E3 is the biggest event on the game industries’ calendar, all the biggest reveals, information, and trailers being showcased for all to see. Though the big three console developers all have a huge presence at the event, two companies also host their own press conferences, one of those being Ubisoft. Today, Vlad Pintea and Jamie Briggs will discuss the Ubisoft E3 press conference, giving their thoughts, likes, dislikes, and overall opinions on the conference.
Jamie Briggs – So Vlad, Ubisoft kicked off their E3 press conference in a weird manner. We were given a trailer for Splinter Cell: Blacklist, a game I am actually very excited about. However, it seemed like a poor trailer to showcase; it seemed to be all over the place, and also showed a lot of previous footage we have already seen from previous trailers. They had a very strong showing last year with some excellent gameplay footage, and I was hoping for a little more. We were also then given some trailers for Rayman: Legends, and I think those were very well done. They gave a quick tease at what’s coming in the upcoming release without showcasing much of the game’s content.
Vlad Pintea – Indeed, the beginning didn’t blow me away either. I’m in no way a fan of music games, so didn’t care for Rocksmith. Even though I’m also hugely anticipating Blacklist (also reviewing) that trailer was downright boring. As for Rayman, I have to admit that it always brings a smile to my face any time I see something new, so that trailer got me even more excited for Legends. Continuing in this regard, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot looked intriguing, though its free-to-play model is the one thing which I don’t like. Call me paranoid, but every time I hear free-to-play, I can only think of pay-to-actually-have-fun. Never liked South Park, so I’m not even going to address its footage.
Jamie Briggs – Mighty Quest did a great job of entertaining the crowd, and I really didn’t know much about the game (still don’t), but the Captain Qwark-style character brought up the mood quite nicely. I was a big South Park fan as a kid, but I have dropped off considerably over the past 5 or so years. I am excited for the game because I know it has Matt Stone and Trey Parkers strong involvement, coupled with Obsidian’s talented development team behind the game. I keep wondering though if my lack of current South Park knowledge will hinder my experience; comedy is definitely a strong part in the franchise, and if I am lacking in knowledge, will I lose that? I do think an extended gameplay demo would have been a better choice then the short demo we were given.
Now one of the major reveals from the conference was The Crew, a new open-world style racing IP from Ubisoft. We heard rumours of this leading up to the reveal, so it wasn’t that surprising. Yet this seems like the perfect game to really showcase what the next generation consoles can do – seamless transition between multiplayer and single player. Plus, it looks downright gorgeous, seemingly positioned towards the arcade style racing fan.
Vlad Pintea – Oh yes, I was very impressed with The Crew. I have to say that I’m not really into racing games, but The Crew’s huge scope (cities, highways, hills, even mountains), combined with a deep customisation system, seamless transition between SP and MP, and a possibly interesting story made me want to try it for myself. One of the things which I loved about Driver: San Francisco was the ability to teleport from one car to another. It brought so much freedom into an otherwise tired concept of racing through a city, and I’m glad that Ubisoft implemented that concept in The Crew as well. Looking forwards to it.
Then came Ubisoft’s most promising title to date – Watch Dogs. Again, the possibilities are in a big number, and a MP like Dark Souls’, in which one can either help you, or hinder your progress is something I’m looking forward to. The graphics are stunning, animations look fluid, and hacking/shooting/driving your way through the city of Chicago is sure to be a blast. Didn’t care for Just Dance or Rabbids though.
Jamie Briggs – Now Vlad, you know my excitement level for Watch Dogs is sky high, but I think Ubisoft did a poor showing of the game at their own press conference. We were given a CG trailer that leaked days before hand, and those following the Twitters actually confirmed a long time before they showed it. It kinda left an odd feeling, like this is cool and all, but you guys know we have seen this. The same CG vibe was presented in AC IV; what players were looking for was gameplay, to see how it ran in comparison to AC III. We did see that at Sony’s showing, but Ubisoft left their two biggest titles with nothing more than quick CG trailers. I was shocked they actually did this, since really they are Ubisoft’s holiday sellers for 2013.
Vlad Pintea – Maybe you’re right. And even at Sony’s conference I wasn’t so impressed with AC IV. I know I’m probably the biggest fanboy when it comes to the franchise, but while the CG trailers were great, neither those, nor the gameplay footages left me blown away. We need to see more than a few minutes of stalking someone followed by some naval gameplay. After that came Trials: Fusion which I didn’t care about, and lastly, Ubisoft showed The Division, a new open-world RPG. To be fair, while it looks to be a nice mash-up between Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon, I need to see more before deciding on it.
At first glance, the only thing which I didn’t like was the interface. While I do like the fact that the traditional HUD is gone in favour of something more immersive, like in EA’s Dead Space, I thought that the inventory management was too cluttered. Other than that, we’ve got the usual co-op action between four players that is done in a drop in/drop out fashion which is great. All in all, I would have liked for Ubisoft to actually show us some gameplay videos instead of tossing them to Sony, but as a whole, I liked it. If I were to give it a score, it would be an 8.
Jamie Briggs – The Division has my attention. Those that know my gaming tastes know that I love to see the breakdown of society: the after-effects of catastrophes, and how humans will react to the fall from grace, which was definitely focused on during the story introduction trailer. This is unique idea that is very plausible which sets the game in a reality of sorts, but still allowing them to enter the futuristic world of Tom Clancy. The attention to detail within the world was amazing – seeing AI humans walking around the environments, and packs of stray dogs munching on a trash can were unique touches that I appreciated. Once inside, the police station also had that same attention to detail; this could easily be an online RPG that hooks me. The Watch Dogs society break down mixed with Rainbow Six tech, coupled with Borderlands style looting and RPG elements? Sold!
Ubisoft probably had one of the most weakest conferences at the show. They focused so heavily on CG, due to their gameplay footages being shown at Sony’s conference that it hurt their own event. After such a standout performance last year, it felt lackluster in comparison. I’d give it a 7.
So there you have it folks! All in all, Ubisoft wasn’t the best, but its games sure look promising. As always, for all your latest news, keep it locked to Analog Addiction.
Overall Score – 7.5/10
In addition to being the PC editor, Vlad Pintea is also a chief of news and reviews here at Analog Addiction, and sometimes he even speaks his own mind. You can contact him via e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, My IGN, on Skype, Steam (all at the same name: vlad94pintea) or Facebook (Vlad Pintea). Have a good day, and remember: stay calm and keep on gaming!