If there’s any game series that has risen to become my all-time favorite, it’s Assassin’s Creed. I was first drawn to the series by its open-world stealth-driven gameplay, but a large part of why I continue to love the series so much is also its storytelling. Since I loved the previous games so much, it shouldn’t be surprising that the upcoming Assassin’s Creed III is the game I’m looking forward to the most this fall. Here’s why it should be at the top of your list, as well.
With each numbered Assassin’s Creed title, Ubisoft shifts focus from one time period to another. So far, players have experienced the Crusades in Syria as the once-arrogant Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, and Renaissance Italy as Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a Florentine nobleman. With the latest installment, the developers are taking players to the American Revolution, a time of turmoil and discovery. For the new time period, Ubisoft has crafted a new hero to play as: Connor Kenway, a half-Mohawk, half-British native who fights not for the colonists or the Britains, but for the Assassins. This presents potential for intriguing character interaction, as he isn’t necessarily out to stop either side, but to stop the Templars, who lie in each side. As Connor fights against members of both factions of the war, he may make enemies of both sides, and potentially discover that his allies shouldn’t be trusted; likewise, people he believed were enemies may be more kind than he thought. In addition, Connor will have an internal conflict due to his split heritage; while he does feel compelled to drive out the outsiders, part of him is the outsider. Seeing him struggle with himself should be an interesting plot device, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out.
In addition to showing us a unique perspective on Colonial America, Assassin’s Creed III will conclude the story of Desmond Miles, the modern day protagonist of previous games. Going into specifics would require spoilers, but to say the least, a lot of different events are going to converge for the bartender-turned-Assassin and his allies, and as with previous games, the conclusion should be nothing less than mind-blowing.
As I stated before, Assassin’s Creed III will immerse players in the world of Colonial America– and when I say immerse, I mean immerse. Previous games in the series had an enormous amount of effort put into making sure the locations are as accurate as possible to the real things, and the colonies are no different. As players play the game, they will come across various cities – namely New York, Boston, and Philadelphia – that, unlike previous locations seen in the series, are barely developed. The colonies haven’t been around very long, and the cities reflect that in their size. They’re also more horizontal, with few buildings being very tall.
While the game’s urban areas are to be expected, Ubisoft is also allowing players to explore the wilderness, known in-game as the Frontier. In the Frontier, Connor will find calm rivers, vast plains, rocky mountains, lush forests, and even small settlements, all of which are fully navigable. Naturally, creatures roam the outdoors, and players will stumble across various wildlife while exploring. Near settlements, the amount of soldiers present increases, and throughout the Frontier, there may be small battles being fought over control of America. Adding to the game’s believability is the changing of the seasons; as time passes, the season will change from the bright and warm summer to the cold and snowy winter. Mix all these elements in with the returning day/night cycle, and you’ve got a world that not only looks real, but feels real.
While gameplay has generally always been fun in Assassin’s Creed, it has progressively become easier with each installment, as players can simply spam counterattacks to win fights. With Assassin’s Creed III, however, the developers are making sure that Connor will be challenged during his quest for justice. Enemies have smarter artificial intelligence now, and will react appropriately to many of Connor’s advances, making victory more of a challenge than it was in more recent titles. However, in exchange, players will have a wide variety of weapons at their disposal, the most advertised being the tomahawk, which can be wielded alongside a flintlock pistol to make battles more fast-paced and engaging. For players wanting to pick off their enemies silently from a distance, the game allows the use of a bow and arrow; for those wanting to stealthily kill their opponents up close, the famous hidden blades make a comeback.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Assassin’s Creed game without parkour elements, and this game has no shortage of them. As with previous titles, players will be able to climb buildings, run along rooftops, and jump from house to house in order to make their way to a target, or alternatively, to escape from alarmed soldiers. Unlike previous games, though, Connor will also be able to run through buildings to evade pursuers, and slide under wagons to keep his momentum going during a chase.
However, there aren’t very many buildings to run on in the Frontier, meaning that the best method of travel in the wilderness is by leaping from tree to tree. Aside from making navigation easier, this also gives Connor a chance to stealthily pick off enemies– namely prey. In Assassin’s Creed III, players will be able to hunt wildlife, such as wolves, bears, and deer, and obtain resources from them, ranging from hides to claws. These come into play in the game’s revamped economy system, and Connor will be able to sell them to earn money. Also returning from previous games are Assassin recruits and upgradable estates, though both are said to work differently than in the past. Regardless, all of these features ensure that players will not only have fun with the game, but they will also be having fun for quite a while.
The three above factors are my main reasons for being excited for Assassin’s Creed III. While any developer can claim to have a good story, lifelike locales, and great gameplay, Ubisoft has actually proven that they are capable of exceptionally providing all three things, and even more. Why are you excited for Assassin’s Creed III? Alternatively, why do you think the game could potentially be bad? Let us know your opinion in the comments section below.