Ubisoft’s Ubidays ’07 recap

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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 is placing any blame here, so don’t get so defensive.

And this has been a busy week for you guys. Between the season finales of Heroes, Lost, American Idol, and with Rush N’ Attack finally hitting XBLA … who has time to pay attention to Ubidays?

Answer: we do, and so should you. While not much new was announced, Ubisoft certainly had a solid showing, worthy of attention. So let’s get you up to speed. From Assassin’s Creed to the highly anticipated movie tie-in, Surf’s Up, hit the jump for a rundown of what you might have missed.

Assassin’s CreedIf you didn’t want this game before, I find it hard to believe that after seeing the trailer Ubisoft revealed in Paris, it hasn’t been launched onto your most wanted list. But who am I to try to convince you? I’ll let Assassin’s Creed producer, Jade Raymond, tell you more about the game. She’s much prettier than I am.

There was no playable demo at the show, but Raymond promises there will be a playable build sometime in July, most likely at behind-closed-doors E3 media events. Sorry, suckers. 

 I think it’s pretty damned surprising to hear that Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary co-wrote a screenplay based on the epic poem. So imagine my shock when I heard that the team responsible for Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter would be bringing a hack-and-slash game based on the film to consoles.

I have nothing more to say about this; Orcist has said it all. Beowulf hits theaters in November and the game, well … reinventing the hack-and-slash genre takes time.

Blazing Angels II: Secret Missions
New planes? Check. New graphics? Check. New weapons upgrades? Check. More explosions and action? Thank God.

This sequel promises more action, something that was seriously lacking in its first installment. Blazing Angels II is coming to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Brother’s in Arms: Hell’s Highway

I’m not even going to try to pretend like I care about World War II shooters anymore, but I’m going to give Gearbox the benefit of the doubt with Brother’s in Arms: Hell’s Highway. By all accounts, it seems like they’re on the right track.

New to the gameplay, Gearbox have added a new cover system, not unlike that found in another Ubisoft title, Rainbow Six: Vegas. There will also be guns and Germans to shoot at.

Dark Messiah of Might & Magic: Elements
This game is an Xbox 360 port of the PC title released last year (to luke-warm reviews), Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. The PC title used a modified version of the Source engine, and the single player portion of the game was developed by Arkane Studios and Floodgate Entertainment. The game did contain a multiplayer mode which was developed by Kuju Entertainment, the same psychopaths who are bringing Geometry Wars to the DS and the Wii.

This version will contain new content for the consoles, but not much information is known at this time. I’m going out on a limb and just saying that the new content will somehow involve elements. Just a guess.


There’s been some confusion about Haze, a first-person shooter, developed by Free Radical Design (TimeSplitters). You see, someone (somewhere) told this one guy that this game was going to be exclusive to the PlayStation 3. The internet exploded. Then, some other guy told this other dude that it was just going to be a timed exclusive, and would eventually make its way to the Xbox 360 and the PC. 

To make matters even worse, the guys from Free Radical were running around telling everyone that the game would be released on all three platforms this year … at the same time. Ubisoft won’t return my calls.

But if one thing is for certain, it’s that the PlayStation 3 appears to be the lead development platform for Haze. This can only mean one thing — the Wii sucks.

Naruto: Rise of a Ninja

I am sick people correcting me when I try to say “Naruto.” If I call it “Nuh-roo-toe,” some little girl jumps out from behind a bush and yells at me.

“No, you moron,” she shrieks at me like I’m an out of touch geezer. “It’s nAh-roo-toe!”

Yeah, whatever. Go put on your stupid little headband that your mom bought you at Hot Topic and play the Xbox 360 game, you little brat. Go choke on Pocky. And stay off my lawn.

Rayman Raving Rabbids 2

Surf’s Up

Oh, this is great! There’s an animated film coming out in which pengiuns (get this) surf! That’s totally killer, dudes! The only thing that will make the movie (and licensed Ubisoft game that ships this July) complete is a song and dance number! Oh, how satisfying would it be if the penguins not only surfed, but also pattered around performing Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot?”
Surf’s Up will find a home on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and Sony PSP. Hang ten, dudes! 

Tom Clancy’s EndWar

Ahh-woo- A-ee. Ay-o. Eee-o. E-ooo. Yay-oo. Yay-ooooh. Wee-ahh.

Oh, excuse me — I didn’t see you guys there. Sorry, I’m just getting my voice limber for all of those voice commands I’m going to be issuing while playing Ubisoft’s upcoming RTS game, EndWar. Apparently, Ubisoft are making sure the game will be entirely controllable using a headset and the human voice. That sort of puts a monkey wrench in the whole “mouse/keyboard versus controller” argument.

My Xbox 360 shipped with a headset, so I’m covered there. But I’m going to have to get one of those fancy Borg-style Bluetooth headsets for the PlayStation 3 version of the game. No matter, my voice is going to be in tip-top shape by the time the game is released early next year.

Eee-ah. Woh-waaaaaaaah. Ooo-ay …

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction

Prior to Ubidays, a lot of had already been revealed about the latest Splinter Cell, a game that will exclusively be coming to the Xbox 360 and PC. It’s been obvious that Ubisoft Montreal is taking this game in a much different direction than previous games; the tone and action in the trailer cements that even further. The idea of stealth is being redefined, with more open environments that can be used for cover as well as combat. The series’ main Joe, Sam Fisher, comes out of the shadows, sheds his gadgets, and for once in his life, grows enough balls to walk around in public. Amen. 

I’m not sure what possessed me to do it, but I decided to hop over to the GameFAQs message boards for the game to see what the kids were saying. The overall reaction seems to be overwhelmingly negative. “They’re ruing the series,” “Ubisoft are a bunch of f**ktards,” and “My cats breath smells like cat food,” are a few of the more intelligent comments I’ve read.

Here’s the thing: as solid as the Splinter Cell series has been, there have been far too many iterations of the same formula. Between those found on the console, PC, and handhelds (N-Gage, FTW), we’ve seen over a dozen games that have had Sam Fisher, wearing a tight black jump suit, sneaking around in the dark. If that’s your thing, you might be a sexual deviant. It’s time to move on, for better or for worse. 

But when a popular series makes such a bold (and much needed) change like this, it’s scary for some fans. I think GameFAQs user, lezdeppelin1249, says it best:

“Im a huge sc guy i and think free roam is totolly going to run the game or the series, sc was all about stealth. plus fighting looks like a arcade way”

Well, that about wraps up Destructoid’s Ubidays 07 recap. Check back tomorrow for our full coverage of games that they didn’t show, but we wish they would have. It’ll be just about as long as this list, only filled with 150% more speculation and 50% more rumor!

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Nick Chester
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