E3 2011: Ubisoft Presser, Condensed

Did you miss the Ubisoft press conference and just want the highlights? With Ubisoft, you never know what you missed: here’s the quick version.

  • A ten minute demo of the new Rayman game, heavy on co-op action.
  • We’re introduced to Ubisoft’s Aaron Priceman, AKA “Mr. Caffiene,” who’s way too hyper and introduces most of the presenters while making awkward jokes.
  • A demo of Driver: San Francisco. A next-gen version of an open-world world driving game should be a slam dunk.
  • Maybe the day’s first big surprise: Far Cry 3. There’s both canned footage and live gameplay showing the player fighting his way across a tropical island.
  • Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford reveals a new Brothers in Arms game, Furious 4. He calls it a “new direction,” but it’s universally interpreted as Inglorious Basterds: The Game, which seems out of character for the series.
  • In a prerecorded clip, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson talk about the game tie-in for the upcoming Tintin movie. It’s has an interesting visual style, but should Tintin really be beating people up all the time?
  • A lengthy, live, four-person co-op demo of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
  • The announcement of Ghost Recon Online, a “free PC online experience.” The trailer says “Free To Play,” so it sounds like a free MMO-type deal.
  • Trackmania 2 (or Trackmania Canyon, depending on whether you trust the presenters or the trailer) is shown. At least for now, it appears to be PC-only.
  • Raving Rabbits: Alive and Kicking, coming to Kinect. It’s demoed by two guys with frightening beards who only look more frightening kicking virtual rabbits.
  • No surprise, Just Dance 3 is coming this year, to all three platforms: Wii, Kinect and Move.
  • Ubi’s new rhythm game, RockSmith, is shown. The hook is that you plug in a real guitar and not a plastic controller, but the testimonials shown show little insight into whether the tech will actually work.
  • A trailer for YourShape 2012.
  • To wrap up, 15 minutes on Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.

Overall, still some weirdness, but not quite the trainwreck we’ve seen in previous years. And a dozen games in 75 minutes is about as good as anyone’s done so far today.