Posts Tagged ‘Ubisoft Reflections’

Grow Home studio get musical in new game Ode

ode

The Ubisoft studio behind Grow Home and Atomega have unexpectedly launched another more-experimental little game. Ode is a musical wander-o-platformer inviting us to roll, leap, swing, collect, and bounce around a colourful world, making music as we go. Perhaps imagine a gamier Proteus and you’re half-way there. Ubisoft announced Ode today and — oh! — have released it this very same day. That is a surprise. Have a look-see: Read the rest of this entry »

Atomega: Ubisoft’s FPS makes everyone equal, even when they’re not

atomega-shooter

I am an ambulatory shoebox. Nearby, King Kong’s shooting a velociraptor. Fire-spitting lizards slither through tunnels around their feet. Somewhere on the far horizon, a disintegrating god the size of a space station hurls lethal judgement down upon us all.

Every one of these entities is a player in Ubisoft’s new online shooter Atomega [official site], and every player is the same character.
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Evolve from block to deathbot in Ubisoft’s FPS Atomega

A new multiplayer FPS from Ubisoft will see players growing massively across the course of rounds, going from a single cube all the way up to storeys-high deathbots. Ubi today announced Atomega [official site], and it’s coming surprisingly soon – next Tuesday, September 19th. Atomega is another small experimental game being made at Reflections by the incubator which produced Grow Home and Grow Up. I am curious to see how this comes out. To tide you over, here’s the announcement trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Driver: San Francisco?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Driver: San Francisco [official site] should not be a good game. Its very premise is ludicrous, taking place entirely in the head of the main character, who is in a coma. This is third on the list of terrible plot devices after, “I have amnesia,” and, “I woke up and it was all a dream,” (which is basically the same as, “I am in a coma,” but with less potential for DRAMA). Read the rest of this entry »

Boo! Ghost Recon Wildlands open beta has started

You tell me: why am I your outboard memory? Why do you need me, today, to remind you that the four-day open beta test for sandbox stealth-o-shooter Ghost Recon Wildlands [official site] is now live? We told you when it was coming, then we told you it was preloading, and now here I am telling you that it’s started. Why? Why is this on me? You could’ve written on your hand in marker: “THURS 11am: START KILLING.” Gone around muttering “Gonna kill ’em all on Thursday.” Set a voice alarm. Wrapped an elastic band around your wrist so your grotesque swollen purple hand would remind you. But no, here I am. The free Wildlands open beta is now live. You’re welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

RPS 2016 Advent Calendar, Dec 14th: Tom Clancy’s The Division

The next door on the calendar is ominous. The rewards inside are worth the risk but the whole area might well be contaminated. Day thirteen of The RPS Advent Calendar, which highlights our favourite games of the year, brings…

It’s the year’s best cooperative game, The Division [official site]!

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Unknown Pleasures: The Division 1.4 Mega-Update Out

The Division [official site] has today launched update 1.4, the patch so big and important that Ubisoft delayed the multiplayer shooter’s expansions while they improved its the fundamentals. Ubi’s goals with 1.4 include trying to make it feel “more like a shooter“, making character build choices more meaningful, improving enemy AI, and revamping difficulty scaling. Read the rest of this entry »

How Grow Home Uses Maths To Generate A Personality

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, colourful procedural climbing game Grow Home [official site].

Put simply, BUD is a box suspended over legs and is held together by springs. In practice, BUD is an ungainly robot child, staggering and tripping his way around a low-poly world. BUD is the star of Ubisoft Reflections’ Grow Home and Grow Up, all grinning face-grille and gangly limbs. He’s a kind of super-ambulant WALL-E, able to run, scale walls, leap and fly, in a stumbling and toppling off things kind of way.

It’s hard to begrudge BUD for his drunken awkwardnesses, though, because as you attempt to control him they form a sense of a delightfully clumsy personality: BUD’s drunken awkwardnesses are BUD. But he’s not carefully hand-animated. BUD is a bunch of maths, or more precisely:

THE MECHANIC: Procedural animation

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The Division Wants To “Feel More Like A Shooter” In 1.4

Ubisoft are trying to make The Division [official site] “feel more like a shooter” again, they say, similar to how it feels while you’re still levelling up. They’ve been talking more about Update 1.4, the patch so important that Ubi delayed two upcoming expansions to focus on improving the base game. A public test server will launch on Monday but, for now, here’s more on their plans.

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Inside Ubisoft’s Dedicated Driving Team

There are strange things going on with the buggy I’m driving. I’m in a field, somewhere in Ghost Recon: Wildlands’ digital Bolivia, and the vehicle is transforming while I drive it. The power, suspension, steering – everything’s changing. It’s not a bug. Next to me, the driving team at Ubisoft Reflections are fiddling with my poor ride using their vehicle editing tool, which lamentably doesn’t have a fancy name.

