Ubisoft had their annual E3 press conference late yesterday afternoon and although they didn't announce any big unnamed games, they didn't disappoint in bringing out their heavy hitters. Hosted by Joel McHale (NBC's 'Community'), the event had some laughs, some awkward dialogue, games that are sure to be blockbusters and others that are all but likely failures.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, likely the biggest name game shown off, included a new trailer as well as some never before seen in game footage. Ezio is back from AC2, and this time he's the leader of the assassins against the evil Templars. Ubisoft stated they wanted to have larger scale events and displayed a scene in Monteriggioni that included taking control of a cannon high atop the city walls and destroying hordes of oncoming attackers. Brotherhood will also have more combat involving horses, and although not shown, the ability to play as Assassins or Templars online with friends.
It wasn't all highs though as Ubisoft didn't seem to get the message from last E3 when Nintendo was mocked for their Wii Vitality Sensor. Ubisoft introduced "Innergy", a device you slip on your finger and was used to display how controlling your breathing could result in "lowering your blood pressure which would be the equivalent of losing 20 lbs." Not to pass judgment before seeing the entire "game," but I have a feeling the only breathing alteration this product will provide is shortness of breath from laughing at the idea.
American gold medallist Shaun White also made an appearance to show off Shaun White's Skateboarding. This game's innovation is the ability to alter the environment on the fly. If you're grinding a rail, you can control the direction the rail will span, letting you reach greater heights and rooftops. If you come to a ramp you can decide which direction it will go. The game promises to feel like you are really riding a skateboard and Shaun white stated that he worked hard to make it feel as life like as possible.
Ubisoft then threw another curveball, introducing Battletag. What is this you ask? Well, it's some new sort of laser tag game that will collect data and send it to your computer. As much as I loved laser tag as a kid, this is another questionable game that might only interest people such as Barney Stinson.
Trailers were also shown Raving Rabbids Travel in Time, a Wii exslucive, and a few Kinect games, such as soccer, skiing and football all combined under a game titled Motion Sports. There was also a fitness type game that did show some promise. It gives you the ability to have a personal trainer, learn yoga or martial arts, and challenging your friends to beat your high scores in fitness type games.
Not stopping there, a game titled "Dust" was also shown that looks to be an elemental type game giving you control to alter the elements (water, air) and environment using Microsoft's Kinect. Continuing the Kinect based games was Child of Eden, seemingly a music type game where you fly through a colourful tunnel world using your arms to target enemies flying at you.
Driver fans will also be happy that Ubisoft is bringing back the series in Driver: San Francisco, stating they wanted to return to the roots of the series and make it feel more like the first game that made the series popular. You now have a new ability that lets you jump from one car to another using a power you've gained (the catch being you're actually in a coma), which seems like a rather interesting take on changing cars, making it so if you're losing a race or have taken a wrong turn, you can instantly get back into the thick of things.
Ubisoft's other big game was Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. A brief demo was shown of a squad of four sneaking up a beachfront to capture a target. Heavy use of the cloak was used and it seems that you will heavily rely on the AI teammates to complete objectives. From what was shown future Soldier will use a lot of stealth, but when the action gets heavy, it will be a very competent shooter. A very fluid cover system was shown and the action and gunplay looked as good as any other shooter.
The event closed with a rather odd presentation of simply Michael Jackson's name on the screen, and a bunch of dancers on stage. Without being told anything about the game, we can only assume Ubisoft is coming out with a new dancing game which will seemingly teach you how to dance like Michael Jackson... something every gamer has been waiting for.