Good: Brotherhood Will Be “Playable Offline”

By Jim Rossignol on February 23rd, 2011 at 9:52 am.

this image is a metaphor
The accursed always-on DRM of Ubisoft’s last couple of games seems to be dead. VG247 have word from a Ubi rep that “The PC version of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, after an initial login, will be playable offline in single player mode.” So that’s better. Still internet-based, of course, but without the need to always be online.

The game is out March 17 in the US and March 18 in Europe. I’ve posted a tech specs and special editions detail release we received yesterday below, in case anyone is interested in that stuff. It basically says that The Da Vinci Disappearance DLC will appear immediately in the PC version of the game.

UBISOFT® ANNOUNCES SHIP DATE

AND SPECS FOR

ASSASSIN’S CREED® BROTHERHOOD

ON PC

Top-Selling and Critically Acclaimed Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Takes the Leap to PCs

London, UK – February 22nd, 2011 – Today Ubisoft® announces specifications, details and ship date for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood on the PC. The critically acclaimed, multi-million unit selling Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood will be available on March 18th, 2011 for the PC. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is a worldwide production effort led by the Ubisoft Montreal Studio in collaboration with Ubisoft studios in Singapore, Bucharest, Québec City and Annecy.

The critically acclaimed single-player experience of Assassin’s Creed is back and better than ever as Ezio returns in an epic struggle against the powerful Templar Order. Now a legendary Master Assassin, he must journey into Italy’s greatest city, Rome, center of power, greed and corruption to strike at the heart of the enemy. Defeating the corrupt tyrants entrenched there will require not only strength, but leadership, as Ezio commands an entire Brotherhood that will rally to his side. Only by working together can the Assassins defeat their mortal enemies.

And for the first time, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood offers a never-before-seen multiplayer layer. Players can join the Templar Order and use Abstergo’s technology to train in the art of assassination. Choose from a wide range of unique characters, each with their own signature weapons and assassination techniques, and match their skills against other players from all over the world in a variety of game modes.

Assassins Creed Brotherhood for the PC will be available at retail stores and for digital download in four different editions:

STANDARD EDITION (RETAIL AND DIGITAL)

Main game + Abstergo Project Update 1.0 and 2.0 and The Da Vinci Disappearance

CODEX EDITION:

This Limited and Exclusive Collector’s Edition of Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood will include a beautiful and detailed Renaissance style chest containing:

o Main game + Abstergo Project Update 1.0 and 2.0 and The Da Vinci Disappearance

o The Original Codex written by the hand of Altaïr: a quality 60 pages book revealing all the history of the Assassins and presenting the artworks of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.

o A detailed map of ROME

o Multiplayer Characters Collectible Cards: a set of trade cards presenting all the characters of Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood Multiplayer, their kill moves and biography

o Assassin’s Creed® Lineage DVD: discover the story of Giovanni Auditore, Ezio’s father, by watching this three-part short movie.

o An exclusive Bonus DVD containing the Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood original soundtrack, galleries…

o Exclusive unlockable content:

§ One Multiplayer Character: The Harlequin, a deadly assassin lying behind a gaudy costume and a twisted smiling mask

§ One Multiplayer Character: The Officer, a stealthy assassin who can assassinate his targets with a swift and powerful attack

§ One exclusive single player indoor map: The Trajan Market

§ One exclusive single player outdoor map: The Aqueducts map

§ Ezio “Drachen Armor”

SPECIAL EDITION

This Special Edition comes in an exclusive Cold Foil Packaging and contains:

o Main game + Abstergo Project Update 1.0 and 2.0 and The Da Vinci Disappearance

o Exclusive unlockable content:

§ One Multiplayer Character: The Officer, a stealthy assassin who can assassinate his targets with a swift and powerful attack

§ One exclusive single player indoor map: The Trajan Market

DIGITAL DELUXE EDITION

o Main game + Abstergo Project Update 1.0 and 2.0 and The Da Vinci Disappearance

o Assassin’s Creed® Lineage: discover the story of Giovanni Auditore, Ezio’s father, by watching this three episodes short movie.

o Exclusive additional content featuring the Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood original soundtrack, galleries, Making-of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood…

o Exclusive unlockable content:

§ One Multiplayer Character: The Harlequin, a deadly assassin lying behind a gaudy costume and a twisted smiling mask

§ One Multiplayer Character: The Officer, a stealthy assassin who can assassinate his targets with a swift and powerful attack

§ One exclusive single player indoor map: The Trajan Market

§ One exclusive single player outdoor map: The Aqueducts map

§ Ezio “Drachen Armor”

