Assassin Creed 3 Wii U
Assassin Creed 3 Wii U
Assassin Creed series has transformed itself into a yearly blockbuster. Since number 2, a new Assassin Creed game has been released every year. Just like the Call of Duty games people will eventually going to get sick of the series. So does Assassin Creed 3 introduce anything new to reinvigorate the series? Is the game worth playing for long-time fans of the series? Well, the bottom line is that Assassin Creed 3 isn’t a dramatic revolution for the series but don’t be fooled it still is a fantastic game.
The biggest draw for old fans to invest in Assassin Creed 3 is the story. The Assassin Creed 3 continues the series lore of the war between the Assassins and Templars. The world is endangered and the only person who can save humanity is Desmond Miles. Just like with previous games Desmond primary mission is to enter the animus to search for clues behind the Templar war.
The biggest change in Assassin Creed 3 is the change in settings. If you were tired of the renaissance and Italy then Assassin Creed 3 is a breeze of fresh air. The game is set in young colonial America in the 18th century on the onset of the revolution. The British have overstayed their welcome and the American people want them out.
America is a nice backdrop for the narrative. New York and Boston are bustling in life – commoners freely walk the cities, riots can be spurred and annoying little children attempt to steal your stuff. America is a living and breathing world – dynamic and believable. The cities in Assassin creed 3 are grand in scale and the attention to detail is sublime. Ubisoft have mastered the craft of creating a lively world and are only second to Rockstar games.
At the start, the plot is a little convoluted. I kept asking myself who is this guy I am playing? Why I am I doing in America? Why am I killing this individual? Which side am I on, the British or the Americans? The trouble is that Assassin Creed 3 takes its time to explain itself. I mean a very long time. Things start to make sense around 4 hours into the campaign, when you consider that the games is approximately 13 hours long, that’s a third of the game lost in an unclear plot.
Thankfully when you begin to play with the main protagonist, Connor, Assassin Creed 3 really starts to hit its stride. Connor is a Native American Assassin with the mission to protect the land of his people and liberate the Americans from tyranny. Although Connor does not have the same charisma and charm of Ezio, his dedication to the cause will eventually win over your heart. Unfortunate he does fall into the cliché of the naïve and arrogant hero.
Oddly enough the American Revolution plays second fiddle in Assassin Creed 3. Initially, I thought the revolution war would have a bigger role on the plot. As it turns out the War is there to provide context, the real drive to play on – is to see whether the assassins defeat the Templars. Ubisoft had a fantastic setting but underused it, I call it like I see it, Ubisoft wasted Assassin Creed 3 potential. For instance, Connor is forced into a large scale battle between the Red Coats and Patriots. You would expect to join the battle, but instead you are told to run away from the battle and focus on killing the Templar. There is a huge battle underway, I’m itching to kill a whole platoon, but told to run from the battle to kill some general. Infuriating right?
If you have played one Assassin Creed game then you have played them all. Number 3 will instantly feel familiar to returning fans. All the shenanigans of an assassin’s life return. You name it- climbing on buildings, stabbing folks in the back and of course jumping from the sky into haystacks. Humble is the life of an assassin.
The main story has a quite a bit of variety. It does a great job from preventing assassination in becoming a chore. One moment you will be commanding a platoon to defend a bridge the next you could be planning your escape from prison. Each sequence rarely feels the same. The game will have you on your toes from start to finish.
My favourite sequence is the assassination of Church. There is a touching moment when Connor and Haytham cooperate. Enemies helping each other – who would have thought? This sequence is ended with a fantastic naval chase.
One of my primary issues with Assassins Creed 3 is the lack of freedom in assassination. Unfortunately Assassin Creed 3 foregoes freedom for scripted events – a trend that is common in the game industry. The main targets are served on a plate for you. Literally, Ubisoft said here is your target in a large platter, “whistle” go kill him. What happened to the freedom in the first game? The exhilaration of planning the kill, the commiseration of a failed attempt and the satisfaction of a well-planned assassination – where did that go? The brutality and satisfaction of a well-earned kill is sorely missed in Assassin Creed 3.
The best new addition to Assassin Creed is the naval battles. I was sceptical about Naval warfare – in the trailer, it looked clunky. Thankfully I was wrong. Destroying ships is fun. There is no other way to describe it. The ship behaves the way it should. Difficult to control in high speeds and easy to manoeuvre when the sails are down. Skirmishes become intense when you need to destroy multiple frigates. Line your ship, and then fire away! The Naval battles can be a game on their own. That’s how good they are.
The most advertise new feature of Assassin Creed 3 is the ability to traverse the tree tops. It’s not what you expect but climbing and jumping to tree feels a little artificial. The design of the tree and the makeup of the forest are contrived. It feels like a construct rather than a natural environment. However my biggest issue is that Assassin Creed 3 does not utilize this mechanic in any meaningful. I would have loved for an entire sequence that revolves around this mechanic. Imagine tracking your target on at the tree top then unexpectedly pounce on him from above. So many possibilities, so much wasted potential.
It took me approximately 13 hours to finish the main story. Done with the campaign? There is still a lot to do in America. There are numerous side-quests to complete and collectables to find. How much game time you get out of Assassin Creed 3, depends on how much time you are willing to invest.
In terms of Wii U only features – the gamepad is used in standards ways. Firstly, like most of the Wii U launch titles the second screen acts as a hub for your mini map. However I love remote play. In fact I played most of the game on the gamepad screen alone. I found the picture to be a little crisper on the second screen.
Assassin Creed 3 does a lot of things right. Fantastic Story! Excellent set-pieces! Believable world! It’s everything you want in a game. It is unfortunate there is a lot of potential wasted. It is more unfortunate that Assassin Creed 3 isn’t a revolution for the series. Nevertheless Assassin Creed 3 is a great game – worthy enough to hop into the animus one more time.