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'I don't see Apple as a threat,' says Assassin's Creed writer

We spoke to Assassin's Creed: Revelations writer Darby McDevitt about the game wot he wrote, and the future of gaming.

CNET UK had a chat with Darby McDevitt, lead writer on Assassin's Creed: Revelationsthe latest effort in the Assassin's Creed series of medieval assassinate-em-ups, to talk about the game and the future of the industry in general.

There's an Assassin's Creed game on the iPhone. Do you see Apple's technology as a threat?

No. Interfaces are always a big deal, and until you can plug a gamepad with 15 buttons into an iPhone, I don't think it'll achieve the same ends.

With Assassin's Creed we take a step back and look at whatever technology we're developing for, whatever medium we're developing for, before we dive into it we say what are the strengths and weaknesses of this medium.

Do you think we need new hardware? Are you bored with the current Xbox?

No, I have a PlayStation 3 [laughs]. No I'm not bored of it.

You don't have to have certain technology to tell a story properly, you just have to know what your limitations are. South Park is told with construction paper cutouts, and they have more deep and compelling stories than a lot of videogames.

I find it weird that people think "we need to get to a certain level of advanced technology before this can become the mature form that it deserves to be". I don't think that's true.

In the last few years we've seen games become a lot more cinematic. Should games be like movies?

We shouldn't ever say games should be one thing and shouldn't be another thing. This multi-medium that we have incorporates every single medium ever invented. It's music, it's drama, it's acting, it's game mechanics, it's cinematic.

There are so many big games coming out right now, why should someone buy Assassin's Creed over those rival titles?

Because ours has the most mature story of the bunch [laughs], and also we pride ourselves on the level of historical depth that we go into.

We thought, why make stuff up? The world is filled with amazing and diverse cultures set at different time periods, so when you visit the Ottoman Empire, it's going to feel like nothing you've experienced in games yet, and I think players are going to have a good 20-30 hours of vacation in Constantinople in 1511, a place that no other game has ever gone to.

What is there in Revelations for people who are new to the series?

We wanted to give a send-off to both our assassins, but we had to do it in such a way that even if this was your first game, you were invested in their problems and their conflicts. We give a nice summary of what the series is about at the beginning.

It's hard because I'm very familiar with the series, so I'm hoping that for new players we answered at least 80 per cent of their questions. I hope we've done a good job.

What kind of phone do you use?

I have an iPhone 4.

Do you like it?

Yes [laughs].

Mac or PC?

Mac. I'm a musician and a film-maker too, so Final Cut and Cubase, Macs are so stable for artsy stuff.

And your favourite cheese?

Oh, favourite cheese. There was this cheese that I bought in Seattle, I don't know if it's wildly available but it's called Drunken Goat, and it's a really mild goat's cheese. It was steeped in red wine. Otherwise I just like a good blue cheese.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations is out now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and on PC on 2 December.