Ubisoft’s E3 2012 Press Conference: What We Thought
With some surprises thrown in that haven’t been shown to the press or the public just yet, Ubisoft seems to have won the day in terms of press conferences among the Game Front staff. Here’s what we thought of what Ubisoft had to show to kick off E3 2012.
Ron Whitaker: Going in, I wasn’t all that interested in Ubisoft’s offerings this year. After all, we’d already seen a ton of stuff about Assassin’s Creed 3, and there wasn’t alot on the radar.
That was before.
Now that the conference is over, I’m actually stoked for Ubi’s lineup. Splinter Cell: Blacklight looks to be bringing us another great Sam Fisher game (although without Michael Ironside I’m skeptical). AC3 still looks marvelous, and Far Cry 3 still looks over the top crazy. Top all that off with the reveal of Ubisoft Montreal’s long-awaited title, Watch Dogs, and I’m thoroughly impressed.
Well played, Ubi. You’ve learned a lot about how to handle one of these events. I still think you could dispense with the celebrity hosts, and you’ve showed why eSports still hasn’t caught on like we hoped it would, but you ARE learning.
Grade: B+ (this could have been an A if it wasn’t for that annoying guy whose name I can’t spell [He means Tobuscus. --Hornshaw.])
Matt Hughes: It was a strong showing from Ubisoft this year not only because they delivered on games and sequels that we knew were coming, but because they were willing to show off brand new IPs.
But first, Assassin’s Creed 3. Personally, I hated the sequels to ACII, but ACIII looks incredibly fresh and clearly showcases how much time and effort has been poured into every facet of development. Environmental traversal through trees and along rock faces looks more fluid and fun than any game I’ve seen, execution and combat looks great (tomahawk ftw), and the setting is so oddly enticing that I actually want to go study some history.
Of course, Far Cry 3 and Rayman Legends still look incredible, but I’m definitely more interested in learning about the non-sequels. ZombieU could be great (even if we didn’t see any gameplay footage) and Watch Dogs looks confusingly good. What exactly is it about? What is your goal? Was that whole demo partially multiplayer? My interest is officially sparked.
Although once again, the non-American Ubisoft put on one of the more awkward presentations by trying too hard to be American and edgy. It’s ok, Ubisoft. French accents are awesome! Comedians improvising out of their element? Not so much.
Phil Hornshaw: Ubisoft’s presser was certainly…awkward. Well, at points it was extremely awkward. The likes of Aisha Tyler and Tobuscus didn’t help, nor did starting with the early trailer for Far Cry 3 that started with an awkward sex scene and boobs. In truth, Ubisoft was all over the map with its stuff.
But at the very least, it wasn’t boring.
Like Microsoft and EA earlier in the day, Ubi did lean on old franchises. Far Cry 3 is coming and looks (to me, a non-Far Cry fan) a lot like a lot of other shooters. But it’s bright and intense, at least, and that’s good. Then there was Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which continues in the overall trend of “actioning-up” slower-paced games, with protagonist Sam Fisher becoming a quicker and more accurate killer. I love Splinter Cell and the stealth of the series, but I must say I’m intrigued by Fisher’s speedy new abilities. However, to me, a Splinter Cell without Michael Ironside is not a Splinter Cell at all.
Regardless, Ubi had some impressive stuff. Lots of Wii U games that don’t look (necessarily) like garbage. A lot of Assassin’s Creed 3 footage that was very impressive. And the came-out-of-nowhere what-the-hell-is-this title Watch Dogs, which I’m still struggling to understand but in which I’m very interested. If nothing else, Ubisoft succeeded in making even it’s old franchises look new and shiny, and it seems like there are some risks being taken in there as well. I’m left wanting more, and that’s a good thing. Plus, the good vastly outweighed the awkwardness that permeated most of the presser.
Game Front is on-site at E3 2012 all weekend (June 5-7), bringing you daily news, hands-on previews, interviews and pictures. Stay tuned for more PC gaming-focused coverage!