Not everything from E3 that was given to the public to play was a demo. During their press conference, Ubisoft not only announced but launched the surprise Trials of the Blood Dragon game. The game promised to be a crossover of the crazy action of the Trials series with the setting and motif of Far Cry: Blood Dragon. As much as critics and gamers love each of those games individually, when you combine the two franchises, the result is the exact of what you would expect from either franchise.
A few years ago, an Ubisoft executive said that the company wasn’t interested in a game if they couldn’t build a franchise out of it. It certainly looks that way from this year’s press conference where even Ubisoft’s experimental titles are getting the franchise treatments. Grow Home gets a sequel. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Trials get a cross-over game. The only Ubi game not getting a sequel is Beyond Good & Evil. But there was one new IP unveiled. It’s an extreme sports game so it might not be for everyone.
Poor Ubisoft. They started off the 2000s so well but have been finding themselves the butt of more jokes than the likes of EA or Microsoft. It takes a long series of disappointments to get people to roll their eyes at any announcement that you make but that’s the point we’re at with Ubisoft. However, they’re cycling Assassin’s Creed out of rotation and hoping they can reinvigorate their brands.
During Steam’s Monster Summer Sale, I noticed something during the Tom Clancy franchise sale. The price of the upcoming Rainbow Six: Siege is $80 CAD. The US dollar price is $60. If you were to pay for the game in USD and have your credit card company convert it to CAD, a Canadian customer would spend $73. That’s an inexplicable loss of $7 as a sort of living in Canada tax (when no sales tax is charged by Steam in Canada) from a company whose biggest development studio is in Canada and receives subsidies from various levels of Canadian government.
It’s not just the Canadians who are losing out for not living in America. According to the Steam All Region Price Checker extension, British customers are being charged the equivalent of $80 USD and others in the EU will be paying the equivalent of $68 USD.
So why are certain countries paying more than other and who is at fault for the price discrepancies?
I know Ubisoft said that they loved franchises but I didn’t realize that they now considered South Park to be a franchise. They opened with a new South Park game, added a new Ubi-combat based medieval battle game and closed off with another Tom Clancy game. So while Ubisoft is all about doing games that are part of franchises, they actually had one new game that wasn’t part of an established franchise. That’s got to count for something, right?
Two big Triple-A games had their review embargoes lift on Tuesday. One of those was Dragon Age: Inquisition, a game that game out a week from this Tuesday, which already has the overwhelmingly positive reviews that you’d expect from BioWare of old. The other game was Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Unity, a game that came out on Tuesday with some early and midnight launches but had a Noon EST review embargo.
In the latest of a series of avoidable gaffes, Ubisoft has again insulted the consumer. This time, they embargoed their top franchise’s annual offering’s review until after the game was released in an abuse of the system.
Normally, the summer would be quiet enough for me to be able to post all sorts of news from Gamescom. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out that way for me so I have to do the big Gamescom news in a few posts. Today, we have news and gameplay videos while all of the Gamescom trailers will be in Monday’s Game Trailers Roundup.
For now, we have four of the more interesting stories that I’ve read from Gamescom. While only one is a game announcement, we have some business of gaming-esque news that’ll probably just make you hate Ubisoft more.
As part of Ubisoft’s ongoing corporate strategy to introduce new franchises in new genres, they’ve decided to take on Need for Speed with their take on the street racing genre with The Crew. While it seems to borrow elements from the Need for Speed franchise, the emphasis on story missions, car customization and co-op play sets it apart from the only rival in the arcade street racing game genre.
Having spent a few days with the closed beta and a few years with Need for Speed games, can Ubisoft’s offering compete with EA’s resident racing series?
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.
As I mentioned in the last Trials game review, this is a game that’s been around since Miniclip was one of the top sites in the world for gaming. The series has evolved since the original Trials game. It’s gone from Java to a proper standalone release.
With that change, so did the tone of the series. It went from a slightly over the top recreation of professional trials competition to a cartoony extreme sports arcade game.
Trials Fusion is the first Trials game released on next-gen consoles but despite the game being set in the future and the evolution of consoles and the evolution of the game’s graphics, Red Lynx didn’t really do much to evolve the gameplay.