Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles

Key events

Ubi suing over Ass Creed PC leak

Wants USD 10m from disc duplicator.

Ubisoft is suing a US disc duplication firm for USD 10m in damages after an early PC version of Assassin's Creed leaked onto the internet.

No Ass Creed 2 this year, confirms Ubi

No Ass Creed 2 this year, confirms Ubi

Wants to build anticipation.

Ubisoft has confirmed we won't see a sequel to Assassin's Creed this side of Christmas.

That's according to a Forbes interview with Ubi US boss Laurent Detoc, who said, "When we bring [Assassin's Creed] back, there will be more anticipation for it."

The decision is nothing to do with sales figures, as AC has proved highly popular. More than 6 million copies of the game have been shifted since it was released last November.

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More Assassin's Creed coming

It'll be around for years, says bossman.

Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot has said we can expect to see the Assassin's Creed brand knocking around for "years to come".

No change for Vegas 2 PC date

Ubisoft schedule telling porkies.

Ubisoft has told Eurogamer that Rainbow Six Vegas 2 for PC will still be arriving on 17th April, not one week earlier as a freshly made schedule suggested this morning.

Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles

Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles

Al-Mualims will be cross.

The Nintendo DS isn't the most obvious place to continue the story of Altair, master assassin of Ubisoft's biggest game of 2007, so developer Gameloft, er, hasn't. Instead, Altair's Chronicles delves into his past, prior to that fateful trip into Solomon's Temple and the events that followed it. This is an odd decision, because Assassin's Creed itself was a game about personal redemption, charting Altair's downfall and his subsequent journey toward absolution and enlightenment - the point being that when he began the game he was a bit of an arrogant dolt.

Gameloft gets around this by reducing the DS game's lead character to a bit of an empty eagle smock. The (unvoiced) dialogue reads a bit like him, but the mystery and intrigue that drove you through the home console game are replaced with a simple quest to retrieve a Templar relic, a chalice, and all the sci-fi stuff about Desmond Miles and Abstergo is ignored, save for menu screens that look a bit like the Animus. Eliciting that kind of recognition in the player - clear, but without any implications for the mother series - seems to be Gameloft's brief, because Altair's Chronicles is very deliberately designed to appear part of the Assassin's Creed canon without really having much in common with it narratively and mechanically.

What we have instead is a platform game split across a number of set levels where precision jumping, evading traps and doing a bit of hackandslash gets you to the end. Progression is left to right, but you can move in and out of the screen in the manner of an old 16-bit scrolling beat-'em-up, albeit with a bit more fluency, and there are touch-screen mini-games that revisit concepts like pickpocketing and interrogation. The former is done by scrubbing the screen to reveal the contents of a victim's bag, and then dragging the desired item through a maze of other trinkets, some of which move around to increase the difficulty. Amusingly, interrogation is a rip-off of Elite Beat Agents (or Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan to its Japanese friends), the rhythm-action game where you tap numbered icons as circles close around them, except here the icons are located at points on the victim's body and the ball-rolling bits are metaphors for arm-twisting.

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Assassin's Creed DS details

Assassin's Creed DS details

Prequel promises more adventure.

Clever Internet men have hunted down box artwork for the upcoming Nintendo DS version of Assassin's Creed, subtitled Altair's Chronicles, and an examination of the wordses and pictures sheds some light on how it will all work.

Apparently it tells the story of what happens to Altair prior to the events in the console Xbox 360 and PS3 versions already on the market, but the shots and feature details also suggest that it will be trying to deliver something to fit the other game's sense of scale.

For a start, it's all done up in a 3D rendered world, with fancy-looking graphics that allow Altair to perform the sorts of acrobatic moves he does on the big-boy consoles, including sword-fighting, stealth assassinations and combo attacks, with plenty of weapons at his disposal.

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Bell reconfirmed for Creed

Bell reconfirmed for Creed

Look at her in virtual form.

Ubisoft has said actress Kristen Bell will definitely be appearing in Assassin's Creed, even though she tried to spoil the plot a year ago.

The publisher reconfirmed the Heroes (Elle in Season 2) and Veronica Mars star's involvement to Kotaku by sending the website a picture of how Bell will look in game, side-by-side with her real-life face.

It is quite stunning, actually, although we have no idea which is which - it is either the alien on the right or the lovely lady on the left.

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