The in the meantime already fifth part of the massively popular Assassin’s Creed-series hit the bullseye. The elaborate story, the extra sidequests and the multiplayer are all proof of the fact that Ubisoft knows how to make a game.
The protagonist is the native American boy Ratonhaké:ton, better known as Connor, who witnessed the death of his mother, who died in the fire that destroyed their village. The one to blame for this is the British colonist Haytham, a Templar, who wants to steal the land of the native Americans. 9 years after the tragic death of his mother, Connor becomes a member of the Assassins with the help of an old man called Achilles, who lives in the woods between Boston and New York. Because Haytham is a Templar and Connor an Assassin, it’s obvious they want each other dead.
In terms of gameplay AC3 stays faithful to its predecessors by keeping the feeling and look of them. Connor runs, jumps, dives and fights almost the same as his ancestors, but the movements were made a little smoother. Under the surface there were of course a lot more improvements. The game now runs on the AnvilNext-engine instead of the Anvil-engine. With the new engine you can generate massive areas who change over time. This way you can add seasons and tell a story over a larger period of time. The engine also makes it possible to have more NPCs running around, so there can be huge battles with hundreds of NPCs, who were made smarter, too.
There have been some upgrades to your weapons arsenal as well. You now have a bow to kill enemies silently from a distance, a tomahawk to fight or kill silently, and some more gadgets like snares to hang enemies from trees. A fun addition to the game is the fact that you can occasionally take a break from the Civil War and go hunting for some skins, which you can sell to receive money so you can buy new weapons. The hunting can be made as complicated as you want. If you use traps and bait or not (if you just want to run after some animals), the choice is yours. In order to get better skins you will have to use less damaging weapons like the hidden blade. This will get you more money for the loot.
When you’ve completed the story and some sidequests, there isn’t much to do anymore, unfortunately. But here’s where the multiplayer comes in. The maps vary greatly in types of locations and weather circumstances, forcing you to use a different strategy on every map if you want to achieve high scores. In the beginning the multiplayer may seem confusing because of all the new stuff they put in, but once you get the hang of it, you’re lost for hours. On xbox 360 the multiplayer is on a second disc, due to the lack of a blue-ray reader, but on PS3 and PC everything comes on one disc.
Although Assassin’s Creed 3 isn’t as good as AC2, it’s still a very fun game with good graphics and gameplay. If you can overlook the slimy patriotism that emerges from time to time, this is a must-have for every Assassin’s Creed fan.
(available for xbox 360 (version tested), PS3 and PC)