BitSnark

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Posts Tagged ‘Ubisoft

E3 2012 – Ubisoft Conference: Brand New IP ‘Watch Dogs’ Unveiled – Looks Like A Cross Between Assassins Creed & Hacker. Looks Unbelievable.

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Ok.  We all knew that Assassins Creed 3 would steal the show for Ubi right? Sure, Splinter Cell would be hovering around in the same playground, but really, it was AC3’s time to shine and enjoy the spotlight without worry of peer or compeitition.

That plan went right out of the fucking window with ‘Watch Dogs’ a brand new IP from Ubisoft that puts the player in the shoes of a high tech espionage agent who can literally hack anything and turn the city to his advantage in order to terminate a target or secure information. It demonstrated on-stage and looked brutal, hard-edged and uncompromising.  It looked like some crazy bastard cross between Assassins Creed, Hacker and the Nolan Bat-verse, yet somehow, it transcended it’s supposed inspiration with a style and flair all it’s own.

E3 game of the show so far.  By far.

I’ll stop blabbering now, just watch the video of the demonstration below:

Watch Dogs is due to be released on platforms to be confirmed.  A date is to be announced.  

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Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm

E3 2012 – Ubisoft Conference: Assassins Creed 3 Gets Demoed & Trailered

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Assassins Creed 3 was always going to be main draw for folks who were going to watch the Ubisoft press conference.  Thankfully, the on-stage demonstration that Ubisoft put on for it more than justified the faith and excitement that people had for the game.  A variety of hugely detailed and expansive environments as well as some cool hunting and acrobatics certainly raised the profile of Ubisoft’s greatest Q4 hope, even higher in my mind.

Check out the gameplay demonstration below:

Assassin’s Creed 3 is due to release this November on 360, PS3, PC & WiiU.  

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm

E3 2012 – Ubisoft Conference: Rayman Legends Gets It’s Day In The Sun On WiiU (Yes, there’s a video)

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The fact that Rayman Legends had been leaked a few weeks back did little to dull the impression that RaymanLegends on WiiU left on folks when it was demonstrated on-stage as part of the Ubisoft press conference.

The game looked hugely vibrant, with crisp, colourful graphics and the same whimsical comedy and solid platforming antics that we’ve come to expect from Ubi’s platforming mascot.

Most interestingly, this was being demonstrated on WiiU hardware, though Ubisoft were keen to stress that it wasn’t complete etc.

Cast your eyes over the video below and watch the demonstration for yourself:

Rayman Legends is due later on this year and 360, PS3, PC, WiiU, Playstation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.  

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm

E3 2012 – Ubisoft Conference: Far Cry 3 On-Stage Demonstration & Trailer

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Ubisoft couldn’t really have asked for a more impactful (or controversial) opening salvo for their press conference (disregarding that Just Dance 4 bollocks) than Far Cry 3.

Blood, boobs, tigers,drugs and death; it’s all here.

Despite reaffirming the accepted belief that the game is completely mental it still manages to be a solid and robust open-world shooter, the on-stage demonstration below certainly didn’t pull any punches.

See for yourself:

Far Cry 3 is due to be released this September on 360, PS3 & PC.

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm

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E3 2012 – Microsoft Press Conference: Splinter Cell Blacklist Unveiled

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Perhaps the highlight of their entire briefing, Ubisoft were on stage to showcase the Ubisoft Toronto developed Splinter Cell Blacklist for the first time.

Displaying a marked evolution rather than revolution of the gameplay introduced in 2010’s Splinter Cell: Conviction, this title showed Sam using his mark and execute whilst running and jumping over obstacles; as well as falling down on top of enemies too.  The game also gets bonus points for including a use for Kinect that isn’t totally nonsensical; here, you can use it to distract the enemy by saying things to get their attention before you do a steathly kill.

Overall, it was very impressive stuff indeed.

Take a look at the trailer below and see for yourself:

Splinter Cell: Blacklist is due to release on the Xbox 360 in Spring 2013. Other platforms have yet to be announced.

