Sitting in balmy downtown Los Angeles, we are warming up (literally) for the Ubisoft E3 2011 Press Event. Celebrating 25 years of entertainment, Ubisoft is preparing to unleash their 2011/2012 lineup.
Kicking things off, Ubi shows off their incredible lineup of the last 25 years. Yves Guellimot, Co-Founder and CEO of Ubisoft takes the stage to first thank us for our support throughout the years.
Rayman Origins is introduced by Michel Ancel, creative Director of Ubisoft Montpellier and creator of the Rayman series. David Punset, Senior Programmer for Origins will run the demonstration of the product. Back to beautiful hand-drawn graphics, wonderful worlds, and now with cooperative gameplay. Rayman and his sidekick work together to make their way through a blue underground level riddled with spikes. The next level is clearly a Tetris world, as blocks fall and both characters have to climb them to proceed through the level. We even get a taste of the classic music. This world is clearly a Mexican-themed world as the characters descend into a pot of cheese with a lounging Jalapeno on the edge. Next the characters dive into an underwater level full of jellyfish, pufferfish, and some crazy-googly-eyed monster that chases them throughout the rest of the stage. Next up they express their friendship in the best way possible — smacking the crap out of each other. Finally we see some trolls piloting a ship in an ice world as the two characters race after them astride some sort of crazy mosquito creature. Again the cross-platform craziness rears its head with falling Tetris blocks and other obstacles as the pair race after the rogue ship. The art direction and humor is inspired. We’ll get our cooperative hands on the game later this week.
Aaron Priceman takes the stage to talk about how gaming has evolved since 1986, giving rise to the gaming culture we are all a part of today.
Gaming is Adventure: Their Steve McQueen inspire title is “Driver: San Francisco.”
Driver: San Francisco
A trailer reveals the title from Reflections. Back to the open world concept, this title will feature crazy muscle cars, sports cars, big rigs, dune buggies, insane ramps and jumps, and your favorite Italian pavement rocket Supercars. The title will be multiplayer, and will be playable on the E3 floor.
Dan Hay and Jamie Keen from Ubisoft Montreal take the stage to talk about their newest creation –
Opening in a lush jungle scene with incredible draw distance, we spot some guerrillas roughing up some hostages as we take pictures as the scene unfolds. Lost in the lens of the camera we never saw the guy pop us in the face with the but of his gun. Captured, our interrogator reads us the riot act about how he’s killed you once already. With your bound arms tied to a block, he drops you into the water to drown, killing you once and for all among other poor victims suffering the same fate. Freeing ourselves from our bonds we swim to the surface just before we black out. Swimming out of a nearby waterfall opening we drop a foot soldier and take his weapon. The odds a little more evened, we take out ore enemies, securing a silenced pistol and a knife. Jumping down in a straight up Rambo style, we descend on some poor soldier, plunging the knife into his chest. Slowly and quietly making our way into the camp below we see the gruesome scene unfold as soldiers dispose of bodies preparing to leave in a nearby helicopter. Having seen enough we start cutting them down with explosive barrels, melee attacks and more as we move towards and then hijack the enemy chopper. Making god our escape, we gun down soldiers on the ground until the inevitable rocket detonation against the side of our chopper. Somehow we survive the process and slowly get to our feet. Our captor once again steps up to us and explains again how the definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.
Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software takes the stage to talk about Brothers in Arms franchise. They are trying to take a completely new angle on the WWII genre.
Band of Bros: The Furious Four – coming 2012
Stitch, Crocket, Chok, and Montana make up a band of soldiers that are absolutely in love with kicking Nazi ass. In a page out of Inglorious Basterds, the four of them throw tomahawks, unleash chainguns, whip Bowie knives, and generally unleash havok on their enemies.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Game
This title is a cooperative adventure in a beautiful cel-shaded hand-drawn style that resembles a comic book style. The characters are over the top, slightly exaggerated, and detailed. Tintin, a reporter, and his dog Snowey go on a grand adventure together in a game that is fun for the whole family. The game will tie into the Paramount title of the same name, giving everyone a chance to play on a 2D plane.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Tommy Jacob and Roman Campos Oriola from Ubisoft Paris take the stage to unveil more details on Future Soldier. Kicking off the live action demo, we see a Parrot Drone get grabbed and drowned as our Ghosts make their way through chest-deep nasty water. Engaging camo that allows us to be almost invisible we cooperatively take out three enemies silently. Silently killing a captor we stack up and use thermal optics to scan the room. We prepare to breach, with all of the ghosts entering the Nigerian hut from different angles, cutting down the enemies and capturing one for a little Q&A session. Our Ghosts enter a nearby village and find that the area is full of civilians as well as enemies, making target selection very difficult. Closing in on a place called “Oil Harbor” we shift to satellite scan for an overwatch of the area. We are advised to clear the area and secure our target package. Activating our optical camo again, we deploy our Parrot Drone and observe the enemies in the area. With only light reinforcements we make our way to the oil pipeline area and begin to cut down their forces. Quickly the firefight turns hectic, forcing our whole team to engage at will from shifting cover. Cutting underneath overhead pipelines, we find our VIP in a cargo container. Our VIP is bound and has a bag over his head. Our ghosts have to slow move as we shoulder-pull our VIP through the area. A Russian Hind gunship keeps us well pinned, forcing us to change tactics constantly. Calling in thermobaric airburst charges, we cut down the two gunships, clearing our area and ending the demonstration. This four player cooperative play was all done live. We’ll be able to play Conflict in the booth later this week.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online
This online free PC experience will allow players to jump in and utilize uch of the tech seen in Future Soldier, as well as the cover dynamics and other advancements. Have I mentioned that it’s free? Ubisoft Shanghai have created this title and the beta will begin shortly. you’ll be able to carry your achievements and experience between the two titles.
