E3 08: Not liveblogging the Ubisoft press conference

Now that I am a professional liveblogger (with a whole one on my resume), I was so excited to liveblog the UbiSoft press conference that just happened here at E3. Sadly, my fancy new software was not so fancy and decided to get all weird on me. So, instead, I present a recap! I hope you enjoy!

All in all, UbiSoft put on a pretty fantastic show. From the absolutely incredible Prince of Persia to the surprisingly impressive Far Cry 2, there were some amazing titles on display.

You will be hearing a lot more about these games in individual detail over the next few days, so I will just quickly go over a few impressions of what UbiSoft showed off.

Hit the jump for a summary of cross-breeding Monkeyz, a game controlled entirely with your voice, and a mysterious new project called I Am Alive.

The press conference opened with Laurent Detoc talking about the state of the company. Basically, UbiSoft is doing well — really well. Not pretentious or boring in any way, Mr. Detoc cut right to the chase and told us that he was going to showoff what we came for: games!

Here is a rundown of what they showed:

Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party

Even though I love the other Rayman Raving Rabbids games, I was actually not that excited about this new Wii iteration. Enough is enough, I thought to myself when I first heard about the game months ago.

Surprisingly, I am actually really excited about the game now. Controlled almost primarily with the Wii Balance Board, some of the minigames are pretty darn creative and look like a lot of fun! My favorite has to be a snowboarding game where your Rabbid actually rides on an upside-down bull. By sitting on the Wii Balance Board, players can move their Rabbid left and right by leaning. The best part, though: when you hit a jump, you can use the Wiimote and nunchuk to do some hilarious tricks. You kind of have to see them to understand, but imagine a bunny and a bull in positions that I don’t think I can talk about without getting in trouble. Amazing.

Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway

Out of all the games shown, this was probably my least favorite. Not that it didn’t look polished and well-done; I am just not a fan of generic FPSs and this one fills that description to a tee. After playing the superb Call of Duty 4, it is hard to get too excited about a new Brothers in Arms game.

Tom Clancy’s Endwar

Usually when I hear Tom Clancy I run for the hills screaming with my arms flailing. But Tom Clancy’s Endwar immediately caught my interest if only for the fact that YOU DON’T USE A CONTROLLER TO PLAY IT! That’s right; the entire game — a modern set RTS war game — is controlled using your voice. By issuing commands through a mic, players can control their troops as they are thrust into battle. I am not sure how it all works, but Endwar is on the show floor and I look forward to giving it a try.

Far Cry 2

Another FPS. At this point I was getting a little antsy with all the first-person madness, but, again, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only does Far Cry 2 look absolutely gorgeous, it is set in a huge, 50 kilometer world with no boundaries whatsoever. Basically, players can go anywhere they want at any time. This sense of freedom was very evident in the night stealth mission we were shown during the conference. I may not be a fan of the genre, but Far Cry 2 looks like it is set to revolutionize FPS gaming.

Shaun White Snowboarding

Look, it’s Shaun White again! I already saw him this morning at the Nintendo press conference. That makes us new B.F.F.s.

The only thing that makes this snowboarding game different from all the other snowboarding games is its huge, open world mountain. Most snowboarding games are separated into multiple levels with specific set paths. Shaun White Snowboarding pushes the multiplayer, so you and up to 15 friends can snowboard down a giant hill all at the same time. It is a pretty cool concept and looks fun for people that like more realism in their sports games than crazy, over-the-top arcade antics.

Girl Gaming

I am not going to waste that much time on this, but just know that a slew of more Petz games is coming, one a cross-breeding simulator starring monkeys. No, I’m not kidding. And just to offend the women in the audience, new Imagine games that put girls in the role of teachers and wedding planners are coming out. I was waiting for Imagine: Get Back in the Kitchen! by the end of the presentation. I have to give it to UbiSoft, though: these “girl games” are extremely successful, with the Imagine games being the best selling third party series on the DS.

Prince of Persia

Wow. That is all I can say about this re-imagining of the Prince of Persia series. The trailer that was posted earlier was shown, but then a brand new section of gameplay was demoed. To say this game looks and plays incredibly is a complete understatement. There will be more written about this game later, but between the art style and level design, this game looks to have the potential to compete for Game of the Year. The new Prince of Persia will be releasing for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC before the end of the year.

I Am Alive

Before the lights went down, Laurent Detoc announced there was one final surprise. A ridiculously quick teaser was shown for the mysterious game. Unfortunately, it was all CG footage and only showed a guy in the middle of some city destroying disaster. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I guess it looked kind of cool. *shrugs shoulders* Check back later for a post of the teaser.

UbiSoft was proud of all the games they showed to the press, and for good reason: They were really impressive! Of course I am the most excited about Prince of Persia, but Far Cry 2 and Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party surprised me as well.

I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these games later this week. Check back for screens and impressions!

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Chad Concelmo
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