2,000 NPC’s filling out a single sequence. Over 1,000 animations tailored specifically for Connor, our new Native American protagonist. The latest trailer for Assassin’s Creed III imparts some scintillating details about Ubisoft’s AnvilNext technology – the proprietary game engine for the series’ next installment.
The engine’s goal, as the voiceover smoothly notes: “transporting you deep inside America… before it was ‘America.’ ”
Originally developed for Assassin’s Creed in 2007 under the moniker ‘Scimitar,’ and referred to simply as ‘Anvil’ for 2009’s radically improved Assassin’s Creed II, the overhauled AnvilNext engine is making its debut in Assassin’s Creed III. Ubisoft has waxed on several occasions about the benefits of the game’s three-year production cycle; think of AnvilNext as the all-encompassing example of what the team in Montreal has been able to create.
AnvilNext doesn’t just power the lavish scenery of Assassin’s Creed III, those sweeping forests of frosty pines or densely populated battlefields and cities – it also governs Connor’s movement and fluid animation, something the redesigned combat of the game has invested in heavily. It not only controls the AI sensibilities of colonial America’s diverse populace – it accounts for water and wind physics on the high seas in naval warfare, and directs all four seasons of fiercely dynamic weather.
Of course with the expansive skill set of AnvilNext, the usual superlative sentiments are echoed in the trailer, too: Connor is the “most detailed third-person action character ever created”; “seamless worlds” are rendered with near “infinite possibility.” We won’t be able to pass judgment until Assassin’s Creed III releases this October, but it’s hard to pinpoint an instance in which game has disappointed yet. (The title claimed our title of E3’s Best in Show this year, and even our hands-on preview at PAX East discovered a finely-tuned gameplay engine.)
Interestingly enough, the closing combat montage of the trailer also weaves in snippets of Connor fighting with Americans. It appears they die just the same. Whether Connor is shooting a colonial with a musket protruding out of another one’s sternum, or jumping over a boulder to perform a stealth assassination, the footage provides our first real glimpse of the protagonist’s personal independence. The once-implacable slant towards the American side of the cause tilts a little straighter.
Ranters, does Ubisoft’s AnvilNext engine look to be a revolutionary leap in gameplay technology? How do you want to see Assassin’s Creed III allow players to interact with its world?
Assassin’s Creed III is slated to release on October 30, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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