Ubi E3 Ubisoft E3 2012 Highlights: Far Cry 3, Rayman Legends, AC3, Watch Dogs and MoreThe GT crew was a little late to the Ubisoft festivities, but that doesn’t mean they missed out on the action. Ubisoft got the party started with the announcement of Just Dance 4, complete with dancers demoing moves from the game live and a performance from Flo Rida. They followed that up with trailers and awesome footage from Far Cry 3. Here’s Ron’s in-depth recap of the rest of the conference:

A shade late to the Ubi event, but we got to see the tail end of Far Cry 3. There is an entire archapelligo of islands to discover and explore – the game will not be linear, but instead will allow players to go where their heart takes them. A big element of the game appears to be hallucination and insanity as the game unfolds.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist – Max Beland, Creative Director of the game gives us another look at Blacklist. Since we’ve already seen the game in action, we got to see an exclusive trailer called “Welcome to Fourth Echelon”. It shows sam infiltrating underneath a truck, quietly and quickly eliminating enemies with crazy precision, and even a new gadget that looks like a ball that turns into a spider to spy on his enemies. Descending (inverted, mind you) into a room to retrieve a hostage, Sam gets a bit of sniper support from a new ally. The game closes with the hostage asking “Who are you? CIA?” and Sam’s response – “Welcome to Fourth Echelon”

Next up, Marvel’s Avengers: The Battle for Earth. A nice CGI trailer showing Spiderman, Magneto, Wolverine, Storm, and the entire Avengers team squaring off against one another – it’s slated for Wii U, Xbox 360, and PS3 this Fall. This kicks off the coverage of the Wii U.

No surprise that Ubisoft is bringing their flagship title, Rayman Legends to Wii U, and Michael Micholic, Sr. Game Manager, is on hand to present it. The demo shows fantastic graphics on the large screen, as well as the Wii U screen. Murphy, the character for the Wii U that helps you by ‘touching’ everything to make the world react, is activated by swirling, touching, dragging, and poking the screen as appropriate. In the final version of the game, you’ll be able to play with up to 5 players cooperatively. Globox joins Rayman for more platforming action. During one sequence we see the player use the tilt functions to rotate puzzle elements in the environment. Next up, we see the interaction between the remote and the Pro controller. The pro controller player handles Rayman’s running and dodging, while the Wii U Gamepad player has to tap points on the map to handle the various puzzle elements which also kicks off a rousing soundtrack. This demo, like last year’s, is a perfect example ofwhat a solid gameplay demo looks like.

Wii U Exclusive – The next Wii U release title is a action-heavy Zombie killing first person shooter. Slow motion CGI renders dot the screen as a warped version of America the Beautiful plays in the background. Characters committing suicide in the face of a zombie horde, running over zombies with vehicles, being ripped apart, beheaded, and otherwise destroying or being destroyed gives us a great look at the tone of the title, if not gameplay. The game is entitled Zombie U. The Wii U catalog also included YourShape Fitness Evolved 2013, Sports Connection, Just Dance 4, Rabbids Land, and much more.

On to Assassin’s Creed III. The trailer kicks off with a gorgeously rendered look at a battle between British regulars and American rebels. Overseen by a bald eagle in the distance, the eagle soars through the forest until it becomes our hero, Connor. Pushing through the ranks, mounting a horse, sliding through the landscape, and then leaping directly into battle, our hero single-handedly eviscerates his enemies with paired dagger and hand-axe. With rutheless effeciency he clears a path to the British Commander, leaping through the air and striking him down with an arrow to the shoulder. Ending his life with his trusted axe, the battle tide is certainly turned. Washington looks on and knows that his enemy is routed. Francois Pelland, Producer of AC3, takes the stage to talk at length about this title.

