Assassins Creed III moves us past the three Ezio-based games that started with Assassin's Creed II, bringing gamers to a different location and with a different character who has us intrigued to check out the next edition of Ubisoft's famed series.
The character in question is a Native American assassin by the name of Connor, a man who’s just as handy with a hatchet as he is climbing around trees and using an enemy’s techniques to his advantage when it comes to dispatching of them.
Instead of revisiting classy overseas cities, you’re now settled in the American Revolution visiting the likes of Boston and New York as you clash with the red coats and do favors for the likes of General Lee, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
We’ve seen a good chunk of in-game footage from Assassins Creed III thus far, and it has left us highly impressed. First off, Ubisoft Montreal has done its homework by studying the locales of the American Revolution and how both interiors and exteriors will look. From straying through snow-covered forests to running through the home of villagers, every ounce of detail really pours out onto the screen as if you’re really there reliving history in the mid-1700’s.
Connor is quite a nimble character, as he’s able to move around tree branches just as swiftly as Altair and Ezio covered rooftops. Furthermore, when the snow on the ground is really deep, he’ll stop sprinting and actually work his way through it rather carefully, watching his step as he moves closer to his desired target. This is probably one of the richest visual experiences we’ve seen in a Ubisoft game in some time.
Ubisoft hasn’t forgotten what makes the game really work – stepping into the shoes of an assassin and just feeling like a killer. The gameplay remains one of the most engaging parts of Assassins Creed III, from carefully letting a caravan pass by and jumping on the guards in the back, to taking advantage of a soldier and turning his own musket against him, blasting off a good chunk of his neck in the process. At one point, you even get to test your killing wares out on a bear, who comes charging at you and forces you to use a weapon to finish him off. The game certainly has its challenges, especially during one mission, where you have to work your way through a battlefield, eventually climbing up the side of a small mountain to reach a camp, then fighting your way through and making a huge lunge for your target, before anyone can interfere.
Stealth remains an important factor in Assassins Creed III, so it’s important that you have patience when it comes to tracking your targets, essentially formulating a plan where you pick off someone’s guardians before moving in for the kill. What’s more, as in past games, you can jump into places for hiding, such as behind a tree or in a nearby pile of hay – say, that sounds familiar…
Along with a single player campaign that spans several hours of play and tells more about the events that unfold for both Connor and Desmond, Ubisoft is also planning to include multiplayer once again. However, with a new location, we’re interested in seeing what ideas could be hatched up this time around, and how much of it would be the same as what we saw in Brotherhood and Revelations. We’re sure to find out more at E3.
With unequaled visuals, strong voice acting (from what we’ve heard so far) and a pleasurable mix of stealth and action, Assassins Creed III is just the fresh start the series needs to become something great again. Look for it to release this October.
Get our official strategy guide for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood!