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EARLY PREVIEW: Assassin's Creed 3 (2012, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U)

Friday, 2 March 2012

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Assassin's Creed III (aka Assassin's Creed 3) is coming out this year, likely Tuesday 30th of October 2012. Rumor tells that the game will be released on PC, Playstation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360. Counting from this day the game's been on development for three full years, according to the developer of the game Ubisoft. The franchise has been fairly well received among gamers and critics likewise - being multi-platformer for Computer and Consoles, relying on fluid controls, sneaking, assassination, and almost Tomb Rider-like acrobatics with movement, of course taken further technically. Assassin's Creed franchise have had rather decent sneaking system and computer AI, making the gameplay challenging, yet playing an assassin has also been simplified enough to please wider audience.

Personally I owned Assassin's Creed I and II, of which both I played quite far. However lack of interesting events outside cities and fluid but slightly simple assassination gameplay combined with Tomb Rider like acrobatics started to feel bit repetitive over time, with only large scale of the game, open world, and treasure hunting kept me going along the story. I hope that Ubisoft has managed to make the events of the game even more varying, especially outside cities - and I truly wish they will make effort on this area instead of better than before cutscenes, which are of course nice, but in my opinion the gameplay should be main area to focus for Ubisoft team.

The first details have been leaking out by american gaming magazine Game Informer, along the screenshots, and we're going to take a look to the most interesting details with the screens of course. What does Ubisoft promise with the upcoming title? If you're curious, read on!

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The Story

The game takes place in times of American Revolution, starring a half English, half native American protagonist in New York and Boston between the years of 1753 and 1783. The game presents a new hero, a man named Connor/Ratohnhake:ton, who has english father and native american mother. You will experience the childhood of Connor on the American "Frontier", as they call the place, raised by Mohawk (What happened to the original father?). The Mohawk will eventually get in trouble with colonists, who take action to burn down village of the Mohawk's tribe. These events make Connor step up against tyranny and injustice. This setting sounds perhaps the most interesting Assassins's Creed story setting yet for my ears.

The game will feature some historical big characters, which states that the game is indeed loosely based on historical events. Tasks of the every each character isn't known yet, but here's something we do know: Interacting with George Washington is important part of the game, and is to be one of the core relationships between the hero, and the others. Assassin's Creed III will also feature Benjamin Franklin and Charles Lee, whom roles we do not know better at this time. The game doesn't present the gameworld and it's different factions in black-and-white fashion. Not all the colonist are presented as good people, nor are the whole british cast seen as evil oppressors. Player will have to find out who's up to what. And probably as obvious as it is, the game will feature also the french and native americans, who all have their own part in the story.

One example of game events is presented such as seeing "The Great Fire of New York" - as you travel to Valley Forge, while it's being occupied by Washington's soldiers. You'll visit these place at the time they were important, and hopefully will experience the reason why these places are widely known today. While Assassin's Creed III presents many events related to above mentioned things, the story's main focus will be - and still is - the battle between Assassin's and Templars, and Connor's journey. Modern day part of the story will relate to New York events at the end of Revelations.

Technically the game's story will feature two and half hours of character scenes, fully voice acted. Ubisoft's also aiming to historical accuracy more than ever, and they have hired historical dialog consultants, and actual native american actors to do the job.

The Combat And Movement

The combat and movement will feature some changes to the previous. "Full synchronization" will make return with some tweaks. Movement has been improved letting you now leap over wagons or slide under different obstacles. Connor can also jump through windows to trees, and over to roof top from there. The sprinting system has been refined whereas you can now hold the button to make an instant fleeing from middle of the fight. You can also take people down while on move, meaning you can chase targets down. The amount of "platforming levels" has been promised to be increased, and there will be new puzzles. Whether this is good or not, you decide.

