Alex Birlo on July 18, 2020
Today we will talk about: the two live game presentations we had this week – Devolver Direct and Ubisoft Forward.
Last week Devolver Digital hosted their “Devolver Direct” Livestream where they as usually demonstrated their company’s over-the-top attitude we all grew to love from the E3 presentations they hosted.
During the presentation, they technically showed only 5 actual games and a surprise at the end, when as the main attraction was the presentation itself.
The entire stream was staged as a high-budget movie continuing a certain “storyline” from the last E3 where the CEO of Devolver (played by a great actress named Mahria Zook) was “murdered” on stage.
The moral message of the entire thing was that in today’s video game industry people prefer empty hype and unsubstantiated leaks over the actual final game that comes out and is quickly forgotten.
During the presentation, we saw gameplay for the next game in the SW series – “Shadow Warrior 3”. It will be released at an unspecified date next year in 2021. This is a first-person shooter, this time they lean heavily on Asian culture and folklore for the design of the entire game.
The core loop of the game is simple and incredibly fun – kill demons. This time around you appear to have a new grappling hook that opens up more acrobatic movement options as you kill demons “Doom-style” in various brutal ways.
Then they had the head of Sony’s Independent Developer Initiative – Shuhei Yoshida introduce the next game – which was previously announced – “Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout”. The game releases very soon, on August 4th.
It is described as a massively multiplayer party game, where up to 60 players controlling characters in cute colorful costumes race each other through massive obstacle courses with funky physics.
The surprises did not end there, as Devolver had the Executive Vice President of Gaming for Microsoft – Phil Spencer introduce the next game which is a small indie game called “Carrion”.
It is an 8bit-style indie game where you take control of a parasitic, tentacle monster that grows as it consumes humans. You have various abilities which make you as dangerous as the scariest monsters in horror movies.
From possessing humans to launching bone-projectiles, you grow and evolve the more you eat!
Another 8bit-style indie game, where you play as a person who got shipwrecked in a hostile land and has to survive and find a way out.
In the game, you use various skills that in tandem with a grappling hook turn you incredibly agile.
Despite its 8bit nature, the game looks incredibly fluid, with great animations conveying the signature agility of the main character.
And of course, we saw the famous Doom-clone “Serious Sam”. It requires no introduction, you play as the former explorer Sam Stone, captain of the “Surveyor”. And you… well – you kill aliens!
The graphics look outdated and some animations are strange, to say the least. But the game looks as crazy and fun as ever and brings a sense of nostalgia.
At the end of the presentation, they announced that anyone who wants can go to Steam and download their free “First-person Marketing Simulator” – Devolverland Expo.
It is a small, first-person game that has you walking around an abandoned convention center with stages for all the Devolver games that were shown, see some trailers and shoot some monsters!
Right the next day we had the Ubisoft presentation which was much anticipated for the three main games that would steal the show: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla; Watch Dogs: Legion; and Far Cry 6.
Quickly mentioning the preshow where they were merely warming up the viewers, they mentioned just a couple of things in regards to games that are already out.
They announced that six new songs will be coming to “Just Dance 2020”, mentioned the recently released “Summer in Hollywood” update for “The Crew 2”, a new challenge for “Trials Rising”, and talked about the update which adds AI teammates to “Ghost Recon: Breakpoint”.
The first substantial showcase of the event was a new and extensive look at “Watch Dogs: Legion”.
Ubisoft started with a colorful short cinematic and then jumped into gameplay. We were finally shown a proper demonstration of a single mission from the perspective of different characters recruited from the open world.
We saw things like a construction worker going all out storming the London tower on his personal cargo drone and engaging enemies in brutal melee with a huge pipe wrench. A stealthy hacker, prowling in the night with her deadly drones.
The developers also explained that, though with great difficulty, the players can even recruit officers form the private militia that represents the main enemy force in the game. This way you can go straight in through all the checkpoints as long as you do not do anything suspicious.
The most interesting part was a combination of story cut scenes that showed us how the story bits adapt to whatever character you are using. All of them have their own animations, voice actors, and varied dialogue phrasing based on who they are in the world of the game and from where you have recruited them.
One of the most anticipated moments of the show was the deep-dive into the next title in the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise.
First Ubisoft showed us how “Raids” work. So since around the time period of the game, England was broken into warring factions and dynasties the Vikings could not choose a better time to attack.
As you travel the rivers by longboat with your crew you can spot at interesting locations, and by blowing your warhorn initiate a – Raid. Then, alongside your crew, you will storm in, fight the defending soldiers, wreak havoc, bash down some doors and carry out valuable resources that will aid you in the construction of new facilities in your settlement.
The story will take you through the conflicts of the warring factions in England and you will have the opportunity to cement alliances with these factions and grow the list of allies that are so important if the Vikings want to settle in these hostile lands.
The game features an extensive cast of enemy archetypes which all will require you to adapt your tactics, thus constantly refresh the combat experience by keeping you on your toes.
Some will cooperate in order to immobilize you and cause massive damage. Some will have unusual and unique movement patterns or heavily defended weak points that will require you to find attack opportunities. Some will even use objects in the environment to throw and stun you.
When it comes to your character’s abilities there is a lot of new things to sink your teeth into. The developers bring back the cinematic feeling of combat from previous games to show off the brutality of the Vikings’ combat style.
You will be able to dual-wield any weapon to combine fighting styles of any two weapons in the game – even two shields. There are a lot of new abilities like a combo of several throwing axes that allow you to dispatch several enemies in quick succession or a rope dart that you can use to snare and then decapitate your foe!
There is also a new stun system. It highlights weak spots on the enemy’s body so when you shoot an arrow at these spots, the opponent will drop to their knees brutally wounded and will be open for an even more brutal finisher.
And amongst the assassin’s set of abilities, we of course have the stealth. Many fans of the older games will be pleasantly surprised by the return of social stealth into the game.
When the player visits the bigger, more populated cities in the game world, they will need to be smarter about their approach, since even getting through the city gates is troublesome.
You can, at will, put on your hood to initiate stealth. The animations of the character change and you start moving in a less “conspicuous” way. Walking close to other people lets you blend in, as it was in previous games.
Now there is a wide array of animations for blending in next to objects in the city. From pretending to check out the wares in a shop, to joining a drinking group by a table – all great ways to blend in and avoid detection from policing guards.
Last but not least, they introduced what they call “Assaults”. At climactic points throughout the story, the players and their armies will engage in massive castle sieges. Where the player will have to breach a series of gates and get to the commander.
The player will have the choice of following through the castle and fight together with their soldiers or use the fighting as a distraction to stealth their way straight to the commander and finish the fight quicker.
At the end of the presentation, Ubisoft showed the complete cinematic trailer for “Far Cry 6”.
What we know about the game so far is:
The main villain this time will be Anton Castillo and will be played by the charismatic Giancarlo Esposito.
The game will feature a fully voiced protagonist named Dani Rojas, that can be either a man or a woman. And that in some cut scenes you will actually get to see your character.
The game is set on a fictional Caribbean island called Yara.
The release date for the game is the 18-th of February 2021.