They opened off with a demo of their new Rayman Origins game, which was very impressive artistically. The art style was flat-out beautiful and the gameplay looks like it should be fun and frantic, although I will reserve further judgement until I’ve seen more of it. Also probably not the strongest opening they could have had.
Next they introduced “Mr. Caffeine” as the announcer for the conference. This could not have been a worse choice. I found all his jokes stale and unfunny, if not downright insulting and sexist at times. Whilst he may have just offended my fragile British sensibilities, I could not wait for the show to be over because of him. And neither could the crowd from the reception he got.
Next up was a CGI trailer for Driver San Francisco. It didn’t really show other than car chases and left me feeling uninspired and uninterested in the game.
I was more than a little pleased at the announcement of Farcry 3, although I am weary since the last game left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The demo they showed was very, very pretty (everything with come to expect from cry games) and looked like it played well. However the make or break for me will be the enemy AI, which really spoiled the other two games for me. I’ll definitely keep an eye on the development of this one.
Next up was Furious 4, which looked like they were trying to cash in on the success of Inglourious Basterds, without any of the style of the original film.
Then came The Adventures of Tintin – The Game. Oh no I thought. Being a big fan of the Hergé comics from my youth I was dreading any befouling of my beloved memories. Honestly I’m very sceptical about how the Tintin stories will translate into games, what with all the drugging and being smashed over the head and just accidentally stumbling into and solving mysteries. And it looks like I might be right, they seemed to have turned Tintin into a gun-toting, fist fighting action hero in a bland action adventure game.
Just when I was thinking that Ubisoft was really struggling, BAM! Ghost Recon – Future Soldier. This game demo blew me away, capturing both the feel of the early Clancy games (ie the tactics) with the futuristic goodness of more recent titles. From the looks of it will make you feel like a tactical genius and James Bond, at the same time. The gameplay looks fun and rewarding to boot and it looks like it could be extremely good fun for co-op play.
Then they showed Trackmania – Canyon, which appears to be some sort of serious Modnation Racers. It didn’t really look that interesting as I’m not really into user-generated content (ala Little Big Planet), however they did mention that they had an RPG and FPS version in the works, which sounds like they could be much more interesting to see.
They then showed a couple of Kinect games and first up was Raving Rabbids. Whilst I have no love for the series, it did look like a good use of augmented reality and it could be really good fun for younger gamers. They also mentioned that it would have some sort of social media network integration for sharing silly pictures taken by the Kinect, which sounds kind of useless for the age group the game is aimed at.
Then there was a new Just Dance game. I have no desire to even talk about it, such was the depth of its awfulness.
They then unveiled Rocksmith, a guitar hero style game with a real guitar. The idea is that it will teach you how play and whilst I think this is great, I’ll wait to see how well it works before getting hyped about it. Also I’m curious about whether it will need a special peripheral to play and what sort of price it will be.
Then they showed YourShape, other of the exercise games that seem to be flooding the market. The less said about it the better.
Finally came the real show stealer, Assassins Creed Revelation. It was everything we’ve come to expect from the series. Slick, stylish and cool. If you haven’t seen it, go and watch the demo, it blew me away.
In conclusion, the show itself was pretty appalling and the only saving feature was that they actually had some decent games to show, albeit mixed in their with some really awful ones. My advice Ubisoft? Fire Mr. Caffeine.