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Assassin's Creed: Identity is a 3D action-adventure game for iPad

Return to Renaissance Italy, now with micro-transactions.

Ubisoft has stealthily released Assassin's Creed: Identity, a free 3D action adventure game for iPad.

This latest Assassin's Creed game - you'd be forgiven for losing count - is currently only available via the New Zealand or Australian App Store. The rest of the world will get the game early in 2015 (thanks, Access the Animus).

Identity is developed by the Düsseldorf-based Ubisoft Blue Byte, which has previously worked on the Anno and Settlers Online series.

It also sees the series return to its popular AC2 and AC: Brotherhood roots of Renaissance Italy, and to the era of master Assassin Ezio Auditore (although there's no sign of him so far).

Instead, you undertake missions as one of four different types of Assassin: the heavy-hitting Beserker, the knife and smoke bomb wielding Shadowblade, the disguise-using Trickster, or the pickpocketing Thief.

Level up your Assassin and you'll gain skill points, but you'll then need training time for upgrades to apply. This is where the game's free-to-play mechanics come in, as you can use coins to boost the speed at which new abilities can be learnt.

In-game coins can be bought in various amounts. 50 coins costs NZ$4.99 (£2.40), 100 coins costs NZ$9.99 (£4.80), 300 coins costs NZ$24.99 (£12), 650 coins costs NZ$49.99 (£24), or 1350 coins costs NZ$99.99 (£47.50).

An extensive gameplay clip below shows lots of nods to familiar places - AC2's Monteriggioni is playable, while modern day Montreal (home of the franchise's fictional Abstergo Entertainment) is coming soon. You can also hear familiar themes from earlier entries in the series - including one of the best, Ezio's Family).

Within the franchise's lore, Identity appears to be another product of Abstergo Entertainment and a trial run for the new Helix technology that chronicles historical data, something which will be featured in more detail in the upcoming Assassin's Creed: Unity.

Watch the footage below:

Cover image for YouTube videoAssassin’s Creed - Identity (by Ubisoft) - iOS / Android - HD Gameplay Trailer