Features & News

Event: Ubisoft Press Day

July 19, 2011, Author: Phil Ubee

Well, where do I start? From the initial mention around the office of the possibility to join the guys from Ubisoft for a day of gaming and summer beachfront entertainment, I have been a bit like a kid at Christmas. It was a fairly early start for me to get to Central London for around 11am, but a nice, peaceful journey (unlike that of my colleague Andy Knight) followed and I arrived in good time. Ubisoft have always been a company I held in high regard and the back catalogue, as well as the list of current and future projects suggests that we can be confident that they may well be towards the top of the gaming tree for a while to come.

Today, 14th July, we managed to get hands on time with some incredible titles, not least Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which, come next March, will certainly be one of the must have games of 2012. We were also given a close up view of Far Cry 3, a game I have already stated is one I am personally looking forward to. Add a side dish of a potential arcade gem in From Dust, a potential guilty pleasure in Rayman Origins and even the possibility of a top class movie tie in with Tintin and the day has certainly been something of a success overall.

On top of the games line up, those lovely folks over at Ubisoft provided Burgers, Hotdogs, Fish and Chips, Ice Cream, Toffee Apples, Beer, Wine and much, much more besides for the gaming press to enjoy. This is not to say that the day wasn’t without its drawbacks. I couldn’t help but be a touch disappointed with the Assassin’s Creed: Revelations multiplayer demo, and the only single-player on offer for the title was the E3 walk-through, no hands-on.

Everyone enjoyed playing as the target is Driver's Tag mode

I was also left with more questions than answers regarding Driver: San Francisco. The online mode on show was Tag which has certain elements of capture the flag. You have one trophy that each of you try to get by bumping the car that carries it. You gain points while you have the trophy, so the trick once you have it is simply to get the hell out of dodge and avoid all other drivers like the plague. The complications come when you jump cars; using the X button (PS3) takes you out of a vehicle and leaves you free to drive a target around the map until you find another car you’d like to take control of instead. This sounds like a good idea and is clearly designed to keep you in the thick of the action but in reality feels weird as you spend more time moving a target around the streets than you do a car.

The single-player also provides a few questions. I only spent a short time with it myself and the game certainly looks huge, with a good amount of storyline involved and a huge number of enjoyable side missions. The one I played, Bomb Disposal, has you trying to slide your chosen vehicle under a truck and keep it there to defuse a bomb. Unfortunately, the overall feeling I have now is that a game called Driver, one so heavily based around driving, needs to get one thing absolutely spot on and that is how the cars handle. I, personally, didn’t feel that was the case from the time I spent playing and it’s a worry with only six weeks to release.

Really, another party game for Kinect?

My other big disappointment is, again, Kinect. I am not currently a Kinect owner and, though I am tempted by what it can offer, everything I have seen to date tells me I am missing nothing. Yet again all we really see in terms of Kinect support is Dance, Fitness and Party games. I am not saying that the market isn’t there for these games. Clearly it is and I have had some enjoyment from them myself, but motion control in general is not new and the Kinect itself has been around long enough now for us to expect a little more, hasn’t it?

So that’s it for now. I will be taking a closer look at some of the titles I managed to spend some time with over the next week or two, so keep an eye out for my thoughts shortly.