Ubisoft took the stage in the wake of a bit of a dud from EA, buoyed once again by the presence of Aisha Tyler and a lineup that everyone had kind of sussed already...one super awesome reveal aside.
But it wasn't Beyond Good & Evil 2.
Oh Ubisoft, you know me too well. Despite showing me no actual gameplay of Far Cry 4, that introductory one-sided chat with the new villain has me desperate for more seeing as I was such a fan of the last game. It looks like the new guy is going to have a crack at being a little bit more insane than Vaas too. Running in the in-game engine, the graphical detail was astonishing, and I'm coming round to thinking that maybe the Himalaya's could be a great setting after all.
Sadly, my internet collapsed for a few minutes during the Assassin's Creed Unity part, but from what I did see, the detail seems have increased over Black Flag on PS4, suggesting that the switch to new-gen only consoles has allowed Ubisoft to really unleash their graphical prowess.
Valiant Hearts looks set to be a deeply emotional experience, despite Ubisoft's latest trailer not giving anyone a damn clue what sort of game it is. But I still really want it. I don't know how they do that. Maybe after my 11th cup of coffee this evening, I just become super agreeable.
Not for exercise though. Good luck with Shape Up Ubisoft, now that Microsoft has fucked you over by not making the Kinect compulsory. Shit! I just realised, there was no Prince of Persia news. What the actual hell, Ubisoft?
Oh well, Rainbow Six: The Siege made for an impressive end to the show, but let's face it - it was no Watch Dogs. If the gameplay can show enough variation, I'm certainly going to remain optimistic for it. The damage shown as the house was ripped apart with bullets and C4 should have the boys at Dice a little worried too. There are similarities with Battlefield: Hardline, but it seems to be aiming for a smaller scale. Will less be more though?
Yet again, Ubisoft have delivered a presentation that, while not without it's faults, was an enjoyable affair with reveals that had me wanting more. Kicking off with Far Cry 4 with the introduction of the antagonist showed us that there's a new kind a crazy in town, and it likes its shoes blood-free. A shame the. That we didn't get an extended gameplay sequence beyond that, but as intros go it wasn't half bad.
The same can be said for The Division and The Crew, both of which delivered slickly made trailers, but didn't really show any new gameplay or features. At least Ubi had the sense to mix the eSports section with Shape Up to inject a bit of fun into it, unlike the Just Dance Now portion which was just plain awkward.
While we saw some of Assassin's Creed Unity at Microsoft's presser, it was good to see the dynamic nature of the game in action, as well as the openness of the game world of Paris. Hopefully we will find out in the near future if in co-op visiting players are assigned characters or if they are made from scratch, because the whole "make your own brotherhood" quote has me intrigued.
However, it was the final two titles that we're the highlights of the show for me. Valiant Hearts looks better and better each time I see it, and the fact I was choking up a little means I'm probably crashing from all the sugar I've eaten this evening, but I've got a feeling it will break me emotionally when I do play it (take note, EA - THAT'S the right place for emotions) but the surprise of Rainbow Six: Siege ensured it was yet another good showing from Ubisoft. That gameplay may well have been from an early build, but if players really do have that kind of flexibility at their disposal, then you can mark me down in the column named "most interested."
Oh, and Aisha Tyler rocked it, as always. And I'm not saying that because she's freakin' huge and could crush my head like a grape. #DangerZone
More than usual, the Ubisoft presser was filled with a lot of shootybangbang games. But when they're looking this good, I didn't really care. Far Cry 3 was fantastic, and its sequel looks just as invitingly dangerous. Pagan Min looks like another wonderfully unhinged-yet-appallingly-charismatic villain, and the opening scenes were brutal and shocking and immediately grabbed the attention -- it was a perfect way to open, though I'd have liked to have seen more.
That Ubisoft pandered to the more casual market with Just Dance 2015 and Shape Up was not a weakness. In fact, that they busted out an impromptu flashmob and then made two grown men do pushups is testament to the atmosphere of playful fun. More so than either of the previous two shows (admirable though Microsoft's might have been) this had a sense of real fun about it, helped in no small part by Aisha Tyler.
We have to mention UbiArt too -- Valiant Hearts, as Jon mentioned in his preview, is shaping up to be something really rather special. But UbiArt deserves to be expanded upon, to be licensed out perhaps and delivered into the hands of more creatives, possibly even into the hands of the community.
The Division still looks cool, The Crew still looks ambitious, and Ass Creed Unity still looks like Ass Creed, but it was Rainbow Six: Siege that really did it for me. It just looked so striking, so utterly its own game, with a sense of purpose and precision. Its destruction modelling looks like it'll make Frostbite weep, and there was a real sense that an attack could come from anywhere -- hence the need to plan ahead. It looked like a bullet-stuffed Monaco in a number of ways, with walls and floor mere opportunities rather than restrictions. It looked fantastic.
But even so, where the hell was Beyond Good & Evil 2, Ubisoft? Unless you're saving it for a more sophisticated, European audience at Gamescom. *wink*
As per usual, Ubisoft's presser was a class act that wasn't afraid to stop taking itself seriously every once in a while. Developers wheezed and danced as Aisha worked the room in potty-mouthed style, but the focus was always on the games.
Some seriously exciting games. Unity was a crowd-pleaser... in more ways than one since its enormous panicking crowds of virtual English-accented French revolutionaries were unmistakeably 'new-gen'... while The Crew's immense scale will give Forza Horizon 2 a run for its money. I actually quite liked the look of that Fitness game, Just Dance is always good fun and it's always nice to see innovative digital games like Valiant Hearts get the attention they deserve.
There were a couple of low points and missed opportunities. More explosive Far Cry 4 gameplay would be nice, The Division played it far too safe, and to add insult to injury Beyond Good & Evil 2 once again failed to turn up. Damn it Ubisoft, we're patient people, but you've been dangling the sequel in front of us for years now. This is getting ridiculous now, and frankly I'm leaving the conference with a sour taste in my... hold up, what?
Rainbow Six: Siege. All is forgiven, Guillemot, because this is pretty much my dream announcement. Rainbow Six action that lets us breach any surface and hinges around hectic tactics, not emotional storytelling nonsense. Good riddance, Patriots.
Here's hoping the finished product lives up to the trailers, mind. Fingers crossed.
@Dealspwn nicely done. High energy presentation and exciting games. EA could learn from that
— Mark Withers (@markwithers) June 9, 2014
@Dealspwn sounds crazy, but Shape Up is game of e3 so far. Exactly what I want from a workout game.
— Matthew Vose (@matthewvose) June 9, 2014
@Dealspwn Too hyped for Far Cry 4 and Division now. Prepared for disappointment with Rainbow Six following inevitable two years of hype
— Alex Jackson (@flalexander) June 9, 2014
— HeatherTaylorStanley (@Supernaturalxox) June 9, 2014