Tag Archives: Ubisoft

Why I’m Pumped For Watch Dogs

Most of us don’t give a second thought to how we, and our world, are connected online everyday. At any given moment most of us have at least one smart device within reach, for many of us, it’s several devices. What would you do if you had unlimited access to not only other people’s smartphones, tablets, and computers, but streetlights, surveillance cameras, and even building infrastructure? Will you hack the school teacher’s cell phone to get her bank records or will you intercept the drug trafficker’s text to stop a deal? Watch Dogs puts that scenario in front of you, and you’ll need to decide what kind of person you choose to play as.

I recently spent a few hours at a Ubisoft press event playing Watch Dogs on the Playstation 4, both in free roam single-player and online multiplayer. I’m happy to say the wait has not been in vain. After being delayed from a Holiday 2013 release to May 27, 2014, the development team used the extra time to put finishing touches on the open-world experience. The build I played looked and felt great. In fact, it looked so great I wrongly assumed I was playing the PC version. It’s important to remember builds of a game change over the development process, so while certain scenes may not look identical to their trailer counterparts from 2012, the overall world of Chicago looks fantastic…read more here:

SINGLE PLAYER VIDEO PREVIEW:

 

MULTIPLAYER VIDEO PREVIEW:

 

ctOS GAMEPLAY DEMO:

Assassin’s Creed: Unity Confirmed!

Ubisoft has come forward to confirm that yes, Assassin’s Creed: Unity is a real game, and yes, it is set in France.

 

In fact, they said the Templars that leaked those screens seen here, can Qu’ils mangent de la brioche! Or let them eat cake.

The screen shots show an assassin reportedly named Arno set against the backdrop of Paris. Kotaku sources hint that the game is set during the French Revolution, and I can confirm that my sources say the same.

The short teaser they released confirms this with shots of Notre Dame and the iconic guillotine. But Ubisoft is saying nothing more about the game, except, that it is coming to next-gen only. I’m going to assume that means also for PC but 360 and PS3 owners are out of luck.

Watch Dogs New Story Trailer, Release Date

Ubisoft has announced their open-world action adventure game Watch Dogs will be releasing worldwide on May 27th.

The game will launch for Xbox One and 360, PS3 and PS4 and PC on the same day, except for the Wii U. They did not give a specific date when it would come to Nintendo’s console, only saying it would be a few months after the initial release.

Playstation 4 Announced For Holiday 2013!

We all knew next-generation video game consoles were right around the corner, and first out of the gate is Sony with the announcement of PlayStation 4 this week. At an event held in New York City on February 20th, Sony told the world their new console will be coming Holiday 2013.

sony-ps4-logo

Here are the technical specs they announced:

  • Supercharged PC Arichetecture
  • X86 CPU
  • 8 CPU Cores
  • Enhanced PC GPU
  • 8 GB Unified Memory
  • Local HDD Storage

Lead Hardware Architect, Mark Cerny said this system is, “By game creators, for game creators.”

Though they didn’t show the unit, they did show the newly redesigned DualShock controller complete with Touchpad, Share Button, Headphone Jack, and an accompanying Light Bar to identify players.

Sony’s recent purchase of Gaikai, a cloud-based streaming service, will be put to use in the PS4. There will be many features including:

  • Social integration with Facebook, Ustream where you can broadcast gameplay live
  • Screen sharing where you can take over someone else’s game to help them with difficult sections
  • Remote play of the PS4 with Vita, something introduced for PS3 but taken to the next level for PS4, possibly even working with smartphones and tablets.
  • Goal is to make every PS4 title available on the PS Vita so you can game on the go
  • Goal is to play any PS console game on the PS4 through the cloud, since they have announced there will be no backwards compatibility through discs

Sony said there will be a secondary processing chip to allow for processes to happen in the background while users are playing games. This means faster downloads, faster loading, and virtually no wait time at startup.

There will also be a completely redesigned User Interface that allow for more social integration and easier purchasing of digital items. Personally, I don’t need that much sharing while I’m gaming, but it is a great feature for those that do.

sony-playstation-4-ps4-social-ui-002

There was also a slew of software announcements including:

  • Knack from Mark Cerny
  • The Witness from Jonathan Blow (creator of Braid)
  • Diablo III from Blizzard (on PS3 and PS4)

But those were just the appetizer, there were some big 1st party reveals that look very promising.

Killzone Shadow Fall

Driveclub

inFAMOUS: Second Son

Plus, there was a new gameplay walkthrough of Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, one of the hottest titles to come out of E3 2012.

