The Editor’s Soap Box: Ubisoft Take Gold at e3
With e3 done and dusted, it’s on with our lives as usual and back to keeping our ears to the grindstone. It’s no mean feat to look at everything objectively, especially considering the major levels of razzmatazz that each company pulled in order to grab our attention.
Being totally honest with you I love the idea of new IPs, but I can’t ignore the excitement I have for some of my favourite franchise’s latest installments. Ubisoft have been a favourite developer of mine for a long time and have produced some of the most exciting IPs in my years of gaming including Splinter Cell, Far Cry and to a certain degree, Assassin’s Creed.
It’s fair enough to say, with full disclosure, that I’m a little biased towards the company as a whole, but they managed to absolutely steal the show with their presentation. If we can ignore the bad jokes, terrible acting (and that sentiment is true in every one of the major presentations) they produced, not only the greatest quantity of work, but also maintained a high standard throughout.
Their footage not only provided them with their own cross-platform presentation (yes console owners, the Watch Dogs footage was PC), but it provided the necessary filler that each platform-owner needed to fill their time slot.
Nintendo can be thankful that they’ve always supported new technology (they’ve been huge advocates of motion technology over the years), and it shows that they’re not afraid to delve into the unknown with the Wii U. The titles they’ve announced for the Wii U may seem a little gimmicky at first, but they’ve used the tech in a clever way and we have to remember that it’s only the beginning.
As far as titles go, there may be a few old favourites making a return, some with changes that may baffle fans, but there’s always a reason. I should stress that I’m not one for making knee-jerk reactions to development choices (I’m looking at you Splinter Cell), but I would most definitely like to see how all of these new concepts come together.
The final cherry in Ubisoft’s e3 presentation was the reveal of Watch Dogs. Holy s**t!! This game was for me, and quite a lot of people, the highlight of the entire event and it landed in the first day. It seems to blend the mechanics of both Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed, and it appears to be attempting this in a true open world, a first for the company to a certain degree (did Far Cry 2 really count as open world?).
It was visually astounding, well acted and slick. The brutal gameplay on show was vicious and reminiscent of SC: Conviction’s take-downs, and the dialogue was suitably sweary without seeming forced (and like it was written by 12 year olds).
The biggest surprise came at the end of the demo, when the camera pulled back to reveal another character standing on top of a building, with a gaming handle above their head. This is clearly a multiplayer reveal, but how it will work is anyone’s guess at this point, but this new IP is now the one to watch.
For me, Ubisoft have come up top-trumps and, while I’ll talk more in-depth about what caught my eye game-wise later, they deserve a hearty pat on the back for making this years e3 presentations worth watching.
Take a bow Ubisoft, you’ve earned it.