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  1. Today we have a slew of Ubisoft news for you, thanks to their quarterly call with investors. Ubisoft Yves Guillemot spoke on Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs 2, and more. Check out the headlines below! Quantum Break also coming to PC Okay, so this is unrelated to Ubisoft, but bear with me here because this is probably one of the biggest news headlines of the day. Yes, Quantum Break is no longer Xbox One-exclusive. Even better, anyone who buys the Xbox One version will get a free copy of the Windows 10 version (offer lasts until April 4). Remedy Entertainment has confirmed that the PC version is being developed in-house instead of being outsourced to another developer, which is also good to hear. In all, the PC port is great news to hear for those who don't have an Xbox One. Source: Gamespot Ubisoft confirms Assassin's Creed taking a break this year This actually isn't the first time we've heard this, but if there was any doubt, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot put them to rest today by confirming that there would be no Assassin's Creed release this year. Why? Apparently Ubisoft started to question the viability of having the series annualized around the time Assassin's Creed Unity came out, and then further confirmed their suspicions when Syndicate released last year, which had a slower than expected launch. Guillemot also mentions that he hopes the move away from annualized entries will give the different Assassin's Creed teams more time to implement new engines and technology in each game. Source: IGN Watch Dogs 2 is coming before April 2017 Oh, and another thing Guillemot brought up in the investor's call was Watch Dogs. Surely there must be a follow-up to their newest mega-hit game from a few years ago, right? Yes, the sequel is in the works, he confirmed, and is on the way for a release sometime within the 2017 fiscal year, which ends April 2017. If you enjoyed the hacking thriller, you can look forward to playing it sometime by before then! Source: IGN Ubisoft FY 2015/2016 sales breakdown Of course, one of the main things discussed in Ubisoft's earnings call was... well, what the company earned. As usual, charts were provided so investors could see how things were progressing, and one of the most interesting ones is the breakdown of sales across different platforms. Not surprisingly, games on PlayStation 4 accounted for the most sales during the 2015/16 fiscal year at 41%, followed by Xbox One (27%), and then PC (a staggeringly low 12%). Also surprising -- for the whole fiscal year, PS3 actually dipped below Wii U sales (2% vs 3%), and Wii sales actually beat out both other last generation consoles and the Wii U (with 6%). No doubt a lot of that is due to the continuing strength of the Just Dance series. With these statistics, it's not hard to see why Ubisoft mostly doesn't publish on Nintendo consoles these days, but perhaps that may change with the arrival of NX. For now, expect for many Ubisoft titles to get premium treatment on the PlayStation 4. Source: Ubisoft New Pokemon Magiana Surfaces We must be getting fairly close to an announcement of a new Pokemon game, because a new Pokemon has been announced, and it's called Magiana. Apparently it's the first "man-made" Pokemon and was created 500 years ago. It's also the star (alongside fellow recently revealed Legendary Pokemon Volcanion) of an upcoming Pokemon movie called Volcanion and the Contriving Magiana. That's pretty much all we know for now, but stay tuned for theories in predictions in Jonathan's Individual Values pieces in the weeks ahead. Source: Serebii Image credit by CoroCoro, via Serebii What are your thoughts on Quantum Break coming to PC as well as the different Ubisoft news? And will the announcement of Magiana lead to a new Pokemon game? Let us know below!
  2. Going to steal a cue from NeoGAF here, but I thought the question was a really good one: has 2014 been a disappointing year for AAA titles? Of course, 2014 has been pretty good for indie games, niche titles, RPGs, and Nintendo titles (for the most part), but if you look back, there have been a number of big titles that ultimately ended up falling short (or WAY short in some cases), To quote the NeoGAF post again, here's what the OP came up with- Disappointing New IPs Watch_Dogs Destiny Buggy Messes Assassin's Creed Unity Halo MCC GTA Online Driveclub Meh Sequels: COD Advanced Warfare Infamous Second Son Huge Games Delayed Into 2015 (I added this bit) The Order 1886 Batman Arkham Knight Evolve Battlefield: Hardline The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Quantum Break Xenoblade Chronicles X Personally, I'd have to agree on some level that 2014 was a little bit of a let down in terms of releases overall, though again, there were some great releases in specific areas. What do you guys think?
  3. Watch Dogs originally released on Xbox and PlayStation consoles (as well as PC) back at the end of May, and despite some initial uncertainty in whether we'd see it or not, Ubisoft has now confirmed a release date for the Wii U version of the game as well. This version will be launching on Nov. 18, and will include an interactive map available on the Gamepad screen as well as off-screen play. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has previously mentioned that this will be the last mature game they publish on the Wii U, as previously-released games in that age rating (such as Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag) did not sell to expectations. You can check out our review for Watch Dog's original release here if you're interested. Source: Polygon Are you interested in the Wii U version of the game at all?
  4. Harrison Lee

    Review: Watch Dogs

    Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Publisher: Ubisoft Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Release Date: May 27, 2014 Rating: M (for Mature) After having played hours upon hours of Ubisoft's flagship open-world techno-thriller, I can assure you of one thing—Watch_Dogs has nothing to do with watching dogs. Rather, it's about the struggles of a Punisher-esque vigilante dealing with the murder of his niece, the growing technological advancements in monitoring technology, and his own anti-establishment sentiments. What it all boils down to, really, is creatively figuring out ways to blow up bad guys with cell-phone hacks and various tools of destruction. Chicago is an open playground for you to experiment with and take revenge as need be. Are you the hero to end the shady ctOS program's control on the city, or the violent, take-no-prisoners vigilante with nothing to lose? The game opens with protagonist Aiden Pearce botching a job. He's supposed to assist a brilliant hacker with stealing a mysterious file but things go sideways. After Aiden barely escapes with his tail between his legs, he finds his family threatened by the mysterious forces in control of the file he was after. Whatever he downloaded gets his niece killed in an accidental hit, turning Aiden into a growling rage-monster of questionable moral fiber. He claims he's a family man, but after playing the campaign's 10-odd hours, I get the feeling Aiden just loves to watch the world burn. Sound familiar? On your quest for vengeance you'll first acquire the hacking smart phone, which can paralyze the entire city of Chicago with the press of a button. Streetlights, steam pipes, bridges, and more can all be hacked... if you've unlocked the abilities to do so. The more missions and side-quests Aiden completes, the more his phone becomes the instrument of survival. Hacking is crucial to evading cops, enemy fixers (re: gangsters), hitmen, and guards. Find yourself tailed by a speeding column of police? Blow the steam pipe when the prompt tells you to and you might knock a cop cruiser out of commission. Other situations might call for raising draw bridges or tripping traffic lights to cause chaos. The hacking isn't terribly deep stuff but it's absolutely necessary for getting out of more than a few sticky situations. As much as Watch_Dogs preaches about the complex nature of surveillance and our increasingly tech-reliant society, I could have given less of a whiff about the plot. The initial overtones of government over-reach and political corruption under the guise of the helpful ctOS give way to a generic revenge story. The narrative dissonance between Aiden's motivations to help his family and his actual selfish actions that endanger his family is jarring. I suppose that's the point, but it feels out of place in a game that's supposed to make you a hacking hero of the people. Speaking of being a hero, Watch_Dogs is fairly heavy-handed on those who are agents of chaos. Killing civilians, intentionally or no, incurs a heavy shift to the left on the karma scale. As a guy who didn't want to get arrested by the police anytime I walked by civilians with phones, it got frustrating when my positive karmic gains were immediately decimated by a rogue bullet or car swerve. If they can tweak the penalties to be a tad more forgiving, I'd greatly appreciate it. As it is, Watch_Dogs wants to discourage anyone trying to play the game like it's Grand Theft Auto. Story missions are relatively straightforward, whether it's tailing a gang member you need to coerce or protecting one of your hacker buddies as he's trying to steal rival tech. Some of your allies, like T-Bone and Clara, offer in-mission support and feed you bits of plot exposition as the game progresses along. Sadly, I didn't catch anything all that interesting from the side characters and none of them remained in the picture long enough for me to get attached to them. While Clara is the most constant presence throughout your hacking escapades, she's always at a distance, making the campaign a largely solo affair. It would have been nice if my compatriots had taken a larger role in the narrative game world, but it wasn't a huge issue. Despite a ho-hum plot and some less-than-stellar characters, everything about Watch_Dogs's action is well done. The gunplay feels relatively tight and focused. The implemented cover mechanic is usually reliable, opting to offer general (but not complete) protection of major body parts. All weapons are incredibly lethal on unarmored targets and the explosives blow up the surroundings nicely. Hacking adds a fun layer of experimentation during combat, even if your hackable options are limited. Raising a ramp for cover was always useful when I found myself badly wounded and in need of a reprieve. The driving mechanics are solid, if a bit too loose. Cars tend to careen around the gameworld like pinballs, though incurred damage is mostly cosmetic. The handling is arcade-like and caters to those who don't mind smashing expensive sports cars into walls. In the online race modes, it can be