Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 1 of E3 '09: Ubisoft

Day 1 of E3 2009 ends with Ubisoft's press conference, which was laden with French accents. To start, CEO Yves Guillermot announced the UPlay service that comes bundled in Ubisoft games; it's basically an XBox dashboard but exclusively for Ubisoft games. They talked for a long time what they're doing to advance in the media realm to become more than a game developer. From here, they transferred to introducing film director James Cameron, who talked for what seemed to be an eternity about his new movie Avatar (not based on the nickelodeon show, but his own creation) in great detail. Once everyone woke up, they finally brought out the games, starting with Red Steel 2. This time, the game is set in a Samurai Western setting. The first game had serious problems with controls but this time, they're utilizing the Motion Plus Wiimote addon. Hopefully, this will fix the problems that made the first game so unplayable for me. From there, they went on to the sports games in their arsenal which include Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage and Academy of Champions, which is an arcade soccer game introduced by the great Pele. After sports, the men behind Splinter Cell: Conviction came out to show off what Sam Fisher has gotten into now. The game boasts a fully interactive environment for interrogation, Mark & Execute (Sam is able to target an enemy and stealthily assassinate them, allowing for quick execution of multiple enemies), and Last Known Position (shows where enemies think Sam is so he can gain tactical positioning). The game has revived my interest in the series as it comes with an aesthetically appealing design (the game turns into a B&W filter when you are hidden and objectives are projected onto the environment).
A little known project teased during the presentation was the touch based RTS Ruse. From what they showed, units are moved by hand movements on a touch screen table, although I think the table will be replaced by the iPhone/iTouch.
Then, a few statistics were shared. Ubisoft claims the biggest selling IP in 2008 was their Imagine (yeah right) and that the biggest growing genre is fitness games. Supposedly, Ubisoft is making big steps in ensuring that tween girls have plenty to play as well as weight-conscious people. They announced their contender in the fitness genre, Your Shape for Wii, which will come bundled with a camera that will track all movements.
Other games shown include Rabbids Go Home for Wii, which is basically Ubisoft does Katamari Damacy, and the TMNT Smash-Up, basically another Super Smash Brothers clone.
Ubisoft closed the evening with the Assassins Creed 2 trailer. Set in Renaissance Italy, the game looks like more Assassins Creed but with more weapons and assassination possibilities. It's set for a November 17 release date.
Ubisoft started off the evening very slow and though they did gain a little momentum later on, they failed to really get me excited for Ubisoft games. A couple final questions for Ubisoft: No Beyond Good & Evil 2? And no Jade Raymond?



  1. While superficially similar to Katamari, rabbids is more about the acquisition of certain items, rather than anything that is availible. Plus, the designers were on PCP, not acid.

    I agree, Beyond Good and Evil needs a sequel.

    I'm a little irritated at the whole dashboard/ game management movement. Steam started the whole "let us manage your games" idea, and it works (imo). Windows Live is stupid, as anyone whom plays DoWII will attest, and I think Ubisoft is following that unpopular example.

  2. Well the sequel has already been confirmed. They just didn't show any new footage or information at their press conference. :(