Assassins Creed Brotherhood PC Technical specs:

Minimum Configuration:

Processor: Intel Core® 2 Duo 1.8 GHZ or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.4GHZ

Video Card: Nvidia 7900 256 MB or ATI Radeon X1950 256 MB

Recommended Configuration:

Processor: Intel Core® 2 Duo E6700 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ or better

Video Card: GeForce 8800 GT or ATI Radeon HD 4700 or better

Detailed version

Minimum Configuration:

SUPPORTED OS: Windows® XP (32 or 64 bit) /Windows Vista®(32 or 64 bit)/Windows 7® (32 or 64 bit)

Processor: Intel Core® 2 Duo 1.8 GHZ or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.4GHZ

RAM: 1.5 GB Windows® XP / 2 GB Windows Vista® – Windows 7®

Video Card: 256 MB DirectX® 9.0–compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (see supported list)

Sound Card: DirectX 9.0 –compliant sound card

DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0

DVD-ROM: DVD-ROM dual-layer drive

Hard Drive Space: 8 GB

Peripherals Supported: Keyboard, mouse, optional gamepad

* This product does not support Windows® 98/ME/2000/NT

Recommended Configuration:

Processor: Intel Core® 2 Duo E6700 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ or better

Video Card: GeForce 8800 GT or ATI Radeon HD 4700 or better

Sound: 5.1 sound card

Peripherals: Keyboard, mouse, joystick optional (Xbox 360® Controller for Windows recommended)

Supported Video Cards at Time of Release:

ATI® RADEON® X1950, HD 2000/3000/4000/5000 series

NVIDIA GeForce® 7/8/9/100/200 series

The 4 different editions of Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood for PC can be pre-ordered at UBIShop following these links:

- http://shop.ubi.com/brotherhood (Standard Edition)

- http://shop.ubi.com/codex (Codex Edition)

- http://shop.ubi.com/acbdeluxedigitaledition (Deluxe Digital Edition)

For more information on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, please visit: http://www.assassinscreed.com.

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53 Comments »

  1. BaronWR says:

    Yay! I may actually buy this at full price then. Can any sneaky console-traitors comment on how the multiplayer has developed? It sounded fun when it came out, but I wonder if that’s still the case now that people are a bit more experienced.

  2. Inigo says:

    “The PC version of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, after an initial login, will be playable offline in single player mode.”

    So you still have to be online every time you want to actually start up the game?

    • Premium User Badge

      piphil says:

      That’s what I noticed; surely that just means that it doesn’t kick you out of the game if you lose your internet connection. Phrased like that it’s not a “true” offline mode a la Steam.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      I have to ask why, or even how, you would play a game like this on a mobile set up where you would expect not to have Internet at all.

      But I speak from a position of ignorance on this, so please can you tell me the situations in which this becomes an issue? Seriously now: I don’t know, so please tell me.

    • CMaster says:

      @AndrewC
      You’re on a train, plane or other mode of transport.
      You’re in the military or a similar job that takes you away from home and to remote places regularly
      You have a really unreliable ISP, or one who is prone to filtering the majority of traffic (lots of University networks for example)

    • Ravenger says:

      Playing on a laptop on a train or coach journey.
      Playing games when your internet connection is down (during an outage, or while you’re waiting for your internet to be connected)

      Those are just a couple of instances of where you might want to play a game without internet.

      It’s a step in the right direction but still not good enough to convince me to buy it. They’ve still not officially announced that the AC2 DRM has been relaxed yet either.

    • Aldrikh says:

      @AndrewC
      You intend to play again when Ubisoft’s server will be switch off, a few years from now.
      You have a reliable ISP but your modem burns

      Also, having played AC2 after the DRM was relaxed to match the one described here, I’ve lost my progression twice (save failed silently). I can’t help but think this is related to the DRM and the saves that are supposed to be transfered to the Ubisoft’s servers.

    • el_Chi says:

      Oh for pity’s sake. Ubisoft have actually listened to the community, which is something that very, very few devs/publishers are willing to do when it comes to DRM. I think they deserve a pat on the back for that.
      Besides, signing in isn’t exactly a huge inconvenience.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @AndrewC: a LAN party without a net connection (something that should NEVER be needed to play, everybody should learn from Steam).

      Thus, this game ends up being the expected no sale for me and my party mates. Ubi’s loss.

    • Aldrikh says:

      @el_Chi Well, AC2 is one of the few games in steam that requires an additional login to be played. It’s not as bad as it used to be, sure, but that doesn’t qualify Ubisoft as “one of the most open dev/publisher regarding DRM”.