incredibly amusing to see other players attempt to corner around intersections before plowing into a crowd of bystanders. Again, the driving is serviceable, but relatively unremarkable. When compared with how well GTA V's cars performed, I'm a little surprised Ubisoft didn't do more to make the driving enjoyable. If you get tired of driving round and shooting things in the story mode, side jobs allow you to shoot more things. My personal favorites were the gang base raids, where you had to capture a gang leader alive, and the criminal convoy missions, which involved wiping out a whole mess of criminals. While both mission types generally devolved to killing guys as quickly and quietly as possible, they provided a decent enough distraction from the linear story missions. Other pursuits include tacking down a serial killer, identifying gun crates, and picking out human traffickers. Completing these earns experience to upgrade any of Aiden's currently available abilities, as well as special weapons and locked abilities. There's usually something new to grab, like the awesome Destructor sniper rifle or improved weapons handling. Digital trips provide even stranger side games, some of it better than anything in the campaign. The Spider Tank rampage missions were the absolute best, pitting you against wave after wave of cops. The fake AR shooting minigames were also fun, especially when NPCs made small comments as you drunkenly walked by blasting aliens. The digital trips all have to be initiated at trip retailers, shady fellas standing on street sides that resemble drug hovels. It's a tad illicit, it would seem, but without the harmful effects of crack or heroin (...I think). If any of this still isn't doing it for you, multiplayer offers a small suite of fun diversions that challenge teams of players to race, infiltrate, hack, and steal all sorts of files in competitive matches. The most common mode I played was Invasion, where I could sneak into another player's game and steal his or her information. The other player would attempt to ID me and, if successful, try to blow me sky high before I got away. Likewise, I also got invaded and had to play the part of the hunter, scouring crowds of civilians with my phone to find the one person that didn't fit. It's thrilling stuff, especially when you get to the team-based modes in encryption battles where one team will attempt to steal data while the other team has to kill the link. As mentioned earlier, some races are available if you're feeling ambitious. Of course, you can disable all of the multiplayer stuff if playing solo is more your style. Switching off the game's online functionality does have one major hitch; any online Notoriety (experience) you gained is reset. It's stupid and a silly way to force online play, but I get why the devs implemented it. Watch_Dogs is all about the interconnected nature of technology, and what better way to ensure players stay online than to penalize them? Still, it's aggravating to sacrifice progress in the name of wanting to play the game on your own terms. I just wish I didn't feel like the game was yelling at me for wanting to do my own thing and stay solo. I played Watch_Dogs on PC and, after all is said and done, this game is still unoptimized, even with the latest patch. The original review version I received ran atrociously with different assets like Vsync and AA enabled. I also ran into random bugs, including a few CTDs that frustrated my efforts. After the most recent patch, a lot of the bugs and stuttering issues have largely faded away. What still isn't implemented, however, are the visuals Ubisoft showed us in 2012. Watch_Dogs is a decent-looking game, no doubt, but that beautiful presentation we were shown isn't on display here. In fact, the audio is better than the visuals, though some of the voice acting leaves something to be desired. Aiden's vocals sound like he's trying to grit and grind out every little line, from "Happy birthday" to "I'm going to stuff your body in a dumpster." Remarkably, it all sounds the same. The musical selections, which can be played anywhere thanks to the in-game smartphone, is relatively diverse. Not as sweeping as Grand Theft Auto's score, but a good line-up nonetheless. You can even hack songs from citizens if you so please. The general gist I got from the presentation is that Ubisoft played it too conservatively with Watch_Dogs; the PC version doesn't have the graphical prowess of the older demos and the plot feels like a generic revenge story.....with some hacking. While most of the action is entertaining and many of the side activities are well put together, you get the sense that this was a dry run for Ubisoft. It dabbles in ideas of police states and over-stepped boundaries, but never fully explores or analyzes them either. It is, in a sense, a simplified look at surveillance states in layman's terms. At the end of the day, technical issues notwithstanding, Watch_Dogs is a decent open-world experience. There's a good variety of activities to do when the mediocre story gets boring. Though some missions tend to get repetitive, the inventive digital trips and entertaining multiplayer modes offer a store of content that shouldn't be overlooked. This first entry in Ubisoft's new franchise is rough around the edges but shows a lot of promise. If the hacking is expanded, the commentary bolder, and the protagonist better developed, Ubisoft might finally have the modern open-world blockbuster they've been clamoring for. Pros: + Good combat and cover systems + Hacking adds a fun layer to the action + Solid multiplayer and side diversions Cons: - Visual and technical skeletons aren't up to par - Aiden is dull as bricks - Plot isn't inventive enough to be engrossing Overall Score: 6.5 (out of 10) Decent Watch_Dogs is a solid first effort from Ubisoft, but it needs a lot of polish to make the experience truly memorable. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Steam code provided by the publisher.
