Posted October 31, 2015 by Neil Santiago in Events



Last weekend, the gaming community in the Philippines was all abuzz with the presence of gaming publisher, Ubisoft, at the E-Sports and Gaming Summit 2015 (ESGS) last weekend. Showcasing the latest additions to the Just Dance and Assassin’s Creed franchise, we here at Flipgeeks were on-hand to try these games out.


Before anything else, we’d like to address the elephant in the room. News of Ubisoft’s invitation of applicants certainly led to the gaming community speculating that the game developer wants to set up shop in the Philippines. Alex Lim (Talent Acquisition Manager of Ubisoft Singapore) did not confirm it. However, Sylviane Bahr (Communications Manager of Ubisoft Singapore) adds that the company is looking to add more creative talent into the company’s global roster and, as such, they’re tapping into the pool of talents present in the Philippines. Sylviane adds, “Ubisoft is a company that aims to deliver immersive experiences to its fans.” These immersive experiences, Alex believes, is a great way for gamers (adults and children alike) to learn from.

Speaking of immersive experiences, Alex shared that the stunning water effects/visuals seen in the seas of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag was developed in Ubisoft Singapore. “Rendering water and adding realism to it has always been one of the more difficult things to achieve in gaming. We, at Ubisoft Singapore, are so proud with what we’ve been able to achieve and (we) would like to be known as the leading expert in that particular field.” Proud of his teams contributions to the gaming world, Alex pointed out that the River Thames in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was a project that the Singapore team took care of. As such, we went straight to the game booth and fired up the game.


Moments into the game, the setting is established as a star in itself. London is alive and absolutely breathtaking. Numerous cargo boats sail through the Thames. Carriages roam around the bustling streets of the city. Every bourough looks and feels different from one another. This is England at the height of it’s power. Explore around a bit and all that grandeur is stripped away, replaced by child labor, gang violence, and capitalism at it’s worst. It’s pretty immersive stuff with so much to do. Every activity and misadventure you go through can slowly, but surely change the face of the Industrial Age.

The twin protagonists, Jacob and Evie Frye, are both likeable and well-rounded characters. The fun banter between brash Jacob and by the book of Evie will certainly put a devilish grin on your face. Their personalities translate to gameplay too as Jacob is more combat-oriented, while Evie plays like your traditional stealthy assassin. Evie, in fact, is currently on the running of becoming my new favorite Assassin. (Sorry Ezio).


Speaking of combat, it’s faster, smoother, and a lot more brutal than it is in Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Controls have been reworked for the better. Whistling makes a return! Free-climbing plays better than ever, but there will still be those occasional slip-ups. Thankfully, newly traversal mechanics in the form of the rope launcher and carriage driving introduce more options to traverse the vast spaces of London. Although carriage driving feels as wonky as car handling in Watch Dogs, it is a welcome addition nonetheless.

After the disastrous launch of Assassin’s Creed Unity last year, there’s been much discussion on how Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate would fare. And from what we’ve played in Ubisoft’s booth and our own personal copy, there was nary a frame-drop or crash in the latest installment to the venerable franchise. With so much to do (child liberation, Templar hunts, gang wars, fight clubs to name a few) and so much to see,  Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is definitely in line with the immersive experience that Ubisoft aims to bring to gamers all around the world; a new time period to explore, new protagonists to care about, and a city to save. Running at a steady 30 frames-per-second, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is shaping up to be the most enjoyable games we’ve had our hands on in a long while.

Just Dance 2016, very much like previous entries to the franchise, is as fun like all previous iterations of the game. From recent hits such as “Animal” and “Blame” to the classical (and hilarious) William Tell Overture, it’s well-curated and varied track list has something for everybody. The choreography is fun and easy to pick up as always.For those wanting to workout, Just Sweat mode makes a return as always.


What sets Just Dance 2016 apart from it’s predecessors is the welcome addition of a new control method, which allows one to use their mobile phones and iPod touches as motion controllers. Instead of purchasing specialized gaming peripherals such as a Kinect or a Playstation Eye, players just have to download a free Just Dance controller app, have their devices and console connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and they’re set to go. With the new feature, players and their friends can drop in and out of the fun any time.  Just Dance 2016 supports up to six players and the addition of mobile devices as motion controllers is a welcome addition that’ll certainly fill out  a dance party.


Even though we weren’t able to test it, the latest iteration of the franchise also introduces Just Dance Unlimited. JDU is a paid subscription service that collects all the songs (and DLC releases) from all the previous Just Dance games and makes them playable on Just Dance 2016. So if ever you wanted to dance to Gangnam Style on Just Dance 2016, you can totally do so again.

Fun and immersive, both Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and Just Dance 2016 are now available in local game retailers nationwide.  Also, check in on Flipgeeks next week as we’ll soon be releasing our review of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.


Author’s Note: Both Just Dance 2016 and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate have been tested on Playstation 4 consoles.



Neil Santiago

Neil Santiago is an actor and playwright by trade. Theatre is his passion and is not ashamed of unleashing his full anorak on all things geeky. When not busy acting or writing plays, he busies himself with either getting lost around the metro or getting fit with a RIP 60.