E3: Ubisoft Press Conference - Rocksmith, The Crew, Trials, The Division

By Richard Pilot

E3 is an exciting time of the year for gaming and whilst Microsoft, Sony and technically Nintendo, bustle for position with their shiny hardware and new platforms, the third parties are left to woo us with their new software titles. A recent trend from Ubisoft has been to extensively support and embrace new platforms. Last year, they dazzled us with a first glimpse of what that future could look like with their new IP, Watch_Dogs, one of the first next-generation games to be announced by any company. So this year I was very excited to see what Ubisoft had to show us and they didn't disappoint...

Ubisoft kicked off by announcing a new Rocksmith, Rocksmith 2014 to be specific. A quick flashy demo was given by Jerry Cantrell from American rock band, Alice in Chains, who preceded to show off his guitar skills as well as some of the game's voice commands to select the instrumentation. The game is due out in October.

Another game announced at the event was The Crew, an open world racing game. It appeared to be a persistent online world similar to Test Drive Unlimited, where, in addition to the typical racing events, you can also team up with your friends online to pull off special missions like heists. A few other games were announced, including two new Trials games (one for next-gen consoles and one for mobile devices), another party game for the Rabbids series (which includes a tie-in television show) and the announcement that F2P game, The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot now has a public beta.

In amongst the new titles, Ubisoft ensured it covered previously announced games with new trailers for Rayman Legends, Just Dance 4, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Watch_Dogs. Sadly, almost all of these were CGI trailers. However, all of these titles have already been given extensive coverage in the past and also made an appearance at other E3 events this year, such as the Sony Conference, which saw both new Assassin's Creed IV and Watch_Dogs gameplay footage. Finally, South Park: The Stick of Truth was also present but again, rather than footage, an animated trailer was shown.

Much like Watch_Dogs last year, Ubisoft had one last surprise at the end. Yves Guillemot came onstage to describe his goal to develop titles in genres previously untapped by the publisher, specifically an online RPG. The Division was unveiled; a new entry in the Tom Clancy franchise. The game is described as an open-world, online RPG, and is set in the near future after an infection has spread across America. Rather than focus on mutants and zombies, the game follows a team of agents, whose goal is to restore order to the country. The game looked absolutely fantastic as the group travelled down a broken down Manhattan and an incredible amount of detail was on display, from atmospheric effects such as smoke rising from sewer vents to the debris littering the streets. The group headed to a nearby police station, where a firefight broke out amongst a group of looters. The footage not only showed off typical cover-based shooting, but also some of their more interesting skills too. Much like Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, the game seems to use near future technology. Mini turrets and UAVs were on show (the latter controlled by a tablet-wielding player), as well as some more crazy gadgets such as a grenade that steered itself along the ground towards its target, and devices that let the players see enemies through the walls. Overall, whilst they were a little vague on how the open-world aspect will work, the game looked incredible and I encourage you to check out the gameplay footage below.

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