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Found 114 results

  1. Marcus Estrada

    Ubisoft's DRM Hurting During Steam Sale

    If you've been living under a rock since Thursday maybe you wouldn't know about the annual Steam Summer Sale currently going on. However, for all those engaged in it you can be sure that tons of people are buying, downloading, and playing new games during it. There's such a mass of people using Steam that oftentimes the service itself has issues keeping up! However, even when Steam is just fine that doesn't mean all their products are. Ubisoft game players have been finding this out the hard way during the sale. Ubisoft's UPlay is a DRM method which forces you to log in and be connected to their servers for your entire play session. Although not all the games they publish contain it, many do. Games that have been featured on the sale, such as Anno 2070 do come with UPlay. With all this attention paid to games on Steam, titles with UPlay just can't handle the stress. Ubisoft's servers are getting far too much traffic and have caused many to be unable to play their games. Apparently, if the server is down it will return an error message about your password being wrong, rather than simply saying the servers are packed. So even if you can manage to get through Steam's servers to buy and download new games for the sale you may not be able to play them straight away thanks to DRM. On the official Ubisoft forums the issue was claimed to be resolved but is that something you can immediately fix? Post a comment here if your Ubisoft games are running fine!
  2. Harrison Lee

    Review: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

    Developer: Ubisoft Studios Publisher: Ubisoft Release Date: May 22, 2012 (out now) Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC ESRB: M for Mature This review is based on the XBOX 360 version of the game Modern warfare shooters are a dime a dozen these days. Every release aims to up the ”wow“ factor with bigger set pieces, larger explosions, and increased number of nuclear catastrophes. It“s easy to pass off a genuinely good shooter as just another one of the other guys. Don“t make the mistake with Tom Clancy“s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. This is a rare breed of tactical third-person shooter, where future technology and weapon platforms are just as important as teamwork. As the name would imply, Future Soldier is set a few years past 2012. The world is gripped in fear as a rogue spear, or nuclear device, has decimated London. The Ghosts, an elite team of special operations soldiers, are sent in to find out who fired the missile and kill them. At least, that“s how it begins. What gamers will uncover is a vast conspiracy involving a shady Russian ultranationalist group and several arms dealers, warlords, and criminals. The narrative isn“t well explained though, and I still have quite a few lingering questions as to who did what exactly. The plot, however, is only here to service the great action and tactical situations that Ubisoft has created. In the singleplayer campaign, players will command a squad of Ghosts featuring Ghost Lead, 30k, Kozak, and Pepper. None of these guys are all that distinguishable since they almost always wear their gear, but Ubisoft does try to humanize them with squad banter. While the dialogue won“t win any awards, it makes you feel like you“re actually playing with a group of humans. As Kozak, players can order the squad to focus fire on certain targets or perform Sync Shots, where a number of targets (between 1 and 4) can be marked for a synchronized kill. Sync Shots are vital to mission success when an objective specifies absolutely no alerts triggered. Even then, some of the missions can be extremely difficult, requiring fast reflexes and tactical adaptability. Thankfully, the Ghosts have an arsenal of handy gadgets they can call on to make life easier. The stand-by gadget is the UAV. Capable of flight or driving on land, the UAV allows players to mark targets for Sync Shots and spot enemies hidden behind cover. While it isn“t particularly resistant to gunfire, it can repair itself when in the player“s possession. Other useful tech includes the motion detector, EMP grenade, and the ever-handy frag grenade. Learning the strengths and weaknesses of each deviceis paramount to survival on the dynamic battlefields of Ghost Recon. The campaign will likely take 6 to 8 hours, depending on how fast you want to play the game. The choice is (mostly yours) when it comes to tactics. You can go full-auto or you can take things nice and slow. The missions themselves are fairly varied, featuring warlord hunts in African refugee camps and an explosive mission using a mortar-launching drone. You“ll find plenty to do in the campaign, even if the story doesn“t make much sense. As an added bonus, you can sub out the AI squad (which is more than capable) for real human players. In my experience, it was easier just to stick with the AI as they actually behaved themselves. As with any modern shooter, there“s a multiplayer component. This part of the Ghost Recon experience is easily its best, featuring a robust suite of gadgets and weapons to choose from. The much talked-about Gunsmith, where you can change almost every weapon internal and external you can think of, can shape the way you play matches. Upgrade points to mess with in Gunsmith are earned by leveling up, so it“s important that you make sure you pick the right weapon for the three available classes. If you decide you don“t like the weapons you“ve created or the special unlocks you“ve earned, you can always use a reset token to give you back all of your unlock points and such. Most game-modes consist of wiping out the enemy team. One of Ghost Recon“s more creative modes, Decoy, is a real exercise in tension. Players on one team must find and disable an objective that the opposing team must defend. For the attackers, however, they must figure out with of three points is the real objective. There“s also a dynamic objectives mode called Conflict and a similar, albeit unforgiving mode, known as Siege. While each match variant has been done before in other shooters, Ghost Recon adds a lot of fun gadgets to make firefights engaging. Items like the UAV, incendiary grenade, and