Assassins Creed III: When it comes to this title, I haven’t played any game in the series other than the first one – which disillusioned me with the fact that it kept jumping back to the present day and I found that very jarring – and last year’s Assassin’s Creed Revelations which fixed a great deal of the issues I had with the first one. As such, I was eager to get stuck into this latest release.
You play Desmond Miles who begins as Haytham Kenway (who seems remarkably sprightly, as he leaps from rooftop to rooftop, despite wearing a heavy cloak!), and from what I read, I’m led to believe that there’s an event about to happen in the present day related to “The Toba catastrophe”, which was an event during human prehistory, dating back to 75000 BC. However, I must’ve missed that because if I skipped it, or wasn’t paying attention, it’s because I just wanted to get straight into the action.
Even occasional fans of the game will be familiar with the Animus, a device that allows your ancestor’s memories to be transferred into your brain and you act out like they would. A number of aspects in this game come about rather like the Hitman series, such as with hiding from the enemy. Do it for a while and they’ll soon forget you’re about… well, except that this time they seem hot on your tail and just won’t let go…
You can also play lots of mini games along the way, such as Cowboy Checkers, which is similar to Noughts and Crosses, but in its original form, betting money as you go.
In addition, there’s an odd mission or two involving… erm… posting letters, and recovering lost pages of an almanac. These obviously don’t HAVE to be completed, but aren’t exactly the most exciting ones around.
I like the stealth aspects, such as eavesdropping on conversations, which doesn’t sound particularly enticing at first, but I’ve come to love this sort of thing as I’ve enjoyed more ‘Hitman’ games over the years. Or perhaps, as I’m getting older, I’m just turning into a right nosey bastard?
It’s good fun attacking someone and then going on the run to escape them. It’s not always easy, however, but very exciting. Just try to avoid thumping the army, though, because they’re the ones from whom you’ll never hear the end.
The game also lets you know when an enemy is about to deliver a hit you can’t escape from, prompting you to block them before you strike back.
Feeling hurt? No, your heart hasn’t been broken, but when your health is low, you can wait and let it recover.
It’s also fun to steal from people by standing behind them and holding ‘B’ until the circle that appears has completed.
Gamers with 3D televisions will find there’s on-the-fly 3D support, which does work very well and I’m so pleased that games are starting to include this as an option because I’ve only recently bought such a TV and while movies are one boon, the more I get into those, the fact games are featuring this really brings them into another… dimension, if you’ll pardon the expression. That said, I initially tried it late at night when I was feeling rather tired and it made my eyes water even more ;)
And some gripes:
Trying to shoot is a royal pain. You can aim with the left trigger, which is fine, but to shoot you have to press ‘Y’, which feels odd as right-trigger is the default in most games. And in once scene, to open a gate with explosives, it wanted me to fire at particular barrels, which I didn’t realise at first, so that took a while to get used to.
In another scene, I tried to pick up a gun, physically turn in order to aim the sight, and then just tap ‘Y’ to shoot. It feels very unnatural.
Again, if you get spotted and attacked by hoardes of baddies, it’s easier to leg it, often by claiming on to a roof, although some of them will still hunt you down. There are the occasional haystacks lying around, so get in one of those until the heat disappears. I did that once by accident!
It feels like Resident Evil 6, which suffered from being full of cinematic sequences to fill time, interspersed with ‘press this button to hit someone and survive’
Trying to run towards a building and leg it up the wall still isn’t an exact science. I sometimes found myself attempting to escape the army, getting one foot onto a wall and then leaping *back* into the pack and getting my arse kicked into next week(!)
Overall, I do feel the late 18th Century setting of the American Colonies just doesn’t feel as cool as that in ‘Revelations’. Maybe that’ll grow on me…
Visit my DVDfeverGames Youtube channel for many more gaming videos. However, does anyone know how to replay past chapters, so I can record footage from a second go at the final mission of a chapter, when I might have a chance to record it cockup-free?
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Price: £49.99 (Xbox 360, PS3); £39.99 (PC)
- Players: single player campaign, multiplayer: 2-8
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Dolby Digital 5.1 sound: Yes
Directors: Alex Hutchinson and Shea Wageman
Writers: Richard Farrese, Nicholas Grimwood, Alex Hutchinson, Russell Lees, Corey May, Matt Turner, Danny Wallace, Jeffrey Yohalem and Ceri Young
Music: Lorne Balfe
Connor: Noah Watts
Charles Lee: Neil Napier
George Washington: Robin Atkin Downes
Haytham Kenway: Adrian Hough
Kaniehtí:io: Kaniehtiio Horn
Achilles Davenport: Roger Aaron Brown
Robert Faulkner: Kevin McNally
Desmond Miles: Nolan North
William Miles: John De Lancie
Shaun Hastings: Danny Wallace
Rebecca Crane: Eliza Jane Schneider
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.