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 novel features a link device, where ancestral memories can be accessed and relived by the user of the machine. According to his complaint, references to assassinations, a bio-syncronizer, ancestral memories, and various bits of religious imagery - including the Garden of Eden and Jesus himself - are evidence enough that Ubisoft are in breach of copyright.
Thanks to the popularity of the series, the author is asking for $1.05 million, or $5.25 in total damages depending on whether Ubisoft intentially pulled the plot, or if they did it accidentally. Gametrailers.com are also involved in the case thanks to this trailer, advertising an Assassin's Creed II PlayStation Home space.
Until a few days ago, Link had just one review on the Amazon marketplace. Since the complaint, 16 more have been posted. And the scores aren't pretty. "This book is terrible; its not worth the time it takes to read, and i will rage if it delays the AC3 release," says one user.
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."
Assassin's Creed 3 is being built in a new engine called "Ubisoft-AnvilNext," which promises much improved visuals, animations and enemy AI. Ubi say it's been in production for the last three years across seven studios, with Ubisoft Montreal at the head of the team. It'll be out on October 31. Expect to hear more as GDC unfolds.
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.
In Assassins Creed® Revelations, master assassin Ezio Auditore walks in the footsteps of the legendary mentor Altair, on a journey of discovery and revelation. It is a perilous path one that will take Ezio to Constantinople, the heart of the Ottoman Empire, where a growing army of Templars threatens to destabilize the region.
Additionally, the newest DLC for Revelations, The Lost Archive, is also now available on Steam!
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.
They still haven't given an estimate as to how long the downtime will last. Players who can't get into the games they've paid for have been expressing their anger on Twitter.
"Dear @Ubisoft I am totally unimpressed with your server upgrade strategy. Offlining auth servers with no backup for DRM games is terrible" says CanuckStig. "When are your servers coming back online? asks HabbaDrums. "I just bought Revelations, and I have NO way of playing it." pkyle says "Bang up job, @Ubisoft. Doesn't save a local copy of my game so their DRM servers being down keeps me from playing my save at all." Those are a few of the more polite ones.
What a shambles. Have you been affected by the Ubisoft DRM server down-time?
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.
Other games will be playable offline, as long as you've completed the one-time activation process. If you haven't, you won't be able to activate them for the duration of the downtime. Big recent releases like Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Driver: Francisco, however, will stay online for the duration of the switch-over.
Ubisoft told us that their hyper-strict DRM restrictions (which extend to limited activations tied to your graphics card) are considered to be "a success." They told us their anti-piracy measures had resulted in "a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection.” For many, next week's server outages will only reinforce their decision to steer clear of Ubisoft's games entirely.
The Mediterranean Traveler Map Pack extends the Assassins Creed® Revelations multiplayer experience with the addition of six multiplayer maps, each introducing new gameplay opportunities through their varied terrain, perches, and hideouts.
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.