Primed to impress after its Best-in-Show appearance at E3 2012, Assassin’s Creed III has made the jump to this week’s San Diego Comic-Con vaunting a brand new gameplay walkthrough video narrated by creative director Alex Hutchinson, and unfurling another set of screenshots – this time, for its newly announced 4-player co-op mode.
The powder keg of the American Revolution, Boston is one of the two playable “huge-city” locations in Assassin’s Creed III (the other being New York), in addition to the accessible rural settlement and wilderness environments comprising the game’s Frontier. E3 also saw the announcement of naval navigation, with Connor able to freely captain a ship along the colonial Eastern seaboard and engage Templars in a dedicated warship combat mode. (We’ve mentioned this game was big once or twice, haven’t we?)
We already know that the story of Assassin’s Creed III spans 30 years of Connor’s life, from 1753 to the end of the Revolution in 1783. Interestingly, the mission seen below finds him in Boston in 1773 – a full two years before the first battles of the war, including the Battle of Bunker Hill which has been shown off relentlessly by the developer so far.
Ostensibly, Connor is operating here to counteract the occupying British presence – but for what purpose? By whose orders? Under what pretense of the overarching Templar/Assassin narrative? The specific motivations of our half-Native American/half-European protagonist, though clearly slanted against the Crown, are still a crucial element to the game’s fiction that Ubisoft seems content to leave under wraps (along with Desmond’s role, which is still purportedly a large chunk of the game).
In any case, longtime fans of the series will be happy to see that stealth, deadly urban combat scenes, and the chases which ensue appear incredibly fine-tuned. It’s impressive to witness, not just the fluidity of traversal animations and the continuity of combat, but also the way contextual arrangements are used to govern action – the way Connor goes incognito against a stand of gardening tools, directly transitioning out as an enemy passes by and impaling him on said tool set; the way moving surfaces can be crossed over and interior openings crossed through; the way weapons are grabbed on the go and enemies flung over nearby objects and ledges. Players, at the very least, won’t be able to say they can’t approach combat with medley of options.
While the new gameplay walkthrough is, understandably, taking precedent during their Comic-Con push, Ubisoft wasn’t done shedding new light on Assassin’s Creed III. The developer imparted that 4 player co-op, revealed earlier this year, will appear in the newly announced “Wolf Pack” mode.
The screenshots above depict just few of the ways you and your friends can team up and eliminate contingents of enemy NPCs – nicknamed “Moles” – who will consist of 25 progressively stronger waves.
Ubisoft hasn’t divulged much on AC III’s entire multiplayer component just yet, but Assassin’s Creed: Revelations was an illustration of how online play is quickly becoming a stalwart fixture of the series. With everything still tied to the premise of a Templar-run simulation and development of the mode in the capable hands of Ubisoft Annecy, 4-player co-op might be yet another step forward in a game that, collectively, seems destined as the series’ largest leap to date.
Assassin’s Creed III releases on October 30, 2012 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. A Wii U release is expected shortly thereafter.
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