E3 2014: Ubisoft Starts the Franchises, Leaves the New IPs on the Bench

ubisoft-e3-2014-headerIf there’s one thing that Ubisoft is good at, it’s building hype around new IPs at E3. So it was only natural to hope for something new out of the French to steal the show at E3 once again.

The only problem was that all the delays over the last year meant that there seemed to be no room for Ubisoft to unveil new IPs at E3 this year. Instead, new games were the last thing on Ubi’s mind this year as they focused on established franchises and delayed games for this year’s E3. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear this was their 2013 E3 keynote on repeat.

Ubi led off their presser with a teaser of the upcoming Far Cry 4. Yes, it included a look at our new villain who is the pink-suited man in the cover art. Now that Far Cry seems have found some footing with critics and fans after Far Cry 3, Ubi Montreal is going back to the same well with FC4. The new villain appears to be every bit as violent and insane as Vaas. It might not be very creative to do basically the same thing as the last game but who doesn’t love a good villain?

Tom Clancy branded games also got a fair chunk of screen time. While the annoyingly scripted co-op gameplay video was at the Microsoft presser (much to the green brand’s chagrin), Ubisoft kept the story trailer for itself. It didn’t really add much to the story that had already been revealed but it did add a neat time-lapse of the downfall of society after the Black Friday Plague.

In Ubisoft’s only real new IP reveal of the conference, they had a new Rainbow Six called Siege. It’s been six years since the last Rainbow Six game so it’s probably time to dust off that franchise since that’s Ubi’s thing now. They showed off a five-on-five multiplayer demo that showed a SWAT team try to rescue a hostage from a team of terrorists. We haven’t heard too much more as to whether it’s a multiplayer-only game or if it’s all objective-based or if it will have a single-player game mode. Considering what they’ve done with the free-to-play Ghost Recon: Phantoms, something a bit Titanfall inspired wouldn’t shock me.

The Crew showed off some more footage of the variety of environments that it plans to have in the game. The idea seems to be that the game will encompass a variety of landmarks and terrain from coast to coast in America. I’d accuse it a bit of being like Need For Speed: The Run but that wasn’t a very good game. I’m not writing this one off yet.

Ubisoft also showed off Just Dance 2015 which allows you to play using your smartphone now. That just moved one more copy of that game. Rainbow Six Siege wasn’t the only new Ubi IP but the only one that mattered. Ubisoft is getting into the fitness gaming world with Shape Up. And Assassin’s Creed Unity’s four-player co-op mode was given a little more playtime after getting some playtime earlier Monday at the Xbox briefing. At least this demo showed that there are plenty of side missions available.

So I think it’s two for two for the publishers having disappointing showings at E3. I do think that Ubisoft impressed more than EA. While Ubisoft was lacking in new games and new IPs, at least they went into some depth with new footage. EA just carried on with the same old, same old in their presentation.

Hopefully Ubisoft takes the time between its 2014 releases and the 2015 edition of E3 to think up some properly new games. Either that or they prove that they’ve sold their soul for some quick cash-in franchises.

Cross-posted from et geekera. For more from et geekera, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Tumblr and RSS.

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