grenade launcher gain even more importance in the multiplayer to help teams succeed. Winning a match is an incredibly rewarding feeling, given how challenging objectives can be. From a technical standpoint, Ghost Recon is solid but nothing amazing. Everything has a slightly dated look, and some of the textures and environments are lacking in detail. While I didn“t really have a problem with it, some gamers may be disappointed by the visuals. Thankfully, I never really encountered any graphical glitches, meaning the code is fairly stable. The audio is great. Every weapon sound packs serious punch and the voice-overs do a fairly good job of communicating emotion and relaying combat-specific information. The musical score never really stood out to me given how often things were blowing up in my face. That might be for the better as the sound effects really make the game pop where the visuals don“t. Overall, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a great competitive and cooperative tactical shooter. The campaign offers great diversity and can be fun in coop if you have the right players. The multiplayer is also a strong addition to the Ghost Recon online legacy. While the technicals are lacking in some places, the rewarding gameplay more than makes up for any shortcomings. If you“re a fan of shooters, I can“t help but recommend this nice change of pace from the typical modern warfare shooter. Pros: + A great, diverse campaign filled with awesome moments + Strong competitive and cooperative multiplayer component + Great audio work and sound effects Cons: - Visuals are somewhat lacking - The narrative doesn't make much sense Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great A great tactical shooter with excellent multiplayer, a strong campaign, and fun future technology. A must for shooter fans! Don't skip out on buying it!
  3. The other day I walked into my local GameStop. Yes, I have their Power-Up Rewards membership and no, I still don“t think they“re a fine company by any means, but sometimes, you have to work with what“s in front of you. Anyways, this isn“t a commentary about GameStop“s services. I approached the gentleman at the front counter, and with a bit of hesitance in my voice, I declared to him, “I would like to cancel a pre-order.” Now, cancelling a pre-order is a fairly awkward experience. It“s essentially saying to the world, “You know, I thought I liked this and I put my hard-earned cash on it just to prove you people wrong, but turns out that I was wrong anyways.” You put your confidence in this product, assuming that it“s going to be good, and then you change your mind, losing a bit of your confidence along with it. The man at the desk complied, and asked which game it was. I told him it was Assassin“s Creed 3. That“s when a very short but sharp silence hit the store. The man helping me gave me a confused look, and he asked me why I would cancel a pre-order on such an anticipated game (if it hadn“t been apparent yet, he was a big fan of the series). Again, another awkward part of the cancelation of a pre-order is the part when the employee asks why. I know they have an obligation to interact with the customer, but I really didn“t feel like giving an explanation as to why, so I just spit some random excuses, quickening my time in the store. So, he cancelled the pre-order, got my money back, oh, and I might become “blacklisted” by my GameStop for cancelling a pre-order. Fantastic. My point here is that Assassin“s Creed 3, at this point, isn“t worth the investment for me. I“ve been a fan of the series for about three years, and I“ve played through all of the console iterations of the series. I plowed through the repetition of Altair“s journey, I spent three games and $180 on Italian playboy-turned-assassin Ezio Auditore, and I“ve mocked Desmond with witty Nathan Drake jokes too many times for me to count. I can say with confidence that I“m a fan of Assassin“s Creed. I enjoy the storyline, even though some people complain about it. Yes, Ubisoft“s promises that all of the answers will be answered in the next game are as fake as the Animus“ projections, and some of the religious references turn people off and quite frankly creep me out sometimes, but I still think that the game“s plot is the biggest motivation for me playing it. I also enjoy the combat system (which was finally refined when Brotherhood came out), and while you don“t really feel like a sneaky assassin a lot of the time, it still does a good job of dropping you into that sense. At this point, all of the elements in Assassin“s Creed feel very familiar. That“s where the problem begins. *Sigh* There was a time when two kills at once in an Assassin's Creed game were the most amazing thing in the world After Assassin“s Creed 2, the following games only added to the core experience. Basically, whatever you“ve seen from the previous title is recycled with a few new little tweaks and toys. I know that Brotherhood and Revelations weren“t meant to be taken as full-fledged sequels, but that doesn“t mean that Ubisoft couldn“t put the same effort and amount of new content that was seen in the jump between Assassin“s Creed and Assassin“s Creed 2. Brotherhood added the guild system and new weapons and more vehicle segments, and Revelations added new weapons, bomb making and Desmond puzzles. Both titles also introduced multiplayer to the series. Sadly, Brotherhood only acted as an enhanced Assassin“s Creed 2, and Revelations acted as a refined Brotherhood. I appreciate all of the new features and fixes, but honestly, they could“ve been achieved through patching or as downloadable content. Now we“re at the “third” installment of Assassin“s Creed. See, after the production of Assassin“s Creed 2, the team at Ubisoft split into two camps. One group went on to create Brotherhood and Revelations, and the other team went straight to work on Assassin“s Creed 3, which means that Assassin“s Creed 3 has been roughly a three to four year project. With all that time and with no direct design connections to Brotherhood or Revelations, then how can Assassin“s Creed 3 fall in the same copy-and-paste trap? It“s easy, really. There are some things I will applaud for Assassin“s Creed 3. The game takes place during the American Revolution, a familiar and exciting time