Assassin’s Creed 3 is the latest instalment in Ubisoft’s hit franchise, finally bringing an end to the story of Desmond Miles. Spanning multiple decades and even generations, the game promises a lengthy gem experience that will keep gamers hooked for hours! Is this the concluding part gamers deserve?
Assassin’s Creed 3 throws players straight into things as they are immediately introduced to the game’s first playable character, Haytham. You are immediately thrown into the action with Haytham as you find yourself already working through an assassination assignment, which provides a nice change to the lengthy back story we received for Ezio in Assassin’s Creed 2. Now the confusing thing about Haytham is that he isn’t the game’s poster boy assassin seen across Ubisoft’s marketing, allowing for some interesting story progression and plot twists in the build up to you finally taking control of the game’s main assassin, Conor.
Conor makes for an interesting addition to the series. He is half British and half Native American, but has a Native American upbringing, which makes him a bit of a black and white character throughout the game, as he seemingly fails to evaluate the finer details of situations in the same way Ezio did. This is interesting as you are not just following Conor from his childhood with regards his age, but also through his maturity as his skill training actively shapes his personality. Past this Conor has a pretty unique skill set that really sets him aside from Altair, Ezio and even Haytham, as his appearance and toolset vastly differ.
Assassin’s Creed 3 introduces a range of new tools and weapons that can be used throughout the game. The tools you use as Conor inparticular can be split into two groups – Assassination and hunting. Whilst the game does a good job to hang on to its iconic hidden blade, it does an even better job building on this with new combat assets. Conor’s weapon of choice is his trusty Tomahawk, which really captures his Native American background. This background is further emphasised with his bowand arrow and rope darts, which allow you to stealthily take out enemies as you prowl cities and the game’s dynamic Frontier.
The frontier is where the game really comes to life, as you are presented with a vast forest of climbable trees and mountains as well as a series of explorable settlements. The here size of this area alone promises to capture players for hours, as every inch is littered with wide missions, collectables and of course, huntable animals. If anything it’s through the game’s hunting feature that the stealth part of Assassin’s Creed truly comes to life.
Hunting is a welcomed addition to Assassin’s Creed 3, providing an additional pass time for players. As previously mentioned, hunting in AC3 has allowed Ubisoft to introduce a range if hunting specific tools, such as rope traps and bait, as well as some stealthier assassination tools, such as Conor’s bow, a weapon which I guarantee will rapidly become a saving grace to most players. By hunting players are able to “skin” their prey to collect various furs and meats, which can in turn be traded for money. This certainly makes for a funner money making system than the game’s previous property and bank stance, as it keeps focus on the players stealthy assassination skills.
As previously mentioned, the game’s stealth system has received some noticeable enhancements. A combination of improved corner cover, bushes, and trees all provide players with additional places to hide whilst they track down their prey, which is great considering Conor is now not only tracking guards, by also the super aware wildlife of the frontier and homestead.
The homestead itself is your new base of operations. Much like the Villa in Brotherhood, the homestead provides a safe haven where you are tasked with controlling and Improving living conditions. As previously mentioned, the game’s bank system has now been removed, which in turn has allowed Ubisoft to invent some great new ways to bring people into your homeland in the form of “Homestead missions”. These missions are scattered throughout the game, and allow you to take a break from the main story progression to help random strangers, whether it be hunting their enemies, or saving them from a stream. Upon completing each task you find the Homestead improves with additional trading options and a higher population, all in all making for a much more entertaining side goal to the game.
In addition to the homestead missions, Ubisoft have introduced another new breakaway for players in the form of epic ship battles. In an ambitious move, Ubisoft introduced vast open water worlds to the Assassin’s Creed universe where players find themselves battling both seas and enemy ships to complete various maritime tasks. Did the ambition pay of? I’d say so. Ship gameplay is truly amazing. Not only does it set a clear divide between Assassin’s Creed 3 and the previous instalments, but it also introduces a fun new side to the game, which brings with it hours of ship specific gameplay for the player.
Even Desmond’s part in the game has received a vast improvement, as you are no longer restricted to a tiny virtual island and series of trippy test chambers. Desmond’s part in Assassin’s Creed 3 is probably best compared to that we saw in Brotherhood, as players are now free to leave the animus whenever they wish to explore the game’s temple, which in turn unlocks arrows cut scenes and back story about the mysterious figures from the past who have guided Desmond and his ancestors throughout the series. This is then built on through the story, as occasionally you are taken out into the open as Desmond as he hunts down “keys” to power the game’s temple. This part in particular is interesting, as you really get a feel for the mortality of Desmond whilst he fights without the Animus’s counter and health overlays.
All in all Assassin’s Creed 3 is the perfect finale to the Desmond saga, seamlessly combining narrative with gameplay to create an experience that will keep players hooked for hours. The side missions alone make for a meaty experience that promises to keep people hooked long past the main story’s duration. If anything, the only flaw the game has is its stretched out tutorial, which steadily speaks several sequences, however this can be looked past when you consider all of the innovation and gameplay mechanics that Ubisoft have had to fluidly include in the game.