(Originally posted on When Nerds Attack.)
Before fiery forums and contemptuous comment sections damned No Man’s Sky as the poster boy for Overhyped Disappointment, that distinction belonged to Watch Dogs. With showstopping E3 demonstrations years before its actual release and a marketing campaign that inflated the game’s reputation into the next-gen second coming, Ubisoft’s open-world title had expectations stacked to the moon.
But Watch Dogs wasn’t the crowbar to GTA’s knee it was gassed up to be. And it certainly wasn’t the next-generation tour de force of 2014 that displayed the sheer computational power of our eighth generation consoles. It was a bog standard open-world crime game, compounded by a weak story centered on one of gaming’s worst leading men. The one concept that separated it from its peers – the ability to hack parts of the environment to your advantage – felt more like a shallow distraction than a tantamount feature. Shit, Watch Dogs isn’t even the best open-world game with “Dogs” in its title. Despite huge out-of-the-gate sales, Watch Dogs became the cornerstone of Gamestop’s $9.99 bins.
That’s why Watch Dogs 2 is such a huge surprise. Ubisoft has made a herculean effort of addressing the original game’s biggest problems. We’ve ditched the dreary reinterpretation of Chicago for a lively, sometimes uncannily accurate recreation of San Francisco. Aiden’s half-baked revenge quest has been traded up for a lighter toned but more resonant tale of rebellion against a voyeuristic big brother. We’re given a cast of characters that matter, headed up by a charming, cocksure protagonist who’s instantly likable. Watch Dogs 2 is a vast improvement over its predecessor. It’s the biggest turnaround in quality an Ubisoft sequel has managed since Assassin’s Creed II.
I know we’re four conferences deep and I’m now just getting around to pounding some words out but we’ll gab about Ubisoft’s presser while the giraffe suit sweat is still in the air.
Ubi, hosted for the fifth consecutive year by the charming mountain of woman that is Aisha Tyler, ate up a two hour slot, and for better (From Honor!) or worse (anything not From Honor!), they brought an armory of games and announcements to the table. Remember to hit the links for some trailers (CG or otherwise). Let’s break it on down:
Concocted using the formula that made Far Cry 3 the mainstream hit that it was, Ubisoft, seemingly out of modern exotic locales to dump us in, has transported us back in time all the way to 10,000 B.C. where survival is the only rule and you’re a mammoth’s foot away from having both that rule and your fucking back broken.
Primal isn’t so much a sequel to 2014′s Far Cry 4 as it is a spin-off. Nearly...
Michael Fassbender as “Aguilar” in the film adaptation of Assassin’s Creed.
Rather than retell any existing Assassin’s tale from the games, the film has opted to create an entirely new character, Callum Lynch (also portrayed by Fassbender), who relives his ancestor’s 15th Century battle against the Templars in Spain in order to gain the skills he needs to face them in modern day.
It’s not the classic white duds, but the robes are faithful to the game’s style (and pretty fresh in their own right). So, how many days before we see our first Aguilar cosplay?
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Screens
Serious lack of Evie, but still an eyeful. Wonder if the top hat can eventually be upgraded with its own hidden blade? That’d make for a lethal curtsy.