during history, mostly because many North American gamers will likely recognize many of the places and people. The game looks great, and weather effects and free-running animations look very smooth. Combat looks vigorous and fast-paced, and Connor, our latest protagonist, has many neat moves at his disposal. These are all good things, but I can“t help but see more of the same. That“s how every series is; you start with a base concept, and with every game you try to build on it without completely alienating from the first experience. With Assassin“s Creed, however, I feel worn out at this point. From 2009, there has been a new game every year, this being the fourth consecutive year in a row. It“s why I lost interest with Call of Duty. I know - a drastic comparison, but the best I could come up with. I can“t help but feel like I“ve seen it all before, and even with a completely different development cycle, I don“t know if Assassin“s Creed 3 will go far enough to truly differentiate itself from the past two titles. After meeting the cool and silent Altair and then the charismatic leader Ezio, how will Connor stand out? Bringing up multiplayer, I never really could get into it. To me, it was original, but it was also a fancy game of hide-and-seek. When I think Assassin“s Creed and multiplayer, I think intense sword fights, free-running races, or even co-op stealth missions reminiscent of Splinter Cell: Conviction. Instead, Ubisoft thought outside of the box and did what they did, and it still serves as an ample experience but not one that could keep me hooked. And it seems that they continue to do the same with Assassin“s Creed 3. They“ve added some new modes, but it“s all they can do with the route that multiplayer has taken. Going back to single-player, I think that it will feel like a new experience, but like I said before, too familiar. I think that the fact that they decided to release a new game every year has worn some of us out, and even with the potential in Assassin“s Creed 3, it won“t wipe the slate clean. One thing to remember though - I said I cancelled my pre-order; I never said I wasn“t going to buy it. I just feel that my excitement for the series has dwindled, and hopefully Assassin“s Creed 3 will prove me extremely wrong. Until then, I“ll wait for the mark-down sale.
  4. A new Assassin's Creed 3 demo video has come to light, shown off at E3 2012, but having only just made its way to the internet. Creative Director Alex Hutchinson narrates, Zissou-style, the sneaking and murdering that Connor does in this six minute demo video. Ubisoft, since the announcement of Assassin's Creed 3, has been trying to give us the feeling that it isn't just the previous games in a Colonial America backdrop. This Boston trailer shows us that it's more than a feeling, showing off the creative kills and thrills that young America has to offer. The trailer shows off situational kills, such as pushing guys off of ledges, the passthrough ability, where Connor can go through an open window and pass through a building to escape pursuers, and a myriad of other neat techniques and tools. But you don't have to take my word for it! Check out the demo below. Assassin's Creed 3 releases on October 30th on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the US, and October 31st in Europe. PC won't see it until November 23rd. Do you think this demo is smokin'? Does it give you peace of mind? Let us know in the comments!
  5. The PlayStation Vita has been in desperate need of some games worth getting the system for. Ubisoft has answered those prayers during E3 by announcing Assassin's Creed III: Liberation -- a game that takes place in 18th century New Orleans and features a female African-French assassin. And despite all that, barely anybody has been hyped up about or discussing it! Maybe this new trailer Ubisoft has put out will get people talking. The game looks incredibly good and promising for the Vita. And with Aveline de Grandpréas the first playable female assassin in the series, it will be very refreshing. Assassin's Creed III: Liberation will release alongside Assassin's Creed III on October 30th of this year (Liberation will also be available in a crystal white Vita system bundle). The two games will also be able to link with each other. What are your thoughts on Liberation so far?
  6. When you think of the MMA, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? If you said "Revolutionary War" then I've got some good news and some bad news. Good news is you're right in this one instance. The bad news is you probably have zero knowledge of the war itself. While I'm sure Ubisoft has been trying to keep things historically accurate for the most part, a recent trailer for Assassin's Creed 3 shown during UFC 148 has revealed that our main character somehow knows how to use mixed martial arts. But this begs the question, at what point in the story will we see Connor being trained/inventing Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu? You can view the trailer below, unless of course it gets taken down. Then you won't be able to view it. http://youtu.be/DJ3Xv8f2TRo
  7. Ubisoft has released yet another Assassin's Creed III trailer, this time with a little more live-action and a little less gameplay. This time, the key to the trailer is one of the spirit of revolution, and not necessarily the battles fought for it. The trailer shows a young man on the battlefield, a statesman in a conference, a man in a burning village, and other people who represent the population of the time. Each of the people states, "When I..." and some act of rebellion, either through concept or through practice. The theme seems to be that it isn't just a war between generals, but a rebellion that reaches every person, from soldiers to statesmen to a mother defending her children. Connor doesn't show up until the end, and only for a few seconds. The words "RISE" appear across the center screen. Three messages are implied or stated here: Assassin's Creed III does play strongly with the revolution as a theme, the common person has to take part, and the jams are thoroughly dramatic in the trailer. But you don't have to take my word for it! Assassin's Creed III, again, will see daylight on October 30th for the States and October 31st for Europe.
  8. Marcus Estrada

