Ubisoft Goes Back to Its Roots and Its Core at E3 Briefing

Posted by at 12:58 am on June 7, 2011

Ubisoft’s press conference at E3 2011 was a fresh start from those of the past couple years. Gone was the celebrity host and the experimental toys. Instead we got actual Ubisoft talent showcasing a solid line-up of games utilizing the company’s most popular franchises.

This year marks Ubisoft’s 25th anniversary. Before each game’s presentation, occasional Ubisoft spokesman Aaron “Mr. Caffeine” Priceman introduced a video showing what each franchise might have been like in 1986, when Ubisoft was founded. While none of the videos actually looked like old games, it was a still fun and much better than seeing over prices Holyywoood nongamers make bad jokes between demos.

The first game of the presentation: Rayman Origins, a two player co-op platforming game that returns Rayman to his 1995 roots. The hand-drawn animation and goofy, upbeat music was matched with realistic gun-toting action. This could be one of the great video game reboots!

Far Cry 3 was shown for the very first time during the presentation and it looks sweet. The original Far Cry was breathtaking, but the new one has taken it up a couple of levels.

And oldie I was happy to see get new life was Driver. Driver: San Francisco, which brings the franchise back to its original city. The game has been in development for roughly five or six years now, but is finally set to arrive August 30.

Ubisoft also showed a trailer for its adaptation of the upcoming film The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Given that it’s based on a massively popular series of French comic books, Ubisoft seems a natural fit to handle its latest video game adaptation. The big-budget film coming from Steven Spielberg, Ubisoft should get some miles out this game.

We got to see game play for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.  While I don’t hate the Ghost Recon series, I have never gone ape over any of the games until now.  The HUD is so well integrated into the gameplay environment, it makes you cry.

One thing that shocked me was Gearbox  is reviving Ubisoft’s Brothers in Arms franchise with Brothers In Arms: Furious Four, a first-person shooter set during World War II. As the title might imply, the game allows players to take on the roles of four distinct soldiers, with different abilities.

Ubisoft also announced that Just Dance 3, the sequel to the Wii franchise that has sold 30 million units so far, would also be coming to the Kinect and Move.

Other titles shown during the press conference include the new PC free-to-play Ghost Recon Online, the announcement of Trackmania 2, a new Rabbids game on Kinect, and the upcoming Rocksmith, a guitar teacher that uses real guitars.  Rocksmith looks it could be a sleeper hit.

The end of the show was trailer for Assassin’s Creed Revelations. I can not wait for that game.


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