Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Ubisoft's Women's Things

Jacko! Just Dance! Racket Sports.

Ubisoft's press conference was undoubtedly a highlight of E3. Announcement-packed, full of surprises and spectacularly French, it even helped the company win Best Publisher in Eurogamer's E3 Awards.

There was plenty on show for the hardcore, such as Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (catch up with our preview if you missed it first time round). But, perhaps still flush with the success of Just Dance, Ubi also tried to appeal to the more casual demographic with titles like Your Shape, Michael Jackson: The Experience and, of course, Just Dance 2.

Just as everyone knows what "urban" really stands for, everyone knows what "more casual demographic" means. So, a few weeks after the hustle and bustle of E3 was over, we sent a woman along to Ubisoft's London showcase. There she took a closer look at what the publisher has to offer those who would swap swords and shotguns for leotards and legwarmers any day.

Michael Jackson: The Experience

All showcase visitors actually got to experience of this game was a trailer running on a big plasma telly. It was mainly comprised of clips from Crazy Mike's videos, interspersed with X-Factor-style statements such as "30 MILLION UK SINGLES" and "NINE US NUMBER ONES" and "$22 MILLION IN OUT OF COURT SETTLEMENTS". Maybe not the last one.

However, there were also brief glimpses of the actual videogame. The DS version appears to play much like rhythm-action effort Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, judging by the circles with numbers in displayed on the touch-screen. According to the press release, you can also expect "fun trivia" and "cool mini-games".

Yes, Michael, we know YOU'RE bad, but what about the game?

Michael Jackson: The Experience for Xbox 360 will be playable with Kinect. The camera will scan you from head to toe and Ubi's Player Projection technology will recreate an image on-screen. In other words, you won't see a Live-style avatar of yourself, but a 3D map of your body.

The amazing-sounding Michael School Mode will help you learn to dance like Jacko. The press release says the man himself will teach you the moves, but there was no sign of a Jackson avatar in the brief trailer - just faceless silhouettes. There's a karaoke mode, complete with auto-pitch feature to improve the sound of your singing. You can play with up to three other players and upload your best performances online.

Michael School Mode, auto-pitch and the four-player option are all present and correct in the PS3 version of the game. But again, that's according to the press release - there was no footage in the trailer, so it's impossible to know how whether you'll appear in the game as an avatar or a projected image.