The Assassin’s Creed franchise has its fair share of lovers and haters. From the very beginning, Altair’s escapades in Assassin’s Creed 1 divided opinion and since then the series of games and spinoffs have continued to split the market. You either love Assassin’s Creed or hate spaces itch very little room for a middle ground. Which unfortunately means that with the announcement, unveiling and release of every new game in the series comes with it equal measures of excitement and cynicism.
Some salivate at the prospect at yet more jumpy, divey, stealth death dealing fun, whereas others merely yawn at yet another milking of a franchise that’s been a disappointment from the start. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, there’s no denying that Assassin’s Creed III looks set to deliver the kind of experience that most have been waiting for since numero uno. Why? Well I’m about to tell you. Have you not read the title of this article?
Let’s get some of the more technical aspects of the game out of the way first. It doesn’t get anymore technical than game engines and Assassin’s Creed III will feature a vastly improved game engine compared to its predecessors. DON’T WORRY, I’m not going to bore you all to tears (any more than I already have) by going into minute details but let’s just say things sound incredibly exciting.
Assassin’s Creed III’s brand new AnvilNext game engine has been created specifically for the game and Assassin’s Creed 3 will be the very first game to feature it. Think of it as the game engine equivalent of a suit fitting only with code…. and it’s a game.
With AnvilNext Assassin’s Creed III will feature a weather cycling system, rendering of bigger crowds of people (we’re talking a good 2000 compared to the crowds of hundreds in previous Assassin’s Creed games), and improved graphics and AI. Most excitingly AnvilNext brings with it an adaptable world which changes over the course of time due to events in the game. Enemy settlements will change locations and the environments will change depending on the seasons and the weather, the American Frontier will be a wildly unpredictable yet stirring place in which to carry out your murderous tasks.
Bigger Is Better
Assassin’s Creed III may not only be the best game of the franchise but also the biggest. Its much talked about American setting lends itself perfectly to the more expansive, lush territories teased. Not quite open world, but not far off, the prospect of exploring the whole of Boston or New York as certainly got our juices flowing.
And with more expansive areas comes with it more things to do within those areas. After all, maundering through huge territories with nothing to do is boring right?
Hunting, skinning dead animals, waging wars across gigantic battlefields, sailing and sea battles (I’ll get onto them specifically later) have already been teased by Ubisoft and there are bound to be more surprises in store. Joining all the collecting, stalking, eavesdropping and killing you’ll be doing, there’ll be plenty to keep you occupied. The perfect antidote to some of the monotony previous games in the series have been criticised for.
Rewrite History… Again
One thing that’s always been interesting about the Assassin’s Creed series is its take on real historical figures and events. Thankfully Assassin’s Creed III continues the trend, steeping itself in yet another fictional take on genuine, real life history.
It may not be a new addition to the series or even a surprise to most but the potential involvement of events and personnel like the Boston Tea Party, George Washington and the fire of New York is incredibly intriguing. And that’s just the details we know about!
With the game set around the time of the American revolution, a time steeped in rich history, we wouldn’t be surprised to also see the inclusions of The Boston Massacre, The First Continental Congress, The Battles of Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Saratoga and Yorktown, and The Treaty of Paris all coming into play. For those that have no clue what I just said, use Google.com and do your research. It’s potentially full of mouth watering stuff.
Take To The Seas
As I mentioned previously in the piece, Assassins’s Creed III will feature a ton of new gameplay additions but the one that looks most impressive is the inclusion of naval battles. Simply put early trailers have made them look absolutely BADASS. And if that hasn’t sold you enough well.. congratulations, you’re not a moron. It’s ok to get excited by trailers but to rest your entire hopes and expectations on choice cut footage from developers is a dangerous game.
The REAL reason Assassin’s Creed III’s sea battles have the potential to be brilliant is that, aside from being epic in scale, there’s actually been some thought put into the gameplay. Hats off to Ubisoft as it would’ve been all too tempting and easy to simply tack it on with little effort but, if what it promised is delivered, they will have really pushed the boat out… excuse the pun.
Changing weather conditions, beautiful Caribbean environments, blistering cannon firing gameplay and on board melee scuffles flesh out what could essential be the game’s best feature.
A Foregone Conclusion
And as this article reaches its conclusion we look towards Assassin’s Creed III with the thought of the series finale in mind. Cynics would have you believe that Assassin’s Creed III will be the start of numerous spin-offs starring new assassin, Connor but signs from the series producers say otherwise with their continuous downplaying of potential sequels.
Which actually makes some sort of sense with the running story thread throughout all the games. Those that paying attention will know that Desmond’s story takes a turn for the worst (but also the most exciting) as he is faced with the task of halting the end of the world which will occur in 2012. How very current and exciting.
So could this actually be the end of the Assassin’s Creed series for now? With recent Ubisoft new IP Watchdogs unveiled recently the focus may have shifted. We’ll just have to wait and find out when Assassin’s Creed III is unleashed upon the masses.
-Kieran E. Roycroft