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Grading the Microsoft, Ubisoft, EA, and Sony press conferences


Video
Jun 16
// Steven Hansen
We -- me, Jordan, Kyle MacGregor, Brett Makedonski, and Kenny Redublo -- shot some videos throughout the day yesterday discussing the major press conferences. We got kicked out of the Lakers' arena trying to talk about Micro...

Medieval fighter For Honor defies description

Jun 16 // Kyle MacGregor
While there is some sort of story mode to ostensibly explain why feudal soldiers from opposite ends of the planet are sharing a battlefield, Ubisoft is keeping quiet about the single-player campaign. Instead, the publisher has opted to thrust the multiplayer component into the foreground. And what a strange and alluring experience that is. On the heels of its E3 media briefing, Ubisoft whisked the press off to a tower in downtown Los Angeles to compete in a mode called "Dominion." There, groups of eight players skirmished in 4-on-4 matches with an emphasis on territory control. With three King of the Hill-style zones to vie for, it's set up an awful lot like an online shooter. And at a glance, it gives off a Dynasty Warriors vibe, with hordes inept minions fighting battles of attrition while player-controlled hero characters grapple over objectives that, you know, actually matter. Neither of those comparisons really nail what For Honor actually feels like, though. The combat system is far more intricate than Koei Tecmo's hack-and-slashers, at any rate. This is no mindless action game. Each and every encounter with the enemy requires a great deal of care.  For Honor is all about sword mastery; success or failure largely hinges on one's proficiency with a blade. Being overly aggressive is a good way to get flayed, as defense is of vital importance here. Predictable attacks are easily blocked and countered, and even knights, despite being clad in heavy plate mail, can be felled surprisingly quickly after a string of defensive miscues. In some respects this is more of a fighting game, where opponents feel one another out with pokes and jabs, hoping to discern the enemy's plan of attack and capitalize when given the opportunity. You really have to pay attention to where the enemy's weapon is positioned, be ready to counter it while working to read them, and get an opening yourself. I quickly found myself outmatched when going toe-to-toe with the developers on the other team. They seemed to move with lightning speed, feigning attacks and throwing me off balance, only to hit me from my unguarded side a moment later. Thankfully, strategy and teamwork play a central role. When I figured out I wasn't a skilled enough fighter to take enemies on by my lonesome, I focused my attention on sneaking up the flanks and capturing the objectives. Eventually, somehow, after flailing in the early going, our team came back from the brink of defeat to pull off an unlikely victory. (Maybe they let us win.) On top of that, players act as field generals, earning mid-game perks called "Feats" that allow one to call in ordnance support catapults and archers, or even inspire your cohorts to fight better. Knowing how and when to play these cards figures to play a key role in turning the tide of battle. For Honor is a fascinating fusion of genres that has me eager to return to the battlefield.
For Honor impressions photo
Whatever it is, I like it
Ubisoft Montreal's For Honor seems to borrow inspiration from as many places as it does warriors. The newly-revealed project sees medieval knights clash with samurai and viking raiders, warping time and space to bring together foes as distinct as the overarching experience that unites them.