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Driver: San Francisco Review (360)

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Like its comatose protagonist in this newest game, the Driver franchise has been on the sidelines for far too long; idly vegetating whilst the world went on and progressed without it with their open world sandboxes and super-serious, po-faced narratives.  It is with some sense of relief then, that Driver: San Francisco is a veritable shot in the arm for the series; awakening it from it’s long slumber to reinsert itself triumphantly into today’s racing scene; doing so by returning to its roots whilst embracing a new, off-the-wall innovation that elevates it to it’s own echelon within the genre.

In Driver: San Francisco, you are once again cast in the cooler than cool boots and swagger jacket of series favourite Tanner; this time in pursuit of dangerous career criminal Jericho, whom as you might reasonably infer, isn’t cool at all and instead aims to cause the city a lot of trouble.  Really the story takes an appropriate back seat here (a good thing considering it’s all kinds of cheddar and has such a vibrant 70’s vibe that it’s impossible to take seriously) as the defining attribute of the game this time around is that our hero can actually shift his spirit out of his car and possess other people and their vehicles.

As the resultant labour of love from what is quite clearly an LSD overdose, the whole idea is like some sort of batshit marriage between Starsky & Hutch and Quantum Leap and yet, despite the conceptual absurdity of it, it works.  It really, fucking, works.  Better yet, the gameplay possibilities that it opens up are both substantial and significant; all the while the traditional Driver gameplay which made the PSOne titles such a joy to play returns in robust form here – rumbling strongly under the hood of this shiny new, eccentric chassis.

I’m not going to tell you the reason why Tanner can suddenly possess the shit out of other folks and their transport for fear of spoilers, but i’ll just say that the explanation behind it is as far-fetched as the idea itself.  Expect narrative cheese.

Lots of it.

After the hand-holding of the initial story mission, you’re introduced to a map of the city and more crucially, the first of your new powers; the ability to ‘shift’ from one vehicle to another.  Engaging the shift ability pulls Tanner’s spirit out of the car and from a first person view, you can move as this disembodied soul, surveying the city whilst on the lookout for a new lump of flesh and pair of wheels to dive into.

Every vehicle on the road has acceleration, top-speed and handling stats so you’re eminently aware of whether you’re going to be jumping into a lumbering heap of shit or not before you take the leap.  When a vehicle takes your fancy, dive into it, take over and drive away.

Aside from the sensation of driving a totally different vehicle, developer Reflections have also had some fun with the bodies that you shift into and the situations that they find themselves in.  One time you shift into a new vehicle, you might find yourself in the body of a driving instructor giving a driving lesson or inside a wife who is driving after her cheating husband.  Most of it is pretty entertaining stuff and certainly doesn’t hurt the proceedings, serving instead to highlight the humorous side of having such an ability.

This really is the crux of the shifting mechanic – taking over another vehicle and utilising it in whatever fashion the current situation demands.  As you plough through the story missions and become more powerful, your range of abilities increases and the developer is quick to test you as a result.  One such entertaining example of how well they do this is when you are forced to compete in a race and ensure that two specific cars within that race finish in first and second place respectively.  Doing so requires judicious use of the later acquired ‘quick-shift’ ability which allows you to quickly jump into the car ahead of you and take over; allowing you to catch up with the other car in front as you frantically attempt to keep both cars in their required positions.

Another example of this mechanic working in full effect is a mission which tasks you to stop a band of rogue street racers by possessing oncoming traffic and sending them, Kamikaze style, front-on into the pack to turn them into smouldering wrecks.  Its complete lunacy and you’ll love every high-octane moment of it.

The feeling of satisfaction is further compounded by just how smoothly everything moves.  Driver: SF might not be the prettiest driving game around, but the frame-rate rarely dips below a liquid smooth sixty frames per second, a hugely impressive feat given the sheer amount of vehicles and real estate on screen at any one time.  The silky smooth screen update does more than just serve the player visually; the increased framerate results in a more responsive drive than many racers which hover around the thirty frames per second mark have been able to achieve and you’ll feel it in every vehicle you’ll hop into – from the slow and wide fire truck to the screamingly fast McClaren F1.

