Preview: Assassin’s Creed III
With the highly anticipated release of Assassin’s Creed 3 creeping up on us within the next few months, Ubisoft kindly asked us at Push Start to come down for an exclusive presentation in order to outline the ins and outs, and to show us just how much 2 years of development can do to make AC3 the most innovative and dynamic title yet.
With all the noise going on about the recent flow of leaked images, one of the more popular topics has obviously revolved around the new face, seen gallantly taking on the role of the assassins. And as any fan would know, Ubisoft has always been intent on bringing their games to life by any means possible.
Our young protagonist this time around is a British-Native-American known locally as “Connor”… simple enough right? Well it seems that Connor’s past has been plagued with strife as his village was burned to the ground long ago and so is intent on finding justice no matter what. While still living by the age old Creed, Conner has been seen helping the Americans with the war and so it will be interesting to see where his allegiances truly lie later on.
As you may have guessed from all the wooden rifles and funny hats, Assassin’s Creed 3 is set during the American Revolution of the 1700′s. The United States is the home of our new hero who is amongst an array of historical characters such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, Charles Lee, and many more. Boasting an area a whopping 1.5 times bigger than ACB’s Rome, there are a number of diverse locations to explore such as New York, Boston and various others. One of the major areas new to Assassins’ Creed is “The Frontier”, a vast forest in which you’re free to run, leap, climb, and sneak your way around in. These bigger areas will no doubt contain a larger number of NPC’s, and so intelligently interact with Connor and eachother, effectively bringing a lot more realism into the game.
Ubisoft have stepped up a notch in terms of combat as Connor has a vast array of weapons to utilize such as his trusty hidden blade, tomahawk axe, bow, knife, rope dart, and a heap load more. And as firearms were the single biggest asset to both sides during the American Revolution, Connor has come equipped with a pair of his own medium range pistols which should prove quite handy in a tough spot… such as bear fighting… seriously.
The new weather system implemented gives you multiple perspectives on the game and each location you visit, as you travel through sun, rain, snow and fog. That said, the weather can also be a hindrance to your ability in battle such as fog or rain that make it harder to scan your surroundings and snow can slow you down, making the tree/rooftop approach a much safer bet. You’ll likely notice that Connor has a new combat style which is closely linked to his Native-American heritage but an important feature Ubisoft seem to have scrapped is the slow-mo combat. The reason behind this is to actively remove any form of sluggishness during battle, making each fight seem more fluid and fast paced, which really does make a difference.
A brand new (and well deserved) animation overhaul is a warm welcome, as Conner is able to go beyond the physical feats of his ancestors by swinging and jumping to and from trees, and traversing mighty cliff faces with some special help of pro rock climbers to give Conner as much realism as possible. The larger open cities have also been unable to hold Conner back as Ubisoft have strategically placed trees and other objects around each area in order for you to keep the pace when running through the city rooftops. Ubisoft have also nicely added the ability to interact with moving objects such as jumping into hay carts as well as using better cover and social stealth. You can now also hide within foliage and even use deceased soldiers as meat-shields, greatly heightening the effectiveness of your surroundings. Ubisoft have also worked on the animation the technology, but in CG tech aswell, as each cut-scene now uses alot more bones in the facial area such as around the eyes and mouth, which gives the animators a wider and more in depth range of options in terms of realistic facial expressions which does well to bring out the characters for who they are.
One of the biggest additions to the series is the introduction of a fully diverse creature system (no more lone eagles), filling the game with all sorts of furry so and so’s from playful canines to packs of wolves, and of course ferocious bears aswell. Fairly unique to his heritage, Connor also has the ability to skin animals to either sell or use for clothing. However, simply killing and skinning your prey only makes up a portion of the task as you must decide on your choice of attack, seeing as the wrong weapon will only reward you with an animal pelt full of holes or tears which is never a good thing, especially during those long winter nights.