June 4, 2012 at 5:58 PM ET
We're at the beautiful Los Angeles picture palace here in... Los Angeles, and Ubisoft is about to kick off their big presentation for E3. We're expecting some new Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell, among other things, so stay tuned as we report what's happening live.
3:00 - The briefing is scheduled to start right... now. But as expected, it's a couple minutes late as people file in from outside and fill up every spot.
3:05 - And we're starting! Ubisoft starts things off with a bang, with a musical number to celebrate Just Dance 4. Unfortunately I am not pop culture literate, so I don't know who the gentleman is.
3:12 - And here's Far Cry 3 (oops, not 2, 3), starting off with a topless girl and your hands all over her. Very modern. There are no pictures for you because this is a family website. You have joined with the native warriors of the island and are fighting back against the interlopers who have taken control of the area. Fighting with machete and bow and arrow, as well as, yes, rifles and things later on. The game may be fun, but it's hard to tell through all the grittiness and swearing. There are tigers. And you're insane.
3:20 - A little scripted Q&A. An archipelago of islands to discover. Much exploration.
3:23 - It's Splinter Cell: Blacklist again, with the official trailer. We saw this at Microsoft this morning, and it looks great. Our presenter is excited.
3:26 - Some Marvel action - Spider Man, X-Men, the Avengers, etc in Avengers: Battle for Earth. Coming to the Wii U, which they're talking about now.
3:30 - And here comes Rayman Legends for the Wii U. The Wii U GamePad lets you control a little flying guy who helps out Rayman. You can play with up to 5 players - a fact we'll be hearing a lot at Nintendo, since that's what the Wii U supports. Creative gameplay, with the flying guy controlling little elements like platforms and vines.
3:35 - And now, a terrifying zombie apocalypse. "Put the kids to bed... really early in the day." ZombiU, exclusively for the Wii U. Looks pretty heavy. No gameplay actually shown.
3:38 - And here's a little series of Wii U previews - Rabbids, fitness and sports games, Just Dance 4, and so on. Ohh, here comes Assassin's Creed III. There has already been some gameplay and trailer stuff for this great-looking game, but it's great seeing it on the big screen.
3:42 - Here's Francois Pelland, the game's producer. No small task - these Assassin's Creed games are HUGE endeavors. Like hundreds of millions of dollars. He's presenting the mission director, who will play a bit for us. Live gameplay! He has just downed a deer and is cleaning it - some wolves arrive, looking rather savage. Ah, he has just dropped off the meat at the camp. Just took out an English patrol (with some trouble from a large man with a hammer). Crowd loves it. It looks like fun, and the free navigation looks pretty good as well.
3:51 - Question: is there a lot of focus on the British as the enemy? "The enemy is and always has been the Templar." But really, yes, the redcoats will be lying thick on the ground. In the last ten minutes alone probably a hundred have died.
3:53 - We're bantering about e-sports. The next step in the e-sports genre is Shootmania. There is definitely going to be an on-stage showdown - boys versus girls.
3:59 - It's an arena style fast first-person shooter. First round to the boys. And second round to the boys... come on guys, make this happen. Unless it's scripted, which would be disappointing but expected. Oh no! Round three to the girls. Round four goes to the boys! Sweet victory!
4:05 - Yves Guillemot briefly on stage to announce a new... thing that will revolutionize another thing. Jonathan Morlin from Ubisoft is announcing something weird - an interesting new IP built around the idea of a city's infrastructure being controlled by a single "ctOS" and how such a thing could be hacked. You apparently play the hacker. Walking slowly through a very realistic environment in order to... find a guy? Using the smartphone to immediately identify people and hack them. Just brutally beat a dude who tried to stop him - the game really looks great. The trailer will be a fun thing to watch. Your hero appears to be kind of a scumbag - caused a an accident with like 20 cars just to get at a guy.
4:18 - Wait, someone else is playing as well? And they're trying to protect the first guy from the police? This looks insane. Game is called Watch Dogs, and it looks pretty amazing. And we're done!
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. His personal website is coldewey.cc.