    ZombiU Screenshot

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  9. From the album: Leah's Editorial Images

    © nintendo, ubisoft, square-enix

  10. As expected, most of these games are a little older (non-recent), but still a great price for a lot of them if you haven't played them yet. The selection has a bunch of older Tom Clancy titles in addition to Call of Juarez titles, Rayman titles, and others. Link
  11. So Assassins Creed III was announced this last week after a lot of rumor and speculation and even a leak a few days before the announcement. Ubisoft has repeatedly said that the game will tie up the story that has played out since the first game, and especially so this year since 2012 plays a big part in the overall story. For me, it's hard to believe that they would let the series end with this installment, especially since they've poured most of their developers and resources into the franchise more so than any other of Ubisoft's franchises for the time being (up to 500 people were working on AC: Brotherhood at one point), so I think they'll try to continue the series in some manner. That said, what do you think? Where will it leave the franchise afterward? Do you think they will continue to have spin-offs or go back into the past once again and start up a whole new storyline with all new characters? Or will they leave the franchise be and try to establish a new brand new IP in its place?
  12. Christopher Haygood

    Rayman Origins Review

    Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier Publisher: Ubisoft Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS Release Date: November 15, 2011 (consoles), February 22, 2012 (Vita), February 20, 2012 (3DS) ESRB: E for Everyone This review is based on the Wii version of the game. The Rayman series started in 1995 and introduced Rayman, a blonde, limbless monstrosity, as a two-dimensional platforming hero (younger readers: before there was 3D, there was something called 2D. It all gets rather complicated and it's best just to ask your grandparents about it). It“s been a while since we“ve experienced an original side-scrolling Rayman game — what with the nauseating amount of Raving Rabbids entries plaguing the series over the years — but now, finally, we have one. Oh boy, do we ever. On the surface, this is a game that doesn“t take itself seriously in the slightest. The main conflict revolves around an old granny from the underworld being so annoyed by the afternoon snoring of Rayman and his friends that she sends an army of unholy minions to show them what for. In the retaliation, these minions — the Darktoons — imprison the Electoons inhabiting the land, capture the magic Nymphs, and plunge the Glade of Dreams into chaos. This ends up so disturbing the Bubble Dreamer that he accidentally allows Rayman's arch-nemesis to escape the Land of the Livid Dead. Without so much as one word of dialogue, Rayman, his pal Globox, and the Teensies embark on a slap-happy quest throughout the Glade of Dreams to stop the evil, aptly-named Mr. Dark from wreaking havoc on the Glade. (Yes, it felt just as silly to type that as it did for you to read it.) With a ridiculous premise, cartoonish graphics, buxom fairies, and the absurdest of foes, this seems like some concoction Ubisoft threw together on a lark. But if you believe this for even one second, you're the butt of one of 2011's greatest jokes. The gameplay is standard for a platformer — Rayman and friends can jump, dash, and, later in the game, swim, hover, run up walls and slap things senseless. Whenever an enemy is defeated it becomes "bubblized," and attacking it a second time before it floats off screen garners you additional Lums: bug-like creatures whose adamant collection leads to the rescue of Electoons. Each level contains a number of Electoons to free, either by collecting Lums or finding hidden areas within the stages, and saving them allows one to progress further into the game as well as unlock bonus stages. Despite some slight awkwardness in areas where the platforms are smaller, the controls are tight, fluid and responsive. The game gets difficult later on, but never frustratingly so: rather, it“s that pleasant, Castlevania style of difficulty that requires trial-and-error to get through a section, and causes the player immense