So… Assassin’s Creed PC?

By Jim Rossignol on March 4th, 2008 at 3:32 pm.

No assassins round 'ere, we're just... men with knives and an intent to kill
Assassin’s Creed for PC has been dated and redated and is now scheduled to arrive on our beloved Chaos Boxes on 28th March. Is that right? Oh it’s April 8th in the US for some reason. Oh and it’s already out and number one on Bitorrent, except that’s a broken pre-release version that won’t load half the game, so you might want to wait until it gets pirated properly comes out in the shops before you start playing.

Anyway, the PC version is also going to have new stuff! You’re actually going to have more tasks to do before those assassinations can happen, young man. No shirking on the pre-kill investigations. And no shirking on the system specs: Assassin’s Creed needs a monster PC. Beyond the jump: everything is permitted.

The new activities in Assassin’s Creed PC bring the total ways in which to investigate and set up a mark for death to nine, and they include: a Rooftop Race Challenge, wherein we race across rooftops from one evil informer to the next against the clock (or hourglass?); Archer Assassination, in which you unhelp arrow shooters unto their deaths without being apprehended by their battle-chums; Merchant Stand Destruction Challenge, which is pretty self explanatory, and involved breaking stuff; and Escort Challenge, in which you race a clapped-out 1993 Ford Escort around Peggingham Estate without running out of cigarettes or inadvertently killing someone you are distantly related to. (I jest, it’s actually a Ford Fiesta.)

As for specs, well it’s looking like (and I mean looking like from what I’ve read about the place, as it doesn’t seem to be confirmed) multicore as a minimum spec, with 2gb recommended RAM, and a DirectX 10 card if you can manage it. This is one of those games that will actually run “significantly faster” on DirectX 10 thanks to having been optimised for it, and all that magic stuff.

For the record, I actually thought Assassin’s Creed was an excellent game on PS3 and 360. I really enjoyed the city sequences, and felt like the running away and the fighting were genuinely comprehensible and enjoyable. What caused me to tear our my own soul and hurl it into the abyss was the staggeringly painful opening hour of meaningless motivation-free cutscenes and the inexplicable science-butchering backstory upon which the entire game was based. There’s an intermission scene where you’re pulled out of the game itself to… go to bed. Oh my. What the fuck was going on with that kind of obfuscation-of-just-playing-the-damned-game I will never know. But otherwise, top fun, and I look forward to see it on PC.

, , .

52 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Alex says:

    As for specs, well it’s looking like multicore as a minimum spec, with 2gb recommended RAM, and a DirectX 10 card if you can manage it.

    People almost throttled themselves in anger at Crysis’ specs, it’ll be fun to see what happens here.

    (Nothing, is what’ll happen, as most people will have already played it on a console anyway)

  2. wviperw says:

    “There’s an intermission scene where you’re pulled out of the game itself to… go to bed.”

    I haven’t played the game, but this sounds vaguely reminiscent of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time where the main character narrates the story and whenever you die he says “Oh no, it didn’t happen like that!” I thought it was a fairly clever mechanic for storytelling. Maybe it didn’t translate well to AC?

  3. James T says:

    I don’t keep track of console specs these days, but aren’t those recommended PC specs significantly more powerful/capacious than the 360 for which the game was made? What’s up with that?

  4. Kieron Gillen says:

    wviperw: It’s Sands of time x 1000 in those terms. It’s basically them taking a good idea far too far.

    KG

  5. Flint says:

    I can’t tell if it’s a cruel joke or not that two of the brand new timewasters-before-you-get-to-the-actual-game are an escort mission and a timed mission, both things that most players loathe beyond all measure.

  6. Tom Armitage says:

    wviperw:

    but, in Sands of Time, what initially seemed like a clever bit of game-as-storytelling metaphor turned out to be integral to the plot of the game, and subtly executed throughout.

    In AC, despite all the attempts to keep it secret pre-launch, the crazy-SF “main plot” is revealed in about the first five minutes and it’s clumsy and ham-fisted. Also, there is a lot of walking around whilst people talk at you for hours on end. It’s like the anti-Half-Life of cutscenes, frankly.

    FWIW: I loved the mechanics of running about the cities on the 360, and did so for many hours… but the actual plot, and the repetitiveness of tasks wore me down in the end. I did, however, unlike many other people, rather enjoy the hand-to-hand combat. Very brutal, neatly executed.

  7. Meat Circus says:

    You know, Alex. It might be worth a bit of righteous indignation if the game were in any way special, but it’s really not.