It's truly fun traversing Assassin's Creed Syndicate's London

Jun 16 // Brett Makedonski
As these things go, our E3 demo was free of any sort of missteps that would hint at a repeat performance. No surprise there; these showings are almost always incredibly polished even though they're all in "pre-alpha." What is worth noting is that Ubisoft actually let us have hands-on time this year. In 2014, it was a one-on-one hands-off session while a developer played. That could be a small indicator that the publisher has more faith in this year's iteration. I was turned loose in a very small section of London, and I immediately felt a knowing comfort. Assassin's Creed isn't going to change that much, after all. Having just walked out of a pub, protagonist Jacob was on the ground and surrounded by three story (or so) buildings. Rooftops are the much preferred method of getting around, so it's time to start ascending. This is where Syndicate made its open-world pacing apparent. Rather than climbing the face of every structure, Jacob can shoot a grappling hook that will almost instantaneously transport him to any summit. It may seem like it wouldn't be all that noteworthy, as several titles have implemented the same feature in recent years. But, it does such a great job of opening up the Assassin's Creed traversal, it's impossible to ignore its significance here. [embed]294140:59097:0[/embed] Once on the rooftops, it was simple to shoot ziplines across to even further destinations. It's no longer necessary to go from roof to ground and back up when trying to cross a city. Now, pathfinding is incredibly simple because it just requires a quick tap of a button to fire across the chasm. These ziplines serve another purpose too, though. Partway between two points, Jacob can decide that whatever's underneath him needs a quick blade in the back of the neck. Performing air assassinations while gliding along proves to be quite satisfying, not to mention efficient. This particular demo tasked me with clearing out a relatively small compound, which was a great opportunity to test out the only new weapon I was shown. Jacob has hallucinogenic darts at his disposal, which make enemies easy to deal with. What's more, shooting them into a fire gives them an area-of-effect radius instead of only harming one target. I took out three people with one dart and then threw a knife to drop some cargo on the head of a fourth. It was a pretty great way to quickly and creatively dispatch a handful of enemies. That's when the faction leader began fleeing, necessitating commandeering someone's buggy to chase them down. With a terrified horse pulling me around with all the grace you'd expect from a panicked animal, I eventually caught up. This initiated a "gang war" where I fought alongside approximately ten others to kill those on the other side, which concluded the demo. For the few takeaways I had, I was left with more questions. What role would Evie play opposite of Jacob? Will either be playable under any circumstance, or do they each have scenes dedicated to them? How will gameplay differ between the two? What are Ubisoft's plans for the modern story? How will the boroughs of London seem unique? I had a lot of inquiries, but the developers were tight-lipped about almost everything, simply stating that oft-repeated line "We're going to be talking about that later." Frustrating as it is, it's par for the course. Information's always locked down until the publisher's ready to reveal. From what we saw, everything about Syndicate is very Assassin's Creed. That's not much of a revelatory statement, but it is what it is. The grappling hook -- the one thing that isn't very Assassin's Creed -- was undoubtedly the finest feature. It's not the type of change that will be at the forefront of someone's mind when they think about the game, but it's an improvement that will keep traversal from becoming too much of a slog. That's a welcome addition if I've ever heard of one.
AC Syndicate preview photo
And a whole lot quicker
Ubisoft finally had all the perils that come with annual franchise installments come crashing down on it last year with Assassin's Creed Unity. It was the most ambitious Assassin's Creed title to date -- with its insanel...

E3 photo
Let's poll the audience...wait, we did!
The results are in! I've been recording your opinions for the press conferences so far at E3 2015, and Sony is winning by a 78% ratio of "love" or "enjoy" ratings. In second place, neck and neck is Bethesda with a 77% approva...

 photo

Assassin's Creed Syndicate gets PS4 exclusive missions, Dreadful Crimes


DON'T MESS WITH EVIE
Jun 15
// Nic Rowen
The PS4 is getting some exclusive Assassin's Creed Syndicate missions based on the works of some of Victorian England’s most famous authors (although curiously, they didn't name which ones). The Dreadful Crimes exclusi...

Everything from Ubisoft's 2015 E3 press conference

Jun 15 // Chris Carter
News: Ubisoft unveils all-new South Park adventure, The Fractured but Whole Ubisoft reveals new murder sim, For Honor Ubisoft announces The Crew: Wild Run, coming Oct. 17 You're a unicorn-riding cat in the new Trials Fusion DLC Tom Clancy's The Division release date is March 8, 2016 That's not how memes work, Ubisoft Space is the place! City-builder Anno 2205 leaves earth Ubisoft has turned your phone into a console camera Rainbow Six Siege will feature Angela Bassett as 'Six' TrackMania Turbo coming to consoles Ghost Recon goes open world with Wildlands  Assassin's Creed: Syndicate is mean to horses Previews: E3: First hands-on Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's The Division [embed]294055:59039:0[/embed]
Ubisoft at E3 photo
Aisha tried her best
Um, yeah. So Ubisoft's event wasn't as bad as it could have been. I mean, we've seen way, way worse, with giant enemy crabs, Wii Music demonstrations gone wrong, Joel Mchale, and Mr. Caffeine (those last two were also Ubisoft...

