Johnny's top picks from E3 Pt.2 (Ubisoft Edition)
Written by: Johnny Marcondes
This is part 2 of my top picks from E3, if you haven't checked out the first then click this link http://wp.me/p2ptcC-7D. Once again I will be bringing you my top 3 favorites from the biggest conferences in E3. While the last top 3 focused on Microsoft, today's top 3 will be centered around Ubisoft.
It's honestly hard and a real challenge to just pick three titles that stood out from Ubisoft. On a personal note I honestly believe Ubisoft held the best conference at E3, minus the annoying hosts who both seemed to try too hard. Every title they presented was a just a hit after another. In a one hour conference where they simply just focused on games, not only did they have some of the best visual games but by face some of the most original.
Watch Dogs - It's comes to no surprise that Watch Dogs is amongst one of the most talked about titles to be revealed this year. E3 this year showed off many great titles, however most of the titles that were displayed weren't exactly original. Meaning that in a sea of tiles only a handful of them were a completely new game. While titles such as the new Gears Of War or Tomb Raider looked amazing, they were both prequels to existing tiles so Ubisoft had something extra special up their sleeves. Giving gamers a breath of fresh air by displaying something that not only wasn't a sequel or prequel, but an original title that displayed an even more original concept. Taking place in Chicago, Illinois players take control of the mysterious character named Aiden Pearce who has breached into Chicago's central operating system. What is the central operating system? Essentially a computer system which controls almost every piece of technology in the city, giving Aiden an information about everyone in the city. Doing so, the possibilities are endless both in gameplay and in story. Gameplay wise players will be treated to a unique take on the action adventure genre, adding more creative ways to be stealthy while incorporating familiar techniques to execute their ideas. While in control of Aiden players will be able to manipulate and disrupt electronic devices. What makes this unique is all determined by how the player uses it, opening the possibilities up as the player can either turn off cameras to go in for a kill or traffic lights to cause an accident as a diversion.
Visually Watch Dogs is just beautiful, there's no other way to put it. Ubisoft Montreal really put their best foot forward, having people go as far as second guessing that this is indeed a current gen game. The reason this game deserves to be talked about the most is not only because it's one of the few games announced that's an original IP. It's the way they introduce a new method to play a game that's been somewhat done before, a character who's stealthy in an open world with limit resources by his side. It's been done before the best examples would be with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, both games have a mysterious main character thrown into an open world with stealthy as their main weapon. The only difference besides the universes is how the stealthy is executed, watching the demo of Watch Dogs it's hard to not fall in love with it. Being able to scan people walking past you and obtaining all their information is something that holds a real fear to people, imagine knowing someone is able to find out all of your secrets? It's that creative aspect of the game that makes this title stand out when compared to other main titles that already have fame to their names.
Assassins Creed III - Every year it seems Ubisoft announces a new Assassins Creed, although unlike the previous games we're finally treated to a new assassin. Taking place in colonial America, the American Revolution is the new set piece for the assassin-templar war. No longer playing as Ezio, players take control of the half-English and half-Mohawk warrior named Ratonhake Ton. Being given the name of "Connor Kenway" by the English, this half native is drawn into the fight after his home is attacked by colonist. Like the previous titles in the Assassins Creed series, famous faces will be heavily involved in the campaign. Faces like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams to name a few. For those who are familiar with the series or consider themselves hardcore fans, it's safe to say that new character and time piece was heavily needed. While playing as Ezio and roaming those familiar streets was fun, how many times can we go back to the same character before we finally had enough? Getting a chance to experience a new character in Connor is something everyone needed, not much is known about him or his personality but a step in the right direction to the series. Three games were made with Ezio as the lead, which in retrospect is fine considering the time period of the renaissance having a lot to offer as did the character of Ezio himself. But with three titles down we already understood Ezio and been through his various journeys as he aged, now Connor being included into the picture it easily wards off any fatigue players might have felt with the series. On a personal note, I myself began to feel some