Saturday, April 14, 2012

Assassin's Creed III: Hands-Off First Impressions

For what it's worth, Assassin's Creed has become quite possibly my favorite series of this current generation. Between the AC series and Mass Effect, I feel as if I have been personally spoiled by the gaming Gods over the past 5 years. I simply can't get enough of the tight parkour action, mixed with incredibly well done alternative-history that Assassin's Creed provides in spades. I will admit to being a little burnt out across the "Ezio Trilogy" that recently wrapped up, though. That is why it was such a pleasure to see Assassin's Creed III, the 57th Assassin's Creed game, take such a thematic leap when it was unveiled earlier this year. We here at KGB got a chance to watch an exclusive preview of Assassin's Creed III at PAX East, and while short, the demo left me salivating.

The Assassin's Creed booth was one of the most heavily packed areas of the PAX East showfloor, and it's not hard to imagine why. People love stabbing guys in the face and throat. The new AC title looks to add to the already vicious repertoire of previous Assassins, albeit with a few new surprises. Including what is quite possibly the most savage Assassin weapon yet.

Taking place in the Mohawk Valley during the Revolutionary War, this new adventure opens up so many unique possibilities not before seen in previous journeys. The now-archaic military maneuvers and tactics provide plenty of chances for the new Assassin, Connor, to just murder dudes in delicious new ways. I've personally always been a big fan of this time in American history, not to mention the fact that most of the major battles took place not far from KGB HQ here in scenic Upstate New York.

Breathtaking scenery.

One of the first things players will notice about ACIII is the huge vistas, and battlefields populated with over 2500 NPCS at one time. Previous AC titles topped out at around 200-300 NPCS on screen at once, so these murderous war scenes are shocking when you first see them. The demo we saw found Connor weaving his way through American troops, on a mission to kill the Redcoat general, who is of course, a Templar. Connor took to the woods, weaving his way through brush and tree limbs in a superbly graceful manner.

The devs at Ubisoft have taken great care into making sure the climbable trees look and act just like the real thing, and their work has paid off. Connor's signature parkour moves look even more spectacular when divorced from the typical urban settings on previous Assassin's Creed titles. This leads to several new ways to take down your enemies, including that vicious new weapon I mentioned earlier: The Rope Dart.

This new tool allows Connor to stalk his victims from above, then launch the dart into their sternum. It's pretty fucking brutal when you see it. Connor then uses the enemies' weight as leverage to drop to ground level, in turn lynching the poor guy with the dart in his chest.

Up close, Connor has the advantage.

Once close in on his enemies, Connor becomes much more vicious and acrobatic than any of the previous assassins. The typical Revolutionary soldiers react with firing lines, which of course don't matter once the assassin is up in your face. Dodging the bayonets of the Redcoats, new weapons like the Tomahawk make quick work of the sorry English chaps. We were also assured the the signature Hidden Blades will still be featured in full force, so don't get worried.

Assassin's Creed III looks to be a major step forward for the series, and there's little doubt it will pull back AC fans who may have gotten burned out on too much time in Italy. I was so stoked I broke a personal rule of mine and signed up for a pre-order at the showfloor. Although, I DID get an awesome t-shirt. Which will be up on eBay soon. Keep an eye out.

Christopher Linendoll knows nothing is true, everything is permitted. He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.


  1. Not looking forward to this just like the CoD series i'm burnt out.

  2. I was very impressed, it will be a significant departure from the previous 4 games. The rope lynch execution is badass.

    The fact there is open countryside and winter snow effects, will be drastically different from the Mediterreanen area of the AC1 to Revelations.