Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ubisoft at E3 '09

Ubisoft had a good conference.

The highlight was Avatar. The game adaptation of James Cameron's upcoming 3-D film will be an experiment in 3-D gaming. No details were revealed other than that the game is a separate story. Cameron apparently shares my opinion that such games should focus on setting and not try to follow the film's plot and characters.

What particularly interested me was when the Cameron talked about the filmmakers and game designers sharing software assets. Apparently, we have reached a point where Hollywood directors use game engines. What's more, Cameron doesn't want the game to be a spin-off, but rather an equally respectable part of the IP universe.

Red Steel 2 was demonstrated. As I said before, it looks like it could be fun, but the action seems more hack-and-slash than finessed swordplay.

Splinter Cell: Conviction looks great. The designers have worked all directions and plot elements into actual gameplay. You don't have to pause gameplay to see your objectives. You don't have to watch a movie to see backstory.

And, last but not least, Assassin's Creed 2. I'm always talking about the importance of dynamics, and that is how Ubisoft is improving the original game. There will be "over 30 different weapons" in AC2, as well as more enemy types, more bystander variation, more setting variation, etc. Ubisoft has recognized the staleness of the original game, and seems to have taken sufficient steps to make the sequel infinitely more enjoyable. I traded in AC1. I doubt I'll trade in AC2.

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