Watch Dogs Launches Around the World May 27th
The gaming public is all too familiar with delays, but it sure as hell notices when the belated title is as high profile a game as Watch Dogs is.
Originally meant to run out of the gates alongside next-gen consoles — while still dishing out current-gen counterparts — Watch Dogs slipped out of its November 2013 slot and into… well, seemingly oblivion. In the months following, Ubisoft uttered apologies while responding to date inquiries with a firm “when it’s ready.”
Can’t fault the publisher, though. Watch Dogs made a big damn splash when it was announced and all eyes have been glued since. With that much attention, and the hype train that came barreling in after its reveal, a mountain of expectation rests upon this untested IP.
Delayed for quality assurance, we’re now closer to experiencing Aiden Pearce’s technologically charged quest for good old fashioned revenge. Watch Dogs, releasing on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, is dated globally for May 27th. [Sorry Wii U people, no firm date for your hardware. Don’t hack the messenger.]
“Black Flag quickly ranks as my favorite Assassin’s Creed. It’s everything an open-world game should be: enormous, addictive, and completely worth pouring hours into…
Ubisoft does a magnificent job of making you feel like a high seas hardass. The development team didn’t lightly nudge into the pirate theme, it tackled it full-on.”
Ubisoft Shows Off Black Flag's DLC Campaign: Freedom Cry
Shipwrecked, abandoned, and unarmed, you assume the role of Adewale, a former slave that found unbound freedom as a pirate. Having served under Captain Edward Kenway as his first mate, Adewale received more than a crash course in piracy — he’s also an adept assassin.
Picking up fifteen years after the events of Black Flag, Adewale is stuck in the French controlled colony of Saint-Domingue where he’s forced to gather resources, persuade locals to join his crew, and, ultimately, jack his own ship. But his past catches up with him and soon enough Adewale begins fighting for the colony’s oppressed, hoping to share the freedom he took for himself in adolescence.
Freedom Cry will be a part of Assassin’s Creed IV's newly announced Season Pass ($19.99), which'll include a bevy of multiplayer content, and will be made available as soon as the game releases on Oct. 29th. Adewale's nine-mission campaign doesn't have a locked in date but the Season Pass' full lineup of content is expected out between launch and March of next year.
Assassin’s Creed IV Trailer Sets Up the Perfect Nautical Heist
Though the bandits of the high seas never seem to fail at capturing our imaginations — “Yo-Ho” pirates I mean; modern pirates would sooner hold you hostage than your imagination — their portrayal in pop culture as of late doesn’t quite jive with history. Somehow, heavy doses of mysticism and heavier amounts of eyeliner are what comes to mind when you say pirate.
That’s part of the reason I want Black Flag so badly. Assassin’s Creed, by its very video gaming nature, must take liberties with historical accuracy (you won’t find Ezio and Altair in the history books, sorry for the harsh reality check), but its devs assure us their pirates are right on the money. A producer’s comparison of Black Flag's cast of gloomy, galleon storming misfits to the Sons of Anarchy keeps bouncing around in my head.
Just the tone that sets has me sold on the narrative — which, glimpsed in this trailer, appears to have an extra touch of the cinematic — and it doesn’t hurt that every single person that’s demoed Black Flag immediately has a laundry list of praise to for it.
North American shores see the 360, PS3, and Wii U editions of the game on Oct. 29th, the PS4 version on launch day Nov. 15th, the PC version on Nov. 19th, and the Xbox One edition on its launch day of Nov. 22nd. You get all that?
Assassin’s Creed: Liberation Sneaking onto Consoles?
Evidence is mounting in support of Aveline, the series’ first female protagonist, making the move from her PS Vita debut to home consoles.
This graphic leaked all over the internet displays a list of familiar and not so familiar Ubisoft properties, including names for both Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD — the rumored console port in question — and Assassin’s Creed: Pirates, which is undoubtedly related to the forthcoming Black Flag and its focus on surly individuals that constantly keep the word “Ahoy” ready at the tip of their tongues.
The list of leaked titles, featuring mobile, digital, and free-to-play games, has been confirmed by Ubisoft to be real. More details are incoming September 10th, according to the publisher.
Handheld “exclusive” titles, more and more often, seem to be shedding that bond of exclusivity nowadays, huh? So long as its attached to a best selling franchise, publishers such as Capcom (Resident Evil: Revelations) and Konami (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate) are downright uncomfortable letting their breadwinners stagnate on one device and one device only.
I can see why. I’m a part of the demographic they hope to capture. With no Vita in my ownership and no close plans to alter that fact, I wouldn’t have had a chance to hunker on down with Liberation otherwise. Hopefully it isn’t an “as is” HD port, though — Aveline’s quest wasn’t without hiccups, apparently.
UPDATE: Ubisoft has confirmed console owners will get to pop their blades in 17th century New Orleans once Liberation HD releases for the PC, PS3, and 360 sometime next year.