    • subedii says:

      Personally, my internet connection regularly conks out, so the fact that this won’t kick me off the game when that happens is a good thing.

      It’s pretty much one of the main reasons that C&C4 was largely moot for me even before the reviews came out. When even Jeff Green (at that point working for EA, formerly editor of CGW / GFW magazine) started talking about how he couldn’t play the game for constantly being kicked off, that was a definite “no”.

      I don’t really mind as much if I have to log in every time, as long as I don’t need to maintain a constant internet connection after that. Realistically there’ll probably be a crack for that anyway if I need it. One of the first things I did with Dead Space 1 was download a crack so I wouldn’t have to worry about their nutty install limits.

      Guess Ubisoft have finally reneged on something they repeatedly said they were never going to abandon.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      Next questions: how do you play this game on a lappy? Lappies can play games this graphically complex? How much are they? Can you link me to one?

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “Ubisoft have actually listened to the community, which is something that very, very few devs/publishers are willing to do when it comes to DRM.”

      If “playable offline” means you still have to log in every time you start the game, I’d simply think they’re going for the door-in-the-face approach.
      If logging in does let you play offline for a more extended period, and not just until you quit the game, then yay, that is actually cool.

    • Pesforozo says:

      @Andrew

      I imagine I’d be able to get a decent performance from my £500 one. It handles Just Cause 2 fine (even if that uses some kind of sorcery to look that good) on high settings.

      It’s got an i5, GT425m (1GB) and 4GB RAM. With the new Sandy Bridge and AMD lines coming out too I imagine mid range laptops now will be coming on a par with console ports.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Have lived in 10 different places in the last 8 years. Each time it takes at least two weeks to get internet set up. And of course, not having internet meant I spent a lot more time playing games (as opposed to, err, reading about them).

    • Nameless1 says:

      Exactly. I’ll not buy any Ubisoft game until it is at least like the offline mode of steam.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yes, Ubisoft definitely deserves credit for “listening to the community” by slightly scaling their DRM back to merely horrible rather than crazed, on certain specific games. We should definitely jump right back on buying their games at full price. And when the next generation of copy protection comes out and requires us to insert a full loaf of bread with jam in our disk drives during the whole of our play session -as well as- being connected to the internet the entire time, we should be properly grateful when they patch out the jam.

    • HeavyStorm says:

      I don’t think Ubi has “listened to the community” at all. If the game still requires you to login online every time, you still need a internet connect. What they did was minimize the problems that came with the approach of syncing to a server every few frames. Which probably means less angry customers emailing them or using support time. And, of course, less load for their servers, since server load costs money, even if we are talking about something very simple.
      In my opinion, Ubi has not learned it’s lesson. I won’t buy AC:Brotherhood. I won’t recommend it to anyone. I will, actively, spread the word that the game won’t let you play unless you can be connected to the internet. By doing that, I think I’m doing the community a favor, because if we let Ubi get away with this, soon other companies might try, and we will regret it.
      For those like AndrewC who asked how is it possible to play this game on a scenario in which you don’t have a permanent connection, we use ADSL in my home. ADSL is based on telephone lines, which here are aerial. When it rains hard, like it has been raining these few months, the lines are interrupted (broken cable, burned transformer, etc.). So, it’s raining, DirectTV won’t work (it’s dish based, not cable), so my only option for entertainment is gaming. Which I can’t, since it requires internet.
      I shouldn’t have to be online to play a single player, offline game. Period.

      EDIT: It seems John Walker agrees with me.

    • Kadayi says:

      @AndrewC
      Dude, don’t question the logic behind things. Sure the arguments against might all sound like a bunch of one legged indians, but the point is even in the odd event that someone is paragliding to Ecuador on a covert Black ops mission to kill the President armed with nothing more than a rusty spoon, the sweat on their brow and an alienware laptop, they absolutely need (without question) the ability to play ACB at the drop of a hat. This is a fundamental truth, and only a fool and a communist would think otherwise.
      @Aldrikh
      Is there a precedent you can refer to over that claim, that Uni are going to turn off their registration servers? I mean I know EA shut down some old MP servers for some of their sports titles some time back, but that still doesn’t stop the owners from playing the game. I’d hate to think you were fear mongering without any regard to precedent.

      Also, and colour me crazy for suggesting it, but given the fact that Ubi already patched the way that the existing DRM in AC2 works from constant internet to sign on internet access, is it not entirely possible that in the event they were to shut down their registration servers they might not actually patch out the sign on requirement as well? I know it’s a radical idea, but the thought just keeps haunting me that’s that’s the more likely scenario.

