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Even the most stalwart old warhorse needs to take a break sometimes. Partly to recuperate and refresh, but also because it can't keep up with being ridden so hard to ridiculous deadlines.
Stuff the analogies; though the world of gaming is full of new ideas and fresh concepts, these great games all too often mutate into stodgy, bloated and rushed franchises that grimly release year on year with diminishing returns, often losing track of what made them great in the first place. We see it happen time and time again, and this year in particular, we reckon that it's high time for some of the industry's biggest franchises to step back, take a break and focus on how best to bring them back once we're good and ready.
If they even need to brought back at all. Seeing as it's been a while since we last ragged on Sonic, let's get this thing rolling.
We love Assassin's Creed here at Dealspwn. The core idea of a three-dimensional assassination sandbox is as brilliant as it ever was, while each game tried its best to present new time periods, characters, gadgets and meta-narratives to keep things fresh.
Unfortunately you can have too much of a good thing. Assassin's Creed did well to remain as good as it was for so long, Assassin's Creed III notwithstanding, but Unity proves that the insane annual release deadlines have finally caught up with us. A technical mess with half-baked mechanics, paradoxically shown up by its own last-gen counterpart.
So it's time to take a break, Ubisoft. Give us two years to start missing Assassin's Creed, then spend the time looking at what made the original games brilliant, and how best to bring the action into a totally new setting that really advances both gameplay, visuals and narrative. Plus, hell, the extra QA probably wouldn't hurt...Click here to read more...
Destiny reminds me of the original Assassin's Creed.
Wait, come back. Let me explain.
I remember when the original Assassin's Creed came out, and the hype train was a full speed for that particular title. I remember it being the game on everyone's lips, not least in part because one of the core aspects of the way that game handled felt so liberating and exciting. Running and climbing was fluid and intuitive and wildly freeing. I remember local multiplayer nights being replaced by us crowding round a single Xbox, swapping the controller back and forth every so often just as we had years before when the GTA series was in its infancy. This central mechanism, this seamless parkour and vertical freedom from which everything else seemed to derive, was incredibly exciting.
That might all seem a little daft now, but at the time it was extraordinarily exciting, coupled with open-ended assassination missions that gave you the run of the city and empowered you to make your own decisions. The core of the game was fresh and fun and brimmed with promise and potential.
That's the thing, though, it took Assassin's Creed II to take the franchise to the next level and really deliver on that potential, realising the promise hinted at in that first game. For all of its seemingly breathless originality and ambition at the time, the original Assassin's Creed was also repetitive, clunky, and fell far short of the grandiose ambitions underpinning its structure. Altair was a blank cipher, whose American voice sounded out of place amongst the heavily accented tones of every other character, and although the game around him had some nice ideas, it was mired in content that still had some way to go, its quality diminished by missions of an increasingly formulaic and repetitive nature, and a devolution into endless combat encounters the further along you got.
At the time of release, Electronic Gaming Monthly described it as "an incomplete template based on multiple other games" -- there were some unique flavours in the mix, but it took a sequel for Assassin's Creed to really find its feet and its complete identity.
That quote above could just as easily be applied to Destiny. In fact, it's even more pertinent here.Click here to read more...
Sony are running a massive Ubisoft-centred sale over the next couple of weeks that'll see prices slashed on titles from such series as Assassin's Creed, Rayman, Far Cry, Prince of Persia, and Ghost Recon.
But there are other bargains to be had too, with Persona 4 Golden, Luftrausers, and South Park: The Stick of Truth discounted over the next seven days.Check out the full list of deals after the jump >>
Roll up, roll up, for a great big steaming pile of leaks fresh from the rumour mill. Kotaku, as per usual, have thrown an absolute sizzler onto the flames by revealing some leaked screenshots of what appears to be this year's Assassin's Creed game. Sources claim that Assassin's Creed: Unity (probably a working title) is set during the French revolution and features a retooled parkour system, starring an assassin called Arno.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PSN (reviewed) | XBLA
Developers: Ubisoft Sofia
Releasing at the busiest time of year, Liberation went largely unnoticed when it released towards the back end of 2012 on the PS Vita. So when Ubisoft announced they would be polishing it up for a downloadable release on PSN and XBLA it was collective high fives all-round. Sorry Vita, but the big TV wins again.
So often, I cringe when I see the prices of digital games or HD remakes, but Liberation’s £15.99 asking price is very reasonable. Mainly because the original Vita version costs more and the visual upgrade is huge. Some of you may be disappointed to hear that the multiplayer options have been ditched, but this makes sense really. Why would Ubisoft want to dedicate resources to keeping more servers alive when they know most fans will be enjoying the superior multiplayer offerings of Assassin’s Creed IV?
