Ubisoft needs to go back to a conference where they offload the talky bits to a comedian, like they did in 2009. Today's conference was just absolutely brutal. Too many bad jokes and rambling screamed for some editing by someone familiar with American culture. I mean, that crap may fly in Montreal but this is a classic case of not adjusting to your audience. I suspect that the editing was done by an intern who swallowed his pride rather than tell his bosses how awful their delivery was. I mean seriously, who would open with Rayman for 20 minutes!? To make matters worse, each segment felt stretched as though Ubisoft felt compelled not to have the shortest conference, and yet still felt short of EA's by 15 minutes. And for this blunder to happen on their 25th anniversary as a company? That's just sad.
That said, Ubisoft's lineup for this year's E3 is actually much stronger than that conference otherwise implied. Outdated 2D platformers aside, they have a solid offering for just about every audience. We didn't see much gameplay from their racing title Driver: San Francisco, but its history makes it sound promising. Its FPS, Far Cry 3, looks like a moderate upgrade on the previous title, both in graphics and storyline. A new Ghost Recon will satisfy die-hard FPS fanatics, showcasing new cover mechanics and weapon customization, as well as a new stealth option and "synchronized kills." A new title fills in the less serious shooter sub-category, under the rather odd-fitting umbrella of Brothers in Arms. This one doesn't seem to fit the series, instead taking on a Team Fortress-like cartoon appearance and making fun of Nazis.
Some new titles have also been announced, including a video game based on the Tintin comics. It's an adventure game with the apparent fluidity of Epic Mickey, but with a artistic character styling that fits the comic's French origins. Ubisoft has also announced a new Rabbids game that has very little to do with the previous iterations, instead using the annoying disgruntled rabbits as fodder for various Kinect party games. A new version of Just Dance 3 will be available for all three motion systems, the Wii, Kinect and PSMove, while new music game Rocksmith is filling the Guitar Hero void and taking up the battle against Rock Band. This title will rely on real guitars and purports to help players learn how to play a real guitar, while softening the learning curve by filling-in some notes in harder songs.
Most anticipated was of course news of Assassin's Creed. A third and final chapter of Ezio's story will be explored in November, when Revelations ships to local stores. This chapter is set in Constantinople at the heart of the Ottoman empire, and the trailer implies that this may be where Ezio crosses paths with the Assassins. The game features an aged Ezio with a badass grey beard, but he's learned a few new tricks as well, having figured out how to use both a zip line and a flame thrower. The latter is used to create some unprecedented explosions for the series, even knocking out the Animus (at least in the trailer) and leaving us with one heck of a cliffhanger.
Seriously Ubisoft, please let your games speak for themselves.