E3 2012: Ubisoft Brought The Games And The Weird
I’ve come to expect hilarity when it comes to annual Ubisoft E3 press conference. This year had me a little concerned after the show started with a new host who seemed to be playing it straight with no hijinks whatsoever. Then the host, Aisha Tyler, said she had girl wood. From that point on, I knew the old Ubisoft was back.
The press conference started with a full dancing montage that was to be the announcement for Just Dance 4 coming to all major consoles including the Wii U. That was only the start to a night dedicated to amazing new titles with a major focus on Nintendo’s new home console.
After Just Dance 4, most of us watching probably thought that Ubisoft wouldn’t take us in any weird directions. Thing is – Ubisoft took us in every weird direction there was starting with a gameplay demo for Far Cry 3 that opened with the main character being straddled by a topless woman. The event caused a trending topic -#Ubiboobs – to appear on Twitter for a while.
Beyond the initial surprise, Far Cry 3 impressed with its amazing visuals and admittedly colorful design. After Far Cry 2 took the series away from its colorful roots on a tropical island, Far Cry 3 looks to be bringing back the tropics in a big way. Also, did anybody else get a Joker vibe from the main villain? That seems to be intentional as the tagline for Far Cry 3 is “Step into Insanity.” Check out the NSFW trailer below:
Next up, Ubisoft showed off a trailer for Splinter Cell Blacklist, which was first unveiled during the Microsoft press conference yesterday. While the Microsoft presser showed gameplay, all Ubisoft showed was a pre-rendered cinematic.
Ubisoft kept the pre-rendered trailer ball rolling by announcing The Avengers Battle for Earth for Wii U and Xbox 360. Ubisoft’s game does not appear to be based on this year’s massive blockbuster film. It does end with characters that you see in the film, but it opens with fights between Wolverine, Venom, Storm, Magneto and Spider-Man.
It was the announcement of The Avengers for Wii U that kicked off Ubisoft’s Wii U extravaganza starting with Rayman Legends. It seems to be a sequel to Rayman Origins, but only in style and name. Ubisoft showed off the power of the Wii U with five player co-op that has one player using the Wii U Gamepad to clear obstacles for the other players. The most amazing moment comes at the end, however, with a level where the players have to keep running forward with the player with the Wii U Gamepad taps on portions of the level in time with the beat. People have been calling it a mixture of Super Mario Bros. and Elite Beat Agents and I couldn’t agree more. Check it out and be amazed:
Keeping with the Wii U theme, Ubisoft next announced what happened to last year’s Wii U game: Killer Freaks From Outer Space. If you remember the title, it was going to be a hardcore shooter featuring alien versions of the Rabbids. Now the game is called ZombiU and has one of the most impressive trailers ever set to “God Save The Queen.”
After that, Ubisoft did a quick recap of all the Wii U games hitting the console this year at the console’s launch. Those games including the aforementioned Avengers, ZombiU and Rayman Legens, but also includes Assassin’s Creed III, Sports Connection, Just Dance 4, Your Shape and Rabbids Land.
Speaking of Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft showed off a new gameplay demo featuring Connor taking down a British general. The game is really shaping up to be one of the best games this year and Ubisoft just keeps making the game look better and better with each showing. While Sony had the better demo featuring an amazing naval battle, Ubisoft’s demo was no slouch. Check it out:
Unfortunately, Ubisoft had to ruin the great show they had going with a cringe inducing demo for Shootmania. While the game itself has a great premise – user generated multiplayer arena shooter – the demo on hand was poorly implemented with a tie-in to eSports. I won’t post the video just to save your sanity. You can watch the entirety of the press conference at the bottom so you can indulge your morbid curiosity there.
After ruining any and all momentum they had, it was unsure if Ubisoft was going to bring it back. Thankfully they did and in a massive way. The publisher said their final game was going to be a surprise and what a surprise it was. Ubisoft announced Watch Dogs and it’s already shaping up to be game of the show.
Watch Dogs is a game about control, but on a massive level. The player has access to everybody’s records and can use this against them. The player also has control over the city which is exemplified by a scene where the player uses this control to mess with traffic lights to cause a massive crash pileup. It’s hard to really explain what the game is so check out the gameplay trailer below.
With that, Ubisoft closed their press conference this year with quite possibly the strongest finisher any publisher could have this year. We still have Nintendo later today which yours truly will be covering, but Ubisoft has preemptively won E3 this year with their strong lineup of titles and the peer joy that is Watch Dogs.