E3 2012: Assassin’s Creed 3 Preview
The evolution of a revolution
by Nicholas Laborde
©2012 Nicholas Laborde
Many fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise called foul when instead of releasing the official third game in the franchise, Ubisoft came out with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and at that, only a year after Assassin’s Creed 2.
Then, in 2011, we received Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, a title that while not the best in the franchise, still pulled its own weight and served as a bridge into the next game.
Finally, we’re at the point in time where Assassin’s Creed 3 is announced, tangible, and will actually release this Fall.
It’s bursting at the seams with new content, and at E3 2012, we received a behind-closed-doors appointment for the game.
You’re an Assassin, Connor
Instead of doing any particular mission, we were walked through colonial Boston, circa 1773. Tension is high in the American Colonies, and they’re on the verge of what would eventually become the American Revolution.
One of the first things that we were shown was the new dynamic weather system, which includes snow and rain.
NPCs in general have received a major overhaul. Not only can they carry out more advanced routines like reacting to weather, but they now can move around individually, unlike the previous titles where they would be locked into groups of four.
As we were observing this, a moving cart filled with hay passed by. Connor swiftly jumped into it, and provided an example of yet another simple yet crucial new facet of Assassin’s Creed 3‘s improved gameplay: moving cover.
While in the cart, Connor stealth assassinated a British soldier, yanking him into the cart with nobody else seeming to notice. No longer will players need to find an obscure rooftop haven; now, all that needs to be located is a simple townsman with a cart!
A multitude of other changes come in both big and small forms: the player can now crouch low in bushes to avoid detection; two to three thousand enemies can be on-screen at once, which comes into play during events such as the Battle of Bunker Hill; some buildings have a “pass through” function, which enables Connor to run through a second-story window, for example, to escape pursuers or simply to get to the other side in a timely fashion.
It should be noted that you can’t actually stop inside of them though.
While their bigger purpose wasn’t really shown, I have no doubt that we’ll have some kind of side mission or random event involving getting a stolen pig back to someone.
Or, if the reason for their inclusion was to only have dogs for the purpose of allowing the player to pet them – an action that made me smile – I’m content regardless!
These random encounters are all different, and can happen at any time whilst moving throughout the game. We were shown one that involved rescuing a man from the town stockade.
Later in our demonstration, Connor approached a British checkpoint that was heavily guarded. Summoning his Assassins from the revamped feature, four of his minions appeared in formation around him, dressed as British troops.
Connor then put his hands behind his back and hung his head, posing as a prisoner. As they approached the checkpoint, the real soldiers backed away and mocked the “prisoner” as they proceeded through uneventfully.
One of the more intriguing new combat kills that Connor can perform involves grabbing the rifle of a soldier, stabbing it through their stomach, pulling the trigger and killing an enemy that’s behind the body.
Not only that, but if you target an enemy that’s located behind Connor, he’ll shoot over his shoulder.
As inconspicuous as the Assassin robes are, it’s a welcome addition to the gameplay and adds more to the stealth vibe.
Living in America…
The dynamic weather system makes the entire world feel alive, and with the addition of animals, the heightened intelligence of NPCs (such as being able to follow your footprints) and a plethora of new and creative weaponry, such as a dart that shoots into an enemy’s throat and can hang them on a branch, it’s irrefutable that Assassin’s Creed 3 will be the best in the series.
Multiplayer has also received a hefty makeover, but we didn’t get to see it yet.
Assassin’s Creed 3 releases on October 30, 2012 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Make sure to check out our preview on Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation on the PS Vita!
©2012 Nicholas Laborde
Filed under: Console gaming, Demo impressions, E3 2012, Events, Game Impressions, New Game Information, New Xbox 360 Games, PC News, PC Previews, PS3 News, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Game Previews, Xbox 360 News Tagged: | Assassin Creed, Assassin's Creed 3, Assassin's Creed 3 Preview, Assassin's Creed III, Assassin's Creed III preview, Ubisoft