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E3 2012: Assassin's Creed III interview
by Andrew Whipple III

Being one of the most prestigious franchises in contemporary gaming, you probably don't need me to tell you to get excited for Assassin's Creed III.

While Ubisoft has been cranking these puppies out, ACIII will prove to be their greatest undertaking yet by exploring unfamiliar areas, even to the developers. New open world environments, a brand new combat system, naval battles, improved stealth elements, a half British half Native American protagonist, it's clear Ubisoft isn't trying to make this game good - they're making it unforgettable.

Assassin's Creed III interview

ACIII will explore the often untouched American Revolution time period. Made distinct by the unexplored lands, expansive environments and deep woods of that time, it's an area unfamiliar to Assassin's Creed in general. Playing as Connor, the new protagonist, you'll find yourself running through these wild environments scaling trees and jagged cliffs while combating the fierce weather and feral animals. Don't worry, great as the new scenery will be, dense cityscapes will still make an appearance with Ubisoft's trademark accuracy. Boston and New York will be the focus in ACIII based on a one to three replication ratio. Expect to see timeless buildings like the Old Boston State House as well as the historical Long Wharf. We were also told to be ready to experience events such as the Great Fire of 1776, which we're sure no good will come of.

Revolutionary War venison tastes so good, the Animus shuts down because its jealous it can't have any.

It's important to note that these outdoor environments will feel as you'd expect them to; huge. According to Ubisoft Associate Producer Julien Laferrière, the forested areas are 2,000 x 2,000 which is roughly 1.5 times bigger than Rome in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Being that massive, you can climb every single tree and rock, setup ambushes from the safety of the wood and explore brand new gameplay options that have never existed before in the Assassin's Creed universe.

One of my favourite new mechanics I saw in the showcase was the new weapon called the rope dart. Hailing from a Chinese descent, the rope dart acts as a multipurpose weapon used to take out one opponent. During the demo, Connor was positioned in the trees and used the rope dart to hook a soldier by the throat. Immediately jumping down, the rope slung the helpless soldier into the trees, dangling for his comrades to discover moments later. Whether you use this to take out a target quickly or for more of a distraction is up to you.

Is the apple I took really worth THAT much to you?

The combat has been completely reworked and rewritten for ACIII. Connor is especially handy with an axe and dual-wields, which required a system with more finesse and skill. I can tell you the system is extremely responsive and satisfying, especially when groups of enemies come into the fight. What's neat about this rework is that is also effects the AI. No longer will your enemies be relatively dumb in the fight nor will they allow you to exploit them into doing stupid things. Wait, an Assassin's Creed game where the AI is actually going to present a legitimate challenge? You better believe it.

The most talked about feature of the game would have to be the naval combat and with good reason. Once again, Ubisoft is trying to stroll out of their comfort zone and make something that's worth playing. While we don't know how much of the game will require naval warfare, you'll definitely be able to control your own ship from a third-person perspective. You can leave the helm at any time, interact with your crew, customise your belongings, etc. You can even tweak your cannons by feeding them specialised ammunition, you know, for all that deep sea pirating you're going to do.

Have you seen a hooded man that looks kinda shady? No? Move along.

ACIII looks mighty impressive and even if you're sick of the typical Assassin's Creed formula, there's enough different stuff here to warrant giving it a go. Whether playing the game purely for multiplayer, the new environments and naval battles or for the sake of the narrative, ACIII has something for absolutely everyone. October 30th can't come soon enough.

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- Andrew Whipple III

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