    The best reason for playing Creed is to sigh wistfully at what might have been if Ubi had at any point realised what parts of the game were actually fun.

  8. Flint says:

    Also, to be an evil nitpick, you’ve typoed one of your tags: “asassin’s”.

  9. Epic Wanderer says:

    I’ve just got around to playing this on the 360 and it’s worth noting that it appears that you don’t need to do all the investigation missions before you carry out the assassinations so you *may* be able to skip the escort\timed missions. Which is nice, if true.

  10. Nick says:

    “People almost throttled themselves in anger at Crysis’ specs, it’ll be fun to see what happens here.”

    The difference being Crysis actually ran pretty well on less than uber specs, I highly doubt this will what with it’s minimum specs being a fairly super PC that – judging by Valves hardware thingies – hardly anyone has. I expect it to sell poorly because of the specs if nothing else.

  11. Dracko says:

    The PC version is going to have more chores? Sold!

  12. Pete says:

    Anyone think about how annoying that mechanic would be in Prince of Persia if he actually was someone telling the story, constantly dying then saying that’s not how it happend?

    Prince – “And then I died! Heh, not really, fooled you.”
    Listeners – “Shut up, that one wasn’t even funny the last time.”

  13. Alex says:

    You know, Alex. It might be worth a bit of righteous indignation if the game were in any way special, but it’s really not.

    Actually, I thought that about Crysis, really. :D

  14. mezz says:

    This is one of those games that will actually run significantly faster on DirectX 10 thanks to having been optimised for it, and all that magic stuff.

    One of those games? I didn’t think there wasn’t a single game out there which didn’t suffer a significant performance hit for running in DX10 mode. (Like the crysis demo, where the apparent DX10 graphics are achieved with the best frame rate by running in DX9 and then messing the config files to force it to do the DX10 special effects anyway).

  15. Jim Rossignol says:

    Mezz: that’s kind of what I was getting at. I should put some ” ” in. That said, I’m reliably informed that DX10 should produce some faster games eventually, and this could be one.

  16. Oasx says:

    “People almost throttled themselves in anger at Crysis’ specs, it’ll be fun to see what happens here.”

    Nobody will buy the game, 4 months later the publisher will come to the internet and whine about Pc gaming dying and how pirating is the source of all the worlds problems

  17. Hieremias says:

    “People almost throttled themselves in anger at Crysis’ specs, it’ll be fun to see what happens here.”

    The game runs a lot better than Crysis. At least, er… in the first couple of areas. Full detail on a fairly mid-range system (Core 2 Duo, Geforce 8800GTS, 2gig RAM). Where Crysis chugs, A-Creed is silky smooth, and looks absolutely gorgeous.

    (Yeah, it’s the pirated copy. I broke down. I had to see how this game runs, I too was worried about system specs. I’ll still buy it, if for no other reason than because the pirated copy only works for the first two areas and then crashes.)

    Also, it plays much nicer with a controller. It’s not a shoddy port at all, it definitely feels like a PC game. But a controller makes it better.

  18. dhex says:

    and a bunch of people who pirated the game will whine about copy protection infringing on their civil rights.

    [cue lion king soundtrack]

    it’s the circle….the circle of liiiiiiiife

    i for one am super all sorts of pissed that this isn’t a game about a heretical islamic ninja that would at least make some nods towards the historical setting – even if it was an amalgamation of various incarnations of the assassins – but that it skips the religion stuff entirely. i can understand not wanting to get van gogh’d over a video game and all, but on the other hand dammit i wanted aga khan ninjas up in this bitch.

  19. kuddles says:

    I want to play this game specifically because of the divergent opinions on it. Even just going by opinions I trust the game is either a bungled, boring mess or an amazing experience. If it doesn’t have too many signs of being poorly optimized to an insane degree (the massive system requirements aren’t making me feel any better), I’ll get this version, otherwise the 360 one will be cheap by then.

  20. Nick says:

    “feels like a PC game. But a controller makes it better.”

    Bad Command or File Name.

    (A)bort, (R)etry, (F)ail?

  21. Hieremias says:

    “feels like a PC game. But a controller makes it better.”

    Bad Command or File Name.

    (A)bort, (R)etry, (F)ail?

    “PC game” and “keyboard & mouse game” are not synonyms.

    Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed was a fantastic game on the PC, didn’t feel like a port at all. It sucked if you just had a keyboard.

