Aztecs versus E3: Day One with Cody Franklin

by Cody Franklin

Courtesy of Entertainment Software Association
Courtesy of Entertainment Software Association

So far, this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has been a blockbuster affair. Surprise game announcements and stunning details have left gamers worldwide shell shocked. I had the pleasure to check out two of the most anticipated games of the coming months.

“Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag”

My first taste of E3 came with my first taste of the next installment in Ubisoft’s renowned franchise. I was left even more excited than before (as if that is humanly possible.) Ubisoft is definitely delivering on their promises of a massive open-world game. Watching Edward Kenway maneuver the Jackdaw through the intense naval combat first introduced in “Assassin’s Creed 3” was a sight to behold. I caught a glimpse of the map on the show floor and it is truly massive. I could easily see players getting losing tens of hours of sleep and productivity to simply exploring the high seas. Of course, the intense melee combat of the previous installments is still there, so don’t fret, fellow assassins.

One interesting tidbit I hadn’t seen before was the inclusion of a mobile app that ties directly to the game in real time. The friendly staff member who guided me through a demonstration showed how you can bring up the map on your tablet at any time, set new objectives that appear instantly in the game, and take a closer look at items such as treasure maps so you don’t have to swap back and fourth through menus in the main game.

“Watch Dogs”

“Person of Interest: The Game,” as I call it, is looking better than ever. I was shown two demos of the game, piloted by developers. The first demo was the mission demo shown at the PS4 conference. Aiden Pierce is one very powerful man, and I cannot wait to be him. One thing I got to see from this demo that wasn’t clearly shown at the conference is just how the mobile app connection works out. The developers had a Nexus tablet alongside the console and were able to show that the mobile game resembles the grid-like, blueprint-style digital map within the main game, with icons representing their friend asking for help from other dangerous icons, like a police chopper. The mobile gamer could very easily navigate the map and click on different icons to effect the main game, such as causing the helicopter to malfunction. I find it hard to believe people will be playing the mobile app as a game itself, especially to help other people; however, I can easily picture players keeping their tablets or phones nearby in case of emergencies requiring a mobile touch.

Another very interesting reveal at the demo is how the multiplayer will work. At any time, another player can invade your game and attempt to hack you, presumably to steel your money. It plays out not unlike the popular “Dark Souls” invasion mechanic. The enemy player is disguised as a NPC, and the defending player must go to their location and use tools such as their phone and surveillance cameras to try and identify the hacker. Once they do, the hack is stopped and it is time for revenge; the defender is able to chase down and kill the hacker as he attempts to flee the scene of the crime. Fans of the “Assassin’s Creed” multiplayer will find the mechanics very similar and just as exciting.