Ghost Recon Wildlands photo
Ghost Recon Wildlands

Ghost Recon goes open world with Wildlands


Eww, bloody cocaine
Jun 15
// Jordan Devore
Ubisoft showed an intriguing new open-world game about taking down a Bolivian drug cartel during its E3 2015 press conference and, oh, it's just a new Ghost Recon. That's our Ubisoft! Ghost Recon Wildlands is a third-pe...
Trackmania Turbo photo
Trackmania Turbo

TrackMania Turbo coming to consoles


Darn that's some fast arcade racing
Jun 15
// Laura Kate Dale
Annouced during the Ubisoft E3 conference today, TrackMania Turbo was announced for PS4 and Xbox One. The game will feature a track creator which allows you to instantly play tracks once built. Honestly, I would rather play a game where I got to be this guy who showed it off on stage.

E3: First hands-on Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's The Division

Jun 15 // Steven Hansen
[embed]294064:59046:0[/embed] We sure as fuck weren't as team work oriented as Ubisoft's carefully directed demo, which will basically be the case if you aren't playing regularly with a couple pals. Quoting the developer, it's a "standard shooter" in terms of controls. Each character had a few different abilities, which later can be customized (there's a turret, remote sticky bomb, a homing mine that follows you until it finds an enemy to go after) and my character was outfitted with a shotgun that somewhat unsatisfyingly took chunks of my opponents' health bar out. Like, that's not what shotguns should be doing. But The Division is heavy on its crazy tech UI theme, and the co-op focus means it could end up something like Destiny -- kind of a boring loot fest, but fun with friends. It's cool that you're at risk of losing your high level loot if you're killed in this instance and that might make even strangers try and team up (loot is evenly split, too). There are crazy dudes with flamethrowers to worry about and "Rikers," a gang of murderous inmates escaped from Rikers Island prison, which kind of doesn't make sense given how many prisoners in the United States are non-violent offenders and probably would return to their families if released rather than into a group of murderous thugs, but, hey, gritty apocalypse. Of course there are also other players to worry about. At any moment they can go rogue and start fights between fire teams (in our demo, we all tried to kill each other), but you can also all work together and wait for an extraction out of the instance. The goal seems to be making it so your first impulse isn't to kill anyone you come across, because that just makes things harder and puts your gains at risk. The Division isn't quite for me. I don't need endless progressions, bars, and numbers to play a game. But folks who got well into Destiny might find a nice little squad-based multiplayer shooter here. But I also still have no clue how the open-world element works, as this demo might as well as have been any old multiplayer map.
The Division photo
Divisioning a division in Division
Tom Clancy may be dead, but The Division isn't. It's been two years since Ubisoft announced its apocalyptic "online, open-world action RPG," but I finally got hands-on at a Ubisoft event this E3. We were set up in a boiling h...

Ubisoft at E3 photo
Ubisoft at E3

Rainbow Six Siege will feature Angela Bassett as 'Six'


New trailer ahoy!
Jun 15
// Chris Carter
Ubisoft unveiled a new trailer for Rainbow Six Siege, and it will host actress Angela Bassett as "Six," the director of the Rainbow Unit within the game. This will be Bassett's first role in a video game. The "Terrohunt...
Just Dance photo
Just Dance

Ubisoft has turned your phone into a console camera


Unless you're rocking a 2004 Razr
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
Man, so many people just want to dance in front of their video game consoles. You may scoff, but Just Dance is the most successful music franchise ever, so that statement applies to some folks. For those who haven't alr...
Beyond earth photo
Beyond earth

Space is the place! City-builder Anno 2205 leaves earth


Beyond earth
Jun 15
// Steven Hansen
Ubisoft showed off city-builder Anno 2205 at its presser and its following in Civilization's trajectory and going beyond earth, hahaha. Go colonize that moon. Spread humanity's diseases even further.
Division release photo
Division release

Tom Clancy's The Division release date is March 8, 2016


That was cold, Ryan
Jun 15
// Darren Nakamura
Ubisoft showed off some more of The Division at its press conference today. In the gameplay preview, a team of three makes a shaky alliance with a random group of two. They all take down some bad guys, steal their loot, and ...
Trials Fusion DLC photo
Trials Fusion DLC

