The Show

As is typical fare, Ubisoft opened up the show in a big way, showing an exciting, albeit vague scene from Far Cry 4. Following it up with a Avalanche of announcements and details about all their latest upcoming games. And that’s where the beauty of this press conference was; not even the hamming of three time returning Host, comedian, Aisha Tyler could thwart the simple and heavy focus on the games themselves. And at the end of the day, whether you were sitting there in the live audience, or watching from home like us, the games are what really matter.

The Games

  • A fairly long trailer for Far Cry 4 was shown, supposedly taking a scene from the opening minutes of the game. Here we saw some actual dialogue from the new villain, and all the insanity you could hope for in a Far Cry antagonist.
  • Ubisoft is upping the ante with Just Dance 2015 and Just Dance Now. Furthering a philosophy that anyone can dance, they are making Now available on Mobile platforms with seemingly limitless amounts of people able to play at once by using their devices as controllers (free app is currently available). The games will feature a new track list, and hopes to put you into the experience presumably with the Kinect by recording and sharing your dance sessions. Gamers have yet to receive a guarantee your I Phone won’t  be destroyed.
  • Some context for the story and a new trailer were shown for Tom Clancy’s The Division. Focusing on an American audience with the setting of a post-pandemic New York City, the idea of bringing tragedy to the home-front isn’t a new concept, but gamers can “take back New York City” sometime in 2015.
  • There was a trailer and some discussion on The Crew, detailing the sheer scale of the coast to coast American MMO racer. After displaying The Crew’s varied and open environments, (apparently with no load times needed) the game’s creative director, Julian Gerighty said that a closed beta would be available on July 23rd, with more details to come. The Crew is set for a launch on the 11th of November this year on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC, following multiple delays. You can read our 2013 preview of The Crew here.
  • Following the reveal of 4 player co-op at the Microsoft Press conference earlier today, Assassins Creed Unity received a new cinematic trailer, plus some game play with a more single player focus. We saw new protagonist Arno, navigate his way around French Revolution-era Paris streets on the way to assassinate an unsuspecting target. There have also been changes to the navigation and parkour seen in previous entries, now seeming more fluid and natural. AC Unity is releasing on October 28 on Xbox One, Ps4 and PC.
  • Next up in the long line of fitness games is Shape Up. As an Xbox One Kinect exclusive, Shape Up tries to add game-like features to fitness and working out. Shown live were too modes: one is a rhythm game where you run on the spot and another involving push-ups, hilariously demonstrated by industry veteran Gary Steinman and his French counterpart. A November release is planned.
  • Valiant Hearts, a cartoony WW1 game commemorating its100th anniversary, is now partnered with Apocalypse WW1, an upcoming documentary that shares some of its images with the game. The new trailer shown featured both a dog, and many sad feelings. You can read our preview of the game here. Valiant Hearts is set for release on June 25th
  • The final announcement was the new Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. This means the cancelation of the long awaited Rainbow Six Patriots, but in return we saw game play of a “pre-alpha” multiplayer match highlighting a 2 team battle to defend or secure a hostage. This will be the first Rainbow Six game since 2008, and is set for a 2015 release. Read more about it here.

The Extras

  • Highlights included the choice to bookend the show with game play footage of Far Cry 4 and Rainbow Six Siege, starting off and finishing with a sizeable bang.
  • While nothing was particularly different from last year’s show, the focus on the games was appreciated and awkward shenanigans between the people on-stage was kept to a minimum.

Final Thoughts

This was a great conference, with less announcements, but more quality depth regarding the games Ubisoft was showing. Silly slogans and catchphrases weren’t pushed especially hard and the bane of my existence – pre-rendered trailers, were fortunately juxtaposed by plenty of actual game play and important details. All around a terrific press conference from Ubisoft; they have a really promising year of releases ahead of them.