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On this land, I am torn. Part of me wants to fight and repel all outsiders. The other part of me is the outsider. In the name of liberty, I will fight the enemy regardless of their allegiance. While men of courage write history of this day, the future of our land depends on those who are truly free.

—Ratonhnhaké:ton, Assassin's Creed III Gameplay Trailer.

Assassin's Creed III
Assassin's Creed III Game Cover
Developer(s) Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Designer(s) Steven Masters
Writer(s) Corey May
Matt Turner
Composer(s) Lorne Balfe
Series Assassin's Creed
Engine AnvilNext with Havok physics
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Wii U
Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
  • NA October 30, 2012
  • EU October 31, 2012
Wii U
  • NA November 18, 2012
  • EU November 30, 2012
Microsoft Windows
  • NA November 20, 2012
  • EU November 23, 2012
Genre(s) Action-adventure, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media Optical disc, download

Assassin's Creed III is a 2012 sandbox style action-adventure video game that is developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the fifth main title in the Assassin's Creed series, and is a direct sequel to Assassin's Creed: Revelations. The game tells the stories of Haytham Kenway and Ratonhnhaké:ton, ranging from the years 1754 to 1783, and concludes the story of their descendant Desmond Miles.

Assassin's Creed III was released on October 30 in the United States for the Xbox 360 and PS3 and 31 October in Europe and Australia, while the PC version was released on 20 November for the United States and 23 November in Europe.[1][2] The game was also released for the Wii U in North America on 18 November.[3]

On 28 February 2013, Ubisoft announced the game's sequel titled Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. It was released on 29 October 2013.[4]

GameplayEdit

Assassin's Creed III is a third-person action-adventure title set in an open world in which the player uses a combination of stealth, parkour, and combat to complete various missions. The player takes the role of three characters during the course of the game. The main character is Desmond Miles, a 21st-century Assassin, working to uncover the secrets of a mysterious Precursor Vault that purportedly will protect the Earth from an upcoming solar flare on December 21, 2012. To uncover the secrets, Desmond uses the Animus to live out memories of two of his ancestors which the player controls during these sequences, both set at the time of the American Revolutionary War. The first, briefly played at the start of the game, is Haytham Kenway, a British Templar that seeks the location of the Vault. The second, and the primary character for the game, is Ratonhnhaké:ton, the result of a brief liaison between Kenway and a Native American woman. Ratonhnhaké:ton takes on the name Connor to blend in better with colonial society. When playing as Connor, the player has access to a huge wilderness known as the Frontier (which is 1.5 times bigger than Rome in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood), the cities of Boston and New York. Portions of the Eastern Seaboard and Caribbean Sea can be explored via the flagship of the Assassin's navy, the Aquila, captained by Connor himself, with Robert Faulkner his first-mate advising and teaching him in the ways of the sea. Free running has been simplified to allow for more fluid parkour in the cities and wilderness, such as climbing and running on trees, mountains, cliffs, etc. Close combat has been modified, allowing Connor to dual-wield weapons and take down multiple opponents at once and players no longer need to manage the lock-on mechanic. Aiding this, Connor has access to a wide range of weapons which include muskets, pistols, native weapons such as the tomahawk and bow and arrow, a rope dart (used to pull foes or hang them, while on a tree) as well as the Hidden Blades. In addition, the left Hidden Blade has a folding mechanism for blocking attacks, skinning an animal, and performing high-profile assassinations. Human shields can be used against firing lines of enemies. Medicine is no longer used as health recovers automatically. Stealth is also revamped, allowing players to use natural elements such as tall grass and trees to hide, along with the ability to blend between any two people.

Assassin's Creed III features new weather simulations such as snow, fog, and rain. The seasons can also change i.e., Summer and Winter, which not only effect visuals but also gameplay, as the player will find running slower in deep snow. Snowfall can reduce visibility for the player and enemies, aiding stealth. Unlike the past games, this one includes animals varying from domestic (horses, cows, dogs) to wild (deer, wolves, bears). The wild ones are found in the Frontier, and can be hunted for meat or marrow in order to be sold. The quality of the kill determines the price, encouraging the player to hunt silently. For this, traps and bait can also be used.

