The cringeworthiness that is Ubisoft at E3 has become a staple we all, not necessarily look forward to, but expect to see every year (full recap here). At E3 2014 Ubisoft at least backed that up with showing off some interesting games and getting us excited about them. They weren’t perfect, not by any means, but they did a pretty good job.
Ubisoft opened up the conference in just about the best way they possibly could, with Far Cry 4. What we saw of it, the first 5 minutes of the game, was absolutely great as well. The new villain seems to be interesting and Ubisoft is going down the Vaas route in Far Cry 3 in making him interestingly insane. With an established series like Far Cry, and the successful Far Cry 3, we pretty much know what to expect gameplay-wise from the next installment. What we really have to look forward to is the setting and the story. Hopefully they improve on the story in comparison to the predecessor and make the setting incredible. I can’t help but wonder how much bigger of an impact this announcement would have made without knowing about Far Cry 4 first.
Of course we saw more of The Divison. IT was nice in the respect that we got some more info about the world we are going to get into in the game, with the overly dramatic cinematic. We understand the bleakness now, which has become a staple in modern day gaming, and can start to put the game in context. However, we didn’t really get much information about the game itself. We have still only seen glimpses of a game that made a big splash last year. Ubisoft needs to show us something to get excited about if they want the hype to still be surrounding it.
The Crew is still making crazy promises and actually looks really cool if it can deliver. There really isn’t a lot to say because they haven’t really shown us the features that are what makes it interesting – like having the whole United States as a map. We have just seen some generic racing stuff and cars driving around cities. They need to show off the open world for me to be continually interested.
Assassin’s Creed Unity looked absolutely superb – but the whole time I was only reminded of Watch Dogs. It looked incredible at E3 too. To be fair, what Ubisoft showed – not just the graphics – looked somewhat interesting. The new open world events, like solving murders, looked interesting. I only hope they are not something as simple as go to the objective and kill the murderer. They should be more involved. They said they were changing the core features of the game, but they didn’t show off any of that. As it is, Assassin’s Creed is still running around a city with reactionary combat. They sort of showed off being an assassin, but they definitely need to focus more on the stealth and assassin-like things. Ubisoft especially needs to look at redoing the combat. Before they can show off any of that, this Assassin’s Creed will be very much like its recent predecessors.
Valiant Hearts is probably the most interesting thing that Ubisoft showed off this year. It’s too bad we’ve known about it for a little while now. The artstyle looks intriguing, and the setting of WWI for a puzzle game is very intriguing. It breaks the mold in a setting that hasn’t really been done right yet.
The big reveal was Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: The Seige. Read that quick first impressions from Stephen Gillespie, as it hits everything I wanted to say about the game.
All in all, at E3 2014 Ubisoft did pretty well with showing off some games. However, as always, they are always hurt by their presentation. They have jokes that fall flat immediately and try far too hard to entertain us rather than show off their games. It is only through our active ignorance of what they are doing to present the game, and look at the game itself, that we can see what’s going on. From Aisha Tyler, to the staged commentary for Rainbow Six, Ubisoft just needs to stop and let the games speak for themselves.