You're a unicorn-riding cat in the new Trials Fusion DLC


Trials Fusion Awesome Level Max
Jun 15
// Jordan Devore
That was strange. Ubisoft showed a cat riding a fire-breathing unicorn during its E3 2015 press conference and somehow it's DLC for Trials Fusion. I just like how the motorbikes handle, guys. "In total, this new DLC pack fea...
Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

Ubisoft announces The Crew: Wild Run, coming Nov. 17


Start your engines
Jun 15
// Kyle MacGregor
  The Crew is getting its first expansion come November 17 with Wild Run, Ubisoft just announced. The new content revolves around an event called "The Summit," a gathering where thousands of mechanics and drivers come to...
For Honor photo
For Honor

Ubisoft reveals new murder sim, For Honor


Murder a bunch of stuff across history
Jun 15
// Laura Kate Dale
Ubisoft today at their E3 press conference revealed a new game called For Honor, in which two teams of 8 players can brutally murder each other as a series of violent armies from across history. The game will be playable on the E3 show floor from tomorrow. Expect to hear stories of Destructoid writers hacking each other up soon. We shall see if "you can feel the weight of the weapon in your hand.
Ubisoft at E3 photo
Ubisoft at E3

Ubisoft unveils all-new South Park adventure, The Fractured but Whole


Featuring Coon (and friends)
Jun 15
// Chris Carter
Ubisoft just came out of the gate with a brand new announcement -- Southpark: The Fractured but Hole. It's an all-new RPG adventure that will feature the kids and their alter egos, The Coon (and friends) squad. Trey Parker a...
Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

Watch Ubisoft's 2015 E3 press conference right here


Aisha Tyler Strikes Back
Jun 15
// Chris Carter
Today's Ubisoft EA press conference will be hosted by Aisha Tyler, who has really come into her own this year as the host of Who's Line is it Anyway? reboot on The CW. I'm interested in seeing what this conference entai...

E3 2015 press conference schedule

Jun 15 // Steven Hansen
SUNDAY, JUNE 14 Bethesda @ 7:00PM PDTTwitch stream (Doom 4, more Fallout 4, maybe some BattleCry stuff, surprise Dishonored 2?!) MONDAY, JUNE 15 Microsoft @ 9:30AM PDTTwitch stream, stream from your Xbox console, or watch on cable television (Gears of War, sentient press release with a blazer Phil Spencer, new Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, Halo 5, Forza 6, Tomb Raider, Cirque Du Soleil (?)) - Electronic Arts @ 1:00PM PDTTwitch stream (Star Wars Battlefront, Need for Speed, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, SPORTS, maybe Mass Effect and Visceral's Star Wars) - Ubisoft @ 3:00PM PDTTwitch stream (Female erections, Assassin's Creed: Dumb Hat Version, maybe The Division is real now, more Rainbow Six, possibly hints for next year's likely Far Cry 5 or a Watch Dogs follow up) - Sony @ 6:00PM PDTTwitch, YouTube, PlayStation stream (Definitely The Last Guardian, Rockstar's Agent, and a Final Fantasy VII remake, all three of which will be announced that they have been added to the PSN during the stream; also real things like Uncharted 4, Tearaway Unfolded, Street Fighter V, and please, please, please Gravity Rush 2) - TUESDAY, JUNE 16 Nintendo Direct @ 9:00AM PDT (followed by show-floor Treehouse streams all week)Twitch, YouTube (My gratitude for it not being at 7AM again, maybe Metroid so I can shave Zack, 3DS Hyrule Warriors,  newly box art'd Devil's Third, Star Fox: Furry Road) - Square Enix @ 10:00AM PDTTwitch, YouTube (No Final Fantasy XV until gamescom, Deus Ex: Mick Foley Divided, Just Cause 3, maybe Star Ocean and Hitman) - PC Gaming Show @ 5:00PM PDTTwitch (AMD, Devolver, Fullbright, Microsoft, Square, Cliffy B; this show's new, not entirely sure what to expect, but does promise "new game reveals," likely the last ones of the week)
E3 watch schedule photo
What to expect when you're expecting
Lord on a skateboard, E3 2015: Redemption is here to wash away industry sins with a waterfall of hype airdropped upon the unwashed masses. It tastes of Mountain Dew and will not make you clean. So many questions will be answe...

