Assassin's Creed 3 review
Update: We've added two new trailers to our Assassin's Creed 3 preview. Check them out (below)
Assassin's Creed 3 is one of the largest games that Ubisoft has ever made, ever since Assassin's Creed 2 was completed the game has been under development. To place it in context, just one of the maps in Assassin's Creed 3 is 1.5x the size of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, that's right, the entire game.
Ezio's time is at an end however, paving the way for a new Assassin and ultimately a new period of history to explore. Assassin's Creed 3 will see a half Native American and half British Assassin known as Connor fight his way through the American Revolution.
Powered by Ubisoft's custom-built game engine Anvil Next Assassin's Creed 3 is unique in that it's able to create dynamic and living landscapes and then populate them with armies, townsfolk or wildlife on a scale that hasn't yet been seen.
Focusing around three main areas, the Frontier, Boston and New York the game features a dynamic weather system that is able to create random weather systems and also features a seasonal system that will see the entire game reproduced in snow for winter and then crystal clear greenery for summer.
Of course Ubisoft has saved its big guns for Connor and his ability to interact with the world, Anvil Next means that our new Assassin is capable of thousands of animations, all seamless, organic and totally in sync with the dynamic landscape around him.
Assassin's Creed 3: Features
New to Assassin's Creed is a bartering system, the introduction of wild animals and hunting means that Connor is able to sell pelts or possibly even use them to upgrade his weapons and clothing.
In keeping with the time period, armour has disappeared, instead Connor is blessed with a truly impressive arsenal consisting of a Tomahawk, dual-pistols, new and improved hidden blade, sword, bow and arrow and rope dart.
The last of these being the most visually impressive: Connor positioned on a branch can fire the rope dart at an enemy, then, throwing himself off the branch uses his own weight to lift the target high off the ground strangling them.
Stalking is a new form of hiding, and is key to interacting with the Frontier, by hiding in shrubbery and long grass Connor is able to hide himself. You'll also be able to use a new-and-improved cover system that allows for peering around corners, placing your back to the wall and more.
Assassin's Creed 3: Gameplay
The two gameplay demos we saw had Connor firstly fighting his way through a British outpost in the Frontier while the second mission had him traversing the rooftops of Boston.
Positioned as the most 'RPG'-style Assassin's Creed yet, Assasin's Creed 3 lets your pick and choose your side missions, with small towns, villages and outposts giving you the opportunity to potentially ignore the main storyline for as long as you want, building up your arsenal or indeed just gaining more funds.
In this instance we see Connor is after a British commander, by performing a small side-mission he's able to get the whereabouts of the target and heads on his way.
Heavy snow has you bogged down at times so during the winter it would seem the trees are the quickest way to travel, looking around we were able to see a British convoy in the distance while British troops went about their business on patrol, highlighting further the abilities of Anvil to allow NPC's their own backstories.
After dispatching several enemies at the front we see him move around the back of the camp, climb over the walls and in one swift move create a huge diversion by destroying their ammunition stores. This complete, Ubisoft then showcases what Connor is truly capable of.
While Ezio's style was more theatrical Connors is one of pure power, sprinting through the camp we watch him seamlessly take out a guard, steal a musket and then proceed to dispatch three more enemies without slowing down even slightly, finally throwing himself at the target.
This raw and ruthless style of combat is taken a step further in the Boston mission when we watch him use a decoy to attract a guard, finally bursting from around a corner and unleashing a volley of deadly blows.
Finally at the end of the mission we see Connor needs to access a restricted area. He calls what appears to be some reinforcements in the form of four British soldiers who surround him and give the other British soldiers the impression that Connor has been taken prisoner.
Let through the checkpoint, his compadres scatter leaving Connor to mop up all those unfortunate enough to be within a 5m radius of him and his target.
Assassin's Creed 3: Verdict:
It's hard to put into words just how much of a leap forward this game is from the previous Assassin's Creed titles. While still following the same principles that make up an AC game this feels like Ubisoft has created a next-generation game and by some form of wizardy, actually managed to persuade an Xbox 360 and PS3 to run it without spontaneously melting.
All that remains to be seen is if Ubisoft has created a storyline that can truly match the scale of the game environment and the characters it's created. Here's hoping it has.
Watch: New Assassin's Creed 3 trailers
Assassin's Creed 3 review
Assassin's Creed 3 reviewT3
Assassin’s Creed 3 is the single largest AC game. It’s been three years in the making and now finally the next Assassin has arrived. Here’s our verdict
Assassin's Creed 3 review
- Epic battles are breathtaking
- Combat is huge improvement
- Naval warfare
- Connor takes warming to
Assassin’s Creed 3 is the third and by far the largest instalment in the hugely popular franchise from Ubisoft. Continuing the story of Desmond, players will delve back n time to the American Revolution where they’ll take control of Connor, a half Native Indian, half British Assassin who demands answers and seeks to protect his people.
