Jumping the Velvet Rope: Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD

Assassin's Creed Liberation HD

Today, Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD was released as a $19.99 DLC game for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC – giving gamers the chance to experience the story of 18th century freedom-fighter Aveline de Grandpré in beautiful high definition picture and sound.  When the game was released for the PS Vita, it was an ambitious attempt to translate the full Assassin’s Creed experience to a handheld console (read the great review of the game from Machinima).  While the PS Vita version succeeded in putting the full Assassin’s Creed experience in the palm of your hand, it also had to make some concessions to the smaller screen size and technical limitations of the portable hardware. With the HD version, those limitations have disappeared, giving the developers the chance to improve nearly every aspect of the game. I’m very excited to have written the music for this game, and I’m thrilled that “particular attention was given to the audio with re-mastered music and all-new sound effects.”  The game sounds fantastic, and I’m excited that a whole new audience of console and PC gamers will experience it.

Here’s a walkthrough video of about 20 minutes of gameplay from the beginning of the newly released game:

Also, I really enjoyed this video of a fascinating interview with associate producer Momchil Gindyanov from Ubisoft Sofia, talking about the high-definition version of Assassin’s Creed Liberation – which included improvements in lighting, animations and camera work, as well as entirely new facial animations created from scratch for the HD version of the game:

If you’d like to see my talk from the Montreal International Game Summit about the music of Assassin’s Creed Liberation, you can view it here:

The release of Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD brings to mind a story I heard once.  In a museum gallery, a security guard walked his beat, ensuring that all the works of art were safe and secure. Suddenly, he notices that a man has jumped over the velvet rope separating the admiring crowd from the valuable painting.  Worse, this vandal has produced a paint brush and several tubes of paint, and has started defacing the painting!  The security guard rushes toward the criminal, shouting “Stop!”  When he gets close enough, he stumbles to a halt, confused as he recognizes the vandal as the original painter who had created the work of art he is currently “defacing.”  The painter, looking frantic and sheepish at the same time, stammers, “I only wanted to… there’s just this one thing I wanted to fix… just this one thing, and then it will be perfect!”

I think, as artists, we’ve all had the desire to “jump the velvet rope” and fix something that we only notice after a work of art has left our hands. With Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD, the team at Ubisoft Sofia had the rare opportunity to jump the velvet rope, and it’s very exciting to see the results.  They did a beautiful job!

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