We start our gameplay demo in New England, in the winter. Connor runs along side deer, rushing through the landscape, running along tree limbs, and branches. Ducking into the underbrush for stealthy cover, he takes down a large buck. As he approaches the buck for the kill, a pack of wolves decend on his position, eager to rob him of his life and his dinner. Taking the wolf down with his hidden dagger, Connor walks down into the nearby camp. Giving the furrier/butcher the meat he requested, Connor collects a small reward for his effort. Speaking with an ally, Connor makes his objective known – he’s here for a templar. Mounting his horse, Connor pushes through the deep snow. As he dismounts, his lets sink deep into the soft snow. Using a nearby branch to give him height, Connor uses a whip to grab and hang a Redcoat. Showing off the vastly improved combat engine, Connor uses his axe and dagger to dispatch the rest of the crew.

A single soldier escapes, but Connor gives chase. Using an angled dead tree to take flight, Connor quickly dispatches his foe from the sky. Crawling across trecherous cliffs, Connor stealthily approaches a fortified encampment, eventually making his way to the rooftop. He spots several enemies, but a man named Silas is his objective. Using his wrist-cannon to ignite gunpowder, Connor uses the chaos to track down his target, leaping down with a stolen musket with bayonette to end his life. Before this incredible demo closes, we get to see a bit more gameplay trailer, showing Connor freely moving around the landscape in Winter and Summer, rain and snow. As the game will span the 30 years before, during, and after the Revolutionary War, it is good to see that the seasons are observed as well.

Moving on, we will get to see how e-Sports are being tackled by Ubisoft. The next title from the makers of Trackmania will be published by Ubisoft, entitled Shootmania Storm. Bringing in some of the heaviest hitter Counter-Strike players in the world, we get to see a guys vs. girls gameplay demo for Shootmania: Storm. The game is 3vs3, but in this “Elite” mode, the defenders get to play against just one of the Offensive team members. The offensive team member has a rail gun that instantly kills anyone it hits, where the defenders get rocket launchers that may take two hits to kill. The guys dominated this demo with a 3 to 1 victory. You”ll be able to see the Grand Finale of this fight on Twitch on June 6th at 11am. The game will be free to play when it ships later this Fall.

Yves Guelleot, CoFounder and CEO of Ubisoft, takes the stage now to talk about Watch Dogs, a completely new property for the company. The game trailer talks about how the power grid was compromised. In this future, a computer was put in place to control these sorts of vulnerabilities. The CTOS became a method of exerting a control over a single world, and this new title supposes that in this new world anything could be hacked. In this world, an entire city can become a weapon. You play the person behind the CTOS, able to control the world’s infrastructure. Light sources, cameras, and every other source of data in this city. What would you do if you could control information and city substructures? In what looks to be an open world, our player walks through a typical city street, quietly observing all of the various data sources attached to a person. Every person an uplink, every person a hub. Taking control over nearby communications, the player attacks cell phones of passerby, disabling them. This distraction in place, he heads into a nearby theater that has been retrofitted as a modern art show. Walking through the crowd, the player meets up with a tenuous ally.

Identifying the target as the proprietor of this art show, the player attracts the attention of an associate of Mr. Demarco – the aformentioned proprietor. Using his hacking skills, ourplayer scans the enviironment, noting the various information and infractions. A defaulted loan, traffic tickets, etc. flash above NPC heads as we locate the associate. Pulling an Asp from our duster, we dispatch a suspicious guard, making our way out into the rain-slicked city street. Our target found, we hack the city lights to cause a major pile-up of cars. The target unable to move, we close to engage. Unfortunately the man has guards – guards we dispatch easily. As we hide behind a nearby car, the outer body is ripped up by the high-calibur weapon being used against it. Fire rains down from nearby explosions as our fighting extends further into the street. Using the Asp to “open” the window, we yank DeMarco out of his car and
tell him that he’s going to deliver a messsage – we deliver that message with a pistol and end his life. As the demo progresses, a second player hacks our player’s phone, initiating his own chase of the first player! The game is called “Watch Dogs” and it looks completely unique.

Watch Dogs is a great way to close this press brief!