Ubisoft Press Conference @ E3 2014 – Highlights

Ubisoft’s press conference event at E3 2014 was beyond amazing, with a selection of their new games being previewed, with a lot of gameplay also shown. It was by far the highlight of today’s events which have already seen games previewed by EA and Microsoft, although the Sony event is just an hour away. Anyway, here’s our lowdown on the event.

The event started with a gritty trailer for Far Cry 4 featuring a monkey smoking in the back of a van driving through the Himalayas. Soon the van was stopped by what looked like a border patrol outfit. They began searching the vehicle, but something goes wrong and they suddenly attack. The protagonist is then captured, but promptly freed and welcomed into the neighbourhood by a villain character strongly resembling David Bowie.

Our villain berates one of the border patrol guards for attacking the van, then promptly executes the man with a swiss army knife – very brutally. He then gives the player a hug, promises that you will both ‘tear shit up’ then kidnaps you, throwing a bag onto the player’s head and bundling him into a helicopter. At the end of the trailer, a Ubisoft rep mentioned there would also be a major Far Cry 4 announcement later on tonight/today (depending where you are).

Next up was Just Dance 2015, featuring that one song by Farrell Williams, plus songs by Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris. Players can also dance with friends online using Kinect to dance together.  Amazingly there’s also a phone app linked to the game, which lets you use your phone as a controller, meaning there is no player limit – anyone who can see the screen can play using their smartphone. Ubisoft claimed that  even 20,000 players in a stadium could enjoy the game, as long as they could see the screen.

A trailer for Tom Clancy’s division was shown, and more plot details were revealed. Players take on the role of secret agents embedded in society, tasked with uncovering a conspiracy behind the release of a disease into New York – players must take back New York. Although no gameplay was show, we have written a description in another article, since the gameplay was previewed in Microsoft’s event.

A racing game, The Crew, which features open world driving across the whole of the USA with no loading, promises open world driving mayhem, endless customisation. Featuring  just about all environments found in the United States, the game allows you to enjoy multiplayer with friends as part of 4 man crews performing challenges such a races, exploration and time trials.

To improve the game, extended access to the game has been granted for community members and driving experts, who will take part in crew battle playoffs on Twitch on the 11th and 12th of this month. You can also access the beta at thecrewgame.com/beta, avaliable on July 23rd. The Crew launches November 11th on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

One of the most anticipated games of next year, Assassin’s Creed Unity, was finally demoed at the event. Set in 19th century paris during the French revolution of 1793,  rioting is a common sight in the game. Crowds of hundreds of realistic people, all engaged in various activities, flood the streets – one of the game’s most memorable features.

The ‘systematic open world’, as described by Ubisoft, features all the vibrancy of the period, with no expense spared on the details. Fights often break out without the player’s direct input and random sidequests are common.

Our new Assassin, Arno, is no slouch in a fight. Armed with the hidden blade, a wrist-mounted crossbow and a multi-barreled pistol, Arno is as well armed as previous protagonists, but what really stands out is the fluidity of the swordplay in the game. His inner monologue provides the player’s objective, as HUD elements are minimal.

Arno’s attacks with swords look really natural, and even manage to convey some swashbuckling swagger. Freerunning also is much smoother, with less obvious transitions between animations such as between running and jumping and there are several new moves to perform.

Also included at the end of the briefing was a trailer, including gameplay for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. The preview bagan with aerial footage of a house, which contained terrorists and one hostage. The team of players communicated via voice and began to plan their attack as the terrorists commenced with barricading themselves inside.

After sending in a drone, which promptly got shot by the terrorists,  the counter terrorists abseiled down the side of the building, and literally broke in. This was the main feature of SIege, every part of the building was destructible. We saw players shooting each other through holes made by bullets, blasting through walls and ceilings to flank their enemies and making their own routes through the house by blasting it to pieces.

The game ended as the counter terrorists, one leaning round a riot shield cornered the terrorists, in a room behind some doors. Two stood ready by the door whilst one counter terrorist went in through the ceiling. It was tense, the terrorists were down to their last man at the end of the trailer, but it seemed the attacking team were going to prevail, even though the hostage was injured.

Siege was the gem of Ubi’s showcase, but of course there were many other games to see at E3 that evening,  especially from Microsoft and EA. We’ll bring you coverage on those when news gets out.