Adrienne Pechere and Anne Blondel-Jouin fro Nadeo take the stage to talk about maniaplanet and their new open-world PC racing title. This title is about customization, giving you the car, the track, and more options to build your own game. The game is completely powered by player interaction and editing, so there is always fresh content. The insanity you might find in Rollercoaster Tycoon is sen here, with incredible jumps and tracks that would be impossible in the real world. Shootmania and Questmania will join Trackmania, giving players the controls to build shooters and RPGs of their very own using powerful and flexible tools.
Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking
Antoine Henry fro Ubisoft Paris takes the stage to show us this first look at this Kinect title. While he was giving his presentation, the Rabbids were coming into the screen. Kicking and stomping them in a whack-a-mole style, the Rabbids will be in your living room. You can play up to four players simultaneously. In a mode called Fill the Shapes, you have to use all four players to fully fill the shape. this requires some twister-like awesomeness that you have to hold to repel the Rabbids. A requisite picture is taken after each shape. A Sumo wrestler, a UFO, and a Dracula are just a small example of the game. The game is slated for November 8th, and only on Kinect.
Just Dance 3
A quick trailer showing regular folks, celebrities, and even a shoutout from a glee alum, gives us a good idea of some of the new moves that’ll be in Just Dance 3. Four player cooperative play comes to the 30 million+ players of the previous two titles when the game ships on October 11th of this year. Tony Key from Ubi San Francisco takes the stage to talk up Just Dance 3 a bit more.
Rocksmith: Authentic Guitar Games is going to attempt to teach us all how to finger our frets. Using real gear, and showing real frets and finger positions will give players the ability to truly learn the craft. The trailer talks about the ability to plug in a real guitar, likely with a peripheral that ships with the game. Fall of this year, we’ll get to find out!
Yourshape: Fitness Evolved 2012
This title plans to expand the game by allowing you to engage you and your friends in a title that should get us all in shape. Showing dance, running, and martial arts, the game is set to ship in November of this year. We’ll have to get our hands on it to see how the tech has improved since last year.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
To unveil the next chapter in the series, Alexandre Aancio and Martin Schelling of Ubisoft Montreal grab the controller. This is to be Ezio’s final chapter – his personal quest to discover his connection to Altier. His adventures will clearly pull him far away from his homeland, through the Ottoman empire, the desert, a knight-defended castle, and more. Captured and forced to walk the plank, a much older Ezio prepares for his fate. The Ottoman soldiers are hot on his trail, and once again he must blend and fight to survive.
The live-action demonstration shows a marked improvement in the tech, giving great detail to Ezio, people in the environment, and the environment itself. The marketplace is filled with tapestries, dancers and juggles, haggling merchants, guards, and food carts. Ezio isn’t about to go down without a fight though – tossing down a smoke bomb and using his Eagle vision, he dispatches his enemies in a cloud of smoke, making his way towards the nearby boat dock. Placing an explosive near the massive chain that holds the ship docks anchored to the lighthouse, Ezio makes his way onto the dock and dispatches his prey with the help of his cadre of fellow assassins. Using a mechanical flamethrower, he makes tinderboxes of the nearby boats, lighting them all aflame from a distance. The world is plunged in red glow as the flames spread. Escaping across burning bows and smouldering crossbeams, Ezio narrowly escapes via a ship sail rigging line. His Ottoman enemies without their boats, Ezio climbs aboard the last ship in the harbor to make good on his escape. Look for the game this November.
Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming.
Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter.
Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 27 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).