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Ubidays

Ubidays 08: Hands-on with Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X

May 28 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
H.A.W.X. takes place in the year 2012. 191 countries ratified the Reykjavik Accords and this allowed for Private Military Contractors to be a force for all the countries.  All of these PMC forces have been officially recognized and sanctioned by most of the world's super powers doing away with the traditional miltary method. You're here about the gameplay though, so if you're interested in the game's back-story, then check it out here.  You play as a former Air Force pilot who has recently joined the PMC. It will be your job to protect cities, escort people, do bomb runs and whatever else you're ordered to do. You will travel to over two dozen real world locations across the globe that are in need of your services. For this hands-on demo, we were flying over Rio De Janeiro. As we're flying into Rio, we're being briefed on our mission and what we need to do. There are a few battleships, several fighter jets and some tanks that all need to be taken out. Now, you could follow along with the other planes in your group, or you can just go off wherever you'd like on the map. Now, you have to do the objective no matter what, but you won't get in trouble or anything for exploring. I'm told the maps will be huge but you will eventually hit that "invisible wall" and can't go out any further. When you are flying around outside of the cities, you'll see that the ground and such isn't very detailed. Rio De Janeiro itself is very detailed with the sky scrappers and other buildings, but beyond that, you'll see nothing but flat green ground for the most part. Of course, this is a flying game, so that's not really that bothersome of a detail.  After screwing around the outskirts of Rio for a little bit, I headed towards my objectives. My squad mates were already deep in combat with the enemy jets as best they could. I came in over the ocean so I fired on a couple of battleships and then chased after some jets. The Enhanced Reality System (E.R.S. for short) will be a gigantic help during missions. The E.R.S. is a highly advanced computer system designed to make anyone an elite pilot. It's fully equipped to make sure you kick some ass and at the same time, makes sure you don't get your ass kicked. While in E.R.S. mode, the camera is fixed directly behind your jet. This is so you can see all the indicators and help the system is giving the pilot.  The system told me what the quickest path I should bear in order to intercept one of the enemy jets. You will see a triangular marker appear directly in front of your jet meant for you to fly through in order to get to your target as fast as possible. As I was going towards the enemy jet, the E.R.S. warned me that a missile had locked onto me. It laid out a new triangular path for me to follow so I could avoid the incoming missile. I just stayed on the path for a few seconds and I broke away when I thought it was safe. I have to say, it's very exhilarating seeing a missile pass over your jet just mere inches away. Now if E.R.S. is sounding like the game will make things too easy, don't worry. You can turn off the E.R.S. at any point in the game. Simply pressing the left trigger twice and the E.R.S. is turned off. When you're in this regular flight mode, the camera pulls out and goes off into the distance. The change is kind of like Madden and real football. With E.R.S. on, the camera is right behind you like in Madden. When E.R.S. is off, it looks like a football game on TV as the camera is looking onto the side of the field from a distance.  When in this mode, it's a lot easier to pull off tricks like doing flips and what not. This view of your jet and everything that's going on is very cinematic feeling. I felt like I could be watching a fight scene from a movie during this whole period in regular flight mode. Both views and systems offer very different controls. The point of both is to know when to use them. It's not about whether or not you prefer one or the other. It's about knowing which mode would be useful in a given situation. The controls were pretty solid. The planes controed well, it was simple to lock onto targets in E.R.S. mode and and it felt very realistic while doing stunts in regular flight mode. Overall, I cannot wait for this game to come out now. I can't believe it has taken this long to create an awesome flight sim. I did have some minor discomfort when it came to flying without the E.R.S. I found I got a little dizzy after switching the views. It wasn't anything major and I'm hoping it had something to do with me bouncing from station to station playing all of the different type of games Ubisoft had on hand at Ubidays.  I also cannot wait to see how co-op and the 16 player dogfights will be like. Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. will be out later this year for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
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Ever since Pilot Wings for the Super Nintendo, I have always adored the flying games. The genre, as of late has been rather stale sadly. Not much is out there, and it's only once in a blue moon that we see something decent co...

