Assassin’s Creed 3 Preview (PS3)

June 13, 2012Written by Alex Osborn

The Assassin’s Creed franchise has been growing stale ever since the release of annual spinoffs that expanded upon the story of the second proper installment. Both Brotherhood and Revelations built upon the journey of Ezio, and while the developers added in a few extra twists to keep the experience fresh, the games ultimately felt more like cash-ins rather than fully fledged sequels. Fortunately, Ubisoft has had a separate team completely dedicated to Assassin’s Creed 3 slaving away behind the scenes for the past several years, and let me assure you, this is the followup you’ve been waiting for.

Assassin’s Creed 3 plunges the player into the shoes of a completely new ancestor of Desmond’s who lived during the American Revolution. Connor is his name, and slaughtering foes with a tomahawk is his game. Instead of your typical arsenal of daggers and swords, players will be equipped with a bevy of new weapons including a musket and bow. As such, the strategy and flow of gameplay, while still reminiscent of prior titles, feels refreshingly new.

The drastic change in the environment is another thing that really helps in making AC3 stand out from prior entries. The game is set in the rural forests of New England, and wow does it look gorgeous. The team worked hard to make weather effects like snow really appear authentic. For those that may be concerned that sacrifices in gameplay were made in favor of this new setting have nothing to fear, as traversing along the branches of snow-laden trees is just as fluid as running along rooftops in prior games. Believe me, no compromises have been made here.

One particular section of the game that it would be a crime not to mention is the boating section, where Connor takes control of a massive ship in the midst of sea battle. As the roaring of cannon fire filled my eardrums, I couldn’t help but be emotionally immersed in what was going on. My heart began to race as embers from nearby explosions drifted toward the ship. Watching as these massive vessels crumbled and sunk beneath the weight of heavy fire brought my jaw to the floor. We haven’t seen anything like this in an Assassin’s Creed game before, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what other surprises are in store.

With all that we’ve seen of Assassin’s Creed 3 thus far, it’s hard to image how this game could possibly fail in delivering an amazing experience. There’s a lot of hype behind Ubisoft’s game right now, and from what I saw at E3 last week, I’m confident that AC3 will not only meet, but exceed the expectations of eager gamers dying to get their hands on this latest chapter is Desmond’s story. Simply put, October 30th can’t come soon enough.