Assassin's Creed III - Wii U User Review
Super Gamer Dude
As anyone who has been following the series knows, Assassin's Creed 3 is by no means the third game in the Assassin's Creed series. In fact, not counting portable spin offs, there have been five games, including this, the latest entry in the series.
Most people consider Assassin's Creed II to be the first "good" game in the series, followed up by a superior sequel in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. However, when Assassin's Creed Revelations came out, it became clear that Ubisoft had plans to continue the games as a yearly franchise, no matter the quality of the games they were putting out every year. Ubisoft quickly came out and publicly claimed that Assassin's Creed 3 would be a return to the level of quality their fans expected, but did they succeed?
When the game starts, you very quickly realize it is very much still an Assassin's Creed game, as you slowly make your way through the tutorials teaching you how to kill people quickly and quietly. This part of the game seems to take forever, but plenty of games have slow starts, right? After several excruciatingly slow hours of exposition and tutorials, the game finally lets you out into its open world, which turns out to be rather similar to the open worlds of past games. Thankfully, traversal sees an improvement when compared to previous games, resulting in far fewer instances of jumping in the wrong direction and a more pleasant open world as a result.
The core combat remains more or less the same as previous games. You'll find yourself parrying and then countering more blows than you can count as usual, but games like Sleeping Dogs have done this kind of combat system so much better at this point.
The biggest problem with Assassin's Creed 3 has very little to do with either the story or the combat. Even though this game spent a massive amount of time in development (at least for a yearly franchise), the game feels like it spent very little time being tested for bugs. While I did not personally encounter any game breaking bugs, I can certainly attest to their existence through third party accounts, but the much larger issues are the "smaller" bugs. Personally, thanks to bugs, I had to completely restart several extremely long missions and found several others far more difficult than they should have been.
Most importantly for Wii U users, how does the game use the tablet? In short, not very well. The game certainly supports mirroring, which is great if you use that feature, but as a second screen, the tablet is only used as a map. While this is certainly convenient, I can think of much better ways they could have used a completely second screen.
If you've liked Assassin's Creed and its story so far, Assassin's Creed 3 wraps up things nicely even if it is a bit buggy, but its hard to recommend to people that aren't particularly invested in the series already.
Assassin's Creed is perhaps one of the most recognizable video game franchises today. While Altair and Ezio filled the first and second games (as well as all their expansion packs) respectively, the third game hands the endless quest off to Connor. A half Native American, Connor experiences the tyranny of England and the way it treats all persons living in America. With the Templar seeded into the empire, it's up to Connor and the latest generation of the Brotherhood of Assassins to try and shape the form and future of their own country.
Keep the Best, Discard the Rest
Ubisoft has had a lot of time to tinker with the Assassin's Creed formula, and the Assassin's Creed 3 package is everything that players want to see from the old games with some new things thrown in as well. The prominence of a newer, more organic fighting style, and a bevy of brutal weaponry (not the least of which is Connor's favored tomahawk) is just the beginning. New methods of assassination, better mechanics than ever before, and the chance to go through the usual, high flying acrobatics that have become par for the course for the brand are all still there. However, they're now simpler and more straightforward than ever before.
Setting and Changes
As with the previous two Assassin's Creed eras, the third game in the series takes place in a very different world. Revolutionary War era America has been recreated with a great deal of attention to detail, weaving the plot of the Assassin and Templar shadow war into the bigger, broader tapestry of American and world history. However it makes players wonder if, when they see a historical inaccuracy or a difference in feel, if that is one of the things that's been planned to lead up to the strange, shadowy future that our real main character is living and breathing in.
Since the first Assassin's Creed, there's been a dystopian future regressing people into what feel like ancestral memories, teaching them the skills of the ancient Assassins. Why is that happening? And what will they do once they've successfully lived through the exploits of some of the greatest assassins of history? That, like so many other parts of the series, has yet to be revealed. Probably because Ubisoft doesn't want to kill the golden goose by setting a limit on the number of Assassin's Creed games they can release.
Gameplay on the Wii U
The Wii U is not the ideal controller for an Assassin's Creed game, but it is far from the worst possible choice. Additionally, because of all the work that went into making this game that much easier for players to handle, the Wii U controls work all right. However, for players that aren't used to the hiccoughs and other bumps associated with the Wii U remote over a more traditional game console, there's going to be some adjustments needed before Connor can reach his full potential as a war and world changing assassin.