VideoGamer.com staff share their thoughts on Ubisoft's E3 conference.
The most exciting part of E3 is now over. Each of the major players has hosted a conference, giving everyone a look at their gaming line-up over the coming months. Here we look at what we saw and rate each of them out of 10. How did Assassin's Creed publisher Ubisoft do this year?
Tom Orry - Editor
Well done Ubisoft. You did the seemingly impossible and revealed a brand-new game at E3. It hadn't been leaked and it looked brilliant. Watch Dogs, for me, is easily the most exciting game at E3 2012. It really goes to show what a carefully thought out E3 stage demo can do for a game and a publisher.
While Watch Dogs is seemingly some way away (it's been announced for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, but rumoured to be for next-gen too), the publisher also impressed with demos of this year's Far Cry 3 and Assassin's Creed 3. Far Cry 3 looks mightily impressive, and is out in just a few short months, and Assassin's Creed 3 (despite my own interest in the series dwindling) certainly looks the part.
I've seen plenty of people moaning about Splinter Cell Blacklist due to its continued move away from stealth, but I really don't mind. I liked Conviction a lot and Blacklist appears to be an even slicker version of that, with the gameplay looking to be a lot more fluid.
The publisher didn't do everything right, completely destroying many people's interest in ShootMania with an incredibly dull presentation, and failing to convince me about the Wii U - although that's not entirely Ubi's fault.
Like with EA, there were some games missing. Where was Rainbow Six, a title that's already been announced? And I had hoped we'd see a new Prince of Persia. Still, Ubisoft has a great looking slate, and has positioned itself as one of the publishers to watch as we presumably start to transition to new platforms next year.
David Scammell - Staff Writer
A show-stealing reveal for hi-tech thriller Watch Dogs pumped a shot of adrenaline back into the arm of a flailing first day.
It looked incredible, didn't it? Just look at that lighting, that draw distance, those facial animations. On a visual level, it's surely the game of the show. But while rumours of which consoles Watch Dogs may eventually end up on continue to rage across the net, I have an even more interesting theory about the game's inception.
I believe Watch Dogs may have started life as Assassin's Creed 4.
It would make a lot of sense. You don't need me to tell you how its mechanics appear incredibly similar to those of Ubisoft's biggest IP, so, putting my analyst hat on for a second, I'd suggest that once the publisher realised how successful Assassin's Creed could be by sticking to stories set in the past, rather than taking AC into the future it created a fresh IP.
Whether I'm right or not doesn't really matter. Watch Dogs' presentation was the biggest hint yet that we've got to that point in the cycle where this console generation has clearly outstayed its welcome, with games being demoed on PCs even more powerful than a Fukushima power plant. Ubisoft can't announce - or even formally hint at - the next-generation of consoles before Sony and Microsoft do, of course, so was this the publisher's way of teasing us with its next-generation technology? It's got to be.
Elsewhere, though, I thought Splinter Cell looked incredibly slick despite not seeming much like a Splinter Cell game at all. Conviction, for all of its shooter-focussed changes, was still a good game, but one I personally struggled to get my head around due to approaching it with the same mindset I approached the others. Knowing that Blacklist is far more Bourne than Fisher this early on is a good thing, in my opinion.
Far Cry 3, too, appears to be shaping up to be one of the finest shooters we've seen in a while, while ZombiU looks likely to be one of the biggest launch hits for Wii U - provided it doesn't turn out to be another Red Steel.
And sure, there were low points. Why Ubisoft chose to dedicate almost 10 minutes of its show to ShootMania - a relatively niche and somewhat dated-looking 'pro gamer' shooter - is beyond me, although given the time that it happened, ever so slightly predictable. We'd reached that point in the conference where anything could happen, of course, like a man jumping out with a laser gun and assaulting a bewildered audience. What ever happened to that, by the way?
But where would we be without that Watch Dogs announcement? Probably back writing articles about whether E3 still had any relevance.