Assassin's Creed III

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Ubisoft: players "will tell us" when they're tired of annual Assassin's Creed releases

Omri Petitte at

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag sailing in from the salty mists so soon after Assassin's Creed 3 signifies Ubisoft's drive to annualize the series on a regular holiday release track. Some fans worry the saturation of Creeds will dull the appeal of sticking sharp metal objects into bad men as a hooded killer. For Ubisoft Montreal head Yannis Mallat (via Eurogamer), however, it's full sails for the yearly cycle unless players say otherwise.

GDC 2013: The AI tricks behind XCOM, Assassins Creed 3 and Warframe

Dan Griliopoulos at

In preparation for our not-too-distant subjugation by skull-faced machine-men, I thought I'd bone up on the latest advances in electro-brain design and stop by this year's GDC AI summit. Kicking off the summit was a trimuvirate of talks about the AI behind PCG-fave XCOM, stabby sequel Assassin's Creed 3 and the super-shiny “space ninjas with machine guns” shooter Warframe. The talks showed a fascinating variety of uses for AI: XCOM's combat AI was the most immediately familiar, but supremely clever in insinuating the personality of enemy types - and a far cry from the use of AI to determine Connor's foot placement in AC3. Warframe, meanwhile, deploys AI as a dungeonmaster, cobbling together levels from pre-built components to fit the needs of its players. It's smart stuff. Perhaps... too smart? Read on to unpick alien plans, parkour and player-centric dungeon design.


Origin Player Appreciation Sale chops up to 70 percent off EA's big franchises

Omri Petitte at

It isn't often we see the words "Origin" and "sale" next to each other, but this week is the exception: EA is running a week-long Player Appreciation Sale which discounts some pretty hefty games in the publisher's lineup—titans such as Mass Effect 3, Crysis 3, and Battlefield 3.


Assassin's Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington episode 2 is out... now

Tom Sykes at

Ubisoft won't stop until there's a new Assassin's Creed game, DLC or trailer every minute, as evidenced by last week's simultaneous reveal of AC5, 6, and 7. While we wait for Assassin's Creed 12 sometime tomorrow, today we can play The Betrayal, the second part of The Tyranny of King Washington - the episodic alternate-history saga that imagines what would happen if George Washington went a bit power-mad. This is the episode where Connor 'I wish I was playing AC4 instead' Kenway gains the power to transform into an eagle, because space wizards.


Assassin's Creed 3 Tyranny of King Washington DLC trailer shows magical eagle powers

Omri Petitte at

The upcoming second chapter of the Tyranny of King Washington DLC for Assassin's Creed 3, named Betrayal, continues Ratonhnhaké:ton's one-man assault against Washington's forces. It's about as far a departure from the series' adherence to history as you can get—oh, wait, we can also turn into a sparkly eagle. Now it's the farthest we can get.


Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag takes a cutlass to pirate clichés, says Ubisoft

Omri Petitte at

I'm probably not alone in thinking pirates deserve more beyond thick accents, Johnny Depp, and one seriously overrated Disneyland ride. They're one-third of geekdom's holy trinity, after all, and Sid Meier's Pirates is perhaps their best adventure on the PC that doesn't dive too far overboard with swashbuckling stereotypes. Ubisoft wants to pull off the same thing in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, a naval-warfare-themed entry in the franchise born out of "clamor from the fans for a pirate game." Speaking to MCV, Lead Content Manager Carsten Myhill says Black Flag's goal is to "redefine piracy in entertainment."


Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag screenshots show lush jungles, lush beards

Omri Petitte at

As revealed earlier this week, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is a very real thing. Hot on the sails of the popular naval battles from Assassin's Creed 3, Black Flag charts the high-seas adventures of Connor's grand-sire Edward Kenway and his time moonlighting as a member of the assassin order while leading a pirate crew. Ubisoft's latest trove of screenshots shows more glimpses at plunder-prone tropical locales (including a couple concept art sketches), Kenway's totally non-compensating arsenal, and a frozen moment from a full broadside. We've also got more info and shots for all you landlubbers in our preview.


Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag references Desmond Miles as part of a "consistent mythology"

Omri Petitte at

The first three Assassin's Creed games are about Desmond Miles. Oh, you don't remember? That's fine. It's easy to forget such a bubbling font of personality, even though we wouldn't have controlled his way cooler ancestors and their Templar-slaying skills if they hadn't sprung from the mind of the world's most vegetative assassin. He's no longer the center of attention in the upcoming Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, but Ubisoft isn't entirely ignoring Mr. Miles in the context of the franchise's meta-arc. In a self-published Q&A (via All Games Beta), Creative Director Jean Guesdon says the character remains "a very important legacy" for Black Flag and beyond.


Assassin's Creed 4 release date revealed through trailer countdown site

Omri Petitte at

After revealing the sequel's gun-strapped hero on the box art of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Ubisoft wasted no time in preparing a debut trailer to leap from its towering marketing mast. A countdown ticks away the trailer's launch in three days, but DarkZero switched on its Eagle Vision and found a now-deleted hidden URL displaying a banner proclaiming an October 29 release date for the radically piratical fourth-quel.


Ubisoft want to improve their relationship with PC gamers

Phil Savage at

Ubisoft recently expanded their Uplay Store catalogue to include third-party publishers like EA and Warner Brothers. Their next step on the road to being a competitive force in digital distribution is more an act of contrition. The publisher realises it needs to improve its perception among the PC gaming community.

Speaking to MCV, Ubisoft's worldwide Uplay director, Stephanie Perotti, says, "Announcing all these partners for Uplay and a wider choice of PC games, it shows our commitment to PC, and we want to improve out relationship with the PC community."


