April is traditionally the month that publishers start to announce their line-ups for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and this morning Ubisoft became the first to unveil its plans in any detail. It's an arresting line-up, too. In fact, the French publisher stands a decent enough chance of having one of the most exciting line-ups at the show full stop. No wonder it was in such a hurry to come clean.
Topping the list in terms of our expectations is the promised sequel to Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, which is currently being called Prince Of Persia 2 internally and will reportedly be out in time for Christmas. Developed by the publisher's Montreal studio, it's likely to be one of the biggest draws on the show floor after its predecessor stunned gamers and reviewers with its simple and polished take on the third-person platform adventure. Platform details are still TBC, but we should know more at the show.
Other key Ubisoft titles on display will include Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (PC, consoles), Brothers In Arms (PC, consoles), Far Cry Instincts (Xbox and other consoles), Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Black Arrow (Xbox), Myst IV: Revelation (PC) and Settlers 5 (PC), all of which have been trailed in scant-to-middling detail over the past few weeks in anticipation of this announcement.
Elsewhere on the stand, some of Ubisoft's more fringe titles still warrant a mention - Rocky Legends (PS2, Xbox), in particular, will be well worth a look if its Rage-developed predecessor is anything to go by, The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee (PS2, Xbox) is bound to excite fans of the TV show (albeit not this youthful reporter), Playboy: The Mansion (PC) should be good value for the infamous "booth babes" if nothing else, while Pacific Fighters (PC) and Silent Hunter III (PC) will keep warring PC owners happy.
Notable absentees from Ubisoft's announced line-up include another Splinter Cell sequel (a full, proper Splinter Cell 2 is reportedly in development right now) and whatever Michel Ancel is up to at the moment (perhaps another Rayman or, if we're lucky, a sequel to the sublime Beyond Good & Evil). Generally publishers haven't announced all their key products ahead of the trade show in the past, and according to a spokesperson quizzed this morning, this is all the information Ubisoft UK has at the moment.
Ubisoft's (Booth #1046, South Hall) E3 line-up in full. Click for more details on each:
- Prince of Persia 2 (working title, platforms TBC)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (PC, consoles)
- Brothers In Arms (PC, consoles)
- Far Cry Instincts (Xbox and other consoles)
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Black Arrow (Xbox)
- Myst IV: Revelation (PC)
- The Settlers 5 (working title, PC)
- Rocky Legends (PS2, Xbox)
- Pacific Fighters (PC)
- Silent Hunter III (PC)
- Playboy: The Mansion (PC)
- The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee (PS2, Xbox)