Economy is now based on the Davenport Homestead, which also acts as Connor's adopted home. The site can be visited by people such as carpenters, tailors etc. suffering from displacement due to the war. Helping and interacting with these non-player characters (NPCs) will encourage them to settle in the Homestead. From there on, the player can craft various items and trade with them, and then sell the goods to the cities via caravan. The player can also help them build relationships with each other, which will then result in the formation of a small village. The player can also upgrade the Homestead manor as well as Connor's ship, the Aquila. A revamped version of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood's recruitment feature returns as players can enlist citizens to the Assassins' cause by completing "Liberation" missions. They also have a much larger skill set, which allows them to start a riot, provide a covert escort, act as a personal bodyguard etc. Other side missions include collecting Almanac pages, exploring underground tunnels to locate fast-travel stations, joining hunting and fighting clubs, investigating frontiersman rumours about UFOs and Sasquatch, "peg-leg" missions in which Connor goes to underground forts and wastelands to uncover the legend of Captain Kidd's treasure, and others.

Assassin's Creed III also features naval expeditions. Using Connor's warship, the Aquila, the player can navigate the high seas. Control of the ship relies on environmental factors such as wind direction and speed, local presence of storms, high waves, and rocks. Engagements are by cannon, with broadsides covering both flanks of the ship, and swivel guns that can be used to damage smaller ships which can also be boarded to find treasure. The Aquila is used in the side missions known as "Privateer missions" and is also used in some of the main missions. The Wii U version of the game has extra features. The player has the ability to change weapons on the go and the map is always visible on the Wii U Gamepad. The Wii U version also supports Off TV Play. With this feature enabled, the main screen is redirected to the Wii U Gamepad.

Multiplayer returns in this installment by Ubisoft Annecy. Along with returning modes, new ones feature a co-operative mode named Wolfpack, in which 1-4 players are charged with killing certain NPCs within a time limit, through a sequence of 25 stages. It also features Domination, a team mode where players will have to capture certain areas of the map, protecting them from the opposing team.

PlotEdit

Desmond, William, Rebecca, and Shaun find the Temple in a cave in New York and access it using their Apple of Eden. After partially activating the temple, Juno uses it to communicate with Desmond. Desmond is placed in the Animus where Juno's influence causes him to experience the life of his ancestor in 1754 England: the Templar Grand Master, Haytham Kenway.

Haytham assassinates a patron at the Royal Opera House and steals a medallion; the Key to the Temple's inner chamber. Haytham is dispatched to the American Colonies to locate the Temple. While in Boston, he kills a slave trader, freeing a group of Mohawks including a woman named Kaniehti:io. She helps Haytham find the Temple in exchange for him killing General Braddock. Haytham and Kaniehti:io find that the Key is not able to open the temple itself. The pair develop a romantic relationship during their time together. The perspective then shifts to Ratonhnhaké:ton's childhood in 1760. His mother dies during an attack on his village led by the Templar Charles Lee. Years later, the village Elder informs a teenage Ratonhnhaké:ton that their tribe's duty is to prevent the Temple's discovery. The Elder gives him a transparent Sphere which allows Juno to communicate with him; she tells him of his importance and shows him the Assassins' symbol. The symbol leads him to the retired Assassin Achilles Davenport, who reluctantly begins training him as an assassin.

Achilles suggests Ratonhnhaké:ton rename himself "Connor" to enable him to move more freely throughout the Colonies. While seeking supplies in Boston, Connor is framed by the Templars for instigating the Boston Massacre. Over the following years, Connor kills several Templars, and aids in the Revolutionary War between the Patriots and the British. Connor meets with his father, and the two forge a temporary alliance to eliminate a rogue Templar. Later, Haytham uncovers a letter detailing George Washington's plan to remove the Indigenous population, including Connor's tribe, from the frontier to prevent them supporting the Loyalists. Connor returns to his village and learns that Lee has recruited several Mohawk warriors to turn back the Patriots sent to eradicate them. Connor neutralizes the warriors to avoid conflict, but his childhood friend Kanen'tó:kon cannot be reasoned with and Connor is forced to kill him.

