Last year, out of the five press conferences we had, Ubisoft was the best of the lot. And it had nothing to do with ‘padding it out’. Presentation issues aside, it had core game after core game. This time, it mainly focused on its next-gen efforts and ended with a reveal similar to last year with Watch Dogs.
This year, Ubisoft didn’t have the same magic at least in comparison to EA or even Microsoft in terms of the core. Splinter Cell: Blacklist got an extended trailer to kick off the show after Rocksmith 2014, followed by Mighty Quest for Epic Loot also got a showing. Rocksmith and Mighty Quest aren’t down my alley, Blacklist was rather blown by rather quickly and the same could be said of South Park: The Stick of Truth, out this holiday, which was a shame because that had a hilarious trailer. The only non next-gen game not ‘brushed aside’ was the very promising Rayman Legends.
From there on out, it was next-gen. We got a good look at new racing IP The Crew from Ubisoft Reflections and Ivory Tower in France. However, Assassin’s Creed IV didn’t have a demo appearance, only a trailer for that. As there was for last year’s posterboy Watch Dogs. That said, it doesn’t rule out a demo for one or both at the Sony press conference as Ubi have been quite chummy with Sony at past E3 press conferences (and Watch Dogs was shown at the PlayStation Meeting).
Rabbids Invasion was announced as a interactive TV show for Xbox One. Great for the young audience, not so much for the core. On the other hand, more Trials: Trials Fusion for next-gen consoles (including PS4, first time on PlayStation platforms) and Frontier for mobile. More Trials is good.
But then came the announcement from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, similar to last year’s Watch Dogs’s reveal last year – following an intriguing teaser trailer talking of an epidemic from Black Friday that grew bigger and bigger, a demo was shown live on stage of a post-pandemic New York in a new Tom Clancy IP called The Division, an online open-world RPG from Ubisoft Massive in Sweden. Like Watch Dogs, The Division impressed in terms of a new IP to close the show.
But unlike last year, Ubisoft gave mixed results for this year. The Division looks promising, The Crew has potential and South Park: Stick of Truth is set to be incredibly funny. But otherwise, not much to see in terms of gameplay for other big IPs and had a very mixed set of core and casual in comparison to the core-after-core titles from both Microsoft and EA.
And the day we don’t see a #girlwood shirt is a day too soon.
More coverage will come throughout the night on @Project_Boom. You can also follow me at @JohnnyCullen for snark/analysis/Vine coverage and come back here to JohnnyCullen.net for more in-depth opinion of tonight’s press conferences.