satisfaction upon doing so. Multiplayer feels a lot like it does in Super Mario Bros. Wii, a game that perfected four-player platforming co-op. When one player gets hit and is on the ropes, the others can burst their bubblized comrade in order to keep them within the realm of the living. Multiple players on the screen at once, all racing to defeat enemies and collect Lums and possibly slap each other stupid, creates a scene of madcap hilarity that can bring a whole living room of people to hysterical tears faster than any comedy film. The graphics are mouth-watering, and I don“t mean that strictly figuratively; there's a good chance your controller will be covered in saliva by the end of World 1. This is the first game to incorporate Ubisoft's UbiArt Framework graphics engine, and the luscious hand-drawn visuals of Origins can act as a testament to its efficacy. Every stage is full of vibrant enemies, colorful, eye-popping backgrounds, dazzling effects, and a style that would tickle even the most callous observer. Gliding listlessly through abyssal seas full of luminous creatures and dark crevices, frantically climbing the debris of a collapsing steampunk-style sky palace, and leaping over boiling vats of chicken tortilla soup in a Mexican kitchen have never looked this good. As with nearly everything else in this game, the music is strange, ridiculous, and outstanding. Every track fits like a detached, floating glove, from the bizarre mariachi belting during a tour through a dragon's fire-coated intestinal tract, to the endearing, hillbilly-like forest music, fully equipped with Jew's harps and dueling banjos, to the lethargic, ambient crooning during some of the most enchanting underwater stages in the history of the platforming genre. Aside from being unforgettable, the soundtrack is as fun as anything else in the game, and it's impossible to overstate the positive impact this has on the work as a whole. After maybe an hour or two into the game, I started to feel something I don't feel often. I think the word is "giddiness." It dawned on me that I had been having more fun every minute than I had the minute before, and that I was nowhere near ready for even the shortest break. Although the stages can be lengthy, some indomitable urge pushed me to begin the next stage as soon as I completed the previous one. This, it turns out, is largely due to the level design, which is so perfect that some stages must have been crafted on a golden computer by Nobel Prize-winning physicists using constructive criticism from Zeus. The way everything in a particular section is interconnected in just the right way to fully utilize the complete repertoire of your moves is astounding. Perhaps no levels demonstrate the expertise of the designers more effectively than those that have you chasing down a fleeing treasure chest, where halting for even one second can lead to a lost life, and jumps and platforms and vines go together so tightly that merely running through the course is like watching thousands of dominoes fall in an elaborate pattern. I literally laughed out loud dozens of times throughout the course of this adventure, but rarely were they laughs of humor: rather, they were laughs of pure delight. And those are the deepest and most satisfying laughs of all. There's no way around it: Rayman Origins is a masterpiece, a rare platforming gem as masterful in level design as Super Mario Bros. 3, as aesthetically pleasing as Limbo, and containing all the whimsical, unapologetic fun of...well, a Rayman game. This is not only one of the best games of 2011, but one of the greatest platformers I've ever played. It helped me remember why I love video games. I think it cured my cold and put money in my wallet while I wasn't looking. I don't think I need to go on with this nonsense: check out Rayman Origins and remember what it feels like to experience pure, unadulterated fun at once. Pros: + Level design as tight and elegant as a unified theory + Tear-jerking art style + Excellent soundtrack + Solid controls + A direct focus on fun, something many of today's games seem to lack Cons: - The controls feel a bit clumsy when the platforms are smaller Overall Score: 9.5 (Out of 10) Fantastic Are you still here? Go out and play this game already!
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