Back to the games, shall we? Both EA and Ubisoft showed off their bread-and-butter franchises during their conferences. Here were some of the heavy hitters:
EA’s ace in the hole was likely supposed to be Battlefield: Hardline. Unlike Advanced Warfare, I really don’t think the devs intended for info on this title to be leaked. There wasn’t much of a “wow” factor to the footage, apart from the location, but it would have been an awesome display if we weren’t sure what to expect. Equally lacking in “wow” was Sims 4, which just looks like more of the same.
There was some footage of the new Mass Effect title in the works, but I use “footage” in the loosest terms. I realize that Bioware needs to hang on to the fanbase created around what is by far their most popular franchise. But I’m telling you: There was nothing to see with regards to the new Mass Effect. We’ll leave it to Dragon Age: Inquisition to be the acid test of whether or not Bioware can still deliver their Bioware-y goods. Speaking of Dragon Age, we got more footage of that! They proffered up footage of a dragon fight, which looked pretty cool. I’m hoping they can come back from the disappointment of some of their recent titles.
The two games that intrigued me were Star Wars: Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge 2. The former looks interesting if only because it showed off footage in-engine; that’s always nice, if a little vague. The latter showed the beginnings of an improved combat system, which was one of the major sources of complaint about Mirror’s Edge, especially from me.
Ubisoft started off with a five-minute cinematic cutscene from Far Cry 4. Looks like fun, sure, but we wouldn’t get any gameplay footage until the Sony show. It’s also starting to look like Blood Dragon was a one-off, which is sad. The bad guy is very Joker-esque; that worked well for them in Far Cry 3, so why not go back to the well?
More footage from Tom Clancy’s The Division, if only in the form of a CGI trailer. I say “Looks pretty cool,” which was the tune I whistled this entire show. Time will tell. In addition, we got some surprise Rainbow Six footage! More Tom Clancy, please: I haven’t quite reached saturation yet! This new game . . . looks pretty cool (again), but it’s too early to tell.
We got footage of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. It is set in Revolutionary-era France. The gameplay I saw was all about the Assassins siding with an angry mob over an aristocrat, which sounds like just the sort of thing they’d do. Unfortunately the gameplay revolved around one particular mechanic that turned my stomach the moment I saw it. Ubisoft wants to “make history” by introducing 4-player co-op.
Are. You. Serious? Ubi, I’m pleading with you: Tell me that I’m not going to have to deal with this handicapping my single-player campaign. I just want to play in your gorgeous period-appropriate environs in solitude. That’s my only request, Ubisoft. Don’t fail me. (With regards to #womenaretoohardtoanimate, I’m saving it for another time.)