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E3 2014: Ubisoft Press Conference Recap

Ubisoft have absolutely nailed their E3 conferences recently. Their last two conferences have been solid throughout, hosted by the awkwardly aware Aisha Tyler and closed with a brand new game reveal. Whether they could continue this trend was the biggest question going into E3. Aisha is back and so are the big and exciting games we’ve come to expect from Ubisoft. Let’s breakdown how things panned out.
To open the conference we got our first look at the eagerly anticipated Far Cry 4, which is out later this year. The footage was of the opening of the game as we are introduced to the antagonist for the first time. It looks fantastic and I can’t wait to learn more about the characters and story when I play the game. Also, mark down another franchise that Troy Baker has starred in.

Next up was Just Dance 2015 as we got a gameplay trailer of the new game out later this year. Alongside the main game there is also going to be a game on smartphones called Just Dance Now. It was shown off in a strange live demo and looks to get everyone dancing together without the need of a games console (though you do still need a smartphone and a TV).

Tom Clancy's The Division, last year’s conference closer was up next and unfortunately all we got was a CG trailer. It was a good one but the game was shown off much better earlier in Microsoft’s conference where we got to see the game in action.

Ubisoft’s driving offering The Crew got a host of new info thrown at us. After a cool gameplay trailer that showed a two hour race from Miami to L.A sped up, we got news of both a beta and a release date. The beta will arrive on July 23rd while the full game will launch on November 11th. The game looks to be adding enough new elements in a very crowded genre and will hopefully be unique enough to stand out from the crowd.

Assassin’s Creed Unity was the next game to be shown off and after a CG trailer we were treated to another live stage demo. The co-op elements were shown off earlier at Microsoft’s conference so this demo was all about single player. While familiar, the sheer scale of the action definitely looks to be on a much bigger stage than we've seen in previous AC games. The amount of pedestrians on screen is staggering and will help when blending into crowds considerably and how high the assassin was when observing his target was very impressive.

A new fitness game called Shape Up was shown off next that looks to add some much needed fun to the fitness game genre. Aisha continually poked fun at how lame these type of games can be and how they are hoping they can add a level of competition to working out that will inspire you to push yourself harder. The stage demo was a funny one with two game developers competing in a push up contest and the game actually looks pretty fun. If it works correctly of course.

A dark trailer for Valiant Hearts was next and changed the mood considerably after the light hearted presentation of Shape Up. The game looks fantastic and hopes to pull on the heart strings drastically when it launches on June 25th.

And finally the closer. Watch Dogs. The Division. And now...Rainbow Six: Siege. Not Rainbow Six: Patriots that hasn't been shown in about four years. Presumably a name change and not a completely different title, we got a full gameplay demo of a multiplayer match that was very interesting indeed. It looked stunning with a crazy amount of detail as walls fell apart around the team as they tried to save a hostage. Seeing a multiplayer FPS match with brains rather than just running and gunning was super refreshing and it’s nice that Rainbow Six wasn't Call of Duty-ified like 99% of shooters these days.

So what did we think of the conference overall? I personally thought it was good but definitely lacked compared to recent years. The predictable titles like Assassin's Creed and Just Dance were solid, Far Cry 4 looks great but left me wanting more and the final reveal of Rainbow Six: Siege while good certainly didn't leave me blown away like Watch Dogs did two years ago. Ubisoft did enough and certainly have plenty to look forward to over the next 18 months but this wasn't a conference that will be remembered for a long time like previous events have.


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