The Ninjabot

Assassin’s Creed III Review: AC3 Stalking Made Easy on Wii U

Posted on August 12, 2013 at 10:26 am by Justin Cavender

Assassin's Creed III

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III is an open world adventure set during the American Revolution. The player takes on the role of Connor, an assassin trying to stop the Templars from controlling our newly formed nation. Your journey spans across the New World, leaping from tree tops and hacking down the Red Coats with your tomahawk.

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. It wasn’t until around the three hour mark that I finally got to play as Connor, but that’s okay by me! Although AC3 practically lives off the build-up, it goes by quickly and concludes in a brillant finish. Welcome to Assassin’s Creed III!

Lots of Build Up

The game begins in present day with Desmond Miles jacking into the Animus, a device that allows him to relive the memories of his ancestors. I can honestly say I’ve never cared for Desmond or the present day tie-ins. It’s my fervent wish that Desmond be cut out of the story entirely so we can just focus on the period piece of Assassin’s Creed. Regardless of my short fuse when it comes to Desmond, the story begins in style with a night at the opera.

The player assumes the role of Haytham Kenway, an English nobleman and future leader of the Colonial Templars. Moments after you arrive at the Opera house, you’ll climb up the balconies, swing from ropes backstage, and slay some poor bastard watching the show in his box seats. Right away, I’m sold on AC3. A few cut scenes later, Haytham is on a boat headed for the New World, and the story is about to unfold.

As I said earlier, roughly three hours of gameplay passes before you get to play as Connor. I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t sad when I had to say goodbye to Haytham. Actually, I was never given the chance. Instead, you get a few more cut scenes, which allows time to move forward, and BAM! We’re now in control of Connor, the main character in this murderous colonial tale.

Assassin's Creed III Snow

Super Simple Gameplay Mechanics

AC3 has made several improvements to the overall gameplay mechanics, which may have made the game a little too easy. In previous AC titles, fighting multiple enemies was potentially problematic. The player would have to lock-on enemy targets to successfully cut them down. With AC3, players can take on several enemies at once, performing countless parries and deadly weapon combos, laying waste to any poor bastard in your way. Additionally, using the Wii U GamePad allows for swapping weapons on the fly, leading to fun and deadly finishers.

Free running has also been improved this time around. Simply press the ZR button and your character can breeze through any obstacle in your way. In previous installments, your character would stop dead in their tracks when faced with a barrier. In AC3, however, your character goes into hardcore parkour mode, leaping, climbing, and bouncing off anything in your path. This feature is by far my favorite new component to the franchise. I actually feel like a trained assassin able to reach my target, regardless of who or what stands in my way.

Gorgeous Graphics Ruined by the Animus

I can’t stress enough how amazing the graphics look in this game. The weather conditions and seasonal changes shine on the new Anvil Next game engine. Unfortunately, the Animus has a way of leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Points of interest—including characters, objects, and animals—will glow white with what looks like digital mapping. Whenever I see what can best be described as “connect the dots,” I’m immediately taken out of the story. Thus my reasoning for removing the present day tie-ins.

Countless load times seem to be an issue with this game as well. On more than one occasion, I had time to grab a snack and return to the game before the loading screen was finished. There are a few missions where a cut scene will end and I have to move my character 10 steps before another cut scene starts. This strikes me as a bit unnecessary, but not the end of the world.

Assassin's Creed III Tomahawk

Final Thoughts

Overall, Assassin’s Creed III provides an intriguing look at Colonial America. The use of historical characters such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin help to qualify the importance of this tale. The American Revolution is a fascinating subject and Ubisoft’s passion for storytelling makes for a grand adventure. I was impressed with the large-scale world, but the map on the Wii U GamePad was always displayed, pinpointing the exact route and locations of my enemies. This diminished any real challenge, as I prefer stalking my prey rather than having all my targets equipped with a Lojack. Either way, it’s not a deal breaker, and it certainly caters to less experienced gamer.

Presentation: 8.5

Gameplay: 8.5

Replay: 8

LEGACY SCORE: 8.3

This review is part of Geek Legacy’s Wii U WheelHouse campaign. Our goal is to provide insight into all the great games Nintendo’s Wii U has to offer.

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