Ubisoft's presentation began with Tetsuya Mizuguchi showcasing Child of Eden, a sensory experience and music-based game that uses Kinect , where the player gestures like an orchestra conductor to control movement on the screen, in something that resembles Every Extend Extra and sounds reminiscent of Meteos.
After the interesting and colourful musical sequence, we were told that this event revolved around the concept of "games you can feel" and "emotionally involving games".
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood was next, taking place in Rome, the center of power and corruption, during the Renaissance period in the early 1500's, where there is an ongoing struggle between assassins and templars.
You will play as the protagonist from Assassin's Creed 2, Ezio, soon finding that extreme situations call for drastic measures (for example, using a cannon during a city siege). Gameplay diversity was stressed,; the player will have several weapons, gadgets and machinery at their disposal, as well as horse riding and melee combat. Taking the offensive is extremely important in this game: striking fast and striking first will be the key.
You will also play a key role against other players from around the world with the addition of online multiplayer. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is set to release on November 16 2010.
From 16th Century Rome we moved on to a 21st Century urban jungle for a demo of Shaun White Skateboarding. Aside from snowboarding, Shaun has also accumulated skateboarding trophies and has provided the dev team with insight from a skater's point of view.
In the game, your purpose is to transform your environment in real time while you skateboard around the city. Dull black and white elements and people come to life as you perform tricks: trees grow, color appears, lamps start to light up, people react as you skate.
What sets this apart from other skating games is the "shaping" mechanic, which lets players alter their skate line by using the analog stick. Your grinding isn't bound to the shape of a rail anymore, as you can raise it, lower it, reshape it or go back in real time.
Shortly after, the stage was invaded by two teams playing what looked like laser tag. Boys vs. Girls, at that. We discovered the next title being showcased: Battle Tag, which is basically laser tag that you can play at home, with friends, and away from the screen. Battle Tag is a shooter game where you physically have to reload your ammo, and it will come bundled with two guns, four ammo clips and a chest harness. User-created content was mentioned as well. Expect it sometime at the end of this year.
From running around shooting your buddies, you should end up tired, so why not try out Innergy? Innergy is a stress-reliever tool that helps your heart coordinate with your brain by doing some simple breathing exercises. Place the energy sensor on your index finger and take some deep breaths as the cute little creature goes up and down on the path, to improve your cardiac coherence. Seems a bit redundant to me to make a game out of a simple yoga breathing exercise, as I do this already anyway without a finger clip or a cute on-screen creature to set the pace.
Moving on to Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, which we had already seen at the Xbox briefing earlier. Your Shape scans your body and allows you to participate in a series of exercises tailored to your body shape. You can join a fitness class, access a personal trainer or get in on gym activities with your friends. Furthermore, you can challenge friends, compare stats and upload your scores to Facebook and Twitter.
Next, there was a brief presentation of Motion Sports in the form of a live-action trailer where people dressed up as athletes and gathered in the living room to play a compilation of sports mini-games. Basically, comparable to Wii Sports, but without controllers. The three activities featured were skiing, football and soccer, with a bit of solo and two player gameplay.
Crazy bunnies make their return in Raving Rabbids Travel in Time. The Rabbids and their washing-time-travel-machine are coming exclusively for the Wii, in adventures that alter the outcome of historical events, in their trademark wacky humor.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier followed, with a glimpse at how the battlefield and soldier are affected by technology. The game is based in information gathered from real-life military consultants and prototyped. The optical camo (basically, your soldier moves around as a transparent blur, like the Predator) is the most preeminent feature in a game where stealth plays a very important role, but also important is using objects as cover. Both features add a tactical layer to the gameplay. Future Soldier's campaign can be fully experienced in co-op by up to 4 players. The game will be available on all platforms (consoles, handhelds and PC) later this year.
Ubisoft then announced the return of the Driver franchise with Driver: San Francisco. We play the original character, detective John Tanner, but we discover than he has fallen into a coma, which puts in place the "shift" mechanic. By shifting, John can hop from car to car at any time, even those moving in different directions, and take control of them. This "out-of-body" type of experience also lets players zoom out to get higher and higher views of the city map, and definitely adds a different type of single-player gameplay and makes for interesting multiplayer races.
Lastly, three other projects were revealed. The first, Project Dust, was described as a spiritual successor of Populous. You play god, and must help your civilization by saving them from natural disasters by manipulating nature's elements. The second project was Rayman Origins. Rayman is being brought back back in wholesome 2D side-scrolling goodness, now with co-op gameplay. Finally, ManiaPlanet was revealed, an online hub that allows users to create and share racing, shooters and RPGs (branches respectively entitled TrackMania, ShootMania and QuestMania). ManiaPlanet lets you create single player, co-op or multiplayer scenarios for each game. The Trackmania beta begins in late 2010, while ShootMania should be available for testing in early 2011. No date was revealed for QuestMania though, and we never got to see this tool in action, so I guess we'll all have to wait.
To end the briefing with another musical bang, dancers gathered on stage to the sound of Beat It. Ubisoft announced a partnership with the Michael Jackson estate to release a new product at the end of the year, which obviously looks like a dancing game. We will find out more in the last quarter of 2010.