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E3 2010: Ubisoft Press Conference: The FirstPlay Verdict

Before the whirlwind of E3 kicks off for real, there are the big-hitter press conferences. And I've waded through the digital quagmire, to bring you my highs and lows from the Ubisoft show.

First on my interest-o-meter is the return to cops-and-nonsense series Driver. Undercover cop Tanner is back (well, back in the sense that he's in a coma), and now has the ability to ram his consciousness into the heads of other passing car drivers, allowing him to get the drop on his enemies, and run them off the road. A neat trick, but only a hands on test later this week will give us a real idea of how this mechanic will actually play out.Read more.

A return to Renaissance Italy was the next game to interest me. Ezio is back in Assassins' Creed Brotherhood, and this time he's bringing his murderising pals. After your pad is stormed by Templars, and your uncle gets merked, it's time to get some payback through the traditional stabby means, as well and by new exciting gadgetry. Beasty cannons and a nice new axe-throwing move were shown off, but there's the promise of a lot more. It'll be interesting to see whether this has the capacity to stand on its own two feet as a game, or if it ends up feeling like a trumped up bit of DLC.Watch the trailer.

Top of the pops for me had to be Ubi's opening gambit: a new game from celebrated director Tetsuya Mizuguchi called Child of Eden. Using all the new forms of motion tech, it's a weird abstract game of gestures and pointing (the guy demoing it looked like David Copperfield on acid), in which you move through a Lawnmowerman-esque 3D space populated with bizarre geometric shapes. Beyond that, I neither know nor understand what it's about, but what I can tell you is that it's the first truly original game I've seen this year, and I want to play it. Muchly.Watch the trailer.

So much, so good. But there's always going to be one howler from every publisher at E3, and for me, Ubi's new active sports title Your Shape took the proverbial lard-covered biscuit. Yet ANOTHER bland fitness title, it does barely anything that hasn't been done to death before. The usual punching games, kicking games, stretching games, and running on the spot games make their dreary appearance. Although, it would be perhaps unfair to call any of them 'games'; they're more like MS office applications. If you're obese, just try playing some real sport instead.

June 15, 2010