GAME Lock-in: Assassin’s Creed IV and Watch_Dogs hands off preview

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GAME Lock-in: Assassin’s Creed IV and Watch_Dogs hands off preview

It’s not often that the general public get to experience a live demo, well unless they travel to PAX in the US. There are some opportunities about, like getting an invite to a press event, but these are pretty rare and so it was a big deal when GAME announced that they had secured a live demo walkthrough of not just one AAA game but two!

Shown at eight stores throughout the UK over two evenings, Ubisoft popped along to show over 80 eager gamers Watch_Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. To sweeten the deal, as if it needed any sweetening, gamers who preordered ACIV on the night or brought along a receipt proving they’d done so already, will get an awesome Insert Coins ACIV hoodie sent to them when they purchase the full game upon release!

We were split into groups of 20 to watch the gameplay. While gamers waited for their turn, there were several PS3s and Xbox 360s dotted about the store running Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and the awesome Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Light refreshments and sugary treats were also on hand giving added sugar to an already hyped crowd.

Quite simply - I need this game NOW!

Quite simply – I need this game NOW!

Both walkthroughs were from the E3 demo which many of you would have seen on YouTube but to see it running first hand was a truly stunning experience. In Assassin’s Creed IV you can see a tremendous amount of detail in the game environment and the character animations. The lighting, shadows and textures were unbelievable to witness. The raw power that the next-gen consoles will wield is something that will have gamers salivating over and this is only the first wave of games. Of course there’ll be some PC gamers that will argue that they’ve had this experience for years but this is on console people and deserves some high praise.

Naval battles return

Naval battles return

The gameplay of ACIV showed glimpses of lessons learnt by the team at Ubisoft, looking more akin to the Assassin’s Creed II series with some of III’s better ideas integrated into the gameplay. It was also evident that IV has borrowed some stealth influences from Mr Fisher and his Splinter Cell series!

Next was Watch_Dogs, clearly the best was saved to last – now I’m a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed but Watch_Dogs could quite simply blow ACIV away, not to mention a fair few other titles due for release later this year. Ditching the trees of an island paradise in favour of the urban jungle, the Watch_Dogs demo followed the same gameplay as the E3 demo, exactly the same, which leaves me with the question “is this just a clever scripted rehearsal?”

Watch_Dogs has been accelerated to my most anticipated game of the year

Watch_Dogs has been accelerated to my most anticipated game of the year

@MooPhace tells us that this is still early code being shown and the best way to show what the game can do is to play it in the way that Ubisoft have been demonstrating. He went on to tell us how he has played around with the demo level and found multiple ways to tackle the scenarios presented to you. Time will tell as to how much freedom and creativity gamers can employ, but the game looks incredible, far more so than AC.

Ironically Assassin’s Creed IV has taken queues from Splinter Cell and Watch _Dogs has taken queues from Assassin’s Creed, it’s like one big happy Ubisoft family although you can see some mild GTA elements creeping into Watch_Dogs.

The virtual environment is your new battlefield

The virtual environment is your new battlefield

The thing to remember is these demos are from early code and running on a dev kit likely to be a PC, you’d hope that what we saw will be representational of the console build – time will tell.

Thanks to GAME for organising this excellent event and the opportunity to nab an exclusive Insert Coins hoodie and thanks to @MooPhace and the Ubisoft team for bringing along the games to show us. There’s more awesome events in the pipeline at GAME so keep an eye on your store’s twitter account!