  22. Nick says:

    Yeah, it just never feels like a PC game when I’m using a joypad. Obviously racing games are rubbish without analogue movement.

  23. Max says:

    There are numerous games on PC that play better with a controller (I use an Xbox 360 controller; not because I have an Xbox, but for the wide game support). I prefer to play Gears of Fail and Audiosurf with a pad, and sometimes find myself wishing some games supported them, such as Second Sight which is utterly horrible with the keyboard/mouse.

  24. Hieremias says:

    “Yeah, it just never feels like a PC game when I’m using a joypad. Obviously racing games are rubbish without analogue movement.”

    Racing games are one of several genres that benefit from analogue movement. Flight and space sims are another, and so are platformers.

    Consider A-Creed to be a platformer, at least in terms of controls. It’s very much like Prince of Persia, and definitely not a shooter. You can play it with the mouse, but my X360-compatible controller just feels much better.

    When I said the game “feels like a PC game”, I mean it has a decent array of control and graphics customization, it doesn’t at all suffer from poor textures or draw distance, it is stable and relatively bug-free, and has a mouse-driven interface (sounds like a no-brainer, but there have been awful ports that can’t even get that right). In other words, the game doesn’t suffer from being a port.

  25. Fumarole says:

    @ mezz

    “I didn’t think there wasn’t a single game out there which didn’t suffer a significant performance hit for running in DX10 mode.”

    This sentence makes my brain hurt.

  26. UncleLou says:

    There also wasn’t a single game yet where the DX10 mode looked the same as DX9, so if they used DX10 for more performance rather than more effects which slow everything down, more power to them.

  27. Simon Brent says:

    Escort missions? Why haven’t game developers got over them yet?

  28. mno says:

    I have to second “Hieremias”. It runs way better on my machine that Crysis.

    I have Core2 duo @ 2,4 MHz, 3 GB of RAM (it actually only
    uses 500-600 MB according to Task Manager) and a 640 MB 8800 GTS.

    Assassin’s Creed runs smoothly with everything maxed out @ 1680×1050.

    Crysis was unplayable on High (not Highest) @ 1680×1050, but was playable on High at 1280×800, but it chugged severly later in the game.

    I was a bit scared about the specs at first, but this doesn’t feel like a shoddy port – it’s a keeper.

    I’m definitely getting this when it’s released!

  29. Hypocee says:

    ‘Escort missions? Why haven’t game developers got over them yet?’

    Because they’re one of three or four types of mission, total, available to video game designers.

  30. Tak says:

    Hypocee, your sentence makes me sad in places where sadness should ne’r dwell :(

    Funny though, sadly it seems true!

  31. Nick says:

    I wasn’t meaning to decry the use of a joypad, just that when I use one I don’t feel like I’m using my PC for whatever reason. (I’d never use a joypad for a flight sim/space game though, stick all the way!). I didn’t even mean to sound argumentative if I did.

    Manly hugs all round.

  32. Rook says:

    There’s already a few games that do better in DX10 mode than DX10; Bioshock and FlightSimX for example and many offer better graphics at very similar framerates now.

    And boo! to all the people that have pirated the game.

  33. Gnarl says:

    The ‘And then I died.’ ‘And then came and told me about it?’ ‘Errr…’ mechanism was first and best used in the computer game milieu in Monkey Island 2, I believe.

  34. MeestaNob! says:

    I think Porsche Unleashed came out on PC first then consoles…

  35. Caiman says:

    dhex, I agree with you. In fact, I’m tired of developers assuming that gamers can’t handle any historical setting without injecting some kind of magic or sci-fi element to “spice things up”. That just smacks of a lack of imagination.

  36. Bill says:

    Re: the controls on the first screenshot. “Blend”? Are there also options for Chop, Puree, Mince, Crush, and Liquify? If so, I want this game.

  37. yutt says:

    I guess I am the only person who absolutely loved Assassin’s Creed. The only minor quibble I could even mention was the horseback traveling between cities, which seemed unnecessary.

    Everything else I thought was amazingly well done and polished.

  38. Sucram says:

    @Mezz

    Flight Simulator X is faster using the DX 10 code path, so it really can happen.

  39. Alarik says:

    Rook: Why “boo!”? In fact, I am glad for it – especially hearing that game runs smooth on standard PCs. I was afraid it would be unplayable or shoddy port but according to “pirates'” reports, it seems to be promising. Now I am definitelly planning to buy Assassin’s Creed PC.

