Published on June 10th, 2013 | by Andy Astruc3
E3 2013: Ubisoft announces games, doesn’t screw up
Roll up, roll up, and prepare your minds for the most fantabulous, amazifying, splendiferate collection of gaming news to grace the last 24 hours. Probably. E3 rumbles forward at speed and Ubisoft stepped up to the plate with merely a glint of fear in their eyes. The overall experience of the Ubisoft press conference could be described as a roller coaster, but one of those coasters for kids where it just goes up and down a little while Disney-esque music plays. Entertaining without thrills.
A tincture of trepidation may be colouring your expectations, given that previous incarnations of Ubisoft’s stage presentations have included things like the dread mind-magician Mr Caffeine. Such worries have been unfounded this year — which is slightly disappointing — as all they did was chat awkwardly for a while and show off some pretty cool looking games in various genres. In favour of a wacky waving inflatable arm flaling tube man, Ubisoft hired actress Aisha Tyler to be a mouthpiece and completely legitimate, real gamer person on stage; it seemed to pay off, as she was only slightly awkward — which is about all you can ask for in a corporate presentation.
Apart from games, perhaps. Of which there were a moderate amount.
Once you got past the hashtags (what the eff is a #girlwood?) and the droning human voices, it all got extremely exciting with… Rocksmith! No wait, come back. It’s the 2014 Edition! More music and even more excuses to avoid working hard for any reason in your life. The trailer seems to suggest that learning the guitar is too difficult because you have to carry paper with music written on it, but the problem has been solved by replacing that bulky music book with an expensive video game console and TV.
Rayman Legends, the exclusive that was never to be, made another appearance — apparently only to remind people it still isn’t out yet. It still looks amazing, and a new CGI trailer proves their artists are the undisputed champions of strangely sexy super-deformed cartoon lady-girls. This time it was a barbarian.
If that isn’t your thing then you are a monster. Sorry, I mean if that isn’t your thing you might be interested in a little snippet of South Park: The Stick of Truth information that dropped: you can fart on people. Truly this is gaming’s legitimising moment. In no other medium can you fart in order to distract a powerful enemy and claim victory. Okay, maybe basketball. Farting has been a proud tradition in video games since you gained the ability to magically possess your own flatulence and make it explode in Abe’s Exoddus, and it’s wonderful to see that carried on by the South Park fellows. Under all the gleefully inappropriate humour there does look to be a pretty damn good RPG, however, so hopefully it comes out someday.
Continuing along Ubisoft’s boardwalk of ever-changing gaming genres, something car-related called The Crew was announced. CEO Yves Guillemot stated the game will revolutionise the racing genre. Alright then.
The concept is an online, persistent open-world where players involve themselves in a criminal network designed to “take over” the US. By racing and stealing cars, perhaps? Vehicles can be stripped down until naught is left but the mufflers, then presumably built up again, if you’re into that. You can customise cars on tablets which will then appear in the game, because in the mystical future of next year we all have tablets and gold chariots.
Mighty Quest for Epic Loot came up, with an open beta foisted in the direction of interested parties. The game is a multiplayer title about protecting your stash and stealing treasure from others. Rabbids Invasion was also there, being an interactive TV show for children. Which is silly, as this is about games, and games are for adults. It’s an Xbox One exclusive, so the console wars for the next generation are pretty much over.
Additionally, and to the great surprise of one old lady who clicked on the wrong link while looking for a hotpot recipe, Just Dance 2014 is a thing.
Ubisoft began winding things up with the announcement of two whole Trials games: Trials Fusion and Trials Frontier. Don’t get too excited about the latter, as it’s set to be a mobile game. Fusion, however, will be released on the Xbox One, 360, PS4 and PC. The two titles will reportedly have some sort of linked functionality, but I only really care if I can do a sick backflip and crack my neck vertebrae.
The final piece of noteworthy news was hidden under a downer-inducing pile of sad predictions about possible civilisation-breaking events. After talk of supply chains and plagues, Ubisoft brought out The Division (full title: Tom Clancy’s The Divison, because middle-aged fans of political novels need pandering to). The open-world RPG with online elements, squad tactics and quite a lot of snow seems like it could be a fun jaunt. A group of players in the demo cleared out an occupied station and showed off the nifty 3D map and HUD which overlays the environment. The gameplay itself looks fairly standard for a third-person cover shooter at this stage, but the idea of quickly transitioning from AI incursions to a fight against another player-led squad is tantalising.
Other than that, and a heaping helping of chattering buzzwords, there wasn’t much else of note. Ubisoft’s conference wasn’t a bellringer, but it also managed to avoid being a colossal embarrassment. That’s sort of a win when it comes to these bloated circus acts. Oh bugger, I forgot to mention Assassin’s Cre-