Assassin's Creed E3 photo
Assassin's Creed E3

Ubisoft scrambling to make Assassin's Creed E3 demo more playable than final game


Disappearing face epidemic under control
Jun 12
// CJ Andriessen
With just a few days until the start of E3, sources within Ubisoft say the company is doing everything possible to make the E3 demo of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate the ultimate gaming experience -- unlike the broken, bug...
Toy Soldiers: War Chest photo
Toy Soldiers: War Chest

It's He-Man vs. G.I. Joe in the new Toy Soldiers


Holy shit!
Jun 10
// Jordan Devore
Lot of smaller but still rather cool announcements this week ahead of E3. Toy Soldiers: War Chest is fleshing out its roster of original toy armies with the likes of He-Man and G.I. Joe. This series, if you've never played, ...
Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege's Operators all have annoyingly awesome names


No care for fine interior decoration
Jun 04
// Brett Makedonski
Rock, flag, and eagle time; Ubisoft's slowly pulling back the curtain on all of Rainbow Six Siege's international operators, and today the Americans get profiled. As is to be expected, all of them have excellently punchy nam...
Ubisoft at E3 photo
Ubisoft at E3

#GirlWood confirmed: Aisha Tyler's hosting Ubisoft's E3 presser again


The Uplay Lounge returns
Jun 02
// Brett Makedonski
Ubisoft's not making any radical changes to its approach to E3. That doesn't mean the French publisher won't have anything exciting to announce; it's just that whatever happens will go down the same way it always does -- with...
AC Syndicate photo
AC Syndicate

Ubisoft: No second screen experience for Assassin's Creed Syndicate


Getting further and further from Unity
May 28
// Brett Makedonski
Plenty of publishers are high on the second screen experience, but Ubisoft's coming down from that -- well, at least a little. The next installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise won't come paired with a companion app...
Syndicate photo
Syndicate

First historical inaccuracies spotted in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate


Only likely to bother train enthusiasts
May 18
// Laura Kate Dale
Eagle eyed Reddit users have been pouring over last week's Assassin's Creed: Syndicate trailer with a fine tooth comb and have started spotting some of the game's first historical inaccuracies over the weekend. Perhaps the mo...
Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege will arrive on October 13


Recent fan feedback taken into account
May 14
// Chris Carter
Rainbow Six Siege will arrive on October 13, 2015 on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One, Ubisoft announced today. In recent Siege-related news, the publisher has been hard at work combing through recent feedback regarding the alpha te...
South Park photo
South Park

Ubisoft sold 1.6m copies of South Park: Stick of Truth


It took over a year to count everything
May 14
// Vikki Blake
Ubisoft has sold 1.6 million copies of South Park: The Stick of Truth. The confirmation comes via Ubisoft's recent earnings report. Though the developer had previously revealed that sales of 2014's best RPG (yeah, I think it ...
The Division Delayed photo
The Division Delayed

Ubisoft's The Division delayed until 2016


More like DELAYbisoft, am I right?
May 13
// Jed Whitaker
Ubisoft announced its fiscal quarter results and along with it a delay of Tom Clancy's The Division until the first quarter of 2016. No reasoning has been given publicly for the delay. The report also stated the publisher is ...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Is that Brock Lesnar in Assassin's Creed Syndicate?


Bloody well looks like it
May 13
// Vikki Blake
An eagle-eyed Kotaku reader has spotted a familiar - if unexpected - figure in the recent Assassin's Creed Syndicate stream: wrestler and all-round I-kick-asses-for-a-living-dude, Brock Lesnar.  To check it out for yours...
Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

Ubisoft has almost completely moved away from last-gen consoles


Just Dance is the only exception
May 12
// Brett Makedonski
If you're a late adopter who hasn't picked up a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One yet, don't expect to play any Ubisoft games moving forward. The French developer and publisher is done making titles for old platforms. As reported by ...

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