Reflections have been making driving games since 1995’s smashing Destruction Derby and are probably best known for the Driver series, the last of which was Driver: San Francisco, popping into existence all the way back in 2011. A dedicated driving team still exists at the studio, but now they’re using their expertise in games like Watch Dogs 2 and the latest Tom Clancy romp.

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Have You Played… Driver?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Inspired by ’70s car chase movies I haven’t seen, Driver was about going undercover as a getaway driver and tearing down backalleys with a car whose backend seemed to have a mind of its own.

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Wot I Think: Grow Up

Grow Home was born of an experiment in procedural animation, almost accidentally creating a lovely game to support it. Grow Up [official site] was born of a desire to make a sequel to Grow Home. I think this captures the key differences between the two games. Here’s wot I think:

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Grow Up, Okay: Grow Home Sequel Released

Two words for you, reader, you and your video games: Grow Up [official site]. That’s a joke really undone by capitalisation and our standardised linking, isn’t it. Otherwise it’d be hilarious, wouldn’t it. You’d be like “Whaaat! How dare you! And on a video games site!” then I’d reveal that really I was talking about the sequel to Ubisoft’s splendid physics-o-platformer Grow Home and you’d be like “Oh gosh! I thought…!” and we’d laugh and laugh. Well, so much for that. The point is, Grow Up is now out and that’s good news, isn’t it.

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The Making of The Division: Underground

Beneath The Division’s mighty impressive facsimile of New York lies a continually shifting labyrinth of sewers, subways, secret chambers and the very roots of the city itself: the pipes and machines that keep it ticking. Underground, a new expansion which launched at the tail end of June, is The Division with a procedural twist; a bit of chaos injected into the orderly, crafted world.

The dungeons of Underground sit in a strange place between procedural generation and the curated environments that you’ll find above this subterranean world. They are controlled, but also assorted in random, surprising ways. Ubisoft Reflections recently pulled back the curtain, explaining to me how the sausage is made. And, apparently, it all begins with Lego.

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The Crew’s Wild Run Expansion Arrives, Towing Demo

Ubisoft’s The Crew [official site] is an MMO-y sort of a racer, and its first expansion is suitably MMO-y. Wild Run arrived last night with trucks and motorbikes and challenges and other new things for folks who pay, but its launch also updates the base game with new things for everyone. New lighting and a new weather system are among updates for all. The game’s timed demo is updated to show off expansion stuff too. It’s MMO-priced as well, with the expansion running you, er, £25 – the same as the main game.

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The Crew: Wild Summit Expansion Adding Monster Trucks

Monster mash-up

High-octane vehicular chases always seem so dangerous to me. Which is why I’m rather grateful for games like The Crew, which allows you to engage in your most absurd speed fantasies without risking being turned into a pancake. And with the The Crew‘s [official site] newly-announced expansion Wild Run [look, we’re catching up on a few E3 things -ed.], you’ll be able to diversify this experience even further.

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Tom Clancy’s The Division Forming Up To Fall Out In March

Following recent word of a delay for Tom Clancy’s The Division [official site], Ubisoft used their E3 event to give it a new release date: March 8th, 2016.

Ubi also showed off a bit of the mostly-co-op shooter’s player vs. player action. It goes down in an area called the Dark Zone (imaginative), where you can find fancy loot if you venture in but run the risk of teamies betraying you, shooting your face off, and stealing your hard-stolen shinies. This one is going to ruin friendships, isn’t it?

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United: Another Studio Joins Tom Clancy’s The Division

Ooh! Did you hear that? Just now, carried on the wind. It sounded like… clearly scripted banter from an Ubisoft gameplay demonstration. We’ve barely heard from Tom Clancy’s The Division [official site] since its showing at E3 last year, and I’d half-wondered if it might be mired in development hell. It’d been delayed once before, and was awfully quiet for a game supposedly due this year.

Well, with E3 nearing (just over a month until I start drinking at my desk), Ubisoft have announced that another studio joined in to help out development. Ubisoft Annecy are the fourth lot working on The Division, and I’d wager they’re working on its unlockable, upgradeable persistent bases.

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The First 45 Minutes Of Grow Home

Ubisoft’s Grow Home [official site] was unveiled barely two weeks ago, and is out now. Beginning as an experiment in procedural animation, it’s finished as a genuinely delightful little project. BUD, a heartbreakingly charming little robot, is charged with growing a giant plant up through floating islands, in some effort to re-oxygenate the Earth. Doesn’t matter. What matters is his gorgeously stumbling, clumsy movement, and the giggly delight of having him climb. I stumble and giggle through the first forty-five minutes of the game, below.

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