During gamescom I attended what can only be described as an “uplifting” preview session for Just Dance 2014 hosted by two members from the development team. Their enthusiasm for this upcoming release was infectious, to say the least, and our session was also attended by two dancers who demonstrated the game and by some additional members of the development team who joined us via Skype to show off Just Dance 2014′s innovative online mode, World Dance Floor.
According to the presenter, Just Dance 2014 will be the first dancing game to feature a full-fledged competitive online multiplayer mode. This mode will be present in all versions of the game and allows an unlimited number of players to dance together online, competing against other people from around the world using a common playlist. This mode seems like a great way to interact with Just Dance fans around the globe as you can view players’ profiles, join their dance sessions, or play back videos that they’ve shared on the Just Dance network.
During the live demo of World Dance Floor the two dancers in our room faced off against a number of Ubisoft employees who were playing online back in France. A dynamic leaderboard was displayed on the left-hand side of the screen so we could see exactly how these dancers were ranked as the session progressed. I could tell from this demonstration that the online competition is going to be incredibly fierce once the game is released as the second and third placed players give it their all during the dying moments of a song so that they can trump the leader before the final scores are tallied!
Another new mode the presenter showed us was On-Stage which is best enjoyed by three players. Advertised as a great way to hit on the opposite sex at parties, this mode features a central performer and two backup dancers who must all act out the moves shown on-screen. I certainly understood what the presenter was getting at in terms of this mode being a conversation starter, as George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” tasked two women with dancing seductively in close proximity to the central male performer. This mode can be taken online so expect lots of competition on the weekend when people are enjoying it at parties staged across the globe.
Interestingly, we were shown Just Dance 2014 running on the Wii U but I suspect that the Xbox One version of the game will be the one to get due to the new Kinect’s improved precision and support for up to six players dancing simultaneously. Whichever version you pick up, Just Dance 2014 boasts funky visuals which aren’t afraid to throw a variety of neon colours at you at once.
Just Dance 2014 is out across Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3 on October 4th in the UK and October 8th in North America. The game will also be a launch title for both the PS4 and Xbox One during November.