It was also revealed that Bungie’s new game Destiny will appear on the PS4. This ViDoc has new details about the story of the game, plus some really cool visuals:

Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono took the stage to show his newest engine, Panta Rhei, in action on a game with the working title “Deep Down.”

Square Enix also showed a tech demo, but this was previously shown the year before (a few times) so not much to report there except they will be unveiling the latest game in the Final Fantasy franchise at E3 this year.

Now that you have all the information, here are my thoughts:

  1. I was disappointed we didn’t get to even see a photo of the console.
  2. Killzone Shadow Fall was the best game Sony showed at this event, but I don’t think it is big enough to sell consoles for them. I hope they announced Uncharted 4 at E3!
  3. Though the tech demo they showed with the PlayStation Move controllers was neat, Move is still a novelty item much like Microsoft’s Kinect.
  4. The new DualShock controller has a tiny touchscreen on the front, and at that size why even bother? Most smartphones have bigger screens and Nintendo’s Gamepad blows it out of the water. It seems to me they want to incorporate some of the tech they created for the Vita, but this doesn’t seem like the right way.
  5. The new UI looks like a vast improvement over the current one of PS3, but I really need a chance to play around with it before seeing all of its bells and whistles.
  6. They didn’t announced how big the drive space would be, which I’m guessing will come with the price announcement. But with all the hype around Cloud services perhaps the days of having a 500 GB hard drive are over.
  7. It is an interesting idea to make every game on PS4 available on Vita, but my first thought was, why bother? The Vita had less-than-impressive sales numbers and this just seems like a shoe-horned idea to sell more units. The Vita really needs more software that is tailored to the device, not more ports.
  8. There was no mention of PlayStation Plus service, but I’m guessing we’ll hear about that at E3. Currently Sony offers great bonuses for being a Plus member, such as free game downloads, so I am interested to see what PS4 Plus offerings are.
  9. Having Mark Cerny overseeing hardware design is a great thing for developers. With a long history in the gaming industry, Cerny knows what developers look for in hardware design and hopefully more 3rd party game publishers will give better offerings on PS4 than the PS3 had.
  10. Lastly, while this was an interesting announcement, I am still not convinced that PS4 will best the next-gen Xbox. Even if only some of the rumors are true about “Xbox 720,” I don’t see where Sony’s advantage comes except from 1st party software offerings, which aren’t much right now. That said, this is only the tip of the iceberg and there is a lot more reveals to come.

It is going to be an exciting year to be a gamer! I am really looking forward to E3 this year and I’ll be sure to put as much coverage as I can on my blog.

 

 

 

 

Assassin’s Creed III Preview

If you follow me on Twitter you probably noticed my tweets from Boston last week while I was attending the Assassin’s Creed III Preview Event. I was lucky enough to have extensive hands on time with the single-player campaign, as well as new multiplayer modes WolfPack and Domination. Plus they even had ACIII: Liberation on the Vita!

Taken from my post on the Inside Gaming Daily blog:

In a franchise that deploys yearly installments such as Assassin’s Creed, it’s important for new players to know the level of accessibility for the story. Regardless if you know of Desmond Mile’s history or not, I was assured that new players will have no problem getting to know the new protagonist.

“Conner’s story is completely self-contained with a beginning, middle, and end.”

After combing the comments on previous Machinima videos for ACIII, I noticed a theme: What is going on with Desmond? Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Creative Director Alex Amancio told us in a previous interview that ACIII would be the end of Desmond’s story line, as was set up by previous installments in the franchise. December 2012 is rapidly approaching, so I had to inquire, what is going on with Desmond and the people of the First Civilization?

“There is payoff…There are answers to be had, whether or not people will be happy with them…but there are answers.”

Well, I guess you can’t accuse of us of giving spoilers!

First debuted at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year, ACIII multiplayer has lots of new features to offer including new modes Wolfpack and Domination. The Domination mode is exactly what you think it is, capture and defend strategic points A, B, and C. The teams are 4 versus 4 and all characters on each team are identical.

Even more interesting is Wolfpack, a new cooperative mode that has players working together against enemy AI. Your team acquires more points by striking targets simultaneously and by doing it as stealthily as possible. There are a total of 25 sequences to master, and each successful kill earns your team more time to reach the next sequence.

What I really found interesting is the new depth of customization offered, including new ranged weapons like the poison darts. You can also change the face of your character along with more options for costume upgrades. Plus you can even change your taunt and ground kill moves.

