Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil creator Ancel has started up his own studio, named Wild Sheep. There are thirteen staffers, and the studio already has a new game in development. We're pretty sure it'll be a whimsical delight whatever it is.
However, Ancel will still be remaining with Ubisoft to lead "select projects at Ubisoft Montpellier", including one that's apparently "very close to his and the team's heart".Click here to read more...
Platforms: PS3 (reviewed) | PS4 | 360 | XO | PC
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
With a World War I setting, Valiant Hearts: The Great War explores relatively unfamiliar ground for gaming, or even movies to be honest, as it was generally WWII that inspired so many films and games. It’s hard to believe that the human race had the capacity for war again after the events of WWI and Valiant Hearts plays an important role in showing us that this was one of the darkest moments of humanity’s very chequered past.
Unlike most war games though, Valiant Hearts isn’t another one-man-army first-person shooter or a strategic tactical sim. It’s a heavily story-driven experience with puzzling and old-school adventuring at the core of the gameplay.
The hand-drawn visuals ensure that you’ll fall in love with the game early on and they certainly helped open a few doors for the game in terms of coverage when it was first announced. Like Rayman Legends and Child of Light, the game uses Ubisoft’s fantastic UbiArt engine that brings hand-drawn images to life in a way that other engines can only dream of. Valiant Hearts goes for the solid colours and thick black lines of a comic book style instead of the moving watercolours we saw with Child of Light, proving for any doubters the versatility of the engine.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 | PS4 (tested) | Xbox 360 | Xbox One
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier (small internal team)
Hand on heart: I've never played anything remotely like Valiant Hearts: The Great War.
Perhaps that's not technically true. As a 2D puzzle adventure with simple yet engaging mechanics, we've had plenty of seemingly similar games to choose from over the last few years, but the tiny passionate team behind this UbiArt-powered title have managed to create an experience that would been laughed out of boardrooms across the industry.
Consider a game set in the grim battlefields of World War One... but with puzzles instead of visceral combat. A story that makes no-one the villain, instead focusing on the real people on both sides of the conflict and their personal dramas. A stylised and cartoony visual treat hand-drawn by a single designer, that still manages to flesh out strong characters with a bare minimum of dialogue. Featuring brainteasers that challenge players while not bogging down the all-important plot. Inspired by a small museum of correspondence and artefacts from the front, educating us about real events without becoming horribly depressing.
In effect, Valiant Hearts is too ridiculously left-field and experimental to exist by conventional AAA publishing logic, yet here it comes courtesy of Ubisoft. Having spent several hours playing the latest production build at their Guildford UK headquarters, accompanied by associate producers Gregory Hermittant and Guillaume Cerda, I can report that it promises to be rather special indeed.
You'll laugh, you'll cry and you might just learn something too - so long as the finished article matches our impressions so far.Click here to continue [Beware mild spoilers] >>
Thanks to the 20%-off voucher code listed above, you can get hold of the latest Rayman title for an absolute bargain of a deal. Overall it will save you around £4 over the next cheapest listing.
Colourful, charming, and with the capacity to challenge your platforming skills to the extreme, Jon stated in his review that "Rayman Legends isn't just one of the best platformers we've seen in twenty years, but one of the very best games." For under a tenner I think you'll get your money's worth from this game, and then some. Thanks to nickkelly @HUKD!
Here's yet another chance to get hold of the latest Rayman game for the £20 mark. This deal from Ubisoft's official store will save you over a fiver compared to the next cheapest deal elsewhere.
As Jon put it in his review, "Rayman Legends isn't just one of the best platformers we've seen in twenty years, but one of the very best games." For £20 that's pretty good going, I'd say. Thanks to gmac @HUKD!
Rayman Legends is hands-down one of the best games of 2013. No, scratch my last.
Rayman Legends is hands-down one of the best games of this generation. This superb platformer surprisingly doesn't feel lacking without the Wii U's touchscreen functionality, which actually isn't anywhere near as fun as the fast and fantastic thumbstick-powered action itself. £16.00 is an utter bargain. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD for the GAME link!
Platforms: PS3 | PS4 | Xbox 360 | Xbox One | PC
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier (internal team)
Games tend to shy away from World War One as a potential setting, and it's easy to see why. The miserable, hopeless carnage of trench warfare simply can't equate to fun or entertainment in a traditional sense without totally trivialising the conflict, instead only allowing niche titles to explore it in any meaningful way.
So it's refreshing to see a small Ubisoft Montpellier team approaching The Great War from an entirely new perspective, a 2D puzzle adventure that focuses not on the battles, but on the people, teasing out the humanity behind it. Valiant Hearts is very much a labour of love for its 15-strong studio, drawing on real letters from the front lines that never made it home for inspiration, and real events and photographs to anchor players in the setting. Throughout its ten-to-twelve hours, you'll experience the reality of World War One through the eyes of five diverse characters on both sides of the trenches, whose stories ultimately conspire to bring two lovers together. Thanks, in no small part, to a heroic dog.