    • Aldrikh says:

      @Kadayi Bankruptcy can happen to any company, no matter how big. See All Points Bulletin whose server were shutdown shortly after release. Prey had something similar upon release whenTriton (steam like) went out of business.

      In both case it finally went right (APB’s being bought back and Prey’s keys being transfered to Steam or replaced by boxed version if I remember well), but you were that close to being screwd just as well in both cases.

      Sure before Ubisoft goes out of business, you’ll probably be done with Assassin Creed, and maybe they’ll even release a No CD patch before dying, but that still not very nice (and doesn’t have any advantage for the consumer, and probably no advantage for Ubisoft either)

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      @Kadayi. Yes, some of these scenarios seem so borderline apocalyptic as to wonder why someone would be wanting to play involved single player games during them, but I only play on my desktop at home, preferably with some hot chocolate next to me. I’ll not judge.

      That the game has multiplayer doesn’t change things much, as the single player is a seperate and independent component. There’s no gameplay reason for internet connection and so, therefore, the requirement feels, at the least, a bit icky. it makes no difference to me, but its ickiness is still there.

      The argument of ‘there is a theoretical possibility that they will go bust and not turn off activation therefore they definitely are going to deny me my game so fuck them’ is hopelessly logically compromised, however.

    • Jad says:

      Have lived in 10 different places in the last 8 years. Each time it takes at least two weeks to get internet set up. And of course, not having internet meant I spent a lot more time playing games (as opposed to, err, reading about them).

      I have a very similar situation. I moved to a new apartment recently, and as the local cable company sucks, getting an appointment to get the internet set up is not easy. So I had a week or so with no internet. This coincided with a week I took off from work to do the move and to relax a little. Perfect time to finally get those long RPGs I never finished. But because I had installed the fucking DLC to Dragon Age, which requires a log in to the EA servers every time to play that (utterly single-player) game, I couldn’t play it. A whole week to play videogames, and I couldn’t play some of them, for an totally pointless reason. So, fuck you, EA. And fuck you Ubisoft.

      Also, while RPS is a friendly place with nice people, and I do feel out of line saying this: anyone one saying that this okay, and patting Ubisoft on the back: the same applies to you. Seriously, you’re part of the problem.

      I don’t see why anyone is defending an corporation for valiantly letting us ask for permission to play our games.

      EDIT: Aaaand John Walker just said what I was trying to say much more intelligently and politely than I did: Opinion: Let’s Not Celebrate DRM Just Yet

  3. Quasar says:

    Well, I’ll be buying it then.

    Does AC2 have the same system now, then? I’d really like to play it again, don’t much fancy piracy or DRM. If it’s been cleaned up too then I might grab both from Steam soon.

    • Aldrikh says:

      Yes AC2 has the same system now. But you still need to create an Ubisoft account, link your game serial to that account and log in everytime you want to play.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Aldrikh

      Just like say logging in to check your email.

    • Aldrikh says:

      well email has a technical reason for needing an internet connection, it can’t magically be distributed to your computer without.

      Offline gaming doesn’t need an internet acces, so you can’t really compare both.

    • Bilbo says:

      Yeah, games just use your internet connection to fight piracy. Earning money from the sale of games is a technical requirement of continued development.

  4. rocketman71 says:

    @el_chi: Ubi hasn’t listened to the community. They’ve pulled their head a *little* out of their ass when they’ve seen that their useless DRM is making them lose sales.

    They don’t deserve a pat in the back for using their brain for 2 seconds. They deserve a fist in the face for implementing this stupid DRM in the first place.

    • rocketman71 says:

      Damn. This is a response to the February 23, 2011 at 10:31 am post up there.

    • Bostec says:

      I will match your fist in the face with a good kick in the goolies.

    • subedii says:

      I agree, when a company’s acted freaking idiotic against its own customers, it’s not a praiseworthy situation when they start acting a bit less stupid.

      If they do something that makes the PC release stand out, then that might warrant some praise. I’m not going to cheer them on for grudgingly adopting even a rudimentary acceptable behaviour if they want people to buy their games instead of making fun of them.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      I’m going to need a diagram of the relative positions of Ubi’s face, its ass, your fist and the rest of you, please.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vitamin Powered says:

      @AndrewC

      *almost chokes on coffee*

      Um yes, can we please see a diagram of that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Durkonkell says:

      Ubisoft HAVE NOT listened, this is the problem. The concern was with always-on DRM that you couldn’t play the single player component without an active Internet connection, this is still true. Fine, it won’t boot me out due to a momentary connection failure, but if I’m without Internet for a week I can’t play.