You’d be forgiven for losing track of the plotlines in recent games, as ACIII had you playing as the grandson of the protagonist in ACIV, and now Liberation HD takes you back to the same timeline as ACIII in America. On the plus side, Liberation is only loosely connected with the main events of the series and doesn’t punish newcomers or anyone without an eidetic memory.Click here to read more...
Ubisoft announced a new Assassin's Creed graphic novel series at San Diego Comic-Con, which will apparently contain plenty of tidbits about where the franchise is headed after Black Flag.Click here to read more...
Patrice Désilets, the ex-Ubisoft designer who's currently suing the old firm for the rights to 1666, believes that his pet project has the potential to "evolve the action adventure genre" and become "the next Assassin's Creed."
He should know, seeing as he designed Assassin's Creed in the first place.Click here to read more...
One could be forgiven for worrying about annualised releases affecting the quality of franchise. And then, surely, there's saturation to think about, too.
But Ubisoft are perfectly happy with their annualised setup for Assassin's Creed, mainly because more players are getting involved than ever before, apparently.Click here to read more...
Ubisoft has announced that work has begun on the Assassin's Creed movie screenplay, which will feature the acting talents of Michael Fassbender (300, Prometheus). Shooting begins next summer.Click here to read more...
GamersGate's so-called Assassin's Creed Complete Bundle doesn't actually include Revelations, but it's still a great way of getting your hands on the first three games in the series. £12.49 will net you the original Assassin's Creed alongside deluxe editions for its two sequels, including extra singleplayer and multiplayer content, maps, skins and bonus materials.
Credit to dmorison at HotUKDeals, who found this earlier this morning.
Here's a nifty deal for five excellent Ubisoft games: Far Cry, Rayman 3, Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time, Beyond Good & Evil and Assassins Creed, which is a 'heap and helping' of game as my gran used to say. Great value - BG&E is probably worth the price of admission. This will save you about £7.
The exceptionally versatile Michael Fassbender - who's starred in films such as Inglourious Basterds, Hunger, X-Men: First Class, Prometheus, and Shame - will apparently be both starring in, and co-producing, a film based on Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series.Click here to read more...
Ubisoft are riding high at the moment, and with good reason: they always give an innovative franchise a chance. Can you imagine anyone else taking a punt on a medieval melee-centric free-running sandbox game set in the fevered genetic dreams of a bartender? EA and Activision would have laughed it out of the boardroom. This unassuming, fun yet slightly flawed title eventually blossomed into one of (if not the) best new IPs of the generation, and Impulse/Gamestop are charging a paltry £2.49 for the PC version.
Former Assassin's Creed lead and Ubisoft Toronto head, Jade Raymond has suggested that it's time video games grew up, stressing that the industry doesn't "need to make the equivalent to a Michael Bay flick in order to sell five million copies".Click here to read more...
Here's a nifty deal for five classic Ubisoft games. Zavvi will post you Far Cry, Rayman 3, Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time, Beyond Good & Evil and Assassins Creed for the bargain price of £7.95, which is pretty good going despite not quite being the cheapest we've ever seen it. Great value nonetheless, and some excellent titles.
We have high hopes for the next Assassin's Creed title (heavily tipped for a holiday season 2012 reveal), and Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot reckons that the next iteration of the franchise will be "the biggest to date." Shrugging off suggesions that the annualised release schedule may be hurting the brand, Ubisoft are confident that they'll be in a position to challenge the likes of Activision and EA to become the world's "number one" publisher.Click here to read more...
Assassin's Creed: Revelations wasn't quite as successful as Ubisoft had hoped, I imagine, effectively ending their idea of an annualized AC model - I hope. It had some interesting ideas, and switching to Constantinople was yet again an inspired location change, but overall the formula had become generic and tired, and the series is in dire need of a revolution instead of revelations. Geddit? Ahem, well, it appears as if creative director Alexandre Amancio has had enough with overdressing assassins, too, as he's left Ubisoft to join a marketing firm.
"Video games and advertising have many common elements," Amancio told Game Informer, about to take on his new role of chief creative officer at Cossette, a Canadian marketing company. "In addition, like advertising, the video game industry must now take into account and supply a very important social dimension in its development and strategies. The game is no longer just a game, it's a community, relations between players, and the brand." Ubisoft have yet to comment on the matter, although reports of sniffling and the occasional emotional hiccup have been reported from their HQ. [Game Informer]
Here's another nifty ShopTo deal for five classic Ubisoft games. £6.99 will get you Far Cry, Rayman 3, Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time, Beyond Good & Evil and Assassins Creed, which is pretty good going. Great value, and some excellent titles.