After recent comments appeared to imply that its developers are unconcerned with PC optimization, Ubisoft has responded with a broadside of information about the design process behind games like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Contrary to reports in the media, Ubisoft designers are "PC fans," according to a new post by Communications Manager Gary Steinman.
Following the release of their tribute to the pirate life, a handful of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag developers took to Reddit and addressed a few burning questions from fans. They avoided touching on where Ubisoft would take the series post Black Flag, but that didn’t stop them from sharing where they thought the series wasn’t going.
Okay, Ubisoft? Activision? EA? You're all here? Good, take a seat. I've called you to this post to explain the purpose of a "launch trailer". It's designed to accompany the launch of a game. Not to crop up two weeks before launch, and definitely not when you're over a month away from that launch. Oh well, given that it's here, I guess we'll show you Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's launch trailer. It's unique among today's AAA video previews, in that only about three things explode.
The Assassin's Creed series has always had a knack for putting its imagined, simulated history at the center of its experience. It's taken us to the Near East, Italy, colonial America, and in the upcoming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, to Blackbeard's Caribbean. But as we learn from an interview with AC4's game director Ashraf Ismail at Examiner, it now takes a small army of developers to craft just one of those game worlds.
To absolutely no one's surprise, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag will launch with a DLC season pass. Following in the footsteps of 2012's Assassin's Creed 3, and countless other high-profile games, Black Flag will try to preemptively sell you downloadable content right out of the box. And now we know that the single-player portion of the pass will not focus on main character Edward Kenway.
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 III featured some less-than-stellar missions, many of which involved little more than running between hotspots, triggering a cutscene or glitch or hearing Connor saying something monotone when you got there. It's interesting that Ubisoft has implemented a mission rating system into Assassin's Creed 4, then. In game, you'll be able to (optionally) rate each story mission out of five; the data will then anonymously be sent to Ubisoft to be analysed by their Ubi-boffins, hopefully resulting in better AC games in the future. Yep: AC4 is essentially one giant beta test for Assassin's Creed 5.
After months and months of uncomfortable silence and nebulous date ranges, Ubisoft has finally announced that the PC version of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will sail into view around the same time as its next-gen console versions on Nov. 19.
Five minutes of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag gameplay, filmed at Gamescom last week, shows a chunk of the new naval warfare and the assault on an island fortress. Black Flag is shaping up to be a huge oceanic sandbox, so solid naval combat is going to be crucial to the game’s success.
Assassin's Creed's many heroes are particularly good at the old Slow-Walking Like a Badass While Contemporary Music Plays, and Black Flag's latest trailer is no exception. Apparently stealth is the focus of this one, though 'stealth' is a word which here means 'jumping on people before stabbing them in the throat'. You know, stealth. Hey, at least it's consistent with the other games. Also pictured: blowdarts, a windmill, costume changes, and a dude with a scarry face. Yep, this is Assassin's Creed alright.
ost of my attempts at stealth in previous Assassin's Creed games look like something you'd see in an episode of The Three Stooges. Sure, I'll mingle with a bustling crowd to pass a few guards, but something will always go awry, and I'll be left with a pile of bodies lying at my feet. But the latest gameplay video for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is doing its best to show how the overt can become more covert.
As multiplatform game development frees itself from the restrictions of the aging past generation of consoles, we’re going to start seeing some really cool stuff. Exhibit A: according to Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag’s huge open world will take half an hour to sail across.
There are a number of questions that surround each Assassin's Creed release. Questions like, "where will it be set?" Or, "will I get to stab a person?" Or, "which glowing trinket will I be asked to collect one hundred of?" Less common are questions surrounding the series' overarching story. Nevertheless, Ubisoft have confirmed that there is a plot arc, and that its ending has already been mapped out.
Ubisoft has spent an exorbitant amount of time showing off Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's open world. We've seen video after video highlighting how much Black Flag has improved from its predecessor, to the point where we've sort of forgotten Black Flag has multiplayer. Luckily, we have some brand new screenshots to remind us of that fact.
Assassin’s Creed: Brahman, a new comic book set in the Assassin’s Creed universe, will take the series to present-day and 18th-century India. Announced at San Diego Comic-Con last week, the comic is being released by Ubi Workshop and will follow a Brotherhood assassin named Arbaaz Mir.
Ubisoft has released yet another 13-minute gameplay video for its highly-realistic swashbuckling simulator known as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It’s hard to imagine Ubisoft having something new to show considering it could strip the videos it has made so far to make an Assassin’s Creed movie, but a few grains of new knowledge can be found if you look hard enough.
Here's a new trailer for Pirates! An Assassin's Creed Story (Not Affiliated with Sid Meier), or Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag as Ubisoft still insist on calling it. This is the reason why you shouldn't be too concerned about their plan to only make games which can be turned into a franchise. Because they can always pull a bait-and-switch and turn their 'brooding assassins and magic time wizards' series into something about pirates.
Anyway, the trailer. It's even got a sea shanty, albeit an unrealistically mild one, because - again - this is basically just a game about pirates.
Nearly every Assassin's Creed article kicks off with a good old moan about Ubisoft's exhaustive milking of their historical stabbing series - hey, even this one! - however the company show no signs of slowing down. In fact, CEO Yves Guillemot has revealed to Kotaku that there are three AC games concurrently in development - remarkably, this is to keep it feeling "appealing and fresh".
Hoist the mainsail! Scuttle the jib! Other water-based activities! Stop doing them all, because a new Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag trailer has sailed into view, carrying a cargo of nautical narration on a sea of stabbing, shooting and shark attacks. Because in trailers, just as on the romanticised high-seas, it's customary to punctuate even the most solemn of speeches with random acts of violence.
X-COM creator Julian Gollop on "brute force" blockbuster game development and the lost promise of intelligent AI
In a genial interview, strategy-game elder statesman and creator of the original X-COM: UFO Defense Julian Gollop talked to us about his imagined alternate history of gaming, his preference for procedural systems, and how he feels modern games have abandoned the promise of advanced AI in favour of shinier visuals and reward mechanics designed to massage players' egos.
Gollop first came to GDC in 1995, to discuss AI, when turn-based strategy games like UFO / X-COM were the cutting edge, just as RTS was taking over. “In those days, I believed firmly that the future of computer games was all about AI. That in twenty years time we'd be interacting with NPC characters in computer games that actually had real intelligence and could respond to you in really intelligent ways. Boy, I was wrong. So wrong!”