Ubisoft likely had one of the biggest offerings at Gamescom this year. With huge titles like Far Cry 5 and Assassins Creed: Origins coming to the table you had better believe they drew a crowd. It was so large, in fact, that when I arrived at about half 9 on Tuesday, expecting I’d beat the crowds and could get things done early, I was severely disappointed. Far Cry alone took about 2 hours to get through. The other titles were no different, taking up a large chunk of my time at the convention.
That said, were they worth it?
Far Cry 5
Let’s start with Far Cry 5. Now I’m a big fan of the Far Cry series. I always loved the exotic locales and the wild nature of the game. That said the idea of taking the game away from far off islands and into America did excite me. The idea of fighting off religious zealots in a cult sounds like something straight out of Outlast. It’s disturbing to think that in order to get into these dangerous situations that are a far cry from the norm, you might not have to travel very far. And it’s probably the last thing anyone expected from the reveal.
So once I was finally settled, I got to pick my character. I had a choice between boy, girl and dog, so I think we all know who I went with. Seriously, if I play through the full game and the dog gets so much as a sore paw, I’m gonna go on a rampage. No cultists left standing!
The gameplay was a lot like the previous titles, tag your enemies, find your approach and lets go nuts. The main difference is really the locale and I genuinely love running around seeing all this Americana strewn about. Definitely looking forward to the release in February.
One of the most popular franchises of the last decade, Assassins Creed, is back! This time, not in a yearly development cycle for the first time in years! Let’s face it, this series had become the FIFA of Ubisoft at this point. Crank it out faster, we’re missing an October release! I’m incredibly glad they took a step away from that cycle for Origins and focused on giving the devs more time to polish the title. Believe me, it shows!
Assassins Creed: Origins focuses on Ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic period. You play as Bayek, a Medjay (desert soldier) as he fights to protect the people. People have been asking for Ancient Egypt as a setting for a long time and I’m really glad they chose it this time. The thought of scaling a pyramid is pretty epic! Plus I’ve loved Egyptology since I was a kid so double fun for me!
During the demo, I played through one quest wherein you have to save the life of a slave by proving his innocence. At this stage, we more or less know what an Assassin’s Creed game plays like but there were lots of new little tidbits. For instance, the shield and the addition of man eating hippos in the Nile.
More than anything this really reminds me of the first game. I don’t know if it’s simply the desert setting or the idea that we’re fighting simply for the people as opposed to hunting some cosmic precursor race bullshit. Either way, it’s a good sign in my opinion. I’m looking forward to seeing how Bayek’s story unfolds.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
I’m a huge fan of South Park. That kind of crude, over the top humor is just my style. Add to that the witty satire that isn’t afraid to take on any subject, how could you not love it!? Needless to say, I loved The Stick of Truth. Usually with games based off movies or TV shows, you have to take it with a grain of salt. After all, these stories are meant to be told through those mediums, it’s hard to translate things into a video game at times.
However in The Stick of Truth’s case, it just plain worked. It felt like playing through an episode of South Park and still worked as a solid turn based RPG. I can gush some more, but we’re focusing on the sequel today. The Stick of Truth can wait for another article.
So, what’s new? Well, that crude, over the top humor I mentioned is still present. I had to wait in line for about an hour and a half for this game, and within 10 seconds of touching the demo, I’d forgotten all about the wait.There were a couple of times I had to look back at the Ubisoft staff standing behind me and say “Really? They really did this?! Wow!” I honestly don’t want to spoil anything but needless to say, if you enjoyed the humor of the first game, you’ll enjoy this!
They have actually changed a few things about the game itself. For example, there’s now a crafting system so you can make items to help in battle or advance the story. Further, there’s also a new grid based battle system. Certain abilities will involve charging forward or dealing damage in a T shape, so you have to be a bit more aware of where your characters are standing. If one of your party happens to be standing in the way of an attack, that attack won’t be cast. It should make for some interesting tactics, but really all I need to know is that you can equip a dildo as a weapon. What more could you ask for!?