E3 2011: Thoughts On The Ubisoft Press Briefing
Ubisoft’s E3 media briefing was something of a surprise. Despite lasting only 70 minutes, they managed to to cram in a lot of information into a presentation that at times felt like it featured every single Ubisoft employee, even pulling off the spectacular feat of making a Raving Rabbids game look like a lot of fun while also making us eat our words on Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Not everything they showed was worth our time but and a lot of it was old news, but it was a brisk, meaty briefing that never failed to inform, even if they tried a bit to hard to entertain. Best of all, the long awaited demonstration of Assassin’s Creed: Revelation didn’t disappoint.
What We Hated
2 words: Aaron Priceman. The presentation began with an appearance by the co-founder of Ubisoft, followed by a short Rayman: Origins briefing by Michel Ancel himself. Awesome! We loved it! And then Ubisoft went and puked all over the whole thing by bringing out the actual host of their Briefing, media personality and all around mega douchebag Aaron Priceman, AKA “Mr. Caffeine”. In between excellent appearances by actual Ubisoft representatives and developers, Mr. Priceman ‘entertained’ us with hackneyed jokes, out of date references and a joke delivery so forced you’d think it was being held at gunpoint. The only thing that saved him? ‘I’m not afraid to do a few dick jokes,” he said, and that would have been enough to love him forever had he then returned to annoying th crap out of us. It’s baffling that a company that made its career making fun, whimsical games would introduce it’s latest slate via the mouth of a man who seems to be the Greek God of cocaine, but there you go.
What We Liked
The presser was managed very effectively, particularly in that no single presenter (aside from ‘Mr. Caffeine’) was allowed to overstay their welcome. Everything was short, sweet and left us wanting much more than we got. Highlights included:
* The presentation for TrackMania 2. Our soon-to-post hands on from their judges event on may 18th says more about the game than we will here, but the excellent (and short!) presentation only verified some of what we loved about it during our demo. (Trailer.)
* The footage/gameplay from Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier that made us eat our own words. (Trailer) Instead of the clunky, incomplete looking mess we experienced a few weeks back, we were treated to a grim, gritty and brutal war game with some rather impressive squad mechanics and excellent combat. We can’t wait.
* Farcry 3. Yes yes, it looks like Uncharted: Drake’s First person Adventure but we don’t care because damn, what demonstration. (Trailer).
* Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Just. Wow. In the five minute demo we saw gameplay that was nearly indistinguishable from cutscene graphics, and the destruction of Istanbul Harbor using Greek fire. If anything shut up complaints that Ubisoft needs to stop milking Ezio for everything they can, this did it. (Trailer.)
All in all, Ubisoft managed to drop their slate of upcoming games without taking 40 years to do it (coughcoughSonycoughcough), and left us wanting much, much more. Good job guys, though next year we pray they pick a better host.