Connor is one crazy predator. This half Native American/half British assassin has been trained in the arts of tree climbing, prey stalking and dual wielding. In motion, Assassin’s Creed III looks wonderful.
The demo video being shown off at PAX East this year is a combination of in-game footage and narration from Alex Hutchinson, creative director for the title. We pick up the action from Connor’s perspective at the onset of Bunker Hill, a famous battle during the Revolutionary War.
As a fan of Assassin’s Creed, the thing I wanted most from this new game is variety in setting and mechanics. I loved the franchise during II and Brotherhood; however, by the time we got to Revelations, I was tired of playing in the same geographic region for so long.
The Revolutionary War, and the grasslands and trees it offers up, look fantastic. Connor naturally moves amongst tree branches and around trunks in a way that suggests players are in an organic world. The assassin ducks into bushes, something that’s brand new to the game, and moves amongst soldiers with the type of ease that’s become characteristic of the franchise.
The demo video saw Connor make his way onto the battlefield. The new engine is capable of delivering between 2,000 and 2,500 characters on screen at once (that’s up from like 50). There was a real sense of drama and realism at work as Connor moved from one end of the battle to the other.
It was then that we were in the trees, organically climbing up to a perch above a small group of British soldiers. Connor dropped in and killed two. That’s when the rest of the Brits lined up and took aim with their muskets. Connor grabbed a human and made a shield. He waited for the group to fire and charged in, dual wielding. They died … quickly.
Connor then approached a cliff in order to get behind the British camp and at his target. Cliff faces look realistic, like the aforementioned trees, and there’s no sense of artificiality as Connor climbs.
The demo finishes up as Connor charges into a British camp of soldiers. He assassinates two men on the run (something that’s new to the game as well) and leaps into the throat of his target. That was it.
There was an ever-present sense of fluidity and motion at work during the entire video. Connor is fast and deadly, and that looks to spill over on all sides of this experience so far.
As more comes for Assassin’s Creed III, we’ll have it.