PC Gamer
Assassin's Creed 3

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.

According to a disembodied voice in a recent trailer, "Abstergo Entertainment will give you insights on the company's future initiatives by granting you access to files and information on products that will soon hit the market." These dossiers could be a useful storytelling device, but according to Kieken we can look forward to more than a few files over the coming year.

"As you progress in the game and level up your character, you access these files and videos. Every month you'll have new challenges to unlock new content that will continue the storyline throughout the year," he said.

This chimes with a Gamestop employee memo picked up by Kotaku, which mentions a Call of Duty Elite/Battlefield Premium style season pass.

"we are currently in the process of creating a complementary development team that will begin working on post-launch episodic content," said the note. "We know you're familiar with the "Season Pass" concept and, beginning shortly, we'll start to take pre-orders of our very own."

Assassin's Creed 3 will arrive on PC on November 20 in the US, and November 23 in the UK. Would you put down money for a multiplayer season pass?
PC Gamer
Assassin's Creed 2

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:

“We have made a forced patch to correct the flaw in the browser plug-in for the Uplay PC application that was brought to our attention earlier today. We recommend that all Uplay users update their Uplay PC application without a Web browser open. This will allow the plug-in to update correctly. An updated version of the Uplay PC installer with the patch also is available from Uplay.com.

Ubisoft takes security issues very seriously, and we will continue to monitor all reports of vulnerabilities within our software and take swift action to resolve such issues.”

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The Uncertain Musical Fate Of Assassin's CreedAssassin's Creed III is going to introduce a lot of changes to the series. It will feature a new setting, a new time period and a new protagonist. And one of the biggest changes has yet to be fully explored—the game's soundtrack will be crafted by an entirely new composer.

Jesper Kyd, the composer responsible for the music in the first four Assassin's Creed games, will be handing the musical baton to Lorne Balfe, who along with Kyd contributed to the soundtrack to last year's Assassin's Creed: Revelations. As any longtime Assassin's Creed player likely agrees, this is a substantial change.

Assassin's Creed's stark, dry visual design and techno-retro aesthetic have always been two of its most defining characteristics, but Kyd's music has always been the soul of the series for me. Let's take a trip through the musical progression of the first four Assassin's Creed games.

"Jerusalem" - AC I

Kyd's soundtrack for the first Assassin's Creed is probably the least well-remembered—it was somewhat cold, a mix of middle eastern instruments, chanting, open drones and strings. I was one of those weirdos who loved Assassin's Creed despite and sometimes because of its flaws, but I don't have much memory of the soundtrack. I do, however, remember that it fit in very well with the open, wind-swept sound design. There was a distinct sense that this composer got what Assassin's Creed was about, from a gameplay standpoint. It was a game about sitting perched atop a high spire, surveying the horizon before making a leap of faith. Kyd captured that.

"Venice Rooftops" - AC II

Assassin's Creed II was better than its predecessor on every level (except, perhaps, for how much easier it was)—Ezio was a personable and relatable protagonist, the cities were gorgeous, and the game had much more variety. But the thing that really won my heart was the soundtrack. Two games later, Assassin's Creed II remains my favorite soundtrack of the series.

This theme, which plays while running across the rooftops of Venice, flows through many of Kyd's compositions for Assassin's Creed II. That ascending four note melody, those driving drums and guitars… it's great stuff.

"Home In Florence" - AC II

This kind of track is exactly what set the second game's soundtrack apart from the first one. A shifting, serpentine groove reminiscent of Steve Reich, eventually giving way to wide open pads with sharp, dancing harp notes… all the way to a deep, romantic string part. When this started paying for the first time in Assassin's Creed II, I thought, "Wow, shit. They are really going for it here." It almost sounds like Mass Effect, and perfectly blends the game's old-world and sci-fi sensibilities.

"Rome" - Brotherhood

Brotherhood was an interesting soundtrack. I didn't warm to it as immediately as I did Assassin's Creed II, but over time, I came to enjoy its dark overtones. It features more grandiose choral work than Assassin's Creed II, and is on the whole much darker—strange voices chant in the background, and Ezio's journey through Rome feels much less certain than anything in the last game.

"Borgia Tower" - Brotherhood

This music plays when Ezio is infiltrating a Borgia tower, looking to stir up some trouble (and light things on fire). This is some sinister stuff, dark and pulsing, very different than anything from the other games. I still remember when "Countdown" was playing and the whispering, scary music started up and I thought "Man, what the hell is going on?"

"Assassin's Creed Theme" - Revelations

Here we have the main theme for Revelations. The soundtrack was a joint effort between Kyd and Balfe, though Kyd wasn't involved with this particular theme. I have to say, I don't find it as interesting or memorable as the music from the first three games. It's not bad really, and it still feels like "Assassin's Creed Music," but it lacks that vision that Kyd brought to the first three soundtracks. The Revelations soundtrack is the main reason I'm somewhat apprehensive about Balfe taking the reins for Assassin's Creed III.

Assassin's Creed isn't the only franchise Kyd has left behind—he's also left the Hitman series, for which he was the primary composer for years. It's always nice to see artists embracing change—Kyd's music will be heard on plenty of upcoming games, including Borderlands 2 and Darksiders II, a soundtrack I've enjoyed so far.

For his part, Balfe has been a team member for go-to-soundtracker Hans Zimmer on films like Inception and Sherlock Holmes, as well as Zimmer-scored games like Modern Warfare 2 and Crysis 2. This is an opportunity for him to step away from Zimmer and create his own themes, so I'll be interested to see what he does with Assassin's Creed.

It is, of course, too early to say what that will be; all that seem certain is that it'll likely be markedly different than Kyd's work on the first games. That's fine; good even—with a different setting, vibe and protagonist, different music seems appropriate. Furthermore, Balfe is a skilled composer with a lot of experience, and he's worked on some soundtracks I really respect.

But there's no denying that with Jesper Kyd gone, Assassin's Creed will now be a substantially different experience. Here's hoping that Balfe can step into Kyd's rather large shoes and usher in a new era of sneaking, stabbing and soaring.

(Top Image via Wildcat_ZA on Photobucket)
Announcement - Valve
The Steam Summer Sale continues today with huge savings throughout the store!

Today's Daily Deals Include:

Don't forget to check back for a new Community Choice vote every 8 hours and new Flash sales throughout the day! You can also grab the Steam mobile app to make sure you never miss any great deals while you're on the go!

Complete information on all the savings, Flash Sales, Community Choice Votes and more may be found on www.steampowered.com.

PC Gamer

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.

Announcement - Valve
The Ubisoft Publisher Weekend begins today with 33% off the Ubisoft Catalog*! Additionally, each day will bring a new Daily Deal with even deeper discounts!

Today only, save 50 to 75% off the Assassin's Creed franchise!

Plus, this weekend only, Pre-Purchase the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier™ Deluxe Edition for the Standard Edition price. Pre-Purchase also includes Ghost Recon Future Soldier inspired items to use in Team Fortress 2!

Be sure to check back each day, now through Sunday, for more great deals!

*Discount does not apply to the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier™ Pre-Purchase.

PC Gamer
Assassin's Creed 3 - treessassin
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.
PC Gamer
Assassin's Creed 3 - treessassin
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.

Announcement - Valve
Assassin's Creed Revelations - Gold Edition is Now Available on Steam!

The Gold Edition includes, Assassin's Creed Revelations and all 3 DLCs! Plus, the Gold Edition is the same price as Assassin's Creed Revelations when you pick it up before April 20th.

PC Gamer

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.