Posts Tagged ‘Ubisoft’

Release Dates Aplenty

September 19, 2008

This past week, due to school, I was unable to frequently post, causing me to miss out on some big release date announcements. While I have been shifting from class to class, most people have been finding out when SackBoy will be running, jumping, and sacking into our hearts. The complete mini-rundown is below.

Mirror’s Edge: EA’s parkour-esque, free-running spectacular will be available on the PS3 and Xbox 360 on November 11th. It is rumored that the PC release date has been delayed, considering that it was conveniently left out. A demo for the game will be out before launch, and PS3 owners can expect exclusive DLC, which is a relief compared to the next announcement.

Grand Theft Auto IV (360 DLC): Microsoft confirmed that the “exclusive episodes for Grand Theft Auto IV will be available on Xbox 360 starting fall 2008.” Fall has already started, so we might be continuing Niko Bellic’s epic adventure soon.

LittleBigPlanet: Anxious gamers will finally be able to make their own SackBoys and levels on October 21st. The game that might convince me to buy a PS3 is out in almost a month; I better start scraping some cash together.

Prince of Persia: On December 2nd, the cel-shaded, AI-redefining chapter in the Prince of Persia series will be in stores. The game will be out on 360, PS3, and PC, alongside a DS counterpart, Prince of Persia: The Fallen King.

Wii Music: The game that brought us all ear aches at E3 2008 will be flying onto shelves and into the homes of North American five-year-olds, on October 20th. If you want your games to be more like toys, Wii Music might be for you!


Take Two Stock Falls After EA’s Withdrawal

September 16, 2008

Electronic Arts dropped their $2 billion bid for Take Two yesterday, causing the company’s stock to plummet abour $5 per share. Ubisoft is said to be a “possible buyer,” but it is unlikely that they would surpass, or even match, EA’s bid. Take Two can manage itself for now, considering that they “[have] one of the most successful proprietary game franchises in the industry, [are] profitable, [and have] no debt.”

In February 2009, Take Two’s three-year contract with Rockstar’s Sam and Dan Houser expires. If Rockstar goes independent, which they surely could, Take Two would lose an ace in the hole. Analyst Michael Pachter questions “whether Take-Two can retain [Rockstar], and if so, at what cost.” Seven months ago, gamers everywhere were scared that Grand Theft Auto would be under Electronic Art’s control, but now the wheels seem to be turning in the opposite direction.

Via Huron Daily Tribune

Far Cry 2 Map Editor In-Depth Demo

September 6, 2008

At the Leipzig Games Convention, Ubisoft showed detailed demonstration of Far Cry 2’s map editor. Afterwards, they posted a full-length video of the demo, stretching for over twenty minutes. The video displays everything from creating environments to the placement of vehicles (the limit is six per multiplayer map). Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the ability to share maps with the Far Cry community. Not only can players upload their own maps, but they can download maps created by other users. Once downloaded, a map can be edited to fix any errors, then re-uploaded giving credit to the original designer and the editor. The sharing feature will be accompanied by a rating system, allowing players to avoid lower-quality maps. Previous Far Cry games have had amazing map editors, but this seems to be a huge improvement. The only downside is the lack of cross-platform compatibility. Start sketching out designs, because this title will be hitting stores on October 21.


Brothers In Arms Pursuing Hellish Realism

September 6, 2008

About ten out of ten gamers is tired of the World Vs. Nazi theme, but 2008 has two more that are sure to wake everyone up. Just when you thought World War II video games had lost their appeal, Gearbox was there to draw you back in.

Developers will never be able to change the feel of the setting if they are striving for realism, but technology will improve constantly. Since 1984 gamers have been shooting Nazis in some form or fashion; that has not changed, but the tools used to create it have. Back in the ’80s, developers expected gamers to know that the gray pixel blocks were the bad guys and the floating, yellow, 1×1 pixel was a bullet. Nowadays, war games in particular, present a sense of virtual reality, in which the player is deeply immersed. This realism is what distinguishes Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway from past WWII creations.

