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Saturday, 5 July 2014

E3 2014: Ubisoft, Sony & Nintendo - The Announcements Guide

Source: Assassin's Creed
Assassins unite, a thought-dead franchise returns and more titles are revealed at the dawn of a new era of video gaming!
Better late than never, we always say. A variety of delays (caused in no small part by the wealth of other ongoing entertainment news stories dominating the industry at present) have prevented us from concluding our E3 2014 coverage here at On-Screen as soon as we would originally have desired, yet the time has come for us to rectify the omission and provide detailed compilation feature articles for Ubisoft, Sony and Nintendo's much-anticipated press conferences.

There's no doubt in this writer's mind that you've waited more than long enough, dear readers, so without further ado, here's our round-up of everything that Ubisoft had to offer at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year and the Top 5 major reveals from Sony and Nintendo's content-packed showcases:

  • FIRST FARCRY 4 GAMEPLAY TRAILER RELEASED- Ubisoft Montreal have unveiled the first full gameplay video (below) for their upcoming open-world first-person-shooter FarCry 4. Taking place in an entirely different setting (and, perhaps, narrative continuity) to 2012's FarCry 2, the sequel will enable players with new abilities and gadgets such as a co-operatively controlled gyro-copter, elephant-mobilizing armaments and plenty more besides. FarCry 4 starts a riot on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC this November 18th.
  • JUST DANCE 2015 ANNOUNCED- Microsoft may be bringing Dance Central: Spotlight via XBLA later this year on Xbox One and Xbox 360, but that hasn't stopped Ubisoft from developing a fearsome competitor which is sure to steal at least a few of their ever-coveted sales. Titled Just Dance 2015, the latest instalment in the hit music-rhythm franchise will feature acclaimed modern hits such as "Burn", "Problem", "Love Me Again" and "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" as well as pre-21st Century classics like Bonnie Tyler's immortal "Holding Out For A Hero". Just Dance 2015 jigs its way onto Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Nintendo WiiU and Nintendo Wii this October 23rd.
  • NEW TOM CLANCY'S THE DIVISION & THE CREW TRAILERS RELEASED- Ubisoft Massive, Ubisoft Reflections, Ubisoft Red Storm and Ivory Tower are all hard at work on developing both Tom Clancy's The Division and The Crew for release on next-generation consoles at this very moment, and thrilling new preview trailers for both titles (the former of which is a dystopian open-world project and the latter a seemingly not-so-unique racing experience) can be witnessed at the tail-end of this article. The Crew kicks into a new gear on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC this November 14th and Tom Clancy's The Division sets up camp on precisely the same platforms in 2015.
  • SECOND ASSASSIN'S CREED: UNITY GAMEPLAY TRAILER RELEASED- Hot on the heels of their co-operative gameplay demo reveal at Microsoft's E3 press conference, Ubisoft Montreal débuted a similarly engaging taster (below) of Assassin's Creed: Unity's single-player component at their own showcase. Comparisons between this and last year's hit musical film Les Miserables aren't likely to fade anytime soon, but what Unity has in its favour is the immense graphical upgrade that's occurred behind-the-scenes (or should we say behind-the-generations?) and the somehow enduringly fascinating narrative at the heart of the series. Assassin's Creed: Unity takes a leap of faith and lands on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC this October 28th.
  • SHAPE UP & VALIANT HEARTS: THE GREAT WAR ANNOUNCED- Believe it or not, there were one or two semi-original IPs which emerged from Ubisoft's 2014 showing at E3. Firstly, Shape Up is a new fitness franchise (yawn) that will offer those players who are gullible enough to purchase it a once-in-a-daytime opportunity to partake in virtually the exact same training exercises as can already be found in Wii Fit and/or your local gymnasium - it'll be with us exclusively on Xbox One this Winter. Of significantly more interest (not to mention relevance) is Ubisoft Montpellier (the team behind the dazzling Rayman Legends, which earned itself a mighty 10/10 rating last year from us)'s Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a poignant puzzle platformer which takes place in the First World War and centres on a real-life love story involving a wayward German combatant. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is available now to download on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Windows application marketplaces.
  • RAINBOW SIX: SIEGE ANNOUNCED- Last but not least (unless you've grown as tired of military FPS entries as this writer, of course), Ubisoft Montreal revealed the twofold cancellation and newfound development of Rainbow Six: Vegas and Rainbow Six: Siege respectively. The latter in-the-works project prioritizes co-operative multiplayer gameplay so as to adhere more effectively to the traditional mechanics of its predecessors and to therefore appeal to a larger demographic of hardened fans of the series. Check out the first gameplay trailer below. Rainbow Six: Siege busts into PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC consoles in 2015.
  • LITTLEBIGPLANET 3 ANNOUNCED- Sumo Digital took to the stage early in Sony's largely acclaimed press showcase in order to reveal that they're working on the development of LittleBigPlanet 3 for a November 2014 release. As well as bringing the now-iconic protagonist Sackboy into the fold, the follow-up to the hit 2011 instalment LittleBigPlanet 2 will additionally feature new playable characters such as Oddsock, Swoop, Big Toggle and Little Toggle, each of whom will boast intriguing new abilities to shake up the franchise's platforming status quo (think of the LEGO series' beloved multi-character puzzle dynamic and you're on the right track).
  • BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT GAMEPLAY DEMO RELEASED & EXCLUSIVE PS4 DLC ANNOUNCED- As anticipated titles set for release next year go, they don't come much more potent than Rocksteady Studios' latest (and quite possibly greatest) creation. Titled Batman: Arkham Knight, the third and final chapter in the development studio's trilogy of accomplished licensed video games will follow Batman's courageous efforts to best Scarecrow and the elusive Arkham Knight on a night that will decide the future (and fate) of Gotham City. It's headed to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in 2015, and a sublime new gameplay demo trail awaits you below this text.
  • FARCRY 4 PS4-EXCLUSIVE CO-OP FEATURE ANNOUNCED- First-party DLC exclusive coups are getting rarer and rarer these days, yet somehow, Sony manages to continue rolling them out on a yearly basis. Case in point: when it lands on PS4 alongside its launch on Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, FarCry 4 will house an exclusive feature whereby players can take on the challenging co-op missions even if only one of them owns a copy of the product.
  • GRAND THEFT AUTO V NEXT-GEN RELEASE ANNOUNCED- Now, this one we didn't see coming. Rockstar Games have announced the development of a next-generation version of Grand Theft Auto V containing all of the DLC content which has been released for the hit open-world shooter's single-player and multiplayer segments since the title's première on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 last September. The visually stunning initial gameplay trailer can be found below. Grand Theft Auto V returns on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC this Autumn. Sadly, though, GTA Online's much-anticipated Heists DLC has been delayed to a TBC 2014 release window - stay tuned for more on this front...
  • UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF'S END ANNOUNCED- Naughty Dog closed Sony's presser with a bang, revealing the existence of none other than a fourth home console instalment in their best-selling Uncharted saga of third-person platforming titles. Dubbed Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Nathan Drake's latest excursion into the unknown (or rather the well-known, since the series seems to be able do nought but recover well-trodden territory at this precise point in time) will presumably be his last, though sales will probably determine the character's ultimate future when it comes down to it. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End will leap exclusively onto PlayStation 4 in 2015.
  • SUPER SMASH BROS FOR NINTENDO 3DS RELEASE DATE ANNOUNCED- After months and months and months of stalling for time, Nintendo have officially confirmed the global release date of their upcoming side-scrolling fighter Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS. The first in a pair of sequels to 2010's Super Smash Bros Brawl (the latter of which will retail this Winter), Smash Bros 3DS will pack an impressive cel-shaded aesthetic engine and several exclusive arenas based on acclaimed portable IPs such as Animal Crossing and Nintendogs. Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS explodes exclusively onto (you guessed it) Nintendo 3DS this October 3rd.
  • NEW THE LEGEND OF ZELDA FOR NINTENDO WIIU GAMEPLAY TRAILER RELEASED- As if it weren't enough for them to come out and confirm its existence, Nintendo revealed that The Legend of Zelda for Nintendo WiiU will be an open-world video game during their E3-themed Nintendo Direct conference on Tuesday, June 10th. Speculation is rife based on its first gameplay trailer (below) that the protagonist will be an older incarnation of Link than fans have ever seen before. The truth will, naturally, be revealed in 2015 when The Legend of Zelda for Nintendo WiiU mounts its horse for a new journey exclusively on Nintendo WiiU.
  • MARIO MAKER ANNOUNCED- In a blink-and-you'd-miss-it reveal video, the publishers went on to announce that rumours of Mario Maker's presence at E3 were entirely accurate. Rather than explaining the bare-bones specifics of what is, in essence, an expanded level creator title to you here, we're inclined at this stage to direct you below this chunk of text so as to allow you to cut out the middle man and watch the gameplay trailer for yourself should you so desire (our advice? There's no great hurry.). Mario Maker will triple-jump exclusively onto Nintendo WiiU in 2015.
  • YOSHI'S WOOLLY WORLD ANNOUNCED & CAPTAIN TOAD: TREASURE TRACKER ANNOUNCED- Whilst it's all well and good to let your mascots come out and play every few years, it's equally reassuring to learn that Nintendo have the best interests of their B-list characters at heart too in the form of Yoshi's Woolly World and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Whereas the former is essentially the spiritual successor to Good-Feel's Yoshi's Epic Yarn (indeed, it's being crafted by the same development team), Treasure Tracker is a wholly original entity (save for the connections to the Super Mario franchise) which utilizes Super Mario 3D World's 3D platforming engine to great effect, throwing in a considerable handful of compelling new mechanics such as digging and special attacks along the way as well as making use of the newly-announced Ammibo NFC software (it's a riff on Skylanders and Disney Infinity in all but name, hence why our coverage of said initiative needs only stretch to a single sentence). Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker discovers gold exclusively on Nintendo WiiU this Winter, while Yoshi's Woolly World will spin its yarn on Nintendo WiiU in Spring 2015.
  • SPLATOON ANNOUNCED- Another reveal which few of us could ever likely have predicted prior to the commencement of this year's biggest Nintendo Direct conference, Splatoon closely resembles de Blob yet still managed to stir up tonnes of hype upon its initial reveal. You can discover where you stand on whether it's a shallow rip-off of a classic Wii IP or not by clicking 'Play' on its début gameplay trailer below. Splatoon will rain paint down on its foes only on Nintendo WiiU in Spring 2015.
For all the latest news on the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo and other hugely anticipated video game titles which are currently in development, keep it On-Screen in the weeks ahead!

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