by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) March 5, 2012
Ubisoft on Monday revealed that the next installment to its blockbuster "Assassin's Creed" videogame franchise will be set in the US colonies during the American Revolution.
"Assassin's Creed III" will be released on October 30 and star a new hero in a series of games that moves from one generation to another as players follow the ancestry of a fictional assassin to solve a perilous modern-day mystery.
"You're going to be blown away," said Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot.
"Assassin's Creed III features the franchise's most expansive setting so far, along with an exciting new hero and exponentially more gameplay," he added.
The videogame was developed over years by Ubisoft Montreal and six of the France-based company's other studios.
Versions of the title have been tailored for play on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles as well as on computers powered by Windows software. The title was priced at $60.
Ubisoft said it was working on a version of the game for Nintendo Wii consoles.
The hero in "Assassin's Creed III" is Ratohnhaké:ton, described as being part Native American, part English and an 18th Century member of a line assassins that players were introduced to when the first game was released in late 2007.
The character is the action-adventure game's new champion in an "ancient war between the Assassins and Templars."
"Assassin's Creed III" is powered by a new software engine that powers "stunning graphics" as well as improved artificial intelligence, according to Ubisoft.
The coming title "spans the Revolutionary War, taking gamers from the vibrant, untamed frontier to bustling colonial towns and the intense, chaotic battlefields where George Washington's Continental Army clashed with the imposing British Army."
A trailer for the videogame was posted online at assassinscreed.com.
The new game will be a sequel to "Assassin's Creed: Revelations" which was released in November.
In "Revelations," stealthy death-dealer Ezio Auditore took his noble crusade for justice from Renaissance period Italy to the 16th Century Ottoman Empire.
In a blend of historical truth and narrative fiction, "Assassin's Creed: Revelations" traced Auditore's exploits in thwarting an age-old grab for global domination reaching into modern times.
"Revelations" was the fourth installment in a franchise that has sold more than 38 million copies since it launched four years ago. The game was the third and last centered on Auditore.
Auditore was a brash young Italian who turned to his family's assassin heritage after a tragic betrayal in his first video game appearance.
A hallmark of the franchise has been "historical fiction" that blends rich details from past centuries with fantasy characters locked in a battle between assassins and Templars hunting for a mysterious orb of great power.
"If it didn't have a mature rating, it would most likely be used in schools," Ubisoft marketing executive Tony Key said while discussing the real-world history richly woven into the Assassin's franchise.
Game play is set in the context of genetic memories relived by a modern day descendent of a legendary line of assassins.
Ubisoft plans annual releases of installments in the Assassin's franchise, which has grown to include novels, comic books, Facebook games, and short films.
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In Swiss city, 'augmented reality' is out of this world
Basel, Switzerland (AFP) March 5, 2012
A pair of Swiss policemen cast a suspicious eye as a creature in a space helmet with a camera mounted on top and carrying an astronaut's backpack wanders around Basel's St. Johann Park. But what appears to be a visiting extra-terrestrial turns out to be a maverick designer, Jan Torpus, who is pushing the boundary between the real world and fantasy in a project he calls "augmented reality." ... read more
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