"We take you from 1914 to 1918," director Adrian Lacey told us during a recent preview event in Paris, "and basically these five protagonists intertwine as they go through their journey. The foundation of the story is to bring Karl [a German soldier] and Marie back together, it's a love story, and it's how all the perspectives of each character goes within that story. Their perspective of the war, why they're in the war."
Click here to read more...
We're not quite done with the Ubisoft reveals today, as we now know what the team at Ubisoft Montpellier will be working on now that Rayman Legends has been released. Titled Valiant Hearts: The Great War, the game takes place during World War I and will feature five characters with interweaving storylines. Other than the fact it will be using the UbiArt engine, all we know is that it will be a puzzle / adventure game hybrid, and that it will utilize a visual style of storytelling instead of dialogue (in a similar vein to Machinarium.)
Valiant Hearts: The Great War will be coming out on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One next year.
Anyone, anyone who played Rayman Origins on a PlayStation Vita will tell you how gorgeous it looked, how sumptuous those hand-crafted visuals were, and how Ubisoft's premier platformer popped on that OLED screen, nestled in your hands, on the go, on the loo, it didn't matter.
It was brilliant.
So we've rather been looking forward to Rayman Legends on Vita, not least for the bespoke touch controls that the portable console will enable. But bad news, sports fans... it's been delayed.Click here to read more...
If I were Nintendo, I'd be seething. Not just because failing Wii U sales forced Ubisoft to release a planned Wii U exclusive across multiple platforms, but because the title in question manages to comprehensively beat Nintendo at their own game. We've talked about Platinum "doing a Nintendo" with The Wonderful 101 -- a game that proves innovative, idiosyncratic, unmistakeably original and chock-full of whimsy -- but Rayman Legends is a game that bends Mario over its knee and spanks the plumber's recent work soundly.
This is, quite possibly, the best 2D platformer since the SNES era.
Origins was a fantastic game, but Legends takes things to a new level, also tossing in a bunch of Origins' stages just for fun as if to say, "Yeah, we made this too." This is a game made by a studio at the height of their powers and a cheery middle digit to any and all detractors of the 2D platformer.
I have to admit, I've been one of them, my idealism sullied by the lazy-if-solid Nintendo carousel that gave us New Super Mario Bros. Wii and U and will deliver Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze later this year. But Rayman Legends is fiercely inventive, shaking things up by delivering on the fundamental tenet that Nintendo used to espouse: giving the player something new every level.Click here to read more...
We've had to wait a bit for Rayman Legends, and it rather speaks volumes that Ubisoft are sending out Xbox 360 review code where possible for Rayman Legends. But Michel Ancel and Ubi Montpellier's glorious masterpiece is complete, and glorious it is indeed.
We've captured the opening scenes for your perusal in the usual unadulterated fashion, which means you'll see me screw up in some really basic places because this was the first thing I did after getting back from Gamescom.Click here to read more...
Developers: Ubisoft Montpellier
By rights, we should have been enjoying the delightful whimsy of Rayman Legends by now. But then, Ubisoft couldn't be held responsible for Nintendo's failure to provide a platform with even a whiff of the possibility of breaking even let alone making a profit. So Rayman Legends is going multiplatform, and whatever the circumstances surrounding that shift and whatever effect that move might have had on the Wii U, one thing is certain: more people will play it now. And that's a good thing.
But it turns out that the very best thing about Rayman Legends might not be the pinsharp HD aesthetics, the inventive level design and taut platforming, or the way in which you can manipulate an area's moving parts with Murfy. If the preview event I attended a few weeks back is anything to go by, the best bit comes in the form of a football match.
Yes, you read that correctly.Click here to read more...
If you missed out on the same deal last week, you’re in luck as GAME are once again in stock. With Amazon no longer price matching the offer it means there is a saving of £2 to be had with this one.
It ended up being a hardcore experience that won’t be to everyone’s tastes (much like the infamous Dark Souls) but those brave enough to venture into the virtual streets of London will find a game that absolutely nails the terror of surviving against the hordes of the undead. Thanks to ian2009 @ HUKD!
The Wii U owner amongst you who didn’t get this at the console’s launch last year might find this deal of interest, as it’s the lowest price we’ve seen for Ubisoft’s zombie survival horror title. The saving of just under £2 may not be anything to brag about, but the fact this one has seen its retail price almost slashed in half by GAME and Amazon is worthy of note.
It ended up being a hardcore experience that won’t be to everyone’s tastes (much like the infamous Dark Souls) but those brave enough to venture into the virtual streets of London will find a game that absolutely nails the terror of surviving against the hordes of the undead.