Ubisoft also increased the social interaction in multiplayer by adding a new Dare System to use with your friends. Each time you play a new mode, you’ll have a challenge to beat a friends score in a specific aspect of play. There is also the new Abstergo Ladder.

“The Abstergo Ladder is a ranking system based on your skills, this is worldwide…it is based on skills not time of play.”

Damien told us that they wanted to reward people for their skill with stealth kills and not just who has played the longest. He told me there will also be a Season Pass for DLC content but would not provide any specific details on the cost or content of the pass.

Widely considered to be one of the most exciting titles for Sony’s PlayStation Vita, ACIII: Liberation features a female protagonist named Aveline de Grandpre. I dive into her history in the interview, but I was curious on the crossover between the two titles.

“Depending on whether you have your PlayStation connected to your Vita you may have a chance to take on some his [Conner’s] weapons or play in Conner’s skin.”

This certainly is exciting news to anyone lucky enough to own both a PS3 and a PSVita. There has been a lot of chatter about the connectivity between the two devices but few games have really shown true crossover content. Perhaps ACIII will really show us what can be achieved.

“It’s much bigger than anyone is anticipating…it is the Assassin’s Creed you know and love but scaled to a portable device.”

Best of E3 2012

Every year publishers and developers compete for the attention of media members and gamers everywhere with their showings at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, and this year was certainly no different.

Microsoft had a strong showing with their flagship series, Halo and the return of Master Chief and Cortana in Halo 4. They announced the latest installment in their other 1st party franchise Gears of War titled Judgement. At their press conference they also displayed many new Kinect integrated titles and debuted the new Surface Glass integration that will be available on their new tablet.

Nintendo had the only new hardware of the show with a revamped version of the Wii U set to debut this fall. I know most people were hoping to get a release date and pricing for the unit, but Nintendo is still being vague about it, instead just citing Holiday 2012 as the launch window. I’m guessing that we’ll set an actual release date announced in Japan at TGS later this summer. They did have playable units on the show floor where they showcased the New Super Mario Bros., Pikmin 3, and newly announced ZombiU from Ubisoft.

Sony had the best software lineup by far out of the big 3. Their press conference wowed with new footage from The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s upcoming take on the “infected zombie” theme that seems so popular lately. At their press conference fans were also happy to see a lengthy and brutal demo of God of War: Ascension, which will introduce multiplayer into the series for the first time. Sony’s version of Smash Bros. called Playstation Allstars Battle Royale also was playable on the show floor, and I have to say it was one of the most fun games I got hands on at E3. The real stunner from Sony this year though, was their new IP called Beyond: Two Souls featuring Ellen Page. It features Ellen as a girl with some sort of telekinetic powers who quickly becomes a person of interest.

After coming off an amazing 2011, virtually sweeping Game of the Year awards with The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda showcased their upcoming new IP Dishonored. The buzz on this game was so hot it was on my “Must Play” list for E3 this year. After going hands-on with the game I understand why. So much of the game reminds me of Bioshock, which is certainly a great thing, but it has stealth elements that can be quite challenging. Definitely looking forward to playing this game this fall.

The publisher who really stood out for me this year was Ubisoft. They introduced a new IP titled Watch Dogs that no one in the media saw coming. It is an open-world game that fuses the stealth aspects of Deus-Ex with the crime spree, driving antics of Grand Theft Auto. The demo they showed was very impressive, with the main protagonist utilizing various pieces of technology to control the environment in a “Big Brother” way.

But my Game of Show goes to Assassin’s Creed III. I’ve been a long AC fan and everything I’ve seen so far from this game just continues to keep wowing me. From the first demo I saw at GDC earlier this year to the hands on time I got with the revamped multiplayer, this is the game to watch in 2012. The new protagonist Connor has an interesting story and the new combat mechanics look great. I’ll have a more in-depth look after their multiplayer showing at San Diego Comin-Con next month!

As per usual, there were many things I did not get to see and many more that I just don’t have time to talk about here! But keep checking back here for more updates as the big holiday season approaches.

 

 

 

Top 5 Announcement Trailers of E3 2012

E3 2012 is here friends! That means lots and lots of trailers! We have the lot of them over at the Machinima YouTube channel so click on over to watch them, but I’ve compiled a list of my Top 5 Announcement trailers of the show (this does not include Nintendo, but I will update tomorrow!) I will make another post later in the week that looks at all the trailers across the board, but until then enjoy:

1. Crysis 3 – The follow-up to last year’s Crysis 2 is set to debut in Feb. 2013 in what is quickly becoming a crowded quarter for new releases. This action-packed trailer features intense combat, explosions, and yes, A BOW.

