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Assassin's Creed (#110 of 5)

Creeping Through Egypt Previewing Assassin’s Creed: Origins

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Creeping Through Egypt: Assassin’s Creed: Origins Hands-On Preview

Ubisoft

Creeping Through Egypt: Assassin’s Creed: Origins Hands-On Preview

For the first time since 2007, I had to learn how to play Assassin’s Creed. Sure, each game in the series since the premiere of the first title has brought its own tweaks, changes, and the occasional new control scheme. Black Flag’s ship-to-ship combat injected some fresh blood into the world. Assassin’s Creed: Origins, on the other hand, makes Assassin’s Creed feel like a completely new series for the first time in 10 years.

Ezio Auditore, Assassin’s Creed’s best, most charismatic protagonist to this day, carried this series on his shoulders through sheer force of charisma for three games. Afterward, even when the series was at its best (Black Flag, Rogue, Syndicate), there was always a hint of stagnation at its heart. The locales changed, and characters were fresh and exciting, but you still mostly traversed every world, made every kill, and played every side mission exactly the same. Origins, on the other hand, feels like an entirely different game.

Ubisoft Reveals Assassin’s Creed Origins and Confirms October Release

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Ubisoft Reveals Assassin’s Creed Origins and Confirms October Release

Ubisoft

Ubisoft Reveals Assassin’s Creed Origins and Confirms October Release

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is often full of surprises. But it’s not uncommon for news to come to us from the frontlines that confirms countless rumors we’ve heard leading up to the event. Case in point: Few were probably taken aback when, today, Ubisoft announced the next installment of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassin’s Creed Origins, which has been in development for the last four years. The game, according to the team at Ubisoft Montreal, crafts a new beginning for this popular franchise.

Review: Cloud Chamber

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Review: Cloud Chamber
Review: Cloud Chamber

Cloud Chamber is the perfect game for Neil DeGrasse Tyson groupies, those into the comic books of Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, and Alan Moore, and anybody willing to watch Primer more than once. It’s a non-competitive social experience, ideal for those who prefer roleplaying to combat and speculative analysis to puzzle solving. Much like J. J. Abrams’s recent experimental novel, S., Cloud Chamber uses a familiar framework—in this case, a manipulatable database and a gamified version of Reddit’s upvote/downvote crowdsourcing—in order to tell the story of a missing (and potentially mad) physicist, her sour documentarian, and her brilliant audio engineer/lover. The uncertainty of the narrative reflects the quantum mechanics posited in the premise, just as the nonlinear assortment of data nodes—be they video clips, diary entries, cached emails, blog posts, etc.—challenge players to research, engage, and ultimately challenge the material, rather than to simply accept and plow through it.

Review: Rayman Legends

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Review: Rayman Legends
Review: Rayman Legends

Right now, the next-generation consoles are in a state of simply needing their fires stoked once in a while until the big guns—Thief, Titanfall, Infamous, etc.—start trickling in, and it’s easy to see the influx of prettied up re-releases as little more than stalling for time until that point. Last year’s Tomb Raider redux, at the very least, felt like a game that needed a little technological breathing room and got it, resulting in a genuinely breathtaking update of a decent enough title. Rayman Legends needed no such enhancement, as the game already ran at 60fps and 1080p on the Xbox 360 and PS3. The new edition has uncompressed textures and new 3D effects that lend a noticeable crispness to the proceedings, but it doesn’t necessarily make the new systems sweat any trying to keep up.

The new version also completely unburdens itself of any load times, which is welcome, but the effect isn’t mind-blowing. The new features are a couple of new Assassin’s Creed- and Far Cry 3-based costumes, some special Xbox One exclusive challenges, and the ability to use the PS4’s touchpad to pan/zoom for screenshots, none of which should make anyone jump out of their seat to buy it, especially considering that the WiiU version was able to use the touch controls for so much more. So, why exactly did this get a next-gen port? Because only 320,000 people—across all platforms—jumped out of their seat to buy it to begin with.