The developers at Ubisoft are obviously not averse to exaggeration when it comes to talk of Assassin’s Creed 3, and with good reason. All evidence supports the claim that the game will be the best and boldest in the Assassin’s Creed series so far, and the people making don’t care who knows it.
Previous videos have examined the changes to gameplay and combat, but the latest entry in the ‘Inside Assassin’s Creed 3’ series focuses on ‘America, By Land and Sea.’ Players won’t just be challenged to fight for American freedom (not to mention quell the Templar threat) in Revolution-era America’s largest ports, but into the trade routes that they keep thriving.
Any fan of Assassin’s Creed knows that half the fun of a new game is the chance to walk the streets of a historically-accurate city, be it Jerusalem, Rome or Constantinople. With Assassin’s Creed 3, the developers are turning to real-world blueprints and period photographs to generate a game world as accurate as possible. Some changes have been made to create versions of Boston and New York City that are large enough to offer compelling gameplay, but all the iconic locations (and presumably historical trivia in-game) are present.
The previous trailers confirmed that players would be taking Connor Kenway through real historical conflicts, like the Battle of the Chesapeake, and this trailer looks to offer the same dose of history on land. The Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre are both the stuff of an American History lesson, so if Ubisoft can grant players the opportunity to witness it firsthand, that’s the kind of educational gaming we can get behind. Obviously we can expect that Ubisoft has re-structured the historical events around the direct actions of the player, but then again…there’s no evidence that the Assassins and Templars weren’t behind the Boston Tea Party, is there?
Much time has been spent discussing the brand new AnvilNext Engine that will be giving the developers more tools to work with, and a large portion will be dedicated to bringing these iconic American cities to life, and not just in terms of people. When Ubisoft was explaining the time they’d spent on creating animal AI routines, it was assumed that the animals in question were going to be found in the American wilderness, able to be hunted to supply Connor with skins and supplies.
Wolves and bears will definitely be challenging the player’s survival skills, but a bustling urban center without a healthy dose of livestock and pets simply screams artificial. It seems that dogs, cats, pigs and other animals will be populating colonial American, each following their own unique programming. We got a chance to pick out a few animals in our E3 walkthrough of a surprisingly dynamic Boston, but it seems that was just the tip of the iceberg.
One of the biggest questions about the new American setting was how the beloved Cathedral and Tomb traversal puzzles would be kept as impressive in an admittedly less grandiose cityscape? The developers haven’t confirmed too much, but the traversal seen in the above video does tease some fairly challenging and visually impressive traversal in the wilderness sections of the game world. Could a major source of the collectible armor pieces be Native American puzzles and labyrinths? It would be an inspired way to use Connor’s Mohawk roots to again re-shape a franchise trope, so we’ll hope that’s the case. Nothing against Roman architecture or subterranean pits, but the chance to see pre-contact, Mohawk puzzles constructed out of wooden beams and the natural landscape might be worth the price alone.
When the changes and tweaks are listed one after another, with a heavier story and brand new mechanics and game modes, it’s easy to see what Ubisoft means when they say AC3 might as well be a new IP, not merely the culmination of a series-long story. But for those who feel like they’ve missed out on the story to date, there does seem to be enough fueling this chapter to actually make it capable of being a stand-alone adventure, fit for newcomers.
What that means for the chances of paying off a story that’s been four games in the making…remains to be seen.
So which aspects of AC3 are you most excited for? The story, or just the chance to see how much Ubisoft has improved the combat and traversal? Sound off in the comments.
Assassin’s Creed 3 will be released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 30, 2012. A PC release is scheduled for November 20, with a Wii U version also planned.
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