Assassin’s Creed III Preview
It’s been a long journey so far with adventures in the Holy Land, Italy and Constantinople, but it’s not over yet. Assassin’s Creed 3 follows a new Assassin who goes by the name of Ratohnhaké:ton Connor who is half native American and half British. Set during the American Revolution, this adventure sees how Connor’s actions will benefit the Assassins in the future and what this means for their fight against the Templars.
The development team is comprised of members from the first two Assassin’s Creed games as well as the Prince of Persia games, and is promised to be the biggest Assassin’s Creed game yet. Spanning thirty years from 1753 to 1783 and taking place in New York, Boston and the frontier, Ubisoft have stated they wish for players to learn about the birth of America while enjoying a fantastic adventure that will follow the most interesting Assassin yet, equipped with all new weapons and abilities.
I’m sure when a lot of you heard Assassin’s Creed 3 was going to be set in the American Revolution the thought of guns being in the hands of every soldier didn’t sound like a very fun prospect. The good news is with muskets being the main choice of weapon amongst the soldiers, they take quite some time to reload after each shot, which will force the soldiers to fight hand to hand and allows Connor to fight them on equal grounds. Connor comes equipped with the standard Assassins Blade, a tomahawk, a bow and arrow, dual pistols and the rope dart. Unlike past Assassins, Connor can fight with both his Assassins Blade and tomahawk at the same time, allowing him to make quick work of large groups of soldiers. For moments when Connor needs to take out his enemies from a distance, silently and with precision, the bow and arrows is the perfect weapon. Connor is the first assassin to wield two pistols at once, which allow him to deal some serious damage at close range. The most exciting weapon however has to be the rope dart – a weapon made from a dagger with some rope tied to it. This weapon allows Connor to pull off some very interesting attacks, such as hanging enemies from trees or pulling them towards you in a ground fight.
The cities in Assassin’s Creed 3 – New York and Boston – have been beautifully crafted and feature a lot more interiors than the previous ones. The non-playable characters that populate these cities have also had vast improvements made to them, and instead of having hundreds of mindless people running around they will have their own jobs and tasks to fulfil. One example of this is a woman who is carrying a box of apples to her store and accidently trips dropping the box. Out of nowhere a thief runs out and grabs an apple from the poor woman, who is screaming for help, and it’s up to you whether or not you wish to help her. This makes the cities feel much more alive and not just a setting for you to complete missions in. As the cities aren’t as established as they are now, jumping from building to building is sometimes impossible because the gap is too large, but the remedy for this is using the trees that are all over the cities. Connor is an expert when it comes to climbing trees, meaning he can get to places guards simply can’t, which gives him a great advantage. The frontier, which is almost twice the size of Rome, is mostly made up of forests, allowing Connor to quickly traverse them and surprise both his enemies and the wildlife that live there.
The animals that live in the thick forests can be hunted for their meat, furs and other useful bits and pieces, but depending how you kill them will depend on the quality of the items. If you simply shoot an animal with a gun it will lessen the value of the spoils, so a clean kill with a dagger or your bow will result in greater rewards. Hunting on the ground however has its disadvantages as Connor is faced with a variety of obstacles not seen in the tree tops. The main problem is the large amounts of snow found in the frontier, which can be very deep in some parts. These deep parts will slow Connor’s speed and ability to fight, but at the same time will allow him to move quietly towards his enemies or hide in should the enemy be too strong. If the weather is foggy Connor will not be able see very far, and rainy weather may cause some smooth surfaces to be slippery and require caution to walk over. Trees are not the only thing Connor can climb as he is a seasoned rock climber, which grants Connor access to some of the highest places in the frontier.
Stepping away from the core gameplay, the Animus has also seen a major revamp and is now fully realised in 3D. The menu is now a lot more interactive and allows players to experience it a whole new way. Also, while playing the main game you will notice that the Animus leaks in more often and will show things like collectables, quest markers and areas that are out of bounds more prominently. The developers worked on making sure that there were lots of little details added to the game because this, in their minds, is what makes a quality game. Lots of research was done to make sure the characters you meet in the game are as historically correct as possible, and even their speeches are taken from the ones they gave at the time. A new addition is moving objects that can create new paths for Connor to take, such as wagons with leap of faith points and logs flowing down rivers to help you cross without getting wet. Connor can also slide under things as well as jump over them and it’s these kind of features that really show off all the hard work Ubisoft have put into the latest instalment of the series.
Assassin’s Creed 3 is scheduled for release on the 31st October this year.