Ubisoft Hasn’t Gone Soft: E3 Ubisoft Press Conference Recap

Ubisoft had a real interesting show if you ask me. We started with Jerry Cantrel, guitarist of Alice in Chains, who came out and, ya know, played guitar. This was to announce a new version of Rocksmith, which has a new session mode, where you can play whatever you want on guitar, and a simulated band will come in behind you, playing their own instruments based on what you’re playing. And remember, in Rocksmith you play actual guitars, not controllers. So for musicians, this edition of Rocksmith could be a big deal.

Another highlight of Ubisoft’s show was the new Rabids Invasion game/interactive TV show. Yes, it’s a Kinect game, but the Rabids have always been funny little Ubisoft icons since they came out, and it seemed neat enough. Whether we’ll be able to play it here is a mystery, as we still don’t know how much space the new Kinect needs, but nevertheless it sold my fiancĂ© on the Xbox One even more. Apparently, using the Kinect, you can play certain parts of the TV show, which you watch on Xbox One if I understand correctly. Either that, or you watch the show first, and then the game is updated to allow you to play parts of the episode you just saw. Not clear on the mechanics yet.

One thing I have to say is that Ubisoft over the last couple years has really ramped up what they do with audio. Voice acting and sound are great in basically all their titles now, including Splintercell Blacklist, which was one of the games talked about during this show and is apparently coming out in a few weeks. Based on how it sounds, I personally think the motion capture and voice capture at the same time movement is being embraced wholeheartedly. Of course, it is also true that they changed the actor that actually plays Sam Fisher, but given how good he is, I can accept that. Splintercell Blacklist sounded epic.

But ya know what else sounded epic? Watchdogs, of course. This time it was just a trailer, and no gameplay, but still, it got me pumped all over again. Gonna be a great game, folks, and I know I’ve said that before.

Then there was Just Dance. I uh, don’t really care about Just Dance, and the trailer told me nothing. And speaking of trailers that didn’t tell me anything, or at least didn’t tell me much, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag had not one, but 2 trailers, both of which were, from a blind person’s perspective, mostly just music and the occasional sound effect or 2. Not saying it won’t be a good game, but I can’t tell based on that.

I’ll close by talking about 2 neat-sounding IP’s coming from Ubisoft. The first is called the Crew, and it’s a sort of MMO driving game. That’s not entirely correct, but I guess it’s close enough. You have a huge, huge open world to drive in, which is basically a simulated united states, and you’re trying to infiltrate and take over a criminal organization. You do so by completing challenges, avoiding police, taking enemy drivers out, and causing general mayhem. Now this is a persistent world, so there are real people doing this stuff all around you. If you play with friends, you can meet up with them and go on group missions. For instance, you can take on a real tough enemy together, one that would crush you on your own, much like grouping in an MMO. It’s a real neat idea, and it’ll be interesting to get a taste of that in action.

The other new IP I wanted to mention is Tom Clancy’s The Division. It’s an open world, action RPG, and I think it’s gonna be great. I will say this, though. During the demonstration, the group that was playing was chatting with each other, and it sounded really authentic, like they were talking through radios. I can only hope next gen voicechat is that good, because right now, most games don’t even try to simulate that kind of effect because it wouldn’t work. Chat quality just isn’t high enough. Anyway, it appears to be fully cooperative, as you play a team called the division who takes on the task of setting things right when a pandemic basically destroys most of the world, and it features pop in, pop out mechanics, allowing your friends to hop in and help you at any point. If this game truly possesses the length and scope of a typical RPG, we could be talking about something really awesome here.

Well, clearly, as I’ve rambled for quite some time now, Ubisoft’s was a much better show than EA’s. What’s next? Why, Sony, of course. More details on the PS4, more games, more… stuff! Stay tuned!

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