Going back to the city map, you’ll see the area dotted with various icons and symbols which point to garages, story missions, side missions, dares and collectables.  The side-missions in Driver: SF are actually worth setting some time aside for since they come up with some creative challenges for utilising the shift mechanic to its fullest; a crazy scenario involving you controlling two cars at once being a particular highlight.  The ‘dares’ on the other hand are much more in tune with the traditional challenges seen in the original Driver games back when, y’know, they used to be good.  Jumps, drifts, speed racing, time attack and other challenges await you to test your skill and just like other side and story missions, dares will reward you in ‘Willpower Points’ – the currency of the game, allowing you to buy new vehicles and upgrade your powers at the local garage.

There are also optional police chases and criminal getaway activities that you can do, but outside of offering you extra cash they serve little other purpose than serving up a quick round of old-school, Bullitt-esque bombast.  Finally, the collectables which are dotted around the map are worth grabbing since for every ten you collect you unlock a ‘movie challenge’, each of which are an ode to the Driver missions of old with all powers disabled and only the powerful grunt of the trusty 1968 Camaro SS underneath your heel.  It’s just as well that there is a relative wealth of extracurricular activity to do in the game besides the story missions, since the campaign itself is positively diminished; only lasting for between three and four hours if you were to not touch any of the side missions, dares or collectibles.

Really though, at its core, Driver: San Francisco is as good as Driver has ever been.  All of the series hallmarks are here; the striped Camaro SS 1968, the cinematic jumps, the superlative vehicle handling, the blazing speed, the chases; it’s all here – present and accounted for with spectacular aplomb.

Driver San Francisco is the best sort of return to form a fan could hope for; not only does it refine the traditional elements of the series that have anchored fans to it for years, but it also represents a shot in the arm for the driving genre at large with the bold shift mechanic – an ace in the hole which ensures that Driver San Francisco stands out and remains unique against its contemporary peers.

Aside from the cheesy plot and anorexic campaign there are no real reasons I can think of for not recommending Driver: San Francisco.  If you’re still not convinced and you believe yourself to be a fan of the series or you have a hankering for decent racers in general, perhaps like Tanner himself, you need to do some soul searching of your own.

Driver: San Francisco is available to buy now for 360, PS3, Wii and PC.  You should be able to find it for somewhere south of a tenner.

Written by bitsnark

May 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Far Cry 3 gets ‘Insane Edition’. Now available to pre-order.

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In the grand tradition of fleecing the gullable and financially senseless, comes along this latest collectors edition for Ubisoft’s forthcoming Far Cry 3.

Just look at that bobble head for heaven’s sake.

The ‘Insane Edition’ for Far Cry 3 includes the following tat:

Exclusive Survival Kit Packaging: It’s supposed to look like a survival kit. It doesn’t.

An Insane Vaas Wahine: A 12cm Wahine with Vaas bobble head that looks totally fucking hideous. 

A survival guide: Discover unique artwork and inside information to help you survive the insanity of the island: Does anyone actually look at ‘unique artwork’ as a selling point these days for collectors editions? 

Monkey Business: Discover Hurk, a new memorable character and quest giver, and his 4 unique missions. An extra hour of gameplay exclusive to this collector’s edition! A WHOLE EXTRA HOUR! He’s memorable too!

The Lost Expeditions: 2 Suspenseful Action Missions and an exclusive World War II Flare Gun. An extra 40min of gameplay! FORTY MINUTES (Count em’) of extra gameplay!

  • The Hunter Pack: The M700 hunting rifle and its three collector’s skins.
  • The Warrior Pack: A handcrafted dagger and two exclusive tribal tattoos
  • The Predator Pack: 4 exclusive rare predators and a multiplayer bow.

Really, the allure of the multiplayer tidbits listed above will depend completely on the strength of the multiplayer – a bit of an unknown quantity at this point.  Still, you get all of that tat for £49.99, so it’s not like they’ve violated you for the usual £69.99 price point that so many collectors editions seem to be set at these days.

The Insane Edition of the game is available to pre-order at Zavvi.com.  Linkage here:  http://www.zavvi.com/elysium.search?search=Far+Cry+3%3A+The+Insane+Edition

There’s also a ‘reveal’ trailer for the Insane Edition that i’m sure you probably couldn’t care about.

Here it is anyway.  It looks awful.

Far Cry 3 is due to release on 360, PS3 and PC on 7th September 2012. 

Written by bitsnark

May 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

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