The Ubisoft press conference was a very amusing finisher, for reasons the French publishing giant may not have intended. Capping “day zero” of E3 2010, Ubi proudly displayed its wares. Some of it was excellent and right up our alley, others…well, read on.
1. The show opened with Q Entertainment’s Tetsuya Mizuguchi walking out on stage for the expected Child of Eden demo. But what I didn’t expect was Child of Eden essentially being “Rez 2,” in glorious high definition and an explosion of colors. This was the first game for Kinect that I really felt like I had to play. Mizuguchi’s on-stage actions were involved, but not overly exhausting on a fitness game/sports compilation level.
2. With the recent news that Assassin's Creed creative lead Patrice Desilets departed from Ubi Montreal, I’ve been very worried about the status of the franchise, given the turnaround it made with AC2. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was the second game demoed at the press conference, and most of those fears were temporarily chilled. I had been informed that Brotherhood was going to be a multiplayer focused game, and that’s still very likely, but I was pleased to see the continuation of Ezio’s story, complete with the destruction of a Villa Auditore I had worked so hard to build in AC2. And I like that there seems to be more of the larger set-pieces, giving it a more epic feel.
3. Raving Rabbids is always amusing, even though I was anticipating the next RR to be Kinetic-based. I’m sure that’s still to come at some point.
4. I had heard sketchy things regarding Ghost Recon: Future Soldier in the weeks leading up to E3, but the playable demo didn’t reflect that. There’s still much work to be done (bullets were flying through cover at the end there), but I’m really intrigued by the near-future setting and the use of optical camo. It’s like if MGS4 were a little more restrained. I just hope that there’s a balance to the optical, as it didn’t seem to run out during the demo and seems a bit overpowered.
5. Rayman Origins looks absolutely stunning. The mention of Michel Ancel working on a new project got everyone’s hearts palpitating a bit in anticipation of what we all wanted to see (that’s next), but as a lover of all things 2D and platformy, the announcement of a new Rayman was thoroughly pleasing.
1. That said, where was Beyond Good & Evil 2? Jake and I were both cheating and looking back at the TelePrompTer during Yves Guillemot’s final reveal of the three new projects. The prompter got stuck at “Michel Ancel and his team…” and I immediately thought it’d be Jade’s return. It was actually Rayman (yay!) followed up by the announcement of Mania Planet (also yay, but not YAY). It is good to know that Ancel is still alive, which means that hope is still alive, too..
2. We all have to accept the new way of things. At video game press conferences from here on out, there will be moments where we have to endure things that are not video games. Innergy was one of these moments. And what a fine moment it was. Joel McHale earned his paycheck soldiering through that one.
3. Your Shape Fitness was a repeat demo from this morning, featuring some of the most cringe-worthy moments of fake enthusiasm all day. And that’s saying something, because today was loaded with uncomfortable moments of forced, pre-scripted fun.
4. I’m looking at my show notes and I see the phrase “motion sports,” thinking that’s the placeholder term I used for Ubisoft’s completely unnecessary and bad-looking compilation. Nope, it’s actually called “Motion Sports.” I almost want to go bowling for real tonight in protest of this New Way of Things.
5. Battle Tag. I can only think that someone has some photos of the Ubisoft executives somewhere, and that’s how this pet project was green lit. Please note that in no way would I disparage the concept of lazer tag, it’s just that in the context of an E3 press conference, it did NOT MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL. Perhaps there’s something worthwhile in Battle Tag and the presentation was just so poorly thought-out that didn’t come through.
That’s it for the first day. Jake and I will be back tomorrow for Nintendo and Sony, catch Patrick on your television during our live broadcast of the conferences on G4, or hook into the streams on the site. And then tomorrow is our first of two Feedback shows at 6:30PM PDT. All in all, it’s been a pretty good start for E3 2010.