More and more new games every year are sequels, so I guess the next logical step is enormous collections of previously released games. Bethesda announced at QuakeCon that every Elder Scrolls game would be available, and now Ubisoft is following suit with the Assassin’s Creed Heritage Collection. Available on November 8, the Heritage Collection will include Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and Assassin’s Creed 3.
Assassin's Creed Revelations
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."
The hero of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag (already truncated to AssFlag in office lingo) makes a bid to become the loudest assassin yet in the box art Ubisoft put out today. He is wearing FOUR guns. He's wearing his "hidden" blade on the outside of his sleeve. He has woven a flag with the Assassin order logo on it, and then, because it wasn't piratey enough, plopped a skull in there for good measure. Because that's what you do, isn't it, when you're a pirate? You whack a skull on it.
Assassin's Creed 4 is about pirates, and boats, and islands, and killing bad men. All will be revealed on Monday when details banks burst and information flows through the webways, as hot and saucy as the regurgitated rum of a green sailor's first hurl. Those of us in the office that played Assassin's Creed 3 really enjoyed the sea bits, which bodes well for this latest outing. We'll have preview here for you on Monday, and we've squared away four pages in the next issue of PC Gamer, too. Here be ye box art ye blaggards.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: calling all Tapirs, please be on guard. Ubi have revised their yearly profit estimates up to somewhere between 90 and 100 million Euros after better-than-expected sales late last year, and are going to need a much bigger wallet.
Gamasutra report that Assassin's Creed 3 shifted 12 million copies in the meatspace and online which is 70% more than AssCreed: Revelations managed. Far Cry 3 sold 4.5 million. A "much higher-than-expected performance," which means "fans certainly won't have to wait four more years for the next Far Cry."
Assassin's Creed 3 is arriving a bit late on PC, but according to comments from the Ubisoft team in a recent Reddit AMA, it'll come with some extra visual polish. DirectX 11 features like tessellation will smooth out those polygons and we can look forward to textures that, in some cases, will be four times the resolution of the console versions.
Community developer "UbiGabe" also says that "when PC launches, it will include ALL of the console patches out at the time (so, that includes any patches we might be releasing in between now and PC launch). In addition, PC has a special patch designed to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible."
After the appearance of listings for in-game "Erudito Credits" yesterday, Ubisoft have confirmed that there will be microtransactions in Assassin's Creed 3.
"The Erudito Credits are a new way of unlocking content in Assassin's Creed 3's Multiplayer," Ubisoft told Eurogamer. "People who have little time can use Erudito Credits as a shortcut to unlock game items from level 1 to 50 (excluding Prestige levels and relics rewards). This is not mandatory, all items sold in Erudito Credits are also available in Abstergo Credits and can be unlocked through normal progression like previous years."
Console players will get their paws on Assassin's Creed 3 next week. We'll have to wait until November 20 in the US and November 23 in Europe, sadly, but you can absorb a 90 second montage of the action courtesy of the launch trailer, which features fighting on the high seas, some great big battle scenes, a bit of tragic back story and one particularly cruel groin kick.
In interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Stephanie Perotti, Ubisoft’s worldwide director for online games, has said that the company has decided to remove the need for a permanent connection to play its PC titles.
Ubisoft designers have told CVG that Assassin's Creed 3's multiplayer mode will take a more prominent storytelling role than its predecessors. The ongoing tale will be told through a series of monthly challenges that can be completed to unlock "new content."
"The multiplayer is so big today that it's already a game on its own. We've been given the right to develop the Abstergo storyline since the beginning, which is a big responsibility," game director Damien Kieken told CVG. Abstergo is the company behind the Animus, the magical techno-chair that lets users access inhabit genetic memories. It looks as though the technology has been made public as an entertainment device in Assassin's Creed 3, for nefarious reasons, no doubt.
There's troubling news on RPS regarding a potential security risk associated with Ubisoft's Uplay plugin software that could allow hackers to remotely install programs onto your PC. The problem seems to centre around the Uplay browser plugin, which is easily disabled. In Chrome, search for about:plugins and disable Uplay. In Firefox, head to tools - add ons - plugins and then disable Uplay and the UPlay PC Hub. To be safe, you might want to consider deleting Uplay and related programs from your PC.
The problem is detailed on Hacker News, which exposes a backdoor thread that allows a website to install and run programs remotely. We've contacted Ubisoft for comment and they're "looking into" the problem. We'll update with any further statements. Meanwhile, here's a list of Uplay associated games that you might want to steer clear of until we know exactly how serious the problem is.
Update: Ubisoft have sent over a statement saying that they've patched the problem out. Here it is:
Assassin's Creed 3 put in a good showing at the Ubisoft conference earlier with some balanced in-game footage showing life in the wilds, some man on dog combat (a regular sight already at E3), camp life and a spot of assassination. It would be hard to describe Connor's style as subtle. His idea of an explosive diversion is one that you walk straight through afterwards, and he's startlingly unconcerned about dropping down directly in front of gun lines. See some of Connor's more choreographed, but equally reckless moves in action in the E3 trailer below.
