Microsoft and Ubisoft embrace open source to bring 'Assassin's Creed: Pirates' to the web

The web browser has become one of the most important inventions of all time. It has become ubiquitous in our lives -- hell, for some of us, it has become our lives. Many of us spend hours on the web, navigating around with Safari, Chrome or Internet Explorer to name a few. And so, the browser has actually become a computing platform in itself. Google's Chrome OS and Mozilla's Firefox OS are both built with that philosophy in mind.

Today, the ever-increasingly cool Microsoft announces that it has teamed up with Ubisoft to bring Assassin's Creed: Pirates to Internet Explorer (and other modern browsers too) by embracing HTML5 and other technologies. The results are breathtaking.

"Today, we're excited to announce a new partnership with Ubisoft to launch the first ever Assassin's Creed title on the modern web with HTML5, 3D WebGL graphics, and JavaScript. The Assassin's Creed Pirates web-based experience is available today for free play in five languages worldwide. New gameplay based on the popular iOS Assassin's Creed Pirates game allows you to step into the shoes of Alonzo Batilla, a young captain, racing his ship through the Caribbean seas, evading mines and other hurdles, amidst searching for treasure", says Divya Kumar, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Internet Explorer.

Kumar further explains, "unfurl the sails and with a swipe of your finger on the virtual wheel, steer the ship through the deep blue Caribbean. Race your ship through an obstacle course and compete with pirates around the world to obtain the highest score. Each time the game is launched, a variation of the original scene is delivered -- with changes in the weather, time of day and location -- giving you a new experience each race. Now, pin the game to your Start screen, and have it handy for those few minutes you have to spare. With split-screen browsing, you can group Skype your friends and race your ship, simultaneously".

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While Microsoft is making a real push for users to play this on Internet Explorer 11, the game works on other browsers too. I tested the demo on a high-end touch-screen Chromebook running on the Beta channel with version 35 and it looked magnificent. Game play is very fun too. Sadly, it made the fan in the laptop spin something fierce and cause significant battery drain. Battery and heat issues aside, the game is beautiful and a testament to the modern web.

Even more impressive is that open source technologies are partly behind the creation. You see, four Microsoft employees created an open source 3D engine called Babylon.JS and that is what powers the game. Microsoft has really been embracing open source lately and it is cool to see the fruits of its labor result in such a fantastic game.

You can try Assassin's Creed: Pirates here. Give it a try and tell me how you like it in the comments.

Image Credit: Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley / Shutterstock

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