Yesterday, Ubisoft held its first dever “Digital Day,” a showcase for the publisher’s upcoming crop of PSN titles. In addition to the games – From Dust, Outland, Beyond Good & Evil HD and Scott Pilgrim DLC – Ubisoft also revealed future Facebook integration for titles like the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.
In the Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood example shown, you’ll be able to train and interact with your guild of assassins on Facebook (while at work, for example), and then have that experience translate back into the PS3 version of the game, and vice versa. “You will continue to see brands like Assassin’s Creed across all content types,” Ubisoft VP of Digital Publishing Chris Early told us. “We want the player to experience the brands whenever and however they want.”
We also went hands on with the titles listed above. Here are some quick recaps:
Beyond Good & Evil HD
Perhaps the biggest news of the evening was final confirmation that the PS2 fan favorite and cult classic Beyond Good & Evil will be re-released as a downloadable PSN title. Beyond Good & Evil HD will render at an ultra-crisp 1080p HD resolution with higher-resolution textures and a smoother frame rate, plus online leaderboards. These enhancements will make Beyond Good & Evil HD the definitive version of the game.
Originally released on the PS2 in 2003, Beyond Good & Evil is a story-based adventure game that takes place in the year 2435 on a distant mining planet called Hyllis. You play as Jade, a local photojournalist who seeks to expose a corrupt government agency that has allied itself with a race of dangerous aliens called the DomZ, who have taken to abducting and enslaving the locals. Jade and her band of colorful sidekicks must expose the plot and save Hyllis, while uncovering a tangled web of conspiracies along the way.
Aside from its sumptuous visual design, Beyond Good & Evil HD is noted for its diverse gameplay styles: close-combat battles with Jade’s staff; sneaking past guards in stealth sequences that would make Solid Snake wince; snapping photos of rare life forms to earn cash; hoverboat piloting, puzzle solving, massive boss battles and more. Beyond Good & Evil HD is scheduled to hit PSN sometime in 2011, so stay tuned for more details. -Sid
Scott Pilgrim DLC
Soon you’ll have a reason to jump back into August’s #1 PSN title: Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game. Knives Chau (17 years old) is the highlight of an upcoming DLC pack, as you’ll finally be able to play as the Scott-obsessed high schooler.
Those of you who have played the game know that Knives is the summon-able helper for Scott, Ramona, Kim, and Stills, so I was wondering if she’d summon… herself? Actually, a tap of the L1 button sends either her sword-wielding father or tracksuited mom into the fray to help out.
The $1.99 DLC pack also includes Dodgeball and Battle Royale modes, and 3 new Knives-related Trophies. A free patch will introduce drop in co-op – no need to wait til the end of the level to get some help – as well as various bug fixes and tweaking. To me, an experienced player in this game, the ‘Average Joe’ difficulty level felt a lot less punishing than in the initial release.
Look for both the patch and DLC to become available in early November, to coincide with the Blu-ray release of Scott Pilgrim vs The World. -Jeff
This upcoming PSN “God game” gives you nearly limitless control over the terrain and physical structure of an environment – the ultimate sandbox game, if you will. The goal is to protect a long-forgotten island tribe from elemental threats, and in the process, help them remember their past and their identity. No pressure!
Creator Éric ChahiI (much celebrated for his pioneering work on Out of This World and PSone classic Heart of Darkness gave me a private demonstration of the core mechanics in From Dust. I watched as he effortlessly molded the terrain and surfaces of an island environment using an interface that will be familiar to fans of ModNation Racer’s Track Studio tools. Chahil raised and lowered terrain with a quick button press, and the terrain responded realistically, as water pooled into crevices or spilled back into the surf. The visuals are undeniably impressive: water ripples and undulates, lava oozes menacingly, sand crumbles convincingly.
These natural elements serve as a painter’s palette in your efforts to protect the tribe from natural disasters and help them on their quest. If a nearby magma-spewing volcano threatens the tribe, you can suck up a large sphere of water from the ocean to put out the fires. In a river is threatening to drown the tribe, you might build a dam with gobs of earth or sand to redirect the rapids. The final game will feature a variety of environments, including deserts, islands, and more. Chahil is leaving the door open for possible PlayStation Move support post-launch, and it would seem to be a great fit for this ambitious title. Look for it on PSN in 2011. -Sid
This visually striking PSN title combines elements of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (sword-based action-adventure with platforming) with “Bullet Hell” games such as Gundemonium.
Outland’s story is still tightly under wraps, but I learned some cryptic clues. Despite the fantastical landscape you — surprise! — play as a modern-day character. Plagued by nightmarish visions, you wander the jungle and stumble across ruins of an ancient civilization, in the process learning about your role in a timeless battle between Light and Dark. How, and why, you are chosen is a key riddle in the game that will be revealed as you discover hieroglyphics scattered throughout the ancient city. The storyline elements are completely optional, though, and you can instead focus on running, jumping, and slicing giant spiders with your sword.
But there’s a twist. The gameplay revolves entirely around the theme of Light and Dark, represented by the colors blue and red, respectively. You swap between Light and Dark at will with a quick tap of R1, and you’ll need to do so with military precision in order to survive the ever-changing world around you. When you’re in the Dark form, red is your “friend.” Red platforms creak into life, red projectiles inflict no damage, and blue enemies can be defeated with a few sword swings. So far, so good, but then things start getting nuts: cascading waves of alternating blue-and-red projectiles fill the screen, requiring you to flip between red and blue in fractions of a second. Add in simultaneous platform jumping and combat with multiple enemies of multiple colors and you’ve got a formula that will make even seasoned gamers sweat. Outland will invade PSN sometime in 2011- Sid