There are a lot of heavy-hitting studios vying for attention at E3 2013 this week, and many announcements that have gamers giddy with excitement, including Mirror's Edge 2, Kingdom Hearts 3 and an installment of Super Smash Bros. featuring Mega Man. Ubisoft has been hitting the headlines hard with new reveals of highly anticipated games like Watch_Dogs and announcements of new titles like Tom Clancy's The Division, and with so many games on offer from the publisher it might be expedient to get an overview of its key games all in one place.
Without further ado, here are the new trailers that have been unveiled for Ubisoft games at E3 so far, and a brief rundown of what they might bring to the table as we enter the next generation of gaming.
To kick us off, here are two new trailers for pirate adventure Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - one a flashy cinematic trailer and the other a glimpse into some of the gameplay on offer. Despite the terribly mismatched music choice in the former (sorry, Half Moon Run fans, but this feels like Ubisoft trying and failing to recapture the magic of the "Lonely Soul" trailer for the original Assassin's Creed), it does showcase the variety of locations that will be available to explore - including those beneath the ocean.
The gameplay trailer promises that the sixth game in the franchise will continue with one of the more annoying mission styles from previous games - slowly tailing marks who have a habit of inexplicably stopping, turning, and staring back the way they came at regular intervals - combining the tried-and-true blending techniques of sitting on benches and pretending to talk to people with the slightly flaky stealth mechanics introduced in Assassin's Creed III: ducking into shrubbery and peering around corners. The gameplay really hits its stride, however, after the smooth transition between land and sea combat, after which the improvements made to the already much-lauded naval combat from Assassin's Creed III start to come into play.
There is some satisfyingly stealthy gameplay on show here, particularly in the co-op sections where Sam Fisher is teamed up with Isaac Briggs, a new addition to the series. The change of Fisher's voice actor will obviously be noticeable to fans of the series (no one has a voice quite like Michael Ironside), but Eric Johnson brings his own talent to the role and the decision to use full motion capture will hopefully pay off in the long run.
The Game Rant review of Just Dance 4 described it as a fun game for enthusiasts of the dance genre and family or group gaming, but one of our main criticisms - that of the frustratingly ambiguous screen icons that are supposed to act as a guide for the dance moves - remains unchanged in this new installment of the Just Dance series. Personally speaking, the opportunity to dance to a Pitbull song that samples "Take On Me" isn't the most exciting thing on offer at E3 right now, but Just Dance 2014 knows its audience and hopefully they'll enjoy the new range of songs and game modes.
The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot
This free-to-play PC action RPG seems to share a similar tone to the gloriously fun and addictive Orcs Must Die! series. The humor in this trailer falls flat in a few places, but that matters naught so long as The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot has some decent gameplay. The game features the standard triad of fantasy RPG classes - warrior, rogue and mage - who are dubbed Blackeye Bowgart, Sir Painhammer and The Earl of Evilosity, respectively. Register for an invitation to the closed beta now on the official website.
Yesterday we published a brand new cinematic trailer for Ubisoft's hacker vigilante sandbox game, complete with some fairly stunning pre-rendered graphics and some hints at the mechanics that can be used in the game. This trailer, however, is all about showcasing the extent of what you can do in a city where information is everywhere and practically everything can be hacked. We get a glimpse at an aspect of the gameplay that we really haven't seen much; namely, driving and car chases. Poor vehicle mechanics can be a massive drag in a game, especially if some missions are driving-dependent, and it's hard to tell just how smoothly the practicalities of driving work in a gameplay demo. Watch Dogs looks so promising, however, that we'll stay optimistic about the driving sections for now.
After promising to deliver the biggest Splinter Cell game ever in an earlier trailer, Ubisoft are staying ambitious with the claim that Rayman Legends will be the biggest Rayman game ever. Showcasing the new fiery Viking character Barbara the Barbarian (who comes with a giant axe and some breast jiggle physics that look weirdly out of place in a Rayman game), the cinematic and gameplay trailers seem to assure a continuation of the kind of fun that sets the standard for modern platforming.
This game experienced delays in the hands of THQ, but managed to survive its original publisher's fall into bankruptcy and was picked up pretty quickly by Ubisoft. This new trailer pokes fun at the game's delayed release, promising that it will come out "this holiday season ... or some holiday, hopefully, kind of soon. You know how video games are." Sadly, we do, but if the 'tutorial level' with Stan's Dad is anything to go by, this tongue-in-cheek RPG will be worth the wait.
The more advanced and scholarly older brother of games like Rock Band, Rocksmith was originally released in 2011 as a video game that teaches users how to play guitar for real, simply by plugging in any electric or bass guitar and showing a scrolling guide to playing a healthy soundtrack of songs. In the earlier version of the game, this soundtrack included bands such as The Black Keys, Radiohead and The Rolling Stones, and this live-action advert for Rocksmith 2014 promises to include many new tracks. It looks like a solid buy for any budding guitar enthusiasts.
Have you ever wanted to see a Rabbid in a thong? Apparently Ubisoft thinks you do, because that's just one of the visions on offer in the trailer above. Rabbids Invasion isn't a video game, but a new interactive TV show exclusive to Xbox One, based on the Raving Rabbids spin-off series from the Rayman franchise. Though it's clearly marketed towards a much younger audience, no doubt there will be a few hardcore Raving Rabbids fans tuning in to watch this as well.
Let us know which of these Ubisoft titles you're most looking forward to in the comments.
Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag will be released October 29, 2013, for the PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360. Releases on Xbox One and PS4 are also confirmed.
Just Dance 2014 is out in October, 2013, on all motion control platforms.
Splinter Cell Blacklist is available on PC, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3 from August 20, 2013.
Watch Dogs releases November 19, 2013, for the PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U, with releases also planned for the PS4 and Xbox One.
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot has entered closed beta and will be out on general PC release later this year.
Rayman Legends will be released on August 30, 2013, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PlayStation Vita
Rocksmith 2014 is scheduled for release in October, 2013, on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Next-gen console releases are not yet confirmed.
Raving Rabbids does not have a release date yet, but expect it same time after the Q4 launch of the Xbox One.
South Park: The Stick of Truth will be available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 this holiday season. Maybe.