For anyone of you not fortunate enough to be at PAX East, allow me to fill you in on what is happening at the Ubisoft booth this weekend. For anyone who is there: look for us on the floor (we’ll be the only people in the world wearing New England Gamer shirts), come say hi, and definitely check out Ubisoft’s booth.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
First up on the Ubisoft floor was Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Following the story of Connor’s grandfather, Edward Kenway, Assassin’s Creed IV takes place fifty years before the American Revolution; the golden age of pirates. The game is set in the Caribbean, which means a lot more Naval game play having the majority of the playable world take place on the open seas. Fear not, however, because a new fast travel feature has been added so that you’ll be able to instantly transport to any island from the second you step foot on it. The vast majority of the islands are also on a single map, meaning no loading times unless you enter one of the major cities.
The majority of our demo focused on the open seas, though. The new Naval combat mechanics allow you to board any ship with your crew, and doing so will have in game consequences. You can grow your crew in various ways, and you can also lose them in combat, which implies that this new mechanic will replace the brotherhood recruits from the past couple games.
Finally, we were shown a little bit of the new underwater feature. With this you will be able to explore caverns and shipwrecks, presenting the opportunity to find hidden treasure. You’ll also be able to hunt sharks and whales while underwater and use goods that will be collected.
The next item at the Ubisoft booth was the highly anticipated Watch_Dogs. Two videos were shown here, one of which was a PAX East exclusive, while the other will eventually be released to the public. The exclusive video showed a little about the back story about Ubisoft’s imagining of a smart city Chicago as well as Aiden Pierce. The demo showed that that Aiden Pierce is out to protect his family, and when everything blows up, he goes out to fight for the good of the people. Chicago is also shown to be completely connected, with every rendered object reacting in some way to every event that goes on in the game, whether it be a car crash, a death, or something else of importance.
The second video shown during the demo was essentially their PS4 reveal trailer, except that it was taken from the perspective of the Central Operating System, or CtOS. The perspective shows that Aiden is being tracked by the Chicago Police Department and that the CtOS is well aware of all of his actions, even within their own system.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist
The final item at the Ubisoft booth was Ubisoft Toronto’s first production, Splinter Cell: Blacklist. UbiTOR aims to please with this title, showing off the stealth aspects of the game while also showing us the Paladin. The Paladin is essentially your base, giving you an upgrade-able area to watch over the world and all of your available missions.
The menu also showed of the ability to join multi-player games with friends while in the middle of a mission, and once you’ve finished your session you’ll be thrown right back into your single player game as if you’d never even left. The game even has an economy system that is shared throughout the multi-player and single player. Among the new features is also a new mode, called “Perfectionist Mode,” bringing players back to the pure stealth aspects of the original Splinter Cell games and focusing on a tactical construction. Finally, to wrap everything up the new “Tech” archetype was explained, showing that having that enemy in the area will cause your thermal vision to stop working. In order to deal with this minor annoyance a drone was deployed, flown around, and ultimately took out the baddies.
There wasn’t a single game at the booth we weren’t absolutely excited for, and we can’t wait until later this year when they are all released. Needless to say, Ubisoft has gone above and beyond our expectations and done what they do best. They’ve made a bunch of incredible looking games.