I caught most all of the Electronic Arts, Konami and Ubisoft press conferences from E3, and in a timely manner no less, so here’s a little two-post roundup thing.
Joel McHale was the best non-gamer MC in press conference history! A little shaky at times with the jokes, he nailed most of it and called out all the stuff the audience was probably thinking. As for the games, Driver: San Francisco is surprisingly on my radar now that Tanner is in a coma and can possess cars at will. For once taking a stupid blind turn into a wall doesn’t mean frustrating restarts, you can just jump out of that car and into another. There’s a lot of potential for this mechanic but the story conceits to get there are admittedly pretty silly.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved and Innergy have been well documented here so I’ll mention Ubi’s other physically fit product: Battle Tag. I was just as perplexed as everyone when the models and dev team came running through the audience playing laser tag but by the end of the demo I at least appreciated what they were doing. Sort of augmented reality laser tag, several markers and ammo/health clips can be placed wherever you like and tracked through a PC application for stats, scores and online sharing. I don’t think I’d ever buy it, but I like it.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood looked fantastic as the Villa from AC2 came under attack in the single player campaign but with a focus on multiplayer I’m not sure how much I’d get out of this. Definitely a rental once it’s out! I’ve already mentioned Rabbids Travel in Time, I Am Alive, Project Dust and Child of Eden here. Shaun White Skateboarding surprised me because 1) I didn’t know he was a legit pro skater and 2) it looks like a perfect mix of Tony Hawk and SKATE. Not too crazy and not too sim-y with a subtle and pretty art style. Finally, they showed Rayman Origins which isn’t the Michel Ancel IP I was hoping to see but still impressed. The Ubiart platform could be the next LittleBigPlanet but as far as the game they’re making for us it’s a 2D side-scrolling work(s) of art. I don’t know how all the various artistic visions play into Rayman necessarily (does Rayman Origins act as an Ubiart hub?) but they all had style for days and I’d love to just spend time in their dazzling worlds.