Games and fine art collided this week in gay Paris with Ubidays - Ubisoft's press and trade show. I was one of the British games journos piled onto the Eurostar in order to storm the city of light, get drunk, eat finger food and stick my mitts on the cream of Ubisoft's upcoming crop.
After a surprisingly civilised trip in, we got carted off to Le Palais du Louvre, home of the glorified postage stamp that is the Mona Lisa. Instead of being greeted by the finest art that Europe has to offer, however, we were first met with TV's Vernon Kay. While a Bolton-born northerner might seem an unlikely choice to address the world's games press on the jewels of Ubisoft's upcoming line-up, he handled the opening presentation well. Most importantly, when he told the devs behind the Tom Clancy
franchise that they owed his wife an apology for all the hours he's put into the series, he meant it...
The presentation was predominantly a review of Ubisoft's upcoming titles. Prince of Persia
, Far Cry 2
, Tom Clancy's Hawx
, Shaun White Snowboarding
, Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
, Soul Calibur IV
, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party
and the company's Games for Everyone casual brand all got a moment in the spotlight.
We were treated to 'exclusive', all-new videos for the likes of Far Cry 2
and Prince of Persia
, although the word 'exclusive' seemed somewhat misplaced given that the presentation was being streamed over the Web...
There was little said that will surprise anyone, but I did learn about Elika, the AI partner of the new chap starring in Prince of Persia
. Yes, that's 'new', if you hadn't heard. "No Sands of Time", Ben Mattes, producer at Ubisoft Montreal, whispered into the mic. That means one of the core game mechanics of the last three games won't feature, but instead we'll get Elika to work in conjunction with the Prince to perform different acrobatic and combat moves in a way that we're told we've never seen before. “Elika is not going to be a burden”, we were assured.
It was also confirmed that Shaun White Snowboarding
will have balance board compatibility, but there was little else by way of hard news. What did make it out was the teaser trailer looking very much like it comes from Beyond Good and Evil 2
, but Ubisoft reps were refusing to confirm even that the game exists... See the screen here and video below to see what you think.