Just Push Start was fortunate enough to be invited along to the unveiling of Assassin’s Creed III last week in London. Here is a detailed account of what we saw gameplay wise at the event and don’t worry the level of spoilers storyline-wise don’t venture further than details already known, the event are however explained in detail.
One of the brand new features that was emphasised at the event and that does seem to be a massive improvement to the franchise is the weather and season system. The entire environment will change when the game changes season. Mobility was majorly reduced when it came to Connor walking through snow; especially deep snow which Connor wades through. The environment was covered in a thick layer of snow and characters left footprints in the snow and blood left distinctive trails and patches in the snow.
This part of the demo had two major sections, a wild animal attack followed by trailing a group of troops. We joined the action after Connor spotted a dead soldier on the floor in the snow. The blood effects around the character were instantly noticeable from a distance. Connor walks over to the body and removes a note from the man’s hands before suddenly he’s attacked. Behind him was a giant brown bear, fortunately Connor swiftly rolls out of the way and just manages to stab the bear with his blade. The encounter was over as quick as at it started and then Connor was off scaling up a close rock formation.
Subsequently Connor spotted a group of troops and a cart heading off and followed them jumping from tree to tree, circling around others before eventually waiting upon a tree branch as the group marched below. This part of the demo finished with Connor performing a leap of faith into the moving cart below the tree branch.
One major improvement comes in the form of none player characters (NPCs). Even in Assassin’s Creed Revelations the NPCs felt extremely scripted with only a certain degree of variation between them. Instantly in Assassin’s Creed III this is completely different. There seemed to be more variation in the people wandering the city and Frontier zones. This includes men selling items, woman carrying fruit and for the first time in an Assassin’s Creed title, children.
In the demo we watched we saw Connor arriving in a summery Boston with crowds of people wandering around the dock and customs area. Connor walked along the dock region where he is followed by a merchant for a while, a young boy tries to selling him a newspaper and he even witnesses a lady dropping a crate of apples followed by a man snatching one of them off the floor and sprinting away. Connor soon encountered guards but before they could open fire Connor was off free running; jumping on and off a moving cart and through a newly opened window, before becoming incognito once again after exiting the building via a window opposite to that he entered with.
While it wasn’t too clear the explanation given of why they guards were going to stop Connor was that he had the wrong papers to enter the city. It is extremely hard to convey the speed of the chase and quite how impressive it looked as Connor hopped onto and off the moving cart in one fluid motion or when the woman opened the window the thought process of ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…’ before he hurled himself into the upper floor window of a building.
Other details to note from this little area is that other NPCs were carrying items, talking between each other and generally interacting more with each other. Also there were two types of dog present in the small gameplay section we saw.
The final section was set during the battle at Bunker Hill in 1775. The stage opened with the famous “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” speech to set the scene perfectly. To not give too much information storyline wise out Connor then had to assassinate someone the opposite side of the battle and there was no other way than straight through the battle. At this point we saw the ongoing battle with gun shots going off from both sides. At this point the Ubisoft representatives revealed that the game can handle up to 2000 people on screen at one time with the new Anvil 3.0 engine. The trick was to move between rallies of fire, as the riflemen reloaded their muskets.
Obviously Connor managed to make it through the battle and then it was time to make the assassination. After wall climbing Connor snuck through the bushes around a small encampment and suddenly sprinted towards the target. Connor had to take out a few people prior to the target but the hidden blade assassinations didn’t slow him down at all unlike in previous titles. Running up a rock he then came down on the target and the demo was over.
What a demo it was. The true explosiveness and speed of the game seems faster than ever despite not much of the loved formula being changed. Assassin’s Creed 3 certainly looks like it will be the best Creed experience to date!
This is just some of the amazing content we witnessed at the event. To check out even more information check out our information blowout!