steve McQueen.”  Instead of a demo we get another trailer showing San Francisco.  Apparnetly in Driver: San Francisco Coit Tower is right next to the Transamerica Pyramid.  Also Marin County is now located in Daly City.  Despite the geographic errors, the gameplay didn’t show much going on that we haven’t already seen.  However the game is still worth a whirl because of how amazing San Francisco is to drive in.  Hopefully the game’s geography is better than it is in the trailer.

2:48 PM – Instead of French people, now we have French Canadian people.  This is an intro for what looks like Far Cry 3, going back to the jungle roots of the first title.  For a series that was revolutionary for its graphical capabilities, this trailer looks like something on the Wii.  Apparently this wasn’t a trailer but a demo, which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing just yet.  The plyaer then guns his way towards a helicopter before demanding the pilot take off at gunpoint but can’t make it out as his helicopter is shot down by a rocket.  That’s never been done in a videogame before so E3 2011 is still playing its originality card strong.

2:55 PM – Mr. Caffeine comes back out to intro Randy Pitchford from Gearbox.  Gearbox is amazing so I’m officially stoked.  Gearbox is going back to their World War 2 roots and “kicking Nazi ass.”  Apparently Ubisoft employees love saying ass.  And now we get another four person squad based shooter.  More originality on par.  However, when we’re revealed the Furious Four, all hell breaks lose and legitimate badassitry begins.  And Brothers in Arms: the Furious Four is due for 2012.

2:59 PM – Mr. Caffeine then shows us a video with Peter Jackson and Stephen Spielberg talking about Tintin.  While I have all the faith in the world for the movie, given movie-to-game-adaptation history, Ubisoft’s movie-to-game-adaptation history (Avatar), and most notably Stephen Spielberg’s movie-to-game-adapation history (E.T.) I’m not sure how excited we should be.  The trailer then shows some gameplay varying from intriguing platforming to awful combat.

3:02 PM – Mr. Caffeine is back to nod the 10th anniversary of Ghost Recon and showcase Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.  For another joke they do a retro version look of the game that amazingly looks more fun to play than the new version.  Besides the point I’ll give the demo a chance here.  Last year’s demo took place in the desert so this year’s takes place in the jungle since those are the only two environments you can have a war game anymore besides inner-city and snow.  As the demo advances and the soldiers move to the streets the action becomes a little more enticing.  As the demo progresses Ubisoft reveals four players cooperatively playing the demo to showcase the game’s multiplayer features.  As the squad reaches their target we move to typical cover based shooter mechanics as the ghosts run Flash status from cover to cover.  After the demo we get a bunch of stuff for people at the show to embark in including co-op and versus multiplayer demos.  Then we get a trailer for Ghost Recon Online, which I’m not sure what to make of.

3:16 PM – Mr. Caffeine is back to promote the “gaming is sharing” portion of the show.  He then intros some more French accents to discuss what’s probably going to be a segment about Kinect.  And that projection was completely off base as, instead, we get a promo for TrackMania 2 on the PC.  After some incomprehensible dialogue they send us to a trailer to highlight the game’s various features.  Instead of features, however, the trailer just shows a lot of racing.  And it ends with TrackMania 2: Canyon, which I’m not sure if that’s a game or a mode or a level.  They also keep mentioning ManiaPlanet.  I’m not sure what to make of any of this segment as it was by far the most vague portion of the show.

3:21 PM – Mr. Caffeine is back to promote the new Raving Rabids: Alive and Kicking game for Kinect.  For this segment two French guys stomp on a bunch of rabids as the Kinect camera scans the entire environment on screen and places the rabids directly inside.  The next game they showcase is “Fill the Shape” in which you and your friends have to “fill the shape” on screen.  Not really sure what that game has to do with rabids but it seems amusing for parties.

3:25 PM – Now Mr. Caffeine is going to talk about the “gamification of life.”  And now we get another lame retro game joke as Ubisoft continues to reach.  I’m not sure why they keep doing this year after year…I guess they’re just stubborn.  Just Dance 3 gets a neat celebrity filled trailer as they show it playing on Wii, PlayStation Move and Kinect.

3:28 PM – Ubisoft’s marketing director comes out to talk about Just Dance.  That seems fitting.  He announces an October 11 release for Just Dance 3 and then moves to Rocksmith.  The trailer showcases Rocksmith’s guitar based gameplay, but is this really an important “innovation” after Rock Band 3?  The trailer really doesn’t demonstrate this as it shows no gameplay and rather just people talking about playing guitar.  Still no gameplay but we do get a release window for this Fall.  Next we move to the next Your Shape game.  Not sure how succesful this franchise is but Ubisoft is certainly plugging away at it.  We get another video instead of a demo that tells us just as little as the videos for Just Dance 3 and Rocksmith.  At least they’re consistent.

3:33 PM – Mr. Caffeine is back and we know what’s wrapping this show up – Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.  They show us a retro clip of the game which looks like a bad version of the original Prince of Persia.  I wish Assassin’s Creed was that cool.  According to Mr. Caffeine, the AC franchise has “hundreds of millions of fans” worldwide.  Revelations is “Ezio’s final chapter.”  Not sure why he got three games and Altair only got one.  Probably because Ezio makes more money.  I’m not really sure what to say about this trailer since I’ve reviled the first three games so much but I guess fans of the series will find enough of the same to enjoy it.  Ezio gets in some awesome battle.  I wish the in game fighting was 10 percent as cool as it was in that battle.  After the trailer comes a live demo.  The “live demo” starts with a two minute cutscene so its good that all these games are emphasizing the “live” portion of the demo.  The demo shows a new feature that allows you to see people through smoke and commit your ridiculously long kill animations in obscurity rather than the open.  Next thing you know, Ezio is tearing down the Lighthouse of Alexandira of some absurdly large lighthouse that looks exactly like that in wherever this is supposed to be.  Ezio then jumps on boat where he takes hold of some renaissance era mounted flamethrower and lays waste to the entire port, after which he parkours his way through the destruction.  Ezio continues his parkour antics as the game jumps in and out of cutscenes until he finally makes his escape on the only working vessel.  And cue obligatory applause before we get a twist ending of a door into mysteriousness.

3:46 PM – Mr. Caffeine comes back out to bid us farewell.  I have no idea how Ubisoft managed to take up 75 minutes of time for their conference, but go figure.  Next up is Sony at 5.

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