Upping the scale from the small screen to the flat screen, the original game’s developers, Ubisoft Sofia, are enhancing the audio, finessing the graphics to match ACIII's visuals, and adjusting the AI. The transition won't be without loss, however, as missions reliant on the Vita's touch-pad are getting the axe (or the tomahawk, as it were).
ACIV: Man Versus the Sea
Want to know what made Black Flag so damn buzz-worthy even at PAX, a house home to nothing but buzz making titles?
How about dispatching a half-dozen foes armed with nothing but your swim trunks for starters? Or piercing your way to the ocean floor via an 18th century diving bell? Or how about harpooning sharks in a pirate-y take on that one bitching boss fight from RE4?
Credit is due to Ubisoft for not resting on their laurels despite their yearly release schedule for the series. Expanding on a proven formula is a tough, and usually avoided, prospect in this industry but Ubi seems determined to prove themselves to fans turned tepid after ACIII. If these ten minutes don’t convince you of that, nothing will…Well, besides playing the game. I guess that’ll do it, too.
Ubisoft’s Clearly Going to Make Another Far Cry
Tony Key, Ubi’s senior veep of sales and marketing, says Far Cry 4 is a no-brainer. And that’s the news, folks! …Okay, I’ll say more, but only in the hopes of Ubisoft letting me onto their wicked badass pirate ship in San Diego next week.
Though the gaming masses (rightfully) shunned Far Cry 2, something about playing as an over-privileged millennial transformed into a blood-frenzied bushman really resonated with people, thusly Far Cry 3 — under Ubisoft Montreal’s eye — put up strong numbers and kindly reviews.
This is where I say, “The game’s positive reception left many fans wondering if Far Cry 3's success could pave the way for a potential sequel?” But it's just you and me here; we can be frank. We're talking about the same publisher that has launched no fewer than five hundred Assassin’s Creed titles since 2007 (with another two hundred rumored to be in the works). Of course there’s going to be a Far Cry 4.
"It’s a great brand, and now it’s got the recognition it deserves," said Tony "T-Key" Key to Gamespot. “So we’re clearly going to make another one: more on that soon.” Key also spoke on consumers’ leaning on the open-world genre as a whole, stating that gamers’ tastes are becoming more attuned to less linear experiences.
"They don’t want linear; they want open [world]," said T-Key, admitting that Ubisoft pours considerable resources into the genre in part because of their aptitude for "large-scale, open-ended games." Key did backpedal a bit, affirming that "there’s always going to be a place for linear experiences." I can only imagine someone may have shot him these figures.
Now, if we can only get a Blood Dragon 2 into the “forgone conclusion” category, I’ll rest easy.
"Blood Dragon really is the game Duke Nukem Forever should have been. Whereas that meddlesome abortion half-assed it by showing up to ‘80’s Night in a Joy Division t-shirt freshly picked off a Hot Topic shelf, Blood Dragon crashes through the doors in a DeLorean, speakers ear-bleedingly capped at 11, cranking out ‘Bark at the Moon.’”
With an official reveal already well and spoiled days ago, all that’s left to analyze are the finer details surrounding Ubisoft’s sixth mainline installment of Assassin’s Creed. Settle in, there’s a lot to sift through.
Black Flag rewinds the historical clock a couple of generations before Revolutionary Times, dropping us in the middle of the Golden Age of Piracy — a period modern writers have fictionalized into the ground, portraying a romanticized but irrevocably distorted version of the truth. Ubisoft wants to show us the era as it was; a gruff, bloody, self-enterprising corner of history in which armadas ruled the sea and pirates fought, killed, and plundered for nothing more than profit. Tonally, Ubisoft says Black Flag is less Pirates of the Caribbean and more Sons of Anarchy. How could I not love the sound of that?
Pulled Trailer Reveal’s ACIV: Black Flag's Release Date
Really, though, I feel like I just beat Assassin’s Creed III…Well, I’m guessing I’m going to have to adjust to that sensation about this time every year as Ubisoft elevates their blockbuster series to annual status.
With a full-on reveal of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag scheduled for Monday, practically forever from now, you can always count on the internet to open its presents early. Not completely our fault (this time). The official trailer for Black Flag (accidentally?) made a brief stint when it was leaked onto YouTube. I would link you to it but Ubisoft put up the blinders post haste.
Damage done, however, as we now have a release date pegged as well as the alias of our new assassinating buccaneer. Starring a Mr. Edward Kenway — a “devil dressed as a man” who even has the infamous Blackbeard shivering his goddamn timbers — fans will first get their hands on Black Flag October 29th; likely the new target date for future installments.
What’s more is the fact Assassin’s Creed IV will be the first entry gracing next-gen consoles along with current hardware. If it makes it in time for the PS4’s Fall ship, Black Flag will certainly be one hell of a high profile launch title. Once again, see you on Monday with more details.