When you think “war game” you generally imagine rushing through fields and buildings, spraying lead in every direction. This is not the case with the Brother in Arms series, however. Gearbox Software wants the player to make tactical decisions through the control of a squad. Do not think of your squad mates as static characters; they are tools, ready to use at your disposal. Match your tactics to your style, whether that is stealth, evasive maneuvers, or guns blazing.

Mastering the tactics aspect of the game will partially rely on the player’s knowledge and implementation of destructable cover. Depending on a wooden fence to provide sufficient cover is like bringing safety-scissors to a knife fight. Once a player has hunkered down, it will soon be time to move. Make sure to be aware of the surroundings, because fragments of the thought-to-be protective sandbags are now raining upon the battlefield. Use the destructable cover as an advantage; if the enemy is not exposed, you will be soon. It would be a shame for the main character to exemplify Gearbox’s realistic gore engine.

If you were wondering why Brother’s in Arms: Hell’s Highway received an ‘M’ rating, you could read a vague analysis from the ESRB, or you could watch the video below. The theme of this post is “Hellish Realism,” and when it comes to war, nothing is more real. No more will enemies explode, only fall to the ground like five ton slabs of lead. If a soldier barely dives away from a grenade explosion, they might lose a leg. If a more unfortunate soldier meets a tank face to face, do not expect him to die in one piece. One might suggest that this is stretching the boundaries too far, but the main focus is realism.

So there you have it, Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway is pushing the envelope when it comes to realistic gameplay. Yes, you will be venturing back to the 1940s, but with good reason. Hell’s Highway will be shipping out on September 23, so start studying Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

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Far Cry 2, The Jackal Is Watching

August 16, 2008

You know what happens when a trailer isn’t made about Duke Nukem Trilogy? It actually turns out good! This trailer is filled with new gameplay footage for one of the most anticipated shooters of the year. Check it out in all its cell phone toting, bandage wrapping, stake removing, fire spreading goodness!

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Red Steel 2 Will Use MotionPlus

July 28, 2008

Red Steel was a Wii launch title that died because of hype overload. Gamers were putting it up on a pedestal, thinking it would be a Halo-killer, and the best FPS ever made. Clueless AI, and semi-broken controls lead to the games downfall. My biggest issue with the first game was the sword fighting. With the Wii Remote Nintendo fans really expected 1:1 motion, but the controller just wasn’t capable of it. Now, the Wii MotionPlus could be the saving grace of Red Steel 2.

GamesIndustry interviewed Ubisoft executive director, Alain Corre, and got him to talk about the sequel. Corre gave a lengthy response when asked if the MotionPlus gave him more confidence for Red Steel 2; he replied:

It was a great announcement, what [Nintendo] showed [in its press conference], because it’s true that on Red Steel it’s the typical product that will appreciate the new device.

Red Steel 2 has been in development for many months now, and this new device will help us be even more precise in what we do with the product. The Red Steel brand is strong – I think we released it on year one, and that people understood that it was a first try on new technology, technology that wasn’t completely finished.

And our game tried to grab the best out of it, and was a bit rushed to be sure to offer something in year one to Wii consumers. But Red Steel is still selling well – at a lower price of course, but still it’s in the top 30 or 40 in every country on Wii.

So Red Steel is a brand, and as with every brand we have, we now have to reach the top quality possible. What was missing was the preciseness of the sabre – and with this new device I think it will change the experience. 

Ubisoft should be focusing on one thing for this game: redemption. The first installment was a disappointment, but they can turn the franchise around if they develop this game right. I want better AI and better sword fights, then I’ll be satisfied.

I Am Alive, Debut Trailer

July 18, 2008

A new Ubisoft title, I Am Alive, made its debut with the trailer below, and it has potential to be a great game. It’s a survival-horror game, although I don’t see the horror aspect in the trailer, and it is supposed to release in Spring 2009.   

The game is set in Chicago after a massive earthquake, and you are trying to get out alive. Survivers of the earthquake have become hostile, in need of food and water. Definitely an interesting premise and we’ll see how the game progresses.

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