Ubisoft’s conference at E3 started in predictably memorable fashion: with a rock guitar set from Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains, showcasing RockSmith 2014. The biggest announcements were, of course, yet to come.
First up: Splinter Cell Blacklist, “the biggest Splinter Cell ever”. Promising Sam Fisher an adventure replete with series staple stealth action and a global terrorist threat to face, the trailer also advertised the exciting Spies vs Mercs multiplayer mode. The new-and-improved formula for squad-based multiplayer will support up to eight players per match. The game hits current-gen consoles and PCs on August 20th, and you can check out the E3 trailer below:
Rayman Legends showed up next. The cross-console release was showcased with both CG and gameplay-based trailers, looking every bit as weird and wonderful as series fans have come to expect. With the release date now firmly set for August 30th, you can whet your appetite with the gameplay trailer below:
And then, just to make Rayman look incredibly serious by comparison, free-to-play title The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot had its moment in the spotlight. An enlightening presentation by brand director Louis-Pierre Pharand gave some insight into the mechanics: one part top-down hack-and-slash, one part Dungeon-Keeper-style castle management in aid of protecting the treasure room (or reaching someone else’s). No release date was set, but the game’s beta can be signed up to on the official site.
Pharand’s set was followed by a typically humorous trailer, starring Sir Painhammer, one of the game’s playable heroes:
South Park: The Stick of Truth was up next, keeping the comedy ball rolling. A brief trailer set the South Park tone, and ended with a promised release “this holiday season! Or some holiday season. Hopefully kind of soon. You know how video games are.”
The first major next-gen announcement was that of The Crew, starting with an eye-catching CG trailer heavily channeling Fast and Furious. The open-world driving game – set in an online persistent world – is predicted for release in “early 2014”. The game is set to blur the boundaries between single- and multiplayer, with players attempting to infiltrate a criminal organisation one US city at a time. With the whole country apparently represented, players will be able to experience missions and free driving modes interchangeably, and will be able to customise their cars with a related app. The experience will be playable alone, but can also involve collaboration with up to four friends.
Next up – finally – was Watch Dogs, last year’s runaway hit at E3. A new CG trailer showcased the same action-hacking fusion as seen previously, and Ubisoft promised more exciting news soon to come, particularly in relation to Sony’s E3 announcements.
Just Dance 2014 made an appearance, though it had been previously leaked on xbox.com. Regardless, the new and incredibly colorful trailer showcases up to six-player action and a slew of new artists to flail madly to, including David Guetta, Psy, and One Direction. Just Dance 2014 will be available this October across all platforms, and will hit next-gen offerings this holiday season.
Returning to the serious, the inevitable Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag trailer was up next. CG piracy, ship-to-ship warfare and slow-motion fighting brought nothing especially new, but much dramatic action. Black Flag is set for release on October 29.
Up next came Trials: Fusion, crashing – literally – out of the screen to showcase shiny CG and gameplay alike. Its mobile sibling, Trials: Frontier, also made an appearance, with the two games set to share player profiles, communities, and as much of the gaming experience as possible. Both are due in 2014, with Fusion available on all current- and next-gen consoles.
One More Thing…
Ubisoft saved the best for last at their conference, revealing two new trailers – including one cooperative gameplay-based – for Tom Clancy’s The Division, an open-world action RPG set in the aftermath of a pandemic disaster on New York, spreading in the chaos of Black Friday. Players will take the role of an agent in The Division, a secretive and highly-trained response organisation. Stunning graphics and a Watch Dogs-esque HUD embedded partially in the environments, the game can be played in a variety of different ways. In the gameplay video, for instance, one member of the squad was piloting a surveillance drone via a tablet.
The surprising announcement ended the conference on high note, though at present the game has only been announced for next-gen consoles, with no mention of a PC release as yet. Tom Clancy’s The Division will arrive sometime in 2014, and you can check out the already-impressive gameplay video below:
Source: E3 2013 – Ubisoft Media Briefing