It’s time for part nine, the one with the tomahawk, the almost overbearing number of ways to kill someone and the swinging from tree to tree, like a Revolutionary Spider-Man. Part nine, Assassin’s Creed 3!
Release date: October 30 (US), October 31 (Europe)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows PC, Wii U (that comes a bit later, though)
THE GOOD STUFF
The Assassin’s Creed franchise has gone through a fair bit of ups and downs – it started off as a rather humble (of sorts) Crusades-set sandbox brawler, and then burst into true public recognition with its superior Renaissance-set sequel. However, Brotherhood, still set in the Renaissance, struggled a little bit but redeemed itself with a huge open-world Rome, and Revelations was just Ubisoft digging their heels in to collect every last penny from their audience. But for AC3, they’ve ditched the Renaissance in favour of the American Revolution – it’s almost unrecognizable as an Assassin’s Creed game, except for the beefed up appearances of Desmond, and y’know, the killing, but it looks like it’ll be all the better for it.
The open world, a feature of Assassin’s Creed 3, will get a major upgrade this time as it shifts to exploration of the Frontier, complete with Redcoats for you to massacre whenever you want. Yes, that’s right, you can now kill pretty much everyone you see, so if Ezio’s no killing civilians policy didn’t satisfy your inner psycho, AC3 should be the perfect game for you! (I’m being sarcastic, but they are there, if you want to take your anger out on some slightly dim NPCs. And there’s the much-hyped hunting option, too, where you can hunt woodland animals (the Frontier’s rural forest, so it’s teeming with animals) for a hide – and how good your kill was reflects in the quality of hide you get. I just know I’ll end up with the worst hide possible. There’s also the entire eastern seabord, New York, and Boston for you to explore. Blimey.
It brings the trilogy of five games (Damn Ubisoft and their confusing numbering!) to an end. Nope, it won’t be the last Assassin’s Creed game – there’s infinite time periods that you can explore with AC, it’ll just be the last Assassin’s Creed game to feature Desmond and the end of the world in 2012 (Er…) plot. I doubt that many people are going to be sad to bid goodbye to Desmond – and it shows that Ubisoft are at least going to reinvent their franchise a little – it’s due a bit of reinvention after the faffing about of Revelations. Although they’re probably going to introduce another berk, ready to fall right back into Abstergo’s clutches. Woo hoo…
Multiplayer’s getting a upgrade too, with twelve different multiplayer modes, ranging from the traditional Domination and Capture the Flag modes to the brand new co-op mode, Wolf Pack. Wolf Pack lets 4 players team up to fight the hordes of assassination targets, called ‘Moles’. It’s old-school ‘fight the hordes in waves’ stuff, with 25 waves for you to complete, each one getting harder and harder. So, basically, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies but with assassination targets. I’m on board.
THE BAD STUFF
This is a bit of a controversial and touchy subject, so much that this point wasn’t going to even feature in this article. But, and this is a fault of the marketing, rather than that of the game, there’s a bit of a nasty streak running through the marketing campaign. Actually, the main offender is the live-action ‘Rise’ trailer, but there’s shades of it in other trailers (like the one above). Can you guess what this point is, yet? Yes, it’s the anti-British one. Now, I’m familiar with the history of the Revolution, enough to know that the British were, to simplify the Revolution a little, the bad guys. But, still, as developers who’ve tasked themselves to portray a realistic Revolution, it should be Ubisoft’s responsibility to show the game’s main themes. We’ve been promised that the new assassin, Connor, doesn’t take a side in the Revolution, and I believe that, but the marketing is all wrong.
All we’ve seen is British soldiers getting massacred left and right. And that’s just about okay, because you’ve got to have ‘bad guys’ in a game, and the British were in the wrong in the Revolution. But now, we have the ‘Rise’ live-action trailer, which you can see just below. It shows Americans (and after a few watches, I think it’s all Americans, in various states of peril, all because of the evil British. It basically shows a black-and-white, good vs evil portrayal of the Revolution. And it’s, to be honest, rubbish. I don’t like it, because a lot of people buy games because of the marketing. And if you’re buying Assassin’s Creed III for a good vs evil story, that’s not right.
Will it be good?
The marketing’s a pile of you-know-exactly-what, but despite that, I’m genuinely stoked for AC3, so yes.
Will it succeed?
It’s releasing alongside two juggernauts, but then again, Assassin’s Creed 3 is a juggernaut as well, so it should hold up pretty well against the might of what we’re still calling parts ten and eleven. It is an Assassin’s Creed game, after all.
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