Ubidays 08: New Prince of Persia details, screens and teaser trailer

May 28 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
The new Prince of Persia has been in development for over two and a half years now. When development on the next game started, they decided to ditch everything from the previous games and go into a entirely new direction. Prince of Persia has always had this fantasy nature to it, so now they're fully embracing this. They're taking the environmental and level design to a very mythical level. Think "castle in the sky" type fantasy (not that there will actually be a castle in the sky ... well, maybe). The art style, which we've been given a little preview of already, is being called Illustrative art style, something that has never been done before.The story takes place with you arriving to a Garden of Eden like place where an ancient evil God called Ahriman has just been freed. As soon as he breaks from his prison, his evil spreads across the lands turning everything in darkness. This evil corruption consumes everything taking away all life and light from the world. It's your task to go through the world, visit different regions and purify them from the corruption.  This is where another big change to the series is introduced. You have the choice at how you want to play the game. The world you'll be exploring was being compared to the United States. Say you're in "California" and you want to go to "New York". Half way to "New York" you decide you'd rather go to "Texas" instead. You have that freedom of choice to play the game like that. Depending on where you go and what region you save will affect how the story progresses. There will be a system in place, though, for gamers that just want to do what the game tells them to do and sets them on a straight path. The fighting system is a lot like a boss fight now. Every enemy you encounter will be like a boss where they're just as strong, if not stronger, than you. The camera will shift into this movie like mode giving you very dramatic angels of the battle. You need to use your environment in a battle to try and get the upper hand. Force enemies toward a wall, toward a ledge or any other thing to try and turn the battle to your advantage. At the same time, the enemies will try and do the same thing to you. In fact, the enemy you're pushing towards a wall might be letting you do this on purpose. He might be tricking you into thinking you're about to have an advantage only for him to make his move at the last second and throw you up against the wall instead. The fighting system was heavily influenced by the Final Fantasy: Advent Children movie (The Tifa fight scene is so awesome) to give you a better idea of what they're shooting for.  Finally, the newest addition to the Prince of Persia series is a character named Elika. Elika is a support character and she will always be at your side to help you whenever you need it. The developers have made it so Elika will never get in the way of what you're doing. She'll always be in the right place at the right time to assist you with whatever you need. She can hold her own in a fight and she'll do some tag team moves with you to take on enemies. She has strong magical attacks so if a enemy puts up a shield around himself, Elika will jump in, shatter the shield and step off to the side ready to assist you if you call upon her again. She'll be able to assist you with puzzles too. If a jump is to far, you two will do some sort of a super jump that will let you cross over to the other side. She can also give you her opinion on how to do a puzzle if you're getting stuck and she'll even start working on a puzzle on her own sometimes. Elika also has the power to  show you where you should go next with her magical abilities should you get yourself lost. After the fifteen-minute speech, we were shown a 45 second long CG teaser of some of what was said in action, which you can check out at above. In theory, all this sounds great. Hopefully all this works out in the actual game. We'll just have to wait until E3 to find out how this turns out. How's it sounding to you? The new Prince of Persia should be hitting this holiday season for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. 
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Prince of Persia was the only game that wasn't actually playbale at Ubidays 08 this year. Instead, Prince of Persia was only talked about. Unfortunately, it looks like we won't be seeing the game until E3 rolls around. So for...

Ubidays 08: Hands-on with Far Cry 2

May 28 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
There is only one mission in Far Cry 2: Kill the Jackal. The Jackal is an arms dealer who is supplying weapons to both sides of an ongoing conflict and it's your job to take him out. The Jackal could be anywhere in the Savanna and it's completely up to you how you want to find him. Your best bet to finding the Jackal is by going to enemy camps and rescuing prisoners. In the demo that I played, two prisoners had all ready been rescued and were willing to help you out. These Buddies, as they're called, will help you out by giving you missions that opens up more of the storyline. They'll also assist you in battles and come to your rescue when you need it. The demo plopped us right into a jungle with dirt roads leading to multiple paths. Right behind where we started was this little shack that a couple of Buddies were inside of. You can totally go off at this point to wherever you please, following the dirt road or just running through the trees and open fields. I wanted to see what the story was all about so after Frank gives me a call on the cell phone you have, I went to the shack and talked more in depth with Frank. Frank needs some help taking on the Jackal's men. There's a camp down the road with a pipeline that needs to be destroyed. Frank wants this security boss to leave his post and in order to do that; he needs to be distracted with the destruction of the pipeline. After accepting Frank's mission, I go over to the other Buddy in the shack called Warren. Warren offers to be your backup should you need it.  The story will configure dynamically based on who you've met in the game, who you've saved, and who has died. All of these Buddy characters can die at any point in the game and once they are dead, that's it. Whatever story arch they were leading you into is now gone for good. Far Cry 2 has a heavy focus on character relationships so these Buddies are a big deal to the story.  After accepting Franks mission and asking Warren for backup, it was time to head out. I jumped into a car and started heading towards my objective. The road splits up shortly outside of the shack area with signs that say where the road goes to. After accepting the mission and getting back to this sign, I noticed that the road sign leading to the pipeline camp was highlighted. A very simple thing, sure, but a nice touch, I thought. Of course, this is the open Savanna so signs like that will be far and few between. Which is why you have a map on hand that covers the 50 square kilometers of land you can explore. The map will show you any enemy camps, vehicles, roads and so on.After a few seconds, I get to the outskirts of my target camp and start scouting things out. I see enemies patrolling and a couple of snipers on top of some towers. I get spotted before I can get a good idea of who is where and everyone in the came opens fire on me. The weapons you have are mapped on the D-pad. You have a machete for your standard melee weapon, and the other three Directional buttons are for your automatics, pistols, explosives and heavy weapons you come across. You can pick up other weapons whenever you want, but you'll have to swap out with one of your equipped weapons. The really unique thing with Far Cry 2's weapons is that they can actually jam and misfire. The longer a gun is used, the more chance for it to get worn down and jam. The only indicator you get is how dirty and worn down the gun is looking. A good gun will be brand new looking. As time goes on, and the more you use the gun, it will get dirty and rusty. When your gun does get jammed, you have to mash the reload button until you fix the jamming. You're left very vulnerable so you need to run towards cover when this happens. You will be able to unlock higher quality weapons later on in the game, which won't be able to jam as easily.As I took out the soldiers in this camp, I noticed a few were still alive after getting shot. A couple of them couldn't walk anymore, but they could still hold a gun and will continue to try and get you until their last breath. By the time I was done taking out the enemies in this camp, my health was nearing dangerous levels. You'll have these syringes that you can inject to heal yourself, but if you get too low in your health, you'll have to heal yourself in a brutal way. These methods are pretty gruesome and require you to pluck out a bullet with a plier or use a flare to seal up a wound. There will be other methods, but these were the only two I saw. After clearing out the camp, I planted the bomb and blew the pipe up. After the pipe was blown up, I get a call from Frank to let me know he's doing his part of the mission. It's time for me to move on to the next group of enemies. The next section has you getting into a boat and going down the newly formed river that the pipeline explosion created. Since this is a demo, the river here was already formed. In the actually game, this river would take a couple of hours to form by the pipeline water. After getting out of the boat and into a car, I headed to next major camp. There's a couple of smaller camps scattered in between my next goal but I decided to continue on and not worry about these guys. The enemy, however, weren't about to just let me go without putting up a fight. Two jeeps with gun turrets started chasing me down making me have to stop to take these guys on. I planted an IED on my jeep and started running off hoping that they would chase me. One guy did  and as soon as he got near the jeep, I blew him up. After that, I swung out my rocket launcher and blew up one of the enemies jeep with a guy on the turret.   The subsequent explosions started up a couple of brush fires and soon there was wall of fire separating me from the two remaining guys. I quickly got out of the area as fires can attract more enemies. As I neared the next camp, I got out my binoculars and saw they had no idea I was in the area. I took a few of them out with my sniper rifle that I picked up earlier and then started making my advance to the camp. This camp was a former fishing village but all of the water had dried up so things looked kind of weird as all of the buildings were up on stilts.  There were a lot more enemies than the previous camp and these guys had stronger weapons too. I barely stepped foot onto the village before I was taken out. Luckily, I had asked Warren at the start of the game to help me out if needed and this is where he came in. Everything turned red as I dropped to the ground and before I knew it, Warren came in firing at anything that moved and dragged me to one of the huts. After I get healed up, Warren hands me a pistol since the near death made me lose all my guns. Warren will continue to stay with you in the general area but he won't follow you when you move on. There is a chance of Warren dying so you should keep an eye on him here.  After everyone was taken out, Frank gives you a call and you need to head over to where he is before he gets killed. You can take a car, or, if you explore a little bit, you can find a hang glider and fly on over towards Frank. After landing the hang glider, the demo was over. All in all, the game has a lot of potential. There are a lot of things that still need to be worked on, such as the fact that there was no real intelligence in the A.I. This is just an early build so there's still time to work on that. Visually, the game looks great. There are a lot of details when it comes to the land and I'm looking forward to exploring every inch of the game. One other thing I should note is that the PC version of Far Cry 2 is gorgeous looking. They had the Xbox 360 and PC version of the game on demo next to each other and the PC version had so much more polish. Of course, you shouldn't be surprised by that at all. There will be multiplayer in the game, but they haven't revealed anything beyond just saying multiplayer is in the game. Far Cry 2 will be out for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 later this year.
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Welcome back to the Far Cry universe. This time, instead of islands filled with mercenaries and weird genetic experiments, we're given 50 square kilometers of open African Savanna to explore. Far Cry 2 brings with it a lot of...

