Call of Juarez: The Cartel and Driver: San Francisco Ubisoft Preview Night

PC News Previews Racing Playstation 3 Shooter Xbox 360 Ubisoft

We arrived at Ubisofts Sydney office at 6PM and asked the receptionist for ‘Owen’. Sam Fischer guided us to some nearby seats to wait for our host. It was there we met some other representatives from local media sites, this was also a good time to check my Streetpass for new inclusions. I had gained a few Miis from the people within the building, increasing my count by a few. Score.

It was a few short moments before we were greeted by Owen, our host, and lead into the preview rooms. The way it was set up was that we had four Playstation 3’s set up with preview multiplayer builds of Driver: San Francisco and we also had 3 Xbox 360 units set up with a multiplayer build of Call of Juarez: The Cartel. Our Capsule Computers party (consisting of Masterabbott, Matt Vella and Myself) were the first group to play Call of Juarez: The Cartel, with the other media outlets playing Driver: San Fransisco first.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Call of Juarez: The Cartel is a First-Person shooter (and third entry in a series of games) coming to the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Games for Windows live platforms in a week or so.

The game about a group of what seemed to be Bounty Hunter types working with an FBI agent (or similar) to bring down a crime cartel of what seemed to be drug dealers. The game had us running around, killing gangsters and blowing up stuff. The things we blew up were generally tents of drugs, as our first mission was set in a woodland area, and was quite fun to do. One of the things I liked about doing that in the mission was that if you stood in the smoke spewing out of the wreckage, you would get hurt by the smoke and take damage. It was cool.

The multiplayer in Call of Juarez: The Cartel is (from what we can gather from the build we played) a co-operative affair. Generally before a mission, players would be grouped in a lobby area just outside the beginning of a missions zone and would all have to get into the car to indicate that they were ready to start. Once all players got into the vehicle, the mission would begin and players would have to follow their objectives. To make the game more interesting, the developers have also included an interesting system where players playing a certain character will have their own secret missions to undertake throughout each main mission. Like, for instance, in a level we played set in a suburb, the leading female character had to make a secret phone call from a drug dealers house while avoiding detection from the other players. It was really interesting doing this and being busted by another player.

Driver: San Fransicso

Driver: San Fransisco is a driving game (and the fifth in a series of games) coming to the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Games for Windows platforms in September this year (unless there’s some kind of delay).

The game follows the story of a San Francisco police officer who gets into a car-crash and finds himself with the ability to possess other drivers within the city. This ability plays a prominent role in the multiplayer aspect of the game. The multiplayer in Driver: San Francisco is a competitive thing and is certainly a lot of fun. On the multiplayer we tried three game types, Trailblazer, Tag and Pursuit.

Each of the gametypes ended up being an incredibly chaotic and fun ordeal, with players trying to complete each objective all the while chaotically shifting between vehicles to do their best to win. Things got incredibly hectic in the Pursuit mode when everyone was charged with catching Phil.

In Takedown, players are charged with becoming police officers while another player is in charge of being a criminal. The police officers jobs are to deal damage to the criminal in order to bring him down. This is achieved by ramming and trading paint by the police officers. The player with the most damage dealt wins, unless the Criminals damage rate is higher than the next highest score. In this instance with Phil being the criminal, the opposing players managed to drive him into a corner and repeatedly ram him until he miraculously managed to escape by the breadth of a fiber of hair.

Trailblazer was an incredibly creative multiplayer gametype requiring players to follow a vehicle and stay within its trails. This is incredibly fun, especially at the point when it’s 3 players fighting over the position of just behind the vehicle. Much chaos ensues. If players eventually get taken off the trail, its incredibly easy to get back on by possessing a vehicle large enough and with just enough distance to collide with opposing players accurately.

Lastly, tag is pretty much how it sounds, one player is a vehicle that needs to be tagged while the other players need to tag that player in order to become it. Once you have the tag, you accumulate points in order to win. Whoever gets 100 points (not sure if this can be modified, it was 100 on the build we played) wins. Now, this would normally be a pretty straightforward affair, but once you slip in the shift mechanic, things suddenly become a little insane. Players who are not the tagged player can shift into other vehicles in order to catch up to and tag that vehicle. I remember at one point, I had shifted into a truck with a ramp on its back and had a player drive up that and get my tag and then also drive off. Was hilarious.

Overall we had tonnes of fun at Ubisoft and had a blast previewing these games! I hope that the final builds are as fun (or more fun) than these preview builds has been!

Gaming for as long as my memory serves me, probably longer.

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