Taking the series to a whole new level.
Assassin's Creed has become of the largest video game franchises of all time. Starting way back in 2007, players stepped into the historical boots of Altier. Since then, the series has grown and grown. From a successful sequel, along with two spin-offs, Brotherhood and Revelations. For the past two years though, excitement has been building for Assassin's Creed III. It's what we've all been waiting for, offering a true sequel to Assassin's Creed II. It's safe to say, Assassin's Creed III is a worthy sequel. It's the most ambitious one yet, but it's not quite a revolutionary.
Assassin's Creed III takes place in the 18th Century, during the American Revolution. You are introduced to a new protagonist, called Connor Kenway, who is half Native-American, half British. Compared to Etzio, Connor isn't very likeable. He's far more stubborn and lacks a sense of humour. Connor's upbringing plays a key role in AC3. You will experience his younger days, long before he becomes a ruthless assassin.Something that AC3 does differently to it's predecessors is make a stronger narrative. It starts of at a very slow pace, with you introduced to two main character. It takes around four to five hours before the game truly opens up.
When you are free to explore, the size of scale can be overwhelming. It's by far the biggest game in the series yet. There's lots to do, with three main areas to visit. Boston, New York and the Frontier. The Frontier is the largest area in the game. It's an area that still remained unclaimed and is filled with forests, hills and cliffs. Wildlife roam the land, and it looks visually stunning. There's hardly any buildings in sight, but Connor's free-running and climbing skills doesn't go unnoticed. Connor can climb almost every tree. This is great for sneaking up on enemies, aswell as hunting wildlife. Similar to Red Dead Redemption, AC3 allows you to hunt prey. You can set traps, sneak up on your prey, or simply run in for the kill. Hunting isn't needed, but skinning animals is great for early income. It's a nice little distraction, and you could easily spend hours exploring the terrain.
While the Frontier is filled with nothing but terrain and animals, Boston and New York is crowded with citizens and marching red coats. As you would expect, they are both filled with plenty of climbable structure. From view points, collectibles, and chests to unlock. Aswell as this, you can complete numerous side-quests. From assassinating targets, to liberating an area. Theres also the option to recruit assassins, allowing you to send them off and rule areas. It works similar to Brotherhood, but feels slightly inconsistent here.
The combat system in AC3 has been totally refined. Unlike it's predecessors, you no longer need to hold a button to lock on your target. Now, you simply press the appropriate button in time with your enemies attack. Timing it correctly will trigger some spectacular killing animations. They are bloody, brutal and feel completely satisfying every time. The combat system will feel familiar to anyone who played Batman: AC. They are very fluid and feel far less fiddly. The new regenerating health is also helpful, but it's only regained when not in combat.
For me, the Naval Battles are the biggest highlight. These are side-mission that can be triggered at a port. Taking you out into the ocean, you can manoeuvre your own ship. You have full control, from the steering, speed and weaponry. With a simple press, you can command your crew to fire and take cover. Battling it out with other ships is always a thrilling moment. It looks visually spectacular and can be very intense.
The game does have it's fair share of glitches. From animals and enemies disappearing on screen, to Connor getting stuck within the environment. These slight problems are nothing major. They only cropped up occasionally, and considering it's scale, it's easy to forgive it's slight hiccups.
Multiplayer also makes a return, featuring modes from Brotherhood. There's team objectives, like Domination, Manhunt and Artifact Assault. Wolf Pack Mode is brand new to the seires. This requires you to complete set objectives within a set time. The quicker you complete the objectives, the more time is added. It's a great new addition, and one of my personal favorites.
Assassins Creed III is certainly ambitious. It sets out to tell a strong story, immerse you into a large world, and offer lots of variety. It does feel inconsistent at times, but it does an excellent job in moving the series forward.