Assassin's Creed III was one of the many Ubisoft games to turn a few heads at E3 this year. Skeptics weary of annual releases finally had their worries put to rest with the series getting a long overdue makeover after three years of prouncing around through Renaissance Italy with the starry-eyed Assassin Ezio. The series jumps forward several hundred years to the front lines of the American Revolution, hitting closer to home for us Yankees waiting for this series to finally Americanized.
Aside from an interesting new setting to gaming, the demo footage released from E3 shows off all three aspects of what Assassin's Creed is all about and how it has improved since we last saw it. First, the new assassin Connor Kenway leaps through branches and trees, showing off how the series has taken Ezio's urban acrobatics to the wilderness as Connor gracefully sneaks up upon a group of deer. He manages to kill one and takes his pelt after wrestling it from a pack of wolves. Stealth has always been a big part of Assassin's Creed, but now tangling with the elements appears to be a must as well.
However, RPG's also seem to be slowly leaking into Assassin's Creed as well, and not in a pleasant way as Connor hunted the poor deer for nothing more than a fetch quest. These quests have been present before in Assassin's Creed, but hardly so blatantly pulled from a World of Warcraft beginner quest. Hopefully these will be kept to a minimum. The wintry setting and idea of scattered soldier camps seems like a nice idea though.
After rummaging with his comrades, Connor takes off to find his target and shows off the graceful combat the Assassins have always been known for. A few new tricks and tools like a grappling hook used to hang a soldier from a tree, and a meat-shield ability is used to protect Connor from a firing line. Ubisoft obviously wants this to be historically accurate, American audiences used to these red-coat images in history books. Connor then takes to the cliff and finds a back entrance to the fortress, allowing easy access to his miserable target.
Assassin's Creed III was my game of show at E3 this year, and that's a huge shock being one of those aforementioned skeptics and having not played a game in the series since Assassin's Creed II. With the way things are looking, Ubisoft Montreal might actually just get this one right on the first try, and maybe we won't have to slog through three more years of Connor Kenway before Assassin's Creed IV.
Assassin's Creed III is set for a birthday release (Mom and Dad) of October 30th this year for Xbox360, Playstation 3, and PC. A Wii U version will also hit shelves at roughly the same time should an official date ever be given.
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