The Ubisoft Booth – PAX AUS 2017 Hands-On
Ubisoft, as always, had a big presence at PAX this year and there were certainly some things that I was very keen to check out. I skipped Assassin’s Creed, simply because it is out now, and I hadn’t had enough drinks to even contemplate giving Just Dance a go but there were two titles that I managed to get some good time with and get a feeling of where they are going.
The Crew 2
The first Crew was a game of big ambition that fumbled the finish. It felt empty and the driving model always felt a little off. I am pleased to say that at least one of those issues has been rectified with the sequel. I got a chance to play a demo of the upcoming arcade racer that managed to impress me quite a bit. The first part of the demo was a simple street race. The handling of the cars was immediately better with sliding around corners and powering down straights feeling great. I also noticed a huge amount of detail in the track, the world felt much more real as opposed to the somewhat sterile original game.
After I had finished the race I was immediately transported into a high powered jet boat (via a very cool Inception-esque world bending sequence). I had a lot of fun racing the boats and what really impressed me was how the wake of the boats in front of me affected how I raced. It is something I never thought of with racing boats, but it makes complete sense. It also serves to help differentiate the boat racing from the car racing even further.
Finally, I hopped into a racing plane to compete is an air event. Plane controls were intuitive and felt easy to pick up. It is always a worry for a game such as this as to how they will handle air section but I am pleased to say it felt great. In all, I am keen to see the final release of The Crew 2. I am still worried about how they will fill this massive map with entertaining activities but it is great to know that the core racing feels great and it a big step up in both handling and variety from the first game.
Far Cry 5
Look I am going to say it now if you don’t like Far Cry I don’t think Far Cry 5 will change your mind. Don’t get me wrong, I like Far Cry and I like what I saw, but from this demo, I don’t think it is going to be a massive change to the formula. That said I had a lot of fun with this demo. I was charged with taking over a small town that had been overrun by white supremacist religious nut jobs and what better way to do that than with a sniper rifle? I had blast taking these goons down and their AI behaviors were quite good, making the fight a challenge worth taking.
The whole area felt much more detailed than previous Far Cry enemy encampments. The setting of the game, mid-west America, goes a long way towards making it feel a little more real. Previous games have been set in untamed wilderness as opposed to the cultivated farmland of this game. That makes a huge difference in the tone and feel of the locations I got to explore and does a lot to bring a sense of freshness to the franchise. I am very keen to play the final product and in my mind, as long as Ubisoft doesn’t go soft on the subject matter, it should be a great Far Cry game.