2. Splinter Cell: Blacklist – It has been 3 years since the last Splinter Cell game so this announcement came as no surprise, but it appears as if protagonist Sam Fisher looks…different.

3. Beyond: Two Souls – When I saw this at the Sony press conference I was VERY intrigued. From Sony: “It’s a unique psychological action thriller featuring Academy Award nominee, Ellen Page in the lead role. Experience the incredible life of a person who possesses extraordinary powers through a connection with an invisible entity. Watch as your actions and decisions determine her fate and face incredible emotional challenges never before seen in a video game.”

4. Dead Space 3 – EA’s follow-up to Dead Space 2 is getting co-op! Hooray I might actually get to play this game without peeing myself. Yeah, I get scared from video games, so what?!

5. Watch Dogs- This game was kept under secret wraps by Ubisoft before debuting at their press conference, a feat in and of itself. I don’t have much information on this game yet but I’ll be updating my blog with more once I get to see the demo! But check it out, it looks awesome!

Pre-E3 2012 Thoughts

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo is THE event of the year for gamers. Every year at E3 there are huge announcement made, technology is unveiled, and amazing game demos are shown.

This year marks my first E3 covering for Machinima. It is crazy to think how far I’ve come in a few shorts years, and I am proud to be part of the team! I will be conducting a variety of interviews and showing viewers what the E3 experience is all about. Starting Monday June 4th with the press conferences, you can watch our LIVE streaming coverage at MachinimaLive.com and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Page for lots more video content throughout the show.

On my last appearance of “Weekend Confirmed” I said I thought the lineup this year was a little lackluster. Just 1 week later I am already starting to eat my words. Here are some of the things I’m excited to see at E3 2012:

1. Nintendo Wii U – Nintendo’s new console debuted at E3 last year and I got to participate in a tech demo showcasing its abilities. However, it was a highly controlled environment, and frankly, did not show the full picture of what Wii U is capable of. This year I hope Nintendo really shows what the console can do, along with announcing key launch titles that better include MARIO!

2. Tomb Raider – Last year at E3 I came away from this Square Enix title a little apprehensive. I wasn’t sure if I liked this new, deconstructed Lara Croft, or if I was angry that Crystal Dynamics took one of the few strong females in games and made her a sissy. I do like the creative direction the series is going, very reminiscent of “Uncharted.” This is one of the few demos that I am going to go out of my way to see, and I hope I come away a believer.

3. Dishonored – I have yet to see any extensive gameplay from Bethesda’s new title but the buzz is HOT! Every journo I’ve talked to has said that this game is likely to be “Game of Show.” Coming off a big showing with Skyrim last year which went on to become Game of the Year, Bethesda is looking to have another strong title. With an intriguing storyline involving assassins, it is very possible that this Bioshock and Deus Ex mashup could be the darling of E3.

4. Gears of War: Judgement – This recently announced title is the latest from the Gears of War franchise. It will be on the cover of the July Game Informer issue and is expected to debut at the Microsoft Press Conference. If you played GOW3, then you know there aren’t a lot of options for continuing the storyline with the lovable Cogs. So, expect this title to be a prequel starring Baird and Cole Train. It is also worth mentioning that EPIC Games has passed development of the series onto People Can Fly, the studio responsible for Bullet Storm.

5. Assassin’s Creed III – I’ll admit it: I am a big Assassin’s Creed fan. This is one of the few franchises that I will stick by through thick and thin, and yes even silly tower defense mini-games. I have seen extensive gameplay of this title already but the fate of Desmond is still unknown. I am expecting to see part of his storyline at E3 and hopefully learn more about the new Native-American protagonist, Conner. I was originally hoping to see some multiplayer action, but I’ve been told that it won’t debut until Comic-Con next month.

Those 5 are just the tip of the iceberg my friends. There will be TONS more to see including these awesome items:

  • Halo 4
  • Borderlands 2
  • The Last of Us
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter
  • Rock Band Blitz
  • Family Guy Online and Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse
  • Lost Planet 3
  • Resident Evil 6
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Guardians of Middle Earth
  • Dead Space 3
  • Crysis 3
  • Star Wars 1313
  • Hawken
  • Super Mario Bros. Wii U (rumored)
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist (rumored)
  • Grand Theft Auto V (rumored new trailer)

I will have more blog posts for you next week and hopefully some vlogs too! If there is something specific you’d like to learn about or see, let me know by tweeting me @andrearene, leaving a post on my FB fan page, or by commenting right here!