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Ubidays 08: Teaser for Beyond Good & Evil 2 is ... is ... *head explodes*


May 28
// Chad Concelmo
Since I am shaking uncontrollably from excitement, I will spare you the typos and overdramatic exclamations. Let me just say that Ubisoft just showed a teaser for the now official Beyond Good & Evil 2 at its Ubidays event...
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New Far Cry 2 trailer now, tons of Ubidays coverage later


May 28
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The latest trailer for Far Cry 2 gives us a little insight to the game's storyline. There's an arms dealer named the Jackal and it looks like you're trying to hunt him down. The trailer shows off a variety of guns that you'll...
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Ubisoft to deliver Ubidays video coverage through Uplay.com


May 22
// Nick Chester
How would you like to go to Paris' world-famous Louvre museum and check out the new Prince of Persia, or Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway? Well, you can't -- sorry, pal.  Ubisoft are providing the next best thing, giving...
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Ubisoft announces UBIDAYS 2008 Paris press event


Jan 17
// Nick Chester
We're not European press, so we weren't at last year's Ubisoft press event, UBIDAYS. It's likely we won't be at this year's event either, but we can slap a mustache on Jim Sterling and try to sneak him in, I suppose. Ann...
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Ubisoft's Ubidays '07 recap: Where you at? edition


May 25
// Nick Chester
In our recap yesterday, we covered just about everything Ubisoft had to offer at this week's Ubidays event. Still, there were quite a few titles that appeared to be missing from the show. When the Prince returns, will he ...
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Ubisoft's Ubidays '07 recap


May 24
// Nick Chester
With Ubisoft's Ubidays event in Paris having come to a close, it's not hard to imagine that just maybe you might have missed something. A game here, an announcement there -- it's a lot to process, I know. No one i...
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Ubidays '07: EndWar to have voice support & MMO features


May 23
// Jim Sterling
Ubisoft have big plans for their next Tom Clancy title, EndWar, with two ambitious ideas detailed as part of its Parisian Ubidays event. First, there's the announcement that the game can be played solely through the use o...
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Ubidays '07: GRAW team to work on a Beowulf game, Grendel is not amused


May 23
// Joseph Leray
People enjoy giving the French a hard time about their cheese-loving pacifism and unhealthy obsession with huge, steel, phallic structures, but Ubisoft is all about thinking of new and creative ways to kil...
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Ubidays '07: New Assassin's Creed trailer is just ... wow


May 22
// Nick Chester
I'm hesitant to post another video on the main page, since it's already cluttered with the likes of the Pikmin-gone bad, Overlord, and the PSP RPG goodness of Jeanne D'Arc. But this new Assassin's Creed traile...

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