PS3 Previews: Assassin's Creed III Preview

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Assassin's Creed III Preview

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Scheduled release date:

October 30, 2012




Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft Annecy

Number Of Players:




Release Date:

October 30, 2012

Assassin’s Creed is one of the most accomplished franchises this generation, providing players with realistic, highly atmospheric historical environments rich with detail. Early 16th century Italy was a pleasure for the senses, as one walked the streets of Rome, listening to the political criers, the shouts of shop owners, and the passing chatter of civilians going about their daily lives. In the new entry, we not only leave protagonist Ezio Auditore behind, we also adopt a brand new setting: Come this fall, we will explore the dynamic – and still quite young – American frontier. Got the spine chill? I do.

Set during the Revolutionary War, ACIII isn’t necessarily about the war for independence, although that event will of course paint the landscape with broad, war-themed strokes. This is the story of Connor, a young man who is half-Native American and half British; he grows up with the Mohawk tribe but after they’re wiped out, he knows action must be taken. Ubisoft hasn’t explained exactly how such an occurrence leads Connor into the ranks of the legendary Assassins, but we don’t need such spoilers now, right? Much better to find out for ourselves when we play.

Now, above, I mentioned that the protagonist has changed, which is both true and false. As fans of the franchise know, characters like Altair and Ezio are only ancestors of the real protagonist, Desmond, who exists in the current time. However, as we so rarely control Desmond, the main character title is typically ascribed to his ancestor assassins. We imagine the same will happen in ACIII, as Desmond returns but we’re mostly playing with Connor. The latter is quieter and more serious than the often cocky and undeniable ladies man that was Ezio.

As for gameplay, Connor comes equipped with a Tomahawk, bow and arrow, and musket. Some are suspicious of the new equipment, as the assassin’s trademark, the dual hidden blades, haven’t been seen. Are they still here…? We hope so but if not, we have to assume the stealth element remains, even if we have more fluid and explosive options when on offense. We have also heard that the counter system – the only truly effective way to deal with crowds of enemies in past entries – has been entirely overhauled. Connor’s foes will range widely, from human combatants to wild animals.

Therefore, you have to expect a well-rounded fighter, one that is equally at home in the shadows as he is facing down an armed opponent. The terrain will also play more of a role than ever before, as you will have the advantage when on higher ground (such a position may also affect your stealthy assassination abilities). Connor may indeed have to pick his way through pitched battles between the Americans and British, and remember, his alliances may shift as time goes on… He’s not really fighting for a side, as the developers have made clear.

Lastly, the sheer size and scope of the map ought to be impressive. They’re saying it’s about 1.5 times the size of Rome from Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and when I add 50% to what I vividly recall from Rome…yeah, I get goosebumps. However, just remember that we’re talking about a developing country and not a thriving Renaissance metropolis, so expect more in the way of “outdoorsy” environments. The only downside here is that I’m one of the few who always loved scaling crazy high structures in past titles; the sense of height was dizzying.

Not sure what I’d climb in this one, or even if those Viewpoints will return. But there’s no doubt that Assassin’s Creed III is high atop my priority list, as I believe it has every chance of being a strong contender for Game of the Year. We’re probably not getting Grand Theft Auto V or The Last Of Us in 2012 so right now, I’d say Bioshock Infinite and ACIII are 1-2 in the race for this year’s top dog. Let’s just hope Ubisoft wows the hell out of us!

4/3/2012 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (11 posts)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 @ 10:47:04 PM

Out of all the AC's so far, I'm definitely all in for this one the most, but I just hope I've got the money to get it on day one.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2012 @ 10:59:50 PM

That trailer was brutal. Hatchet to the stomach, and musket to the face. Ouch.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012 @ 4:35:21 AM

im really worried about what role desmond will play in this.
the whole confusion of AC3 being set around desmond finding the temples and stopping the apocalypse, and now its about him again jumping back into the animus when he already has everything he needs!
just feels like another stupid diversion so ubisoft has a excuse to prolong the series!
im REALLY starting to get sick of them milking the sh*t out of the series!
enough is enough, end the series then go onto another story ark if you have to!

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012 @ 5:44:18 AM

I hope they manage to pull this off, the trailer looks unbelievable, however, I'm not sure how I feel about the location, I agree with ben, I don't see how they can have any massive climbing elements to this game. I worry that it will feel more so like red dead redemption rather than an assassins creed title. I'm sire they'll pull it off though. In all honesty though, I think they should have used Japan instead of north America, that way they could have kept the whole climbing infrastructure and I think it would have fit into the whole story line a lot better (I.e. Ninjas/shinobi were assassins or mercenaries at the time). Not to mention the Europeans did go to Japan, but maybe the designers figured if there was a western location rather than European all the time, it would appeal more to western gamers? Who knows. Whatever comes out of this, I'm sure they will manage to pull this off, after all, all the other assassins creeds were brilliant, I doubt they'll fail on the final installment of the series.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012 @ 7:46:53 AM

This setting is so refreshing. Last AC game I played was AC2 and I platinumed it because I thought it was amazing.

Running through the woods, hunting and tracking men and animals, this sounds really awesome. I hope they touch on the Native American myths and legends of the forest, as they have a really fascinating culture.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012 @ 8:28:14 AM

"Some are suspicious of the new equipment, as the assassin’s trademark, the dual hidden blades, haven’t been seen. Are they still here…?"

in the new game informer they say they saw a demo of the game and that he used his hidden blade on a bear. to quote them

"Seeing Connor as a threat to its food, a nearby bear attacks, and a brief but furious melee ensues that ends with Connor's hidden blade deep in the bear's neck"

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012 @ 2:18:18 PM

Never played any AC games before. My question is, do u have to play all 4 AC games to understand the story?

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Thursday, April 05, 2012 @ 10:26:20 AM

No doubt it will be a fantastic game in and of itself. Even if you don't know the history of the previous games, that won't hurt your enjoyment of this game much. The main assassin character is wholly new, and therefore will be new to even veteran players, although the main assassins in the series have to some extent been in the memory of a character living in the present.
And the location of this game is so different from previous games so it will be very unique in that way.
However, given that it doesn't come out until October, you could do yourself a pleasure and get ready by playing through one or two of the previous games. You could likely get them all combined(except most recent Revelations)for less than $40 from bargain bins or secondhand. Or at least play AC 2 to get a real sense for the franchise.
Bottom line: don't let your never having played AC stop you from enjoying this awesome game, regardless of which game from the series you choose to play first. This is a lake which you at least have to dive into once.

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Thursday, April 05, 2012 @ 1:49:37 PM

thanks, I appreciate the comment.

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Thursday, April 05, 2012 @ 9:55:41 AM

I never imagined AC in a non-urban environment. Kudos to Abisoft for such an unexpected change of scenery.

An assassin with a Mohawk and a British ancestry. Amazing from a Montreal based game studio given that in Quebec (even of today) the English and the Mohawk are the two main protagonists to the Quebecois nation. If you aren't aware of recent Quebec/Mohawk confrontations, check out <a href="">Oka Crisis 1990</a>

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Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 3:27:59 AM

@Ben: you're forgetting about Resident Evil 6. That game could be the game of the year also.. AC3 and RE6 are my bets for this year's best game. ^_^

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