Connor enters battle with two different weapons, and the game uses same controls in and out of the battle. These two weapons are "Tomahawk" and "Knife", which are constantly present in battles. Having the two weapons will let you do multiple takedowns and chain-kills. Along these there are lots of secondary attacks, like a pistol shot. The new dynamic camera is promised to make the battles look as cinematic as possible. The "target locking" is also gone, meaning the game automatically detects your target - in addition to Counter/Defense actions being under the same button to prevent turtling. Using human shields is also possible. Ubisoft has put huge basis on constant moving in the battle, as well as emphasizing reactions and speed. Maximum size of the combatants within one battle is not upgraded from previous ~hundred to couple of thousands - meaning largest battles, well they will be huge! As it stands, Connor's gear is upgradeable during the game, as it certainly should be.

The Gameworld

The gameworld generally will feature more of things than before. But there are also some rather big changes. Assassin's Creed III will use new version of "Anvil Engine", that can present thousands of soldiers to take part in one large battle at the time. Ubisoft states that if Anvil engine used version number, and the previous would had been 1.0, then the new version would be equal to 2.0.

The game area presented within the new game will be called as "The Frontier", which is supposed to be around 1.5 times bigger than entire map of "The Brotherhood". Due this, Assassin's Creed III will also feature fast travel system. There will be lots of different terrain types, but they are not brought to public yet, as which types the game will exactly feature. Ubisoft has promised to make "The Frontier" - the wilderness outside major cities - more full of events than before. The wilderness should cover a third of the game's mission and gameplay content. If this is true, then it should be big improvement. As for wilderness, you can also hunt animals there for resources, and the killing style affects to your reward for your hunt. For example killing a bear with one hit will grant you more valuable pelt than hitting it ten times before managing to take it down. Another major thing is new usage of trees, cliffs, and ledges. You can now climb on trees and cliffs, giving you new tactical options with traversing and combat. The cities will feature much more subtle details in terms of different events that might occur.

One cool things about Assassin's Creed III's world is, that it has a sense of time and seasons. The world will change as time passes, meaning that for example a fields where large battle took place months earlier, might be just empty encampment later on. The game does also present, as mentioned above, "seasons". Both cities and wilderness will present unique settings for Summer and Winter season. This will have other than only superficial eye candy effects - meaning it has affection to the gameplay itself. In winter, soldiers will stumble in snow moving slower, giving Connor advantage as he can still move swift in trees and terrain. In winter leaks and rivers will also freeze, giving you perhaps a new pass to area unreachable before.

The gameworld will have factions seperate from the game's main story. Not all of them are known yet, but factions work in such way, that when you take certain action that's in context with the faction, they will contact you. For example if you hunt a lot, you will get an invitation to hunting faction, who will then give you new faction specific missions. Aligned groups have been removed as whole, but are to be replaced by new and different ones. New notoriety system is presented, which is more hidden this time, and doesn't penalize the player for exploring risky areas. Some goods are based on economy of the game world, along with new property system. The new Animus database is also presented, known as animus 3.0, which may tell something to the ones that have played the franchise in the past.

Ubisoft promises some nice additions to refine Assassin's Creed franchise, while the game may retain similar to the past at it's core. American revolution as a setting is quite interesting one, large battles, improved wilderness, factions and seasons sound also promising, while the other changes will be most likely less major. The game has been in development longest in the franchise since Assassin's Creed 1, and has twice the work hours used, and twice the budged compared to "Revelations". Ubisoft states that the first version of the game will be ready within a few weeks, after which they will be refining the game quite long time, ever untill the release date. Question is, will Ubisoft deliver?

Pre-Order from PC | Xbox 360 | Ps3

("Can't rain all the time")

(Did you ever want to be a Tarzan in Assassin's Creed?)


  1. It is very much action adventure video game. The best thing about the game is that you will have to carry out the assassination.

  2. This game is very pretty! Seems like a mix of Jeus Ex in a kind of Biosonic setting. Going to keep an eye on it! This might be a game I'll buy. Looks very interesting Best Xbox 360 games 2012