Ubidays 2007

The French mega-publisher is more than just Tom Clancy games, you know. Here's how they prove it.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: May 23, 2007
It was perhaps fitting that Ubisoft capped off a three-event-in-two-days run of publisher contentgasms that left us, well, spent. Fitting because it was easily the most promising -- even games that we thought were going to be crap like Naruto actually ended up being very cool, and though the show was filled (almost exclusively) with sequels, we did a whopping minute or two of new footage of Assassin's Creed. Just video. No gameplay.

Still, it was a remarkably good show for the notoriously tech-savvy dev/pub, where nearly every game showed visual prowess. If only they showed more actual PS3 stuff...

[ Blazing Angels: Secret Missions of WWII ]
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Consider the first Blazing Angels an experiment. Technologically, narratively, gameplay-wise, it was all a stepping stone to what Ubisoft Romania is working on with the follow-up. Secret Missions offers up more planes (including top-secret models rarely seen in combat), upgradeable weapons, bigger, more densely packed levels, better mission variety and... did we mention it looks really friggin' pretty when you fly from a zeppelin circling the Great Pyramids at Giza out into the hundreds of thousands of tents and buildings surrounding them? No? Well it does.

[ Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway ]
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Developer Gearbox Software wants to put a more human face on the conflicts that shaped World War II, offering a decidedly more cinematic approach to painting the particularly tough stretch of Operation Market Garden that saw the 101st Airborne traipsing through the French countryside. Though you'll play as both Matt Baker and Joe Hartsock from the previous BoA games, the jump to next-gen has clearly done the game some good; environmental destruction, heavy particle effects and even flashbacks to the final moments of some soldiers made for an impressively intense layer on top of the familiar strategy shooter gameplay.

[ Tom Clancy's EndWar ]
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Though Ubisoft's Shanghai studio has been given hand-me-down projects for years, they've apparently done well enough for themselves as to be called upon to make their very own project. Yes, it's a Tom Clancy game like the Splinter Cells, Rainbow Sixes and Ghost Recons, but this time around the name of the game is global real-time strategy. On a console. Sadly, we couldn't pump the Ubi rep for much more than that (and all they had running at the event was a CG trailer), but when we know more, you'll know.

[ HAZE ]
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When you make games like GoldenEye and TimeSplitters, it's pretty safe to say you know a little something about a first-person shooter. When developer Free Radical Design says they're sticking to what they know but injecting a storyline into the mix, well that just makes it more interesting. They're being incredibly mum about the actual story and gameplay, but we learned by watching (they slapped our hands away when we tried to play), that thanks to a kind of super soldier serum called Nectar provided to the soldiers in megacorporation Mantel's private army. Ah, but what is Mantel really up to?

We'll have more detailed previews in the coming days, but for now, feel free to check out the new screens and video, and just pretend it was all from the PS3 version...