      The comparison with Steam is invalid. As someone who is often without Internet access, I can state that Steam’s offline mode works almost all of the time.

      If the game had an ‘offline mode’ button I wouldn’t have a problem (so long as it worked).

  5. d00d3n says:

    Does this mean that AssBro will be properly WotIThinked by the rockpapershotgun team? Hopefully with retrospective analysis of Assassin’s Creed 2?

  6. Hatsworth says:

    Needing an internet connection every time you start the game is still completely unacceptable.

    • Zogtee says:

      RPS is internet-based. I have to log on to get the latest updates.

      UNACCEPTABLE.

    • Premium User Badge

      kregg says:

      I have to log onto RPS to get the latest updates? I thought they just appeared automatically upon entering the website? Or do you mean entering the website as “logging on”?

      Also, a bit of a pedantic point, but RPS is a website. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a game. It’s like comparing an apple to a spanner (@_@).

      But I agree, logging in isn’t too bad. If I felt that way, I wouldn’t even use Steam. Technically I have to log in just to play any game on my desktop.

    • Kadayi says:

      @kregg

      I think he means about the fact that you have to connect to the internet. Such an utter tyranny that that’s the case.

  7. pkt-zer0 says:

    @Zogtee: You can download articles and re-read them whenever and wherever you want without an internet connection. The hivemind does not require you to log on, despite missing out on potential ad revenue that way.

    (EDIT: reply failed)

  8. Paul says:

    Ubisoft saw shrinking their PC profits to 1% after implementation of DRM, so no wonder they are leaving it.
    Yay free market!

  9. Ravenger says:

    Why can’t publishers actually disclose properly how their DRM works in unambiguous terms? We always get this, the publisher says it works one-way, then has to backtrack when users find out that’s not the case. Look at Bulletstorm for example – it requires an online GFWL login. You can’t even play single player offline, but this was denied before release by the developer.

  10. Cryo says:

    Gotham inhabitants got pretty blasé about Joker breaking people’s necks in the middle of a day…

  11. Deano2099 says:

    Incidentally, what’s missing from that big list is the Copernicus Conspiracy DLC, which so far has been PS3 exclusive, and looks to remain that way.

  12. Premium User Badge

    MonkeyMonster says:

    I just want them to remove the always on DRM from settlers… :(

  13. Berious says:

    Did they ever patch that crap out of Silent Hunter 5? Greatest loss in the DRM wars for sure.

  14. Bilbo says:

    What a relief. I know that I, for one, am offline *all* the time, and assume the majority of PC gamers are the same.

  15. Ravenger says:

    Looks like Bulletstorm is the same, despite the developer denying it before release – you have to be logged in to an online GFWL profile to play the game, so essentially you have to have a relatively constant online connection to play single player. This hasn’t been mentioned in any of the reviews.

    Why do these publishers never learn, and why isn’t this stuff picked up on by reviewers?

  16. Jad says:

    This thread is exactly what I was worried about — that Ubisoft would produce a DRM system that is so horrible that a slightly less onerous, but still completely unacceptable system would be perceived as “generous” later on.

    I would say that two years ago a large number, maybe even a majority, of RPS commentators were definitely against the idea of requiring an internet check every single time you started a game, and there was plenty of gnashing of teeth about Steam’s broken offline mode and online authorization systems like SecuROM. Hell, at one point people were largely united against requiring an online check even only at installation time, although we’ve apparently collectively given up on that a long time ago.

    I’m willing to bet money that within two or three years, someone will have come up with a DRM system so onerous that people will be saying a merely always-on system like the old Ubi DRM is not so bad.

  17. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    still no good if you’re anywhere in the 99% of the globe that isn’t within 10 miles of a cell tower, they’ve went from being utterly despicable, to as despicable as a lot of other companies.

  18. Azradesh says:

    Not good enough, will not buy.

  19. karthink says:

    Can someone clarify what this means?

    Do I need to authenticate each time I want to play, or do I need to authenticate once at install?

  20. DOLBYdigital says:

    I agree that this is a step in the right direction although I would prefer the single player to be completely offline and only the MP having a sign in.

    Does anyone have any impressions or experience with the multiplayer from the console versions. It sounds neat but also sounds like it could be boring if not executed properly. Any RPS impressions (I could look around online but tend to agree with many on RPS and value our opinions more :)