COLUMN: 'Assassin's Creed 3' is a killer game
After its initial announcement near the beginning of 2012, “Assassin’s Creed 3” has been the subject of extreme anticipation.
With the successes of earlier games, a storyline building up to a 2012 climax and the pressure of centering the game on the American Revolution without being one-sided, Ubisoft had a lot to handle. Thankfully, Ubisoft has once again delivered.
“Assassin’s Creed 3” is a phenomenal addition to the franchise with very few problems.
“Assassin’s Creed 3” takes place during two distinct points in history: December 21, 2012 and the French and Indian War/American Revolution. In the December 21, 2012 storyline, players are once again Desmond Miles, the protagonist through all the “Assassin’s Creed” games. Desmond must once again enter the Animus (a device that allows him to live the memories of his ancestors) and find the key to saving the world from imminent destruction.
Like the other games, “Assassin’s Creed 3” focuses on Desmond’s ancestor. This time around, Desmond’s ancestor is a half Native American, half British assassin named Connor. Like Altair and Ezio in the first two games, Connor is tasked with killing the Assassins’ sworn enemy: the Templars.
This is no easy feat. Connor is conflicted between his priority to protect his village and his mission to defeat the Templars. His enemies have planted themselves in places of power within both the Loyalists and the Patriots of the Revolution. Connor has personal ties with both sides. He constantly questions who can guarantee his village’s safety.
Connor sets himself apart from earlier protagonists. Regardless of his background and his profession, Connor was a character to whom I could relate. He’s as human as Ezio from “Assassin’s Creed 2” but with a unique personality. No one could have asked for a better character to pull the player into a living and breathing colonial America.
Ubisoft puts an extremely large amount of work into creating a vibrant recreation of the Revolution, and it shows. Historical figures such as Samuel Adams and George Washington are believably human rather than textbook. Changing seasons, unique landscapes and detailed environments immerse the player like never before. Natural wildlife and truly believable Artificial Intelligence create a real atmosphere and life to the game.
Ubisoft leaves no detail unnoticed. Historical events are
surprisingly accurate most of the time, even though Ubisoft does take a few (pardon the pun) liberties. Even the layout of towns such as Boston are mapped and designed street by street.
While “Assassin’s Creed 2” concentrated on adding in new elements, “Assassin’s Creed 3” focuses on fine-tuning the experience. If you’ve never played an “Assassin’s Creed” game, there is a lengthy learning curve. If you have, you’ll know the basic control scheme of “Assassin’s Creed 3.”
Ubisoft does a good job teaching both the old and new as you progress. At the same time, the learning curve itself can be a turn off to some.
Still, gameplay feels fresh. From sprinting and Parkour to combat and exploration, the controls no longer are complicated as they were in previous games. Small changes such as sprinting by holding one button and the analog stick instead of two buttons makes the experience that much more engaging. Kills are more brutal and creative than before. There are more weapons and strategies on how to use them.
“Assassin’s Creed 3” has done a fantastic job of taking all the older elements and making them practically perfect.
As for some of the new things introduced, that is a different story. Being able to buy materials to fix up your house might be fun to some, but it never really held an interest to me.
Also, “Assassin’s Creed 3” can be quite tough at times. There are a few points were you’ll find yourself replaying a mission 10 times just to get past it. Even though it doesn’t happen very often, it can get to the point of frustration. Regardless of these elements, they won’t pull the player out of the experience. While certain missions are challenging, they only make beating them that much more rewarding for the player.
There are many more things I could say about the new release. I could mention the plot’s memorable and jaw-dropping twists and turns. I could tell of the thrills I had of hunting Templars and Redcoats through the trees of the Frontier. I could share the satisfaction I got from the end of Connor’s journey.
I could, but I’m still playing the game. It really is that much fun. If you haven’t gotten it already, I recommend you do; you won’t regret it.
Kaylan Aksel is a film and media studies sophomore.