SAN FRANCISCO--In a quiet alleyway here, Ubisoft gave members of the media an early preview of Assassin's Creed: Revelations and the final travels of Ezio Auditore.
For the uninitiated, the Assassin's Creed series chronicles heroic members of a secret society of skilled professional killers that fight corruption and oppression. The games are deliberately steeped in historical research as each game educates players on the era it's set in and real power players of the period--if players choose to take a moment to read the game notes.
In the new game, Ezio, hero of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, leaves Rome behind for Constantinople in search of a weapon that could forever end a war between Ezio's assassins and the Knights Templar. Journalists had the opportunity to play the game for about three hours, uninterrupted--including the entire map of the great Middle Eastern city.
Ezio is just as lethal in his middle age as he was as a younger man, and he needs all of those skills in what Ubisoft says is the final game for the character. Fans of the two previous games in the series will find the gameplay here very similar to Brotherhood, but the environments look great and include rich detail and venues to explore. Like the other titles in the franchise, it's a game that requires patience and observation instead of thumb-twitching.
Without question, the real highlight of the day was a special screening of the new, computer-animated short film that will ship with the new game, "Assassin's Creed: Embers." Details of the plot will remain under wraps and spoiler-free by request of Ubisoft, but it's safe to say the film opens up an entire new realm for future Assassin's Creed game titles.