fatigue and just thinking to myself that it's another Assassins Creed game where I'll do some parkour and kill templars. Even though each of the previous titles have been entertaining, there was still a feeling of wanting more deep down. Ubisoft answers all these doubts by completely changing the elements around and throwing some fantastically brilliant changes to the game. Who would have thought by just giving the character a tomahawk and gun will make such a difference? Replacing buildings with trees to let players jump from was another hidden gem that will change the way people see Assassins Creed. What really caught my eye wasn't exactly the obvious changes, but the subtle ones that really impressed me. Looking back at the demo Ubisoft showed off, if you pay attention to way Connor just walks in the snow you'll notice just how far the series really has come when it's down to details. Every step he takes isn't like the other, some steps actually sink deeper into the snow be it lightly or drastically. Another subtle change is just the way Connor touches items, when he's swinging that tomahawk you don't just see a fist grabbing it. There's a slight sensitive approach to the way the character cradles his had around the handle, making it feel organic and fluid. While on the topic of movement, Ubisoft made sure that their character moves in a much more fluid and natural way this around. As shown in the scene where Connor was being attacked by wolves, he was easily able to dodge and proceed with an attack in a manner that Ezio couldn't. It's not the drastic changes that should be admired, subtle changes like those stated are really the most important. Showing ways in which Ubisoft can really show off the ability of the AnvilNext engine they used.
Rayman Legends - It's no secret that here on Nerdiest Cookie we love Rayman. What Rayman Origins did was bring us all back to a time where platformers ruled the consoles, being able to punch and jump your way through a level is something most people take for granted these days. Having a market over flowed with first person shooters or RPG's it's always nice to play a game where your brain shuts off and old habits kick in. That's the kind of sheer pure fun Rayman Origins brought to the table, now with the announcement of Rayman Legends it's hard to not name this game one of the very best from E3. While many people will list game like Splinter Cell, ZombiU or others over Rayman Legends you have to keep in mind that not every game is the same. A title doesn't have to be a violent, overly masculine game where you need a gun to be a hero. Gamers need to put down their pride and fear of losing their ranks on COD, and actually sit back and enjoy a game for once without stressing over kill streaks. When did we as gamers become so egotistical and full of ourselves that we look over great titles just because of their cartoony and childish demeanour? Ratings don't make the game, as soon as people put that in their heads they'll be able to see that just because a child can play the same game doesn't take away from its challenge. There are plenty of titles that prove that, games like the Lego series are a great example. By bringing in children's toys and incorporating challenges and fun mechanics with the characters we love, it's for anyone of any age to over look the rated E rating. Although the only confirmed console for this title is the Wii U, from what was shown in various trailers and demos Rayman Legends is interesting. Interesting in the sense that from all the Wii U games shown, only this title and ZombiU fully use their controller in creative ways that made me feel that it was far from a gimmick. Giving players the ability to control Murphy a new character who while using him on the Wii U controller will be able to help out other players. Fully utilizing the WiiU controller by giving players control via the touch screen, motion movements for traps by physically moving the controller and with tapping the screen for certain moments. If Rayman Legends is anything like Rayman Origins then everyone should look out because it will be game of the year worthy, while a bold statement it doesn't make it any less accurate. Being a game that knows what it's doing, has beautifully designed set pieces, a nostalgic and yet modern core gameplay mechanics and the sense that it just wants to have fun how can that not be on anyones game of the year list?
This is the part of the post where I would normally list something that was bad during their conference. Clearly I will not, it's hard to list something bad about Ubisoft's conference when everything they presented was incredible and only raised the bar. Each game showed off and announced was just as good as the last, Ubisoft knew what gamers wanted and that was great games and amazing demos. On both aspects they did nothing but succeed, having in my opinion the best conference of E3. This ends part 2 of my E3 posts, check back Saturday for my post on Sony. I’ll have a top 3 games that stood out to me from them, as well as what I didn’t like from their conference. Did you agree or disagree with my choices for Microsoft? What are your thoughts on the Smart Glass? Let me know what you think.