Assassin's Creed series comes to Android with "Pirates"

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The line between console gaming and mobile gaming continues to blur, as the much-adored Assassin's Creed series comes to the Android platform this Thursday, December 5.

Assassin's Creed Pirates, developed by Ubisoft, focuses on the sailing and pirate-themed activities popularized by the most recent installment of the game, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. In the handheld game, you play the part of a new character named Alonso Batilla. He's not an assassin like his compatriots in the console series, but rather a sailor. Over the course of the game, it's up to the player to turn Alonso from a mere captive on a ship into a dread pirate and lord of the seas. Other characters from the game series make appearances in Pirates, but you'll control Alonso from start to finish.

The game makes liberal use of the Android platform's intuitive, touchscreen controls, letting you swipe the screen to steer your ship, for example. Naturally, waterborne combat is a major focus of the game, and you'll use similar controls to carry out your attacks. Drag your cannons from side to side to aim them, and tap the screen to attempt to dodge the return fire that comes your way (and hopefully live to sail another day). Victorious players can salvage items from sunken ships through a built-in minigame. Of course, when you aren't under fire, you can also customize your ship and its crew with nearly endless options.

Fun and games aside, Assassin's Creed Pirates is a major step toward making Android a serious platform for high-end gaming. The title is built around a new 3D graphics engine and features what one early player calls " some of the most detailed and eye-catching water ever seen in a mobile game. The water effects rival those of the latest series installment on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3." That's serious praise for something that can be played on the screen of a cell phone. For now, Pirates is clearly positioned as a companion piece to the Assassin's Creed series (although reviewers say it stands on its own just fine), but Android is clearly growing into its own as a credible platform for video games. It's only a matter of time until the handheld OS can carry a title like this without a major console tie-in to back it up.

Due to the game's heavy graphical requirements, you'll want an updated and powerful device to play Assassin's Creed Pirates. A unit like the HTC One, powered by a high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, ought to do the trick. The game will be available on the usual Android app storefronts on Thursday at a price of $4.99. In the meantime, the trailer is available for viewing on Youtube.

This story, "Assassin's Creed series comes to Android with "Pirates"" was originally published by BrandPost.