Well to start lets just say that Assassin’s Creed 3 is big, and we mean really big. It’s so gargantuan in size in fact that it makes your average Call of Duty campaign look like a side mission. However with scale comes the need to find perspective, and with Assassin’s Creed 3 reaching a verdict has been very much about seeing the perspective.
Assassins’s Creed 3 plot:
Don’t worry we won’t make your eyes bleed with spoilers, instead here are the basics: Assassin’s Creed 3 essentially follows the same principles set down by AC2: in order to tell a truly engaging story you need to know as much as possible about the main character and their past. Without spoiling the plot, they do this fantastically well.
In the present the Templars are closing fast, Desmond and co. are still on the run and are still looking to prevent the end of the world, so business as usual.
In the past things are a little more volatile. Set during the American Revolution the game is constantly overshadowed with the fact that just around the corner there is some huge battle raging on as the Templar-controlled British forces close in on the Patriots.
Let us be clear right now, this is not Templar vs Assassin, this is Templar vs Colonists. The Assassin’s have their own agenda and that is your focus. That’s not to say Ubisoft haven’t done their utmost to blur every line of allegiance there is.
In continuing the tradition of using famous faces to blur the line between reality and fiction you’ll find George Washington and Samuel Adams both making appearances in your quest.
Assassin’s Creed 3 gameplay:
Connor is the accumulation of all of Ubisoft’s experience with Altair, Ezio and Desmond in creating a character which both feels challenging to control but also retains the fluidity for which the series has become so well known.
Combat has also been given a serious work-around, and it may end up becoming a decision which divides people. Conner is noticeably harder to use in combat, the requirements to create combo moves and special kills have increased with speed and responsiveness being key.
Personally we see this as an invigorating change. Ezio had reached the point where we never truly felt we deserved the eye-wateringly impressive kill combos.
Weapons have also changed, don’t worry, the hidden blades are still there. Connor’s main weapon of choice is a Native Indian Tomahawk. Elsewhere there’s the bow and arrow, perfect for long-distance silent kills. The most inventive however has to be the rope dart. Stand atop a tree, fire the rope dart down and then leap off effectively hanging your poor target.
Finally, there’s venturing into the forests. This is the first Assassin’s Creed in which the main character can run through the trees. It’s an inventive way of moving around the massive expanses of the Frontier and Ubisoft have gone for the safer option of letting the game do most of the hard work.
Nintendo Wii U
Assassin’s Creed 3 features:
To aid you in your campaign you’re given a homestead, some land and the opportunity to recruit, workers, carpenters and artisans to help improve your homestead and begin turning it into a business.
Thanks again to the scale and the power of the new AnvilNext engine you’re not just given a house you’re essentially given your own special part of the frontier, port included.
The maps are as big as Ubisoft have claimed with Boston and New York both veritable playgrounds. Be warned however, the rooftops are no longer the safety net as troops are stationed on platforms with muskets ready to catch you unaware.
Initially we found this an irritating addition but on reflection it certainly forces you to think of alternatives to simply climbing up a building.
One of the most important changes to the game is the new addition of naval warfare. Connor can now take control of a ship and take on his enemies on the high-seas. The simple verdict on this is that it’s brilliant. The controls are simple enough leaving you to focus on wind direction, attacking and then avoiding the inevitable barrage of hot lead that follows.
Assassin’s Creed 3 Multiplayer:
Multiplayer for Assassin’s Creed has always been a favourite in the office, its inventive use of the game mechanics in creating multiplayer has worked brilliantly.
AC3 is no different, a notable addition that has been made is the surprisingly useful tutorial system in place to help you get started and then improve on the areas where you’re weakest.
Assassin’s Creed 3 Verdict:
At the beginning we pointed out that perspective was needed, and from reading thus far you’re probably wondering why, it all looks great. Well the one negative we do have is sadly Connor himself.
To a certain degree we can’t blame Ubisoft entirely, Ezio is probably one of the best game creations we’ve seen in the last 10 years becoming iconic to the point that he’s as recognisable as Master Chief.
Trying to top that is virtually impossible and Connor is unfortunately a victim of his predecessor’s success. He’s just not a person you aspire to emulate. Sure you’ll side with him, and start rooting for his cause but he’s missing the key USP that makes him different.
Luckily however the damage is actually pretty minimal because the game is so big, and the storyline is so immersive that in fact, you end up placing your own print on Connor, letting his actions do the talking instead.
With this in mind it’s hard to fault Assassin’s Creed 3 overall, in fact after just 5-10 hours of gameplay you’ll start wondering how Ubisoft will ever be able to top it. Yes it is that good.
Three years in the making, Assasin's Creed 3 is not just the biggest game in the series yet, but the most ambitious with hundreds of new features
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