Assassin's Creed III: The Unstoppable Force
Release date 23 November 2012
Scattered amidst the rocks, shrubs and trees of Bunker Hill, the American colonists attempt to mount an attack against superior numbers. Their ranks lack discipline, as each soldier fires his wildly inaccurate musket at will, with no order or coordination amongst the troops. Cannon fire rains down from the heavens, forcing the rag tag rebels to dash for cover. It is here that an assassin seeks his prey - a British commander atop an opposing peak. The only thing in his way - thousands of patient, professional soldiers. The British keep their formation, enduring the inaccurate, infrequent shots from their foes as they load their muskets. They wait for the order to fire. A tense few seconds tick by as the trained army ready their weapons. Almost as a battle cry, the infantry is given order to fire from across the valley. The hillside lights up as hundreds if not thousands of firearms erupt, tearing into the American militia.
Still, the assassin moves forward with determination, mindful of the battlefield around him, yet determined to find his target. He knows that in this war, the life of one man can make a big difference, that thousands of troops look to orders from their officers. The assassin moves beyond the chaos, swinging from tree branches and scaling large boulders to ascend the knoll that hosts not only the troops waging battle, but their leaders as well. Atop the hill, the trained killer spots his target. The commander sits atop his horse, watching over the battlefield, but still guarded by at least a half dozen men.
The assassin is spotted, but he moves forward quickly, paying little attention to the British loading their muskets. They fire, but without overwhelming numbers, their inaccurate weaponry means little. Suddenly, he is amongst them, dispatching them with brutality and grace, an unstoppable force, determined to strike down his objective. In a matter of seconds, the soldiers have fallen, and the commander is alone, destined to meet the sharp end of a tomahawk.
Ubisoft isn't necessarily reinventing Assassin's Creed, but if a recent demonstration of the next installment in the series is any indication, it has spent the last several years determining how to make this transition to the American Revolutionary War more than a simple shift in time. If the final product can hit what the development team in Montreal is promising, this game is going to be something special.
Assassin's Creed III is unmistakably born of its franchise, but it contains a scope and energy that speaks volumes about its differences. True, this is still about a man pulled into a greater destiny, pushed into the Assassins' order, as if fate were calling all his life. The outfit looks familiar. A brotherhood will still be formed. Haystacks are still ideal hiding places. The high-tech Animus concept - and Desmond - still exist.
But then you're darting from tree to tree more effortlessly than any building you scaled in a previous Assassin's Creed game. You're watching thousands of soldiers battle each other, as you dart amongst the bloodshed. You realize the combat mechanics now allow for both defensive, countering play styles as well as more fluid, offensive styles that take the fight to the enemy. Or you're fighting a bear in the snowy frontier. That's right - a bear. Seeing all of this take place in an in-game setting is stunning, seemingly pushing this franchise to a new height.
Though Assassin's Creed certainly hit its stride in the past few years, each entry felt similar to the last. Despite seeing the full life of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the fact that three successive games starred the same character introduced a great sense of predictability to the series. Ubisoft is attempting to break that mold with the half-Native American, half-British man known as Connor. As in the case of Ezio, players will see Connor's youth transformed, as his village in Mohawk Valley is destroyed. Much of the game's story focuses on Connor's indoctrination into the Assassin's order, as he attempts to fight for his own beliefs in the midst of an iconic war.
Assassin's Creed creative director Alex Hutchinson describes Connor as a 'hard reversal' from Ezio, as the character is more quiet, earnest and good versus the more arrogant, showy nature of his predecessor. What's more interesting is that Connor's quest doesn't necessarily align him with American interests. Allies and foes are everywhere, meaning that sometimes he'll be taking on Templar elements rooted in British forces - and sometimes he'll be hunting down villainy hidden in the rebel forces. The differences are even evident in the way Connor moves, which is far more predatory and tense compared to Ezio and Altair. That also plays out through the aggressive, two-handed combat we saw on Bunker Hill.
Nature is not only a major setting of Assassin's Creed III, it also plays a critical role in gameplay. Fog, rain and snow can not only affect mobility but how crowds and enemies react to you. This will particularly play a role out on the frontier, where fierce winters lead to waist-deep snow - which definitely impairs Connor's ability to stalk his prey. Hutchinson stressed that the team wasn't just focusing on making a setting, but an environment that actually changes how players will interact with the game. This frontier, incidentally, will hold a considerable amount of the game's content spread across a region 1.5 times the size of Rome from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. That's not to say cities are completely absent - Boston and New York are both present - though their designs are very different from what we're used to in European settings.
Seeing Assassin's Creed III in action reinforces the impression that first reports and the debut trailer gave - this is absolutely the franchise we've come to know over the past several years, yet it's changing itself in a significant way, much like the leap made from ACI to ACII. The Assassin's Creed series has proven it has a lot to offer - but it definitely needed to shake things up, and find new material to explore within its basic framework. So far ACIII seems to be delivering precisely that. It remains to be seen how the game plays, and if all these promises actually make a difference, but watching Connor barrel through British forces like an unstoppable force certainly gives us hope. (from ign.com)
We offer several Editions andÂ Season Pass - DLC pack learn more about Season Pass
Assassin's Creed 3 Special Edition
One in-game Single Player Missions:
A Dangerous Secret: Fight against a secret that could jeopardise the funding of the revolution. In case of success, you'll be rewarded with an exclusive weapon: a Flintlock Musket.
Assassin's Creed 3 Deluxe Edition
Lost Mayan Ruins (single player mission)
Ghost Of War (single player mission)
A Dangerous Secret (single player mission)
Captain Aquilla (single player pack)
Colonial Assassin (single player pack)
The Sharpshooter (multiplayer pack)
The RedCoat (multiplayer pack)
George Washingtonâ€™s Notebook
Assassin's Creed III Season Pass: Gives you access to all five upcoming downloadable content packs which are slated for release within six months after launch. Deluxe Edition owners will get exclusive early access to the first downloadable content pack
The Benedict Arnold Missions:The exclusive four-mission are begins with a special request from General Washington in exposing a rumoured plot to overthrow West Point, a critical link in the defense of the Colonies against Great Britain. Across four missions, Connor will flush out Loyalist spies and work undercover for Benedict Arnold, culminating in a full-blown assault on West Point that Connor must halt at all costs. Benedict Arnold's secret plot to betray West Point and sabotage the American Revolution earned him the ultimate mark of infamy: a name that will forevermore be synonymous with deceit and treachery.
Lost Mayan Ruins
The Ghost War
A Dangerous Secret
Captain of the Aquila
The official Assassin's Creed III soundtrack (mp3 files)
George Washington's notebook (pdf file)