Ubisoft revealed today that it is working on five titles for the Wii U. These games include an Assassin's Creed title, Raving Rabbids, Ghost Recon Online, a new "multi-sport" game and new shooter Killer Freaks from Outerspace.
Ubisoft did not discuss all of them at today's E3 gaming expo. The France-based game maker didn't show images of all the titles either. Nor was photography permitted. So here's a recap of what went down.
Ghost Recon Online for the Wii U will make use of touchpad gameplay and always-on online services." According to Ubisoft, this will help "reinvent" Ghost Recon Online. The trailer showed players tapping the Wii U controller to bring up a mini-map on the screen.
The game itself is in third-person, while the Wii U controller showed a mini-map. Dragging a finger simulated moving a drone over the battle. Throughout the trailer, players chattered away. There were no headsets, implying the use of the Wii U controller mic.
Besides displaying the mini-map, the Wii U controller screen was used to mark things on the map.
Ubisoft referred to the controller use as "Crosscom 2.0". The Wii U controller can replicate the touch-pad devices that real troops use to get intel. According to Ubisoft, "It's no longer science fiction."
Ubisoft also showed Ubisoft Singapore prototypes.
The first prototype was an interactive tactical map, that allows players to scroll around on it and then tap on a position to set a beacon. The beacon might tell teammates to attack, regroup, or defend. Each teammate sees the beacon on their screen.
There is a perk system that lets players control a missile via the Wii U's gyro controls. The controller's screen depicted the missile's camera view. Each player has a drone, and each player's Wii U controller shows what the drone sees, providing an overhead battlefield view.
The drone and missile views provide separate fully-polygonal views of the level, providing entirely different views on the controller and the television.
One idea Ubisoft mentioned was customizing weapons by scrolling through silencers and scopes on the Wii U controller screen, and then flicking those parts towards the screen, equipping your weapon.
In the one vs. one "Capture Domination" multiplayer demo, two players played on separate Wii U consoles and spec-ed out their guns as mentioned above. According to Ubisoft, this is an entirely new build. The graphics were okay, but looked like what players are used to on other platforms.
Pulling the triggers gave players a first-person view. Ubisoft said most of the game's firefights should be done from cover.
Gameplay was done via what you'd see on any standard dual-analog shooter. However, the controllers were anything but standard, showing 2D maps of the game's urban warfare level. One player took out his drone, and was able to see an overhead drone view of the map and scanned for the other player.
Ubisoft said the game will be "as online as possible" with a personalized account system, secure and flexible friends list and with networked services like ranking and matchmaking. The game will have parental controls and a ban list.
The title will also have a "Ghost Feed" that enables players to get a continuous info feed on their controller, even if the TV is off or broadcasting a program. On the feed, players can track how their friends are doing (achievements and whatnot), schedule matches, check stats, and see how you and your friends are doing in various micro-competitions. Basically, it's like a stat tracking app for the Wii U!
Killer Freaks From Outerspace is a first-person shooter due in 2012, in which flesh-eating aliens invade Earth and, yes, you have to stop them.
Looking to change the way FPS games move and target enemies, it uses the Wii U's controller for things like free-look cameras, using the controller's gyro to look all around the room seamlessly instead of using thumbsticks (with the circle pad used for strafing).
The demo Ubisoft was all in CGI and showed a protagonist polish his pistol. The aliens were toothy monster, and a view from a camcorder depicted aliens attacking him. The plot: what's basically a big wad of pulsating pus has traveled through space and has invaded Earth.
Control-wise, the game takes advantage of the Wii U's controller. So players can "look up" with the Wii U controller or "look down" at the floor. Wherever the controller is pointed is where the FPS perspective points.
In one player vs. player demo, a developer used the Wii U controller, while another used the Wii Classic Controller. Thus, the Wii U controller player saw an overhead view of the view, enabling him to scroll through. This player was the "alien commander", out to erase the human race, starting with the Wii Classic Controller dude. To do so, the Wii U controller player selected various "freaks" to respawn, simply by tapping the Wii U controller screen. The freaks then spawned on the FPS player's view (the television screen). This wasn't an automatic win—the Classic Controller player snagged a jetpack and won the round.
Ubisoft called this feature "Real-Time Enemy Director" or the RED System, and, according to Ubisoft, "It can allow anyone to be a game master."
The game looked early, but the gun effects were not yet Resistance-caliber.
Ubisoft also showed an Assassin's Creed logo and a Wii U one. Ubisoft talked up the Wii U's memory capacity and horsepower, that allows them to use the game's "Anvil Engine", which has powered previous AC games.
According to Ubisoft, the Wii U "fully suports graphical shaders", meaning Ubisoft can reuse game assets across all platforms. Currently, Ubisoft is prototyping many things for the Wii U controller, such as a persistent on-screen map, interactive database, fast weapon selection, alternative puzzles, and "eagle vision/sense".
It was not clear if the title mentioned is new, a re-make or a port.
Ubisoft said Nintendo's new hardware allows them to be more creative and bring AC to a new console.
Be sure to read Kotaku's liveblog for a moment-by-moment account.