As reported on Eurogamer, an author is suing Ubisoft for copyright infringement relating to the Assassin's Creed franchise. John Beiswenger claims that Ubisoft have lifted various aspects of the series' plot from his 2003 novel, Link.
The snowy wastes shown in the latest screenshots of Assassin's Creed 3, picked up by All Games Beta, are one of the few locations in which the white cloak actually works as camouflage, making Connor one of the stealthiest assassins to star in an Assassin's Creed game so far. However, he seems to be practising his skills on a defenceless deer, which could make him the biggest jerk of the series so far, though that bit where Altair stabs that clueless guard at the start of the first game was also quite mean. Get the new shots right here.
The debut Assassin's Creed 3 trailer suggests that Ubisoft are planning to take Assassin's Creed to the wide open plains and forests of early America. Up until now they've relied on heavily built-up cities to support its assassins' free-running style, from the behaviour of our new hero in this trailer, it looks as though we'll be vaulting through trees instead.
It won't all be countryside, though. Ubisoft promise a range of locations from the "untamed frontier" to "bustling chaotic towns" and even scenes set on battlefields like the one shown at the end of the trailer. We'll be playing as "Ratohnaké:ton," aka "Connor," an assassin of "Native American and English heritage."
Ubisoft PR chap Jay Acevedo has tweeted an image that looks like boxart for Assassin's Creed 3, officially confirming earlier rumours that the next game would be set in the American Revolution. It shows the assassin star of this morning's concept art axe murdering a soldier as the revolution rages behind him. Click "read and comment" to see the whole thing.
Recently we mentioned that many Ubisoft games would be unplayable this week because some server shuffling at Ubi HQ. The downtime has started, locking players out of Might and Magic: Heroes VI, The Settlers 7 and Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2. Players who have just bought Assassin's Creed Revelations, Anno 2070 and Driver: San Francisco won't be able to activate their games while the servers are down.
According to Ubisoft's Uplay page, Anno 2070 was one of the few games that was supposed to remain unaffected during the switch-over, but many players can't launch the game. Our copy of Anno autopatched without a hitch, but when we tried to start it up, we got the error message above. "We apologize for the inconvenience, it seems some of you can't connect to games announced as playable during migration," said Ubisoft on Twitter, adding that they're currently working on a fix.
Players on the Ubisoft forums say that they can't log into Driver: San Francisco either.
Ubisoft are having a bit of a hardware reshuffle next week, according to Eurogamer, which means major disruption to their DRM servers.
Games that use Ubisoft's always-online DRM system ping these constantly to reassure the publishers that you're not a pirate. That means that next week's switchover will render Tom Clancy's HAWX 2, Might & Magic: Heroes 6 and The Settlers 7 unplayable for an unknown period of time. The servers are set to go down on February 7. Ubisoft don't say when they'll be back up again.
You've read the review, now build the best character, find the dev team's favorite items, survive your first PvP encounter, and get the most out of Star Wars: The Old Republic with our enormous 10-page launch guide and behind-the-scenes coverage. Then bury your nose deeper into the February 2012 issue of PC Gamer US for previews of 2012's biggest games, including Diablo III, BioShock Infinite, Guild Wars 2 (which may just change everything we know about MMOs), Mass Effect 3, and more, as well as an all-star lineup of reviews, including Minecraft, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
You can find it all and more on newstands now! Or, if your house is surrounded by small rabid beasts which have somehow made it clear that only your flesh can satiate their voracious appetites, you may want to stay inside and check us out on Coverleaf.com and Apple Newsstand.
Well somebody at Ubisoft’s been watching Inception. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations begins with chronically plank-faced protagonist Desmond washing up on a sad-looking desert island. He’s told, by a digital ghost, that this is the default setup of the device that lets him explore his past lives – the Animus. Essentially, he’s trapped inside an autoexec.bat file.
But in a move that would make Christopher Nolan blush, while you control Desmond’s Renaissance ancestor Ezio in Constantinople, Ezio is himself discovering magical memory-unlocking keys left behind by his 12th century ancestor Altair. If time travelling, science-fiction oddness is what put you off Assassin’s Creed in the past, prepare to groan a decade of groans as Revelations routinely expends drastic countermeasures trying to avoid doing what it does best.
Ubisoft has released a list of the changes the Assassin’s Creed: Revelations day one patch will bring to the game. As reported by DSOGaming, the patch will improve Nvidia’s 3D vision with added sky rendering, and also fix “problems with running game in offline mode”.
Maybe Ubisoft aren’t all bad. Both Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City have required substantial post-launch patches to get them up and running properly on the PC, and these have taken a few weeks to appear. We won’t know if there are any more issues until we actually play it on December 2, but it seems Ubisoft is at least trying to nip some problems in the bud.
Full changelog after the break.