Ubisoft heads back into the Animus to give us the third chapter in the Assassin's Creed saga. Casting away the suave-talking Ezio, a new hero steps into the cerebral lobe of Desmonds' ancestral dreams.

Taking on a new world with a new Assassin, “Assassin's Creed III” charges forward with Tomahawk in hand. Ubisoft has seemingly re-tooled every aspect of their killing simulator making "Assassin's Creed III" the largest and smoothest playing "Assassin's" game to date. Either trucking around the wilderness of the Frontier, or hiding in the city streets of disjointed Boston, "Assassin's Creed III" is a great experience layered thick with Assassin drama. While it's debatable if "Assassin's Creed III" is the best of the series, most long time fans will be simply happy to be moving on.

Even though I said "Assassin's 3" is the smooth, it's not picture perfect and some issues do exist. This is quickly apparent as "Assassin's" opens with a retrospectively understandable, yet brutally long introduction that lasts 3 hours too long. "Assassin's 3" is often too hectic for its own good, but even with a few minor qualms, it's no less a game. The rewards are always on the horizon, and the more you put into "Assassin's", the more you get out.


In the shoes of our new Assassin – Native/British born, “Ratonhnhaké:ton” which is shortened to the pronounceable, “Connor” - fans will likely welcome this change of pace. Like its predecessors, "Assassin's 3" is ambitious in its core element of assassinations and melodrama. “Assassin's 3” is very much a "Assassins" game with the main twist being the surroundings. “Assassin's 3” takes place between 1753 and 1783 during the expansion of the American Colonies. Simplistically the tale is broken up between Desmond and Connor, who both fighting their way to a conclusion. As Desmond you will delve deeper into the “alien” presence that is attempting to save the world; while Connor fights to save his own world.

Like the prior games, the "Desmond" sections are sprucely shorter than his trips inside the Animus. This plays out perfectly because the real excitement is fighting with Connor through the American revolution. Again, history plays a big role in developing the story, one in which Ubisoft loves blur the lines of what is real. Realistically fabricated you will encounter several historic figures and settings like the "1768 Boston Massacre", "Samuel Adams" and "George Washington". The setting, characters, and future/past connection works flawlessly within the “Templar vs. Assassin” war Ubisoft has crafted from the ground up.


The production value remains A-grade material. The Anvil engine has been upgraded to “Anvil Next” and it is a clear evolution. Aside from a couple expected glitches in a game this size, “Assassins 3” shines. The wide-open vistas, improved combat animations, voice-talent, and naval components really stand out the most. While “Assassins” never really hits it all the way home (mainly due to other studios outstanding efforts), most the work is way above standard.

This takes us right into the combat, which sees a few intuitive tweaks. As an Assassin, Connor is much more effective with his brutal style of combat. While the same "chess-match" style of blocking and striking exists there is more variation in the enemies (especially with the additions of guns) which makes for a more strategic affair. Other elements have been added to future engrossed the player like dual-wielding, more detailed countering, take-downs, and chain kills. Even though the combat has been improved, proficient gamers might still find "Assassin's 3" to be a too easy.


Navigation has also been tweaked to let you traverse the treetops of the wilderness, modern buildings and jagged cliffs. Extremely fluid, Ubisoft goes even further by adding seasons, which effects your mobility in winter. Exploring and synchronization still have a place, although you'll be sticking more to the ground then prior games, you'll still get to dive into a few hay stacks along the way.

This leads into the new element of hunting, which will be familiar to anyone who has played “Red Dead Redemption”. Hunting animals in the wilderness is surprisingly entertaining and while it might not carry the same satisfaction as stalking a human foe, the investigation, tracking and stalking has its similarities. This goes for innocent creatures like raccoons right up to more dangerous beasts like bears. Combat with the predator beasts takes the quick-time approach, which works in that situation.

The main purpose to hunting is to fuel the economic system that is tied into your "Homestead." While the economics have been given more depth, the rewards aren't worth the time that needs to be invested. Much like "Brotherhood", the "Homestead" feature is sadly superficial. At least the Assassin management section has been shortened to a button-press. However, in doing so upgrading a recruits has also taken a "simplification" hit by doing away with the little leeway given for customization. End result, a quicker, yet less involved system. Good for some, disappointing for others.

Continuing the focus on new features, Naval battles have been added. The sea-based combat is basically a flank-and-fire deal, but do not let the rudimentary description fool you. The entertainment value is as solid as any “pirate” styled game, offering up a much needed change of pace. Beyond the sea, a few “smaller” additions have been tacked on, one being collecting Ben Franklin's almanac pages are one, which instantly brought up memories of “Crackdown 2” and its annoying orbs, gah!


Lastly the we have Multiplayer, which is more of the atmospheric "kill-or-be-killed" action seen in the last two games, with a newly fitted team-based addition called "Wolfpack". Wolfpack has you teaming up to objectively take down NPC enemies. This mode is a fun, but ultimately it doesn't have the appeal or staying power of the "Assassination" mode. All this is wrapped up on a full disc, complete with a Abstergo, Animus mini-section that is unlocked through continual play. Multiplayer might not be the main attraction to “Assassin's Creed”, but when you are getting tired of air assassinating small poor defenseless bunnies, it's a solid diversion.

Finally stamping a number "3" at the end of the “Assassin's” name is a big deal with lofty expectations. On some levels Ubisoft has prevailed in meeting these expectations, however, by the same right, they didn't. “Assassin's Creed III” does stand-up against the rest of the “Assassin's” pack, although a few pacing issues and our familiarity with the series makes the impact a little less “explosive.” Although a little anomalous, “Assassin's Creed III” is still a must for fans of the series.

  • Love the new setting. American Revolution for the win.
  • New gampleay entries. Tree running and naval battles are pulled off flawlessly.
  • Although filled with melodrama, the narrative is interesting and constantly evolving.
  • Multiplayer still holds our interest.
  • Improved combat that is much more satisfying.
  • Talk about your slow starts, this one is a snooze-fest.
  • Can't sustain the “magical” feeling that came with the first two entries.
  • Not all missions stand-out. At times you're just going through the motions.
  • While involved, the “Homestead” feels superficial.
Quote: "Finally stamping a number "3" at the end of the “Assassin's” name is a big deal with lofty expectations. On some levels Ubisoft has prevailed in meeting these expectations, however, by the same right, they didn't."
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 11.08.12 | Platform Reviewed: Xbox 360

Similar Games: AC3: Liberation (6.3) | AC: Revelations (8.0) | Assassin's Creed (9.5) | Assassin's Creed II (9.8)


Assassin's Creed III


Ubisoft Canada


US Release
October '12


X360, PS3

Players 1
Online MP 2-8
Co-op 2-4
5.1 Surround
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content