I met up with the community managers for Ubisoft today to get a look at the awesome that we all know is coming from the upcoming Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag and WATCH_DOGS games. After the appropriate introductions and handshakes, I was brought over to the AC IV theater where a demo was given on what we can expect when we you get your hands on this massive beast of a game. I say that because the world in this Assassin’s Creed is huge and one of the main points being made is that as you find new island and camps, each one of those synchronization spots now becomes a fast map travel point. A life saver if you need to hop from island to island instead of having to hoof it by foot and then row yourself from dock to dock. Graphically the game is of course beautiful and if you have seen any of the images and/or trailers that have been put out, you are going to get what you see. The same goes for sound in that what you hear is what you get and Ubisoft clearly takes pride in making sure that the environments are pleasurable to walk through and just take it all in.
As we all know, there are new underwater missions or tasks that you can do now and you do this by finding a shipwreck and deploying your diving bell. Yes back in the days of pirates they had diving bells, which were essentially and big bronze container that was dropped from the side of the boat and you would hang on to the chain and go down with it. Once down you could swim inside, snag a breath of air and swim out to do whatever it is you desired to do. In this case, looting treasure chests. In order to make sure your ship and crew and well stocked and happy, you will need a lot of money and this is going to be one way you will do it. Of course if you’re underwater there are also some dangers associated with it besides running out of air. Sharks is one predator you will need to watch out for and you will need to stay clear either by swimming around them or hiding in some seaweed. Overall this demo was a demo of something that looks to be very solid and you can tell Ubisoft is in the final clean-up stage of the game. Expect a vast open world of everything you’d like to do as a pirate. But be careful, too much pirating and you’ll end up with a wanted status. The higher it gets, the larger the fleets you have to fend off to bring your status back down.
After I completed the AC IV demo, I proceeded over to the WATCH_DOGS demo where it was explained a little more in what the game is about. A short history of how the world has slowly become interconnected between computes and the internet and that the next evolution in this would be to have an entirely interconnected city that runs itself. Of course because it is interconnected, that means your smartphone can hook into it, legally or not. With this power you have literal control over anything that is connected ranging from steam pipes and atm’s to others walking around and using their smart phones. Which kind of brings up the question in that what if you’re one of those holdouts with a clamshell phone, you must be safe from this type of incursion.
The coolest part of the demo though was the gameplay interaction between the console and another user on their mobile device. This was really an interesting gameplay session because when you are on the console and in freeplay mode, a friend of yours can see that you are logged in and challenge you to a race from one point to another. Seems easy enough except that your buddy on the mobile device is playing as the police and they also have access to the ctOS system allowing them to bring out a helicopter and various other little nuggets of good to get in your way. So imagine yourself trying to run from point A to point B within the city of chicago in anyway you think you can, but have your friend dropping police cars in the areas he thinks you are going to go while making sure his helicopter is following you and blowing up steam pipes and emergency barricades all at his will is quite exhilarating. This feature seemed to be the best one I have seen come out of WATCH_DOGS so far when it comes to multiplayer because of the mobile ability for one user and how they can just jump in and have fun at anytime.