Meanwhile, Desmond is occasionally roused from the Animus to retrieve power cells from Manhattan and Brazil, necessary for activating the Temple, before the Templar Daniel Cross can take them. William goes after the final cell himself, but is captured by the Templars' modern day front, Abstergo. Desmond assaults the facility, kills Cross and Warren Vidic, and rescues his father.

Connor becomes conflicted about eliminating the Templars, and hopes to work with Haytham towards a common vision of peace and freedom. However, Haytham remains convinced of the chaos of freedom and the necessity to control the nation by replacing Washington with Lee. Lee is disgraced by Washington for attempting to sabotage the outcome of a battle and takes refuge in the heavily fortified Fort George. Connor infiltrates the fort and is confronted by Haytham; they duel, and Connor kills him. Connor later kills Lee and recovers the Key. With the Colonial Templars eliminated, Connor returns to his village only to find it empty, and the Sphere left behind. Using it, Juno instructs him to conceal the Key where it cannot be found; Connor buries the Key in the grave of Achilles' son, Connor Davenport. In 2012, Desmond retrieves the Key and accesses the Temple's inner chambers. Juno informs him that activating the pedestal will save the world, but at the cost of his life. Minerva appears before them, opposing the plan as it will free Juno, who was sealed away in the temple to prevent her conquering humanity. Juno and Minerva explain that if the solar flare occurs, Desmond will be one of the few survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. After Desmond's later death, he will become revered as a god, whose well-intended legacy will be manipulated to control future generations, restarting the cycle. Desmond chooses to save humanity and give them the opportunity to fight Juno rather than be destroyed. William, Shaun and Rebecca leave the temple as Desmond activates the pedestal; a global aurora protects the planet from the solar eruption. Juno commends Desmond's choice and declares that it is time for her part to begin.

In the epilogue, Connor witnesses the last of the British ships leave New York and a trader selling slaves, a reminder that his fight for freedom is not over. Connor then returns to his village only to discover that the Mohawks have gone west after the newly formed Congress sold the land to settle war debts since, he is told, bringing in taxes so soon after a war fought to remove them would only serve to portray the newly formed US government as a continuation of its predecessor. Following this, a modern-day voiceover can be heard directing the listener to locate a number of 'pivot points' that have been spread out across the memories' graphical representation of the Colonial America. Once collected, the voiceover returns to congratulate, and informs that they have now connected to the cloud.

DevelopmentEdit

With the game in development since January 2010, by its release date Ubisoft had worked on the title for almost three years.[5] In a statement made by Yves Guillemot, he shared that "what we have seen is just fabulous."[6]

Despite the many possibilities for a new setting, according to Creative Director Alex Hutchinson, the team settled on the American Revolution "once we realized you could meet Washington, sail a boat, leap from tree to tree in the middle of winter and hunt wildlife".[7]

The game runs on a new version of the Anvil game engine called AnvilNext, which improves environmental effects. There are also seasonal changes; the landscape is warm and open in the summer, but is covered in snow during winter, which subsequently affects gameplay.[8]

In winter, thick snow causes people to move more slowly and stumble about in the drifts. Although the seasons change in line with specific memories, fog and rain occur naturally.[9]

Another technical aspect of the engine is that it can depict up to two thousand troops engaged in battle, in contrast to previous games' one hundred, along with detailed close-ups.[8]

However, Ubisoft have said that due to memory limitations, they were unable to include interactive climbing surfaces, such as falling rocks or flower pots.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Joystiq: Assassin's Creed 3 PC delayed to November
  2. ComputerAndVideoGames.com: Assassin's Creed 3 for PC out 'before Christmas'
  3. Nintendo press release: Nintendo announces 23 Games Launching with Wii U on November 18
  4. Examiner: 'Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag' confirmed by Ubisoft with box art (Photos)
  5. GameInformer: Building The Assassin's Creed Universe
  6. GameInformer: Assassin's Creed III Coming In October
  7. Kotaku: Assassin's Creed III's Top Creator Is Answering Your Questions Right Here, Right Now
  8. 8.0 8.1 GameInformer April 2012 issue: Assassin's Creed III
  9. Ubisoft Facebook: 2012 Gamescom Dev's Q&A
  10. Gamasutra Video: Improving AI in Assassin's Creed III, XCOM, Warframe

External linksEdit

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