E3Port Card: Ubisoft E3 2013 Media Briefing
Welcome to the E3Port Card, where I take a look back at last year Electronic Entertainment Expo to see which announcements came through as planned and which things we’re either still waiting on or never getting. For the next five weeks leading up the show, I’ll be analyzing every one of the five major media briefings from E3 2013 in the order they presented last year. Here’s what the schedule looks like:
MAY 12: Microsoft E3 2013 Media Briefing
MAY 16: EA E3 2013 Media Briefing
MAY 23: Ubisoft E3 2013 Media Briefing
MAY 30: Sony E3 2013 Media Briefing
JUNE 6: Nintendo E3 2013 Direct
Today we’re talking Ubisoft, who brought pirates, Rabbids, and a few surprises to the big show last year. How much of it actually came true? How much are we still waiting to play for ourselves? Time to find out!
The show begins with Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains playing the guitar solo from “Man In The Box” as a lead-in to Rocksmith 2014. He then leads a demo of fully-voiced direction, showing the Edit Session Mode, essentially a music studio in a video game.
Flo Rida in 2012, Cantrell in 2013…how will they start 2014? The Rocksmith 2014 demo really impressed, and everything there was incredibly in the game. Strong start, Ubi. +1. 1/1
Aisha Tyler returns as the host, #girlwood T-shirt in tow, first introducing Splinter Cell: Blacklist. She mentions the campaign mode, the return of the 5v5 Mercs vs Spies mode, then leads into the trailer.
As Aisha says in her introduction, we did indeed get our grubby mitts on Blacklist a few weeks after E3, August 20th to be exact, and it had everything mentioned here and more. Two for two. +1. 2/2
Aisha retakes the stage and moves on to Rayman Legends, showing a new trailer.
There wasn’t a whole lot of new information in this section, but everything was still true. The game launched in September, and we’re still humming Black Betty. +1. 3/3
The next game on the docket is The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, a free-to-play lootfest from Ubisoft Montreal. Louis-Pierre Pharand of Ubisoft Montreal comes onto the stage to talk about it before showing a trailer.
This one’s hard to judge. On one hand, I can go sign up to play this in beta for free right now if I wanted to. On the other hand, it’s still in beta. I guess if I can play it right now, then Ubisoft lived up to its word. +1. 4/4
Aisha Tyler returns to the stage and presents the next game trailer: South Park: The Stick of Truth.
NAGASAKI! While it didn’t make the holiday season, it did launch in March, and it was a fantastic reason to keep the last-gen alive. I loved that friggin’ game. +1. 5/5
Aisha then introduces Ubisoft head Yves Guillemot, who takes the stage to introduce the next-generation section of the show. First up, a new racing game called The Crew. After the first trailer plays, Julian Gerighty takes the stage to demo The Crew’s second screen experience. A gameplay demo follows.
This all looks great, but we’re still waiting to find out if The Crew is as great as this made it sound. Until we have the game in our hands, we can’t judge for ourselves. No dice. 5/6
Watch Dogs is next up, with Dominic Guay of Ubisoft Montreal introducing a new trailer.
The sushi “plates” from that trailer still weird me out, but otherwise that glimpse was pretty awesome. This one is even harder to grade, because the game is due out this Tuesday. Since the game has gone gold, and review copies are out to the media, I suppose I can be positive here…right? +1. 6/7
Just Dance 2014 follows with a trailer showing off some of the dances and tracks available in the newest Just Dance title. 6-player dances, the new On-Stage Mode, and Just Dance DJ are all introduced.
The game launched with the new consoles, and dances were danced. Not much more to it. +1. 7/8
Next up is the first trailer for the interactive Rabbids TV show on Nickelodeon, 'Rabbids Invasion.' Adriani Lacey of Ubisoft French Studios comes out to talk more about the Kinect 2.0 interactivity of the show.
Not quite sure what to make of this, but it’s currently on TV, so I suppose they came through. +1. 8/9
Next on the agenda is the highly-anticipated Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. A new CGI trailer plays, showcasing combat both on-land and at sea. Afterward, Jean Guesdon of Ubisoft Montreal then comes out to talk about the game.
Getting no gameplay was disappointing, even with a dev coming out to talk about it, but the eventual release of Black Flag was not disappointing at all. I still have a few of those sea shanties in my head. +1. 9/10
The Trials franchise then takes center stage with two games: Trials Fusion for the next-gen systems and Trials Frontier for mobile devices. The first trailer shows off both games.
Trials Fusion came out and wowed basically everyone who played it. Trials Fronter launched on iOS and Android and is ranking high on the fan rating boards. Ubisoft came through again. +1. 10/11
Yves Guillemot comes back onto the stage to reveal the last game of the show: Tom Clancy’s The Division, a massive online third-person shooter set in a pandemic-stricken future. Nicklas Cederstrom of Massive Entertainment takes the stage to talk about the game and show off a gameplay demo.
The game looks insanely impressive, but Ubisoft recently delayed it out of calendar year 2014, so we won’t be able to find out how awesome it is anytime soon. No dice. 10/12
FINAL SCORE: 10 kept promises out of 12 announcements (83%)
Wow. Ubisoft really came out swinging, and most of what it showed is now available for us whenever we want it. I didn’t think any company would come close to the 90% mark, but the 83% score here shows Ubisoft doesn’t mess around. Here’s to hoping they can follow through with as many games this year.
NEXT WEEK: Sony’s extravaganza takes center stage!