  5. It's official - after not hearing about the Wii U version of Watch Dogs for some time and Ubisoft even dodging questions about it for a while when rumors flew about that the version was cancelled - the company is now confirming a delay for the Wii U version. “We made the difficult decision to further delay the release of Watch Dogs on Wii U to focus the team“s resources where they could have the broadest possible benefit for both our customers and Ubisoft,” Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot mentioned in a financial call today. Meanwhile, other versions of the game, including Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, and PC, are scheduled to release sometime between April and June. Ubisoft also mentioned that their fiscal 2014-2015 lineup will see five major titles releasing, including Watch Dogs, Just Dance, The Crew, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and one other unannounced game that is expected to be the next Assassin's Creed game. Of course, the company still has some smaller releases coming as well, such as Child of Light (which is coming in April) and Valiant Hearts. For now, Wii U owners can rest easy knowing the company still intends to bring Watch Dogs to Wii U, albeit later in the year. Source: Game Informer
  6. While there was a bunch of reveals and information at the conference today, Ubisoft decided instead to reveal some information via Twitter. One of their tweets today has given Microsoft fans some great news: "We confirm that Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag and Watch_Dogs will both be available on #XboxOne." Are you planning on picking up either of these games on the Xbox One?
  7. Jason Clement

    Watch Dogs

  8. Jordan Haygood

    Watch_Dogs Confirmed for Wii U Release

    Following the tail-end of the big PlayStation 4 announcement, Ubisoft has announced that one of the PS4 titles shown off, Watch_Dogs (yes, underscore included), will also be seeing a release on Nintendo's Wii U alongside its PS4 release. This is no doubt good news for Wii U owners who wanted this to happen. It was already rumored that this would happen thanks to some leaked promotional material, but as soon as Sony's PlayStation conference came to an end, Ubisoft didn't hesitate to give us a press release about the game. This press release confirmed these rumors, now making Watch_Dogs an official Wii U title. No release date was given, however, other than the fact that it's set to be released simultaneously with the PS4. Here is an excerpt from the press release for more info about the game: As demonstrated onstage today at PlayStation Meeting 2013, Watch_Dogs“ ambitious scope illustrates that Ubisoft is once again at the forefront of new technologies, giving freedom to development teams to create unprecedented entertainment experiences. Development of Watch_Dogs is being led by Ubisoft Montreal, with support from Ubisoft“s Bucharest, Paris, Quebec and Reflections studios. Receiving more than 83 awards and nominations at E3 2012 where it was first announced, Watch_Dogs blends cutting-edge technologies and sophisticated game design into a realistic, living open world. In Watch_Dogs, players will experience the realities of living in our fully connected society, where individuals and corporations are at risk of exposure by our ever-increasing reliance on networks and technology. Players will assume the role of Aiden Pearce, a new type of vigilante who, with the help of his smartphone, will use his ability to hack into Chicago“s central operating system (ctOS) and control almost every element of the city. Aiden will be able to tap into the city“s omnipresent security cameras, download personal information to locate a target, control systems such as traffic lights or public transportation to stop a chase, and more. The city of Chicago is now the ultimate weapon. ...Watch_Dogs will be available on PS4 at launch, along with its release on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Wii Uâ„¢ system from Nintendo and Windows PC. Yes, Watch_Dogs is also releasing for the PS3 and Xbox 360, but it's still nice to see that the first two next-gen consoles will both be getting the game as well. Plus, the game provide some interesting use of the GamePad, considering the game is centered around a smartphone. Whatever happens, we'll have to wait for the PS4 release to get our hands on any version. Will you be getting Watch_Dogs? Which version do you plan on getting?