Reviewing E3 2015: Ubisoft Press Conference

This week, we’re going to take a look at another publisher specific press conference. As I said last week, these press conferences tend to be a little less exciting than the ones that the console manufacturers put on. But I had a distinct memory of not really enjoying the EA one, whereas I don’t remember much about the Ubisoft one at all. That’s probably not a great sign, and with that in mind, let’s see what we’ve got.

The conference opens with an announcement trailer for South Park: The Fractured but Whole. Although the footage didn’t show any gameplay, an actual game announcement is a great way to start off. Afterwards, Aisha Tyler appears on stage and introduces Matt Stone and Trey Parker to talk a little about the game. We don’t get a whole lot of info though, basically just that the game is being developed by Ubisoft San Francisco instead of Obsidian, who made the last game. I wish we were given some more, but this is a pretty strong start.

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The Fractured but Whole reveal

Next, Aisha does a fairly typical “welcome to E3” speech to the audience. What’s kind of cool though, is that she acknowledges some of the criticism that Ubisoft had gotten in the last year or so. For example, this is the first E3 after Assassin’s Creed Unity, a game that’s famous for it’s almost terrifying glitches.She says Ubisoft is always listening and always trying to do better. Then, she introduces Ubisoft CEO, Yves Guillemot who presents a trailer for a new IP.

We see warriors engaging in fairly large scale combat. The trailer bounces around showing vikings, samurai, and medieval knights. It all looks pretty cool, but it’s just a trailer. Then, Ubisoft Montreal’s Jason Vandenberghe takes the stage and discusses the nature of the game. It’s a melee focused competitive multiplayer game. And then, in a pretty surprising move, he introduces eight people from the development team who take part in a four on four live gameplay demo.

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This guy’s great

The game itself looks awesome. Although the objective seems to be fighting off the other players, there’s also tons of computer controlled fodder running around, similar to Titanfall. Taking them out seems pretty simple, like a typical hack and slash, but things change up when two players encounter each other. The controls appear to get a lot more complicated, as you’re precisely moving where you sword is in order to block incoming attacks. It all looks really cool and unique.

Next, Aisha Tyler is back and she presents two trailers for upcoming expansion packs. One is for The Crew: Wild Run, and the other is for Trials Fusion: Awesome Level Max. Neither of these are particularly exciting, for me anyway, but they’re still actual announcements, and that’s really cool and fairly rare for these smaller conferences.

The Division is next up. The footage shown is all pre-recorded, but it’s entirely gameplay. It shows off the Dark Zone, a part of the game that is kind of a mix between PVE and PVP style gameplay. I’m not going to dwell on The Division too much, as the game is already out, but what was shown still looks pretty cool. Another game that’s already out is Anno 2205, a city building sim. We get a short gameplay trailer, and that’s about it.

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Aisha Tyler’s all like, “What happened to my life? I used to be on Friends.”

After the trailer, Aisha Tyler is sitting next to some guy cosplaying the main character of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. She asks him a few questions, but he doesn’t really seem to know what’s going on. Aisha quickly gets out of there and introduces Just Dance 2016. Or, I guess I should say introduces Jason Derulo, and performs a whole song and dance number but, you know, doesn’t actually play the game. Man, and this press conference was going so well too.

Next up, a pretty dramatic trailer for Rainbow Six: Siege plays showing the premise of the game. Actress Angela Basset, who plays Rainbow Six’s coordinator, steps out on stage and talks to Aisha about her experience playing her character. I’ve never played Siege, but it’s my understanding that it’s a very multiplayer focused game, so this all seems really out of place. Next they show off the games co-op mode, Terrohunt. It seems pretty cool, but just your typical co-op shooter.

Up next is a trailer and gameplay demo for Trackmania Turbo. I’ve never played a Trackmania game, so I can’t speak with too much confidence, but it looks neat. It runs really fast and the track designs all look pretty crazy. They also show off a level generator, where you simply press a button and the game will randomly generate a level. This seems pretty cool, but I have to wonder how interesting levels that aren’t built by hand can be.

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That’s not how you drive a car

If you know me in real life, you probably know that I don’t like Assassin’s Creed. And thus, a new trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate didn’t do much for me. But visually, it does look pretty cool, and I like the Victorian-Era London setting. But, the last time I let the setting convince me to try an Assassin’s creed game was III, and that didn’t turn out so well. So yeah, it looked neat, but I don’t personally care.

For the final reveal, Yves  Guillemot reveals Ghost Recon: Wild Lands, a new open world tactical shooter. Although the game itself doesn’t really remind me of past Ghost Recon games, it all looks really slick. The footage shows off three different ways you can go about doing the same mission, and each looks equally satisfying. The whole thing has a real Metal Gear Solid V vibe to it, and that’s a good thing in my opinion.

And that’s the Ubisoft conference! This was way better than I remembered, with lots of completely new announcements and great looking trailers. It definitely had a few rough spots, but all in all, this was great. This time, I used Ubisoft’s video of the conference, which you can find right here.

Xenoblade Chronicles X Check In: Week 4

Much like last week, I simply haven’t had much time to play Xenoblade this week. I had a lot of extra things to deal with at my full-time job, plus Star Fox Zero released and I’m working on a review of it. But I did still manage to play a little bit, so let’s take a look at some numbers. My current play time is 30 hours and forty minutes, my main character is level 26, and I’ve completed chapter 7 of the story. Continue reading

Xenoblade Chronicles X Check In: Week 2

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster week for my Xenoblade Chronicles X play-through. Although I’m still really enjoying the game, a lot of it’s problems are becoming much more apparent. But as I was preparing to write a largely negative blog post this week, I got to a story section that really surprised me and made me excited all over again. I know I gave this warning last week, but just to be clear, there will be spoilers in these posts, so read at your own risk.

Like I did with last week, let’s start with some numbers. I have 22 hours of play time, I’m level 23, and I just finished chapter 5. This means I played for about ten hours this week, but I’ve only completed one story mission. So, what was I doing the rest of the time? Continue reading

The Rumored Changes to Zelda Might be Just What The Series Needs

 

Earlier today, investigative journalist/blogger Emily Rogers posted some rumors about the upcoming Legend of Zelda Wii U game. None of it is confirmed, but she’s been right in the past, most recently when she stated that a Paper Mario game was in development for Wii U before Color Splash’s announcement. So while we can’t treat these as fact, there’s good reason to at least think about them seriously. Continue reading