E3 2012: Eyes On Preview: Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III was one of the biggest names down at E3 this year. The game was displayed in several areas, including in the Nintendo section on the Wii U. I got a chance to watch an eyes-only demo playthough in the Ubisoft area for the PlayStation 3.
The demo had several choices to pick from, depending on which part of the game you wanted to see the most. There were options for a heavy stealth mission, battleship combat, or seeing Connor in action around a city. Being the third game, I wanted to see what would make Connor stand out from Ezio and Altair. I opted to see how Connor conducts around the city of Boston, opposed to stalking around the woods or watching ships take on each other in the middle of the ocean. While watching the demo, I confirmed with several of my theories which were developed at the Ubisoft conference.
For starters, Connor is extremely different from Ezio in both looks and personality. He has a wider, more muscular upper body that gives him more of a superhero frame over being thin and agile. More was added to the hand-to-hand combat system in order to utilize Connor’s brute strength over movement speed and agility. He’s also not very talkative, and will act borderline offended by being touched or constantly talked to by strangers. Unlike chatty and charming Ezio, he prefers to keep to himself and not socialize or flirt.
When I asked about companions and romancing, like how Leonardo da Vinci used in Assassin’s Creed II and the many woman who had Ezio leaping from their windows when husbands came home, I was told that Connor will be flying solo for this game without a witty sidekick. Also, should there be any sort of romance; it wouldn’t be focused upon enough to be considered an important part of the story.
The world has been updated to become more interactive and a new notoriety system has been implemented. In fact, the new system is even hinted within the game’s new logo. If you look closely, you’ll notice that there are three stars underneath the Assassin’s Creed symbol. The stars represent the third game installment, an American theme, and the new three part notoriety warnings. Instead of filling up completely like in the second game, you can be become suspicious to guards on two levels (green and yellow) before it turns red.
Around the town were multiple new ways to explore and kill your targets. You’ll be able to cut tied ropes to use as makeshift zip-lines, dive into moving horse-drawn haystacks to perform ‘ride-by’ assassinations, and summon groups of hired minions to you with secret calls. The added weather system can also hinder or help you, depending on the situation. Both your movement and stealth are affected by changes in the weather. Moving in heavy snow will slow you down, while foggy or snowy days can also improve your ability to move around undetected. It was also pointed out that the world will have a more natural flow of life with birds flying, rats scurrying, and more people moving around.
An interesting feature added is when Conner is under suspicion; he’ll pull down his hood in order to hide his face better from guards. It’s the little additions like those that will make this title stand out from the previous ones.