From the opening minutes of Ubisoft’s press conference, we were greeted with a blood drenched, expletive-heavy ceremony from long-time publisher Ubisoft. Kicking off with an insight of Far Cry 4‘s manic antagonist in the form of a real-time rendered cutscene, it was clear that Ubisoft were aiming steadily towards a mature demographic.
That is until everyone got up and started dancing.
Let me reiterate. Shortly after Far Cry 4‘s showing and the return of conference host Aisha Tyler, Ubisoft revealed the next instalment of its flagship dancing title Just Dance 2015, releasing for current generation home consoles. If you’re looking to take the Just Dance experience with you everywhere you go, Just Dance Now allows portable dance numbers wherever you please, placing huge emphasis on competitive and social play.
The mood went from light-hearted to cold once again as the stage made way for Tom Clancy’s The Division. Here, viewers were greeted with a CGI trailer depicting strong protagonists protecting the weak in a broken depiction of New York as well as a short gameplay trailer showcasing how skirmishes and weaponry function in-game.
Ubisoft followed this with two more hardcore-focussed titles The Crew featured a trailer exploring the huge, varied environment players will be able to traverse in the game, along with the announcement of a closed beta for the game. Assassin’s Creed Unity also received ample screen time, showcasing the game’s hectic four player co-operative missions, a first for the commonly single player series.
To complement the kinetic stylings of Just Dance, Ubisoft revealed Shape Up for the Xbox One. With the Kinect sensor, users can participate or compete in a variety of mini games and trials that test upper body/lower body strength, endurance and much more. No release date was listed as of yet, but sported a nifty and quirky art style. (editor’s aside: it was very interesting to see this Kinect game omitted from Microsoft’s press conference)
To close out the conference, Ubisoft showed off trailers for Valiant Hearts and Rainbow Six: Siege. While the World War I setting of Valiant Hearts looked absolutely gorgeous, Rainbow Six: Siege took a turn towards the competitive multiplayer direction, showing a 5v5 hostage scenario play out as bullets tore up the house the assailants were housed in. I am not sure if the assets from the unreleased Rainbow Six: Patriots have been liquidated into this newly revealed instalment.
Ubisoft definitely came out swinging during the early stages of the conference, with a professional yet playful performance from Aisha Tyler. After several more announcements it soon became clear that Ubisoft only planned to play it safe this time around and only focus on the big franchises. With no new Splinter Cell or news of Beyond Good and Evil 2 (it’s a given at this rate), Ubisoft are planning to take things slower than usual. The notion that they are keeping their cards close could be positive or completely detrimental for a console generation begging for innovation. Only time will tell.
(Press conference begins at 20:00)