Enter Connor and his amazing tomahawk.
As much as we’ve got used to Ezio and his jaunts around Europe, a change of scenery is nice. So, we’re off to America with the new main character, Connor. On the evidence of what we played, Assassin’s Creed III is shaping up to be a very strong entry into the series.
There were two different demos on show at the Expo. There was a classic Assassin’s Creed style section, which involves you sneaking around a prison, then there’s the naval warfare section. The first thing to notice about Connor is that he seems more fleet footed and manoeuverable than Ezio. He runs up crates and jumps to higher ledges with great ease. The setting was a wooden prison with a smelter in the middle, and it looked pretty dark and gloomy. You had to make sure you weren’t discovered by the English guards, often spouting “Oi, mate, what are you doin’ ‘ere?”. Oddly, I wasn’t caught in areas where I probably should have been seen, so there is a little bit of a problem with the AI’s sight occasionally, but it did make things a little easier. But it still plays like classic Assassin’s Creed, with you sneaking around and hiding in hay. You can whistle to get a guard’s attention and then pull them into the hay to kill them. Classic fun.
The new naval warfare part of the game is quite fully featured and enjoyable and gives you full 360 control of the ship, as well as being able to change the state of your sail to alter the speed of the ship. There’s also a nice variety of cannon shots you can fire, from the standard cannonball to a flaming one and a cluster attack, which sends a series of smaller projectiles at the enemy. In order to break the masts of enemy ships, you have to use a chain shot which consists of two cannonballs chained together. It’s a little clunky, as the boats perhaps don’t turn as quickly as you might like, but then, ships that size don’t turn on the spot. The ocean effects looked good though, and it was generally good fun.
All in all, Assassin’ Creed III is shaping up to be a fine game. There didn’t appear to be anything new in the standard gameplay, apart from Connor generally being noticeably less cumbersome than Ezio. The naval warfare part of the game is looking pretty solid too. If you’re still hankering for some assassination, then this should satisfy you needs.
Assassin’s Creed is out on PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 30th (NA) and 31st (EU), for PC on November 20th (NA) and 23rd (EU) and on WiiU on November 18th (NA) and 30th (EU)