Ubisoft appealed to a wide spectrum of gamers this year at E3 with their action-packed, exciting and, at times, emotional conference. With Microsoft unveiling the four player co-op mode from the new Assassins Creed Unity in their press conference, we were all on the edge of our seats in anticipation for a more in depth look at the gameplay mechanics for Ubisoft’s biggest franchise. They did not disappoint their fans, and have given gamers a lot to look forwards to this coming year.
Far Cry 4
Ubisoft kicked off this year’s presentation with an opening cinematic trailer for their new installment for Far Cry. The trailer featured the player taking on the role of a man on a bus in the Tibetan mountainside. The bus is then hijacked by a group of military guards with rifles, and after the men open fire at the bus, the main character ends up crawling out the back of the bus to escape. At this point, the main character is caught and held at gunpoint by the military guards as a helicopter approaches, and a man with a short, blonde haircut jumps out. He speaks to the main guard and chides him saying, “I distinctly remember saying, ‘stop the bus’, not ‘shoot the bus.'” and after a few choice words, manically begins stabbing the guard.
The relationship between this apparent villain and our main character isn’t clear; he seems to come from nowhere, yet remarks that he would “recognize those eyes anywhere,” and even goes on to take a selfie with the character–at which point, we get a first brief glimpse of our player’s face.
Far Cry 4 creative director Dan Hay came on stage after the clip and explained that players are given “a fake passport, a little bit of cash and a gun.” He seemed very proud of the game and was beaming before saying that what had just been shown was “just the first five minutes of the game.”
Just Dance 2015
Ubisoft officially announced Just Dance 2015, set to be released in October of this year. The rhythm-based dance game will feature the Pharrell Williams song “Happy” and “Burn” by Ellie Goulding. The presentation revealed a new way to have anyone join in on a game–connecting friends and a whole community of people who love dance. All you need to have is the Just Dance app on a smartphone, and it will enable you to use the phone as a controller.
The game’s executive producer Jason Altman said that they are “always finding new ways of bringing people together through dance.”
In order to demonstrate the game to the audience, Altman invited a group of dancers on stage to dance using their smart phones as controllers. Altman also spoke of the limitless possibilities of how many people can join in a Just Dance game. From 4 people to 20,000 all in a football stadium.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Tom Clancy’s The Division tells a story of a world that is in chaos following the release of a virus. New York is broken, and the post apocalyptic snowy streets are where our story trailer takes us. Members of The Division are trained to keep the city secure and travel around to make sure everything is peachy (considering the circumstances)–but there are some antagonists nearby…
It will be interesting when the game comes out to see if any of the trailer actually correlates directly at all with aspects of real game play. Nevertheless it is still a great peek at how the environment stands for this game and the vibe of it as a whole. This game was initially announced last year, and was set to be released in early 2014; however, the game’s release was pushed back to 2015 a couple of months ago, which is such a shame as I’m very excited for this one.
Creative director Julian Garrity led the presentation for the open world driving game The Crew, which is set to be released on November 11th for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The trailer shown consisted of “entirely in-game footage” and shows the various landscapes which take the player on an exhilarating journey from coast to coast, flying through NYC, The Rocky Mountains, Los Angeles and Miami. There is also the option to modify your car for off-road purposes or pro-racing purposes, and missions can last for up to 2 hours.
It was revealed by Garrity that Ubisoft have been testing a secret operation called Route 99, which gathers feedback on the racer in the form of a tournament. You’ll be able to watch the live finals on Twitch soon, and when the dates come in for that, The G.A.M.E.S. Blog will let you know. Ubisoft have also opened registration for beta testing, which starts on the 23rd of July. You can find out how to sign up on the game’s website.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Next, Ubisoft showcased the new features for Assassins Creed Unity, the open world stealth game based on the 19th century French revolution. We were shown an extended gameplay trailer which highlighted the stunning current-gen visuals and the fact that there is now a four player co-op mode. In the gameplay trailer, multiple assassins are shown playing together and moving silently towards target after target. The gameplay is typical of all the old Assassin’s Creed games and has main character Arno Dorian moving silently through crowds of people, brushing past peasants, begging women and thieves. Then, in the thick of it all, he strikes. Assassin’s Creed Unity is the first game in the series to be made specifically for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game will be officially released on October 28th, 2014.
Taking a step away from typical controller-based games, Ubisoft announced health and fitness game, Shape Up. Exclusively for Xbox One, Shape Up uses the Kinect peripheral to generate a digital version of the player and convert their movements on screen in the form of commands. Creative director Charles Huteau demonstrated one of the fitness games called “Piano Step,” which transforms cardio workouts into a fun and physical exercise game reminiscent in some ways of Dance Dance Revolution. It then records the movements of your highest score before challenging you to beat it. Another minigame sees players performing push ups against a clock, which is guaranteed to work you up to a sweat. Shape Up will hit stores November 2014.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
In an emotional trailer, World War One puzzle game Valiant Hearts received the spotlight at the event, and explored more of the narratives inspired by real-life letters sent home from The Great War. The focus in this game is not on combat, as it is in so many war-torn first person shooters. Instead the beautifully shaded animation, cute canine character, and sombre soundtrack is aimed to make gamers feel.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War will be released for Playstation3 and Playstation 4 on June 25th.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
Last but by no means least, Ubisoft revealed Rainbow Six: Siege, a new take on the classic first person shooter genre that revolves around a 5 vs. 5 multiplayer system. Pre-alpha footage shown of a multiplayer match showcased the new online mode where one team must hold a hostage while the other tries to extract the hostage. The game’s pros are that it demonstrates a new take on hostage situations, enabling you to interact with hostages and meticulously plan an assault. The gamer has much the of power in this game, with multiple entry points for you to breech and a variety of options whether on the defense or the attack. The environment is also very realistic with the gameplay taking place in a normal family home, and the walls actually crumbling when you shoot at them.
Rainbow Six: Siege is set for release in 2015.
That wraps up the Ubisoft conference, but there’s more coverage where that came from. Check back for more E3 coverage all week, and let us know your favorite highlight from the Ubisoft announcements down in the comments!
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