    Hmm, was it really “accidental” leak? Or are we seeing new form of advertising? .-)

  40. Taxman says:

    DX10 can be faster but not as a bolt on to an existing game (unless the dev puts in a ton of work), there must be some underlying support in the engine. This is because Direct3D-9 optimizations for game engines can have a negative impact on Direct3D-10 and vice versa so you really shouldn’t rely on the framework for one and build off that but have both in there.

    Of course that’s a lot of work and with tight budgets devs aren’t going to go to the trouble too often until Windows Vista increases in market share hence the initial run of crappy DX10 bolt ons.

    I’d say Ubisoft were simply over-exaggerating the requirements so that so the people would run the game with decent hardware.

  41. Jachap says:

    I hated Assassin’s Creed. Forgetting about the cutscenes and how unremittingly bland it was and the awful sci-fi framing device (which really does distractingly permeate everything, quite unnecessarily) the way Altaire is controlled is initially baffling. Then, as you get used to it, you realise that you’re just holding the same three buttons and choosing a direction. Its like some sort of auto-pilot. To climb a tower, you hold the button down and press up and watch the animation. For a while, just how amazing the animation is sort of fooled me – somehow – into thinking I was actually doing something.

    However, the whole game is framed to make you feel like a puppeteer. It wants you to feel detached. When it finally succeeded in making me feel like that – like someone who has to hold the Play button down on their VCR to watch a video – I just didn’t want to play any more.

    Take the combat. It starts off as quite a refreshing challenge. Then, beyond a certain point, it entirely comprises of block-block-counter. When I wiped out an entire army camp of about twenty to thirty guards it felt like I was playing a rhythm game comprising of one button I had to press every five or six seconds.

    People go on and on about the repetitive nature of the “chores” and the horse riding. But that infers that the assassinations are something special. They’re just as dull as the rest of it.

    And yet, I can’t deny its diverting. My house mate can idle away ages just running from place to place, killing archers and climbing towers. Its also very pretty.

    It still bores the shit out of me personally, though.

  42. Rook says:

    Boo! Because every time a game leaks a developer/publisher loses their wings.

    Or gets shutdown. Or blames piracy on their reason for moving to console. Or starts putting in retarded copy protection, etc…

    • sub-program 32 says:

      Ahh, the wonder of hindsight makes me look at this post and feel sad.

  43. Nallen says:

    The game runs a lot better than Crysis. At least, er… in the first couple of areas. Full detail on a fairly mid-range system (Core 2 Duo, Geforce 8800GTS, 2gig RAM). Where Crysis chugs, A-Creed is silky smooth, and looks absolutely gorgeous.

    First of all, Crysis didn’t chug on my carbon copy of your PC (of course it could chug if cranked up to far, but there was no need to make it chug) and secondly, my PC is mid spec now? :( Only upgrades seem to be a Quad core CPU (doesn’t seem to be a point, almost nothing slows down on the CPU) or a 8800GT, which is tempting but probably pointless 90% of the time as well.

  44. malkav11 says:

    8800GTS is actually a higher performance (and price) card than the GT. Perhaps you’re thinking of the GTX or Ultra?

  45. TreeFrog says:

    If that PC spec is mid-range now I will eat a series of hats. The graphics card is only one step down from NVidia’s top-end model, FFS.

  46. Alarik says:

    TreeFrog: Well, we are living in pretty nice age, aren’t we? Powerfull, nearly top end GPUs for the prices of mid-range ones… Great times. Those GPUs are a bit “step down” in power (cca 10-20% difference), but quite a big “step down” in price (more than half).

    9600 GT – cca $230
    8800 GT – cca $300

    ATi GPUs cost approximately the same.

    While top end GPUs (GTX, X2, or Ultra) can cost from $500 – $800.

    And of course those are average prices here (you can get it much? cheaper of course).

  47. wtf says:

    @malkav11 you sir are an idiot.

  48. Horse9118 says:

    actually, it runs pretty well on a low end pc. My old Pc has AMD Anthlon 64 32000 single core overclocked to 2.7 GHz and overclocked Nvidia Geforce 7300LE. the game run prefectly on 1280*800 resolution with everything on high

  49. Shoshomiga says:

    Actually there is a working Russian pirated version in which you can get from start to end with no crashes…

    Pirates 1|Ubisoft 0

  50. Optimaximal says:

    8800GTS is actually a higher performance (and price) card than the GT. Perhaps you’re thinking of the GTX or Ultra?

    The new version is, the old 8800GTS isn’t.