EA and Ubisoft now carrying each other's games on Origin and Uplay

Omri Petitte at

Some weird cosmic alignment must be taking place today, because a number of EA games—including the sparkling Crysis 3 and pre-orders for SimCity—showed up on Ubisoft's Uplay store. It's no less strange on the digital shelves of EA's Origin, where Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 3 sit prominently on the store's splash page. What's going on? As Ubisoft announces today in a press release, it's all part of expanding third-party support to bring titles from various developers.


Ghost Recon Online gets Assassin's Creed III items for cross-promotional cosplay

Tyler Wilde at

The first of three Assassin's Creed III Tyranny of King Washington DLC episodes releases next Tuesday, prompting Ubisoft to initiate tactical cross-promotion operation "Put Hoods in Ghost Recon Online." From today until March 1st, 11 Assassin's Creed-themed items are available for unlock or purchase in the free-to-play tactical shooter's open beta.


Ubisoft cut "huge" co-op mode from first Assassin's Creed

Omri Petitte at

What if Altair's knight-punching and eagle-diving across the ancient Middle East wasn't a solitary affair? As Assassin's Creed III Mission Director Phillippe Bergeron tells OXM, a "huge" drop-in co-op mode was planned for the first entry in the stalk-and-drop franchise, but the creation of modern-day Animus-warmer Desmond Miles sunk a spring-loaded blade into the idea.


Nvidia 313.95 beta drivers improve performance for Crysis 3 beta, Assassin's Creed III, Far Cry 3

Omri Petitte at

On the cusp of an open multiplayer beta for Crytek's maximally lustrous Crysis 3, Nvidia released an early version of its GeForce 313.95 drivers today. The GPU giant claims the drivers boost SLI performance for Crysis 3 by up to 35 percent in addition to other "sizeable SLI and single-GPU performance gains" in games such as Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 3.


Assassin's Creed III Tyranny of King Washington DLC releases February 19

Omri Petitte at

The first part of an Assassin's Creed III DLC pack exploring an alternate-reality America in which Washington crowns himself king comes out on February 19, Ubisoft announced today. For $10, grizzled assassins can take a break from giving colonists surly looks and chasing after techno-balls for a chance to take on the imperious Founding Father.


Assassin's Creed 3 and 007 Legends nominated for WGA's games writing award

Phil Savage at

2012 was a particularly great year for writing in video games. There was the harrowing campaign of Spec Ops: The Line, the consistently funny caricatures of Borderlands 2 or, like, a whole 90% of Mass Effect 3. Then, of course, standing way out in front was the emotional bombardment of Telltale's The Walking Dead. So it was no surprise that when the Writers Guild of America announced their shortlist for the Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing award, they of course included... wait, what?! They included 007 Legends? How does that make any sense?


The Text Adventures That Never Were: Assassin's Creed III

Christopher Livingston at

Ever wonder what the PC games of 2012 would be like if they were text adventures? Of course not, no one in their right mind would ever wonder that. In related news: I wondered that! So, rip out your GeForce GTX 680, plug in your dusty 10" CRT monitor, and stuff your programmable eight-button mouse in a stocking, because this week we're going to imagine five of this year's games the way all PC games used to be: as text adventures.

This year, Assassin's Creed III took gamers to colonial Boston to unravel the ever-denser mystery of the Assassins and Templars, let us hunt, fight naval battles, and participate in American history, and exposed us to roughly 436 hours of cutscenes. Oh, it and occasionally let us assassinate someone! That was nice of it. Now, climb a church, stand on the steeple, and watch as massive expanses of words unfold around you in Assassin's Creed III: The Text Adventure!

Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed 3 now available on UK Steam store; FC3 HUD patch on the way

Tom Sykes at

Threequels Far Cry 3 and Assassin's Creed III have been mysteriously absent from the UK version of Steam for a few weeks now, possibly because of the impending apocalypse, possibly because Ubisoft hate Christmas, possibly because they were pushing their awful Uplay service. Whatever the reason, it's thankfully now moot, because both games have suddenly popped up on Steam. You won't find them under New Releases, but both Assassin's Creed III and Wallet-Crafting Simulator 2012 can now be bought with Steam money. And just in time for Christmas, too.


Assassin's Creed 3 review

Chris Thursten at

I am pursuing a man in a tricorner hat through the streets of colonial New York. In the top-left of the screen, Assassin’s Creed III instructs me to chase him. In smaller text just below it, there is a secondary objective: ‘do not shove or tackle anyone’. I turn sharply into an alleyway and barge past a woman, earning myself a red X on the mission log and losing my ‘full synchronisation’ bonus. I’m not sure why I want to be fully synchronised, but the completionist in me insists that I try again.

A few attempts later, I’ve figured out a system. Stop sprinting when the alleyways give out onto open streets, edge carefully around pedestrians, and continue. It’s ludicrous - why on Earth would I not shove someone, if the fate of a nation was at stake - but I’ve not incurred the red X, I’ve not lost my bonus. I chase the man and, as is tradition, wait for the cutscene where I catch him. It doesn’t come. We pass through the same fishmarket for the second time and I realise that we’ve done a lap of central New York. The game is waiting for me. Oh! I think. This is an assassination. I do those.


Steam logs over 6 million concurrent users during Thanksgiving weekend

Omri Petitte at

Combating Thanksgiving food comas with the awe-inspiring power of the gaming binge, over 6 million gamers logged into Valve's digi-hub over the weekend after enduring the motions of spending "time" with "family." Undoubtedly spurred on by the Autumn Sale and its many wallet puns, the surge also rode the waves of numerous major releases such as PlanetSide 2, Assassin's Creed 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.