Everything We Know About Assassin’s Creed 3

It’s All About Context

The coolest new things we’ve seen in Assassin’s Creed 3, by far, are the game’s newly minted contextual actions. These allow Connor to use the environment around him in more effective ways when fighting enemies or working out assassinations. In the demo we saw at E3 2012, for example, Connor leaned up against a rack of sharp farm equipment while he was blending in. When a British patrolman wandered over to question him, Connor grabbed the guy’s head and slammed it into the waiting pitchfork. This is the sort of thing you can expect from the contextual actions.

Context and environment will play into allowing Connor to ambush enemies — at one point we saw him take up a position at a corner and await a passing guard — and will affect your assassinations. On the deck of a ship docked in Boston Harbor, we saw Connor run up and body check a British officer into the water below, rather than do the usual kidney stab with the hidden blade with which Ezio was so adept.

Using Enemies Against One Another

Combat in Assassin’s Creed has always been about counter-attacks. The player might be an adept swordsman, but your best openings, especially when taking on a group of fighters, was to catch them at the right moment and use their momentum or strength against them.

You’re going to really need to be on your toes in AC3, because while counter-attacks are going to be very important, you won’t have the time to execute them you once did. When fighting medieval knights or Renaissance soldiers in the past, all of the enemies had the courtesy to stand around you, wary of what you might do, and attack more or less one at a time. No such luck with the trained British military.

Redcoats won’t give you the courtesy of lining up to kill you — they’ll attack simultaneously. Getting surrounded won’t be nearly as safe as it once was, so you’ll need to pay close attention to what’s going on if you want to survive. The good news is, you’ll be able to use the environment to your advantage. The bad news is, all those British guys carry guns, so you’ll need to be extra careful.

From the combat we’ve seen in motion, you’ll be using the British against one another whenever you can, slamming their bayonets into their comrades, for example, and allowing them to accidentally shoot one another. The combat in general looks a lot faster and more engaging than anything we’ve seen in the series so far.

Two If By Sea

Oh, and Connor will be able to captain a ship. Lots of trailers we’ve seen include ship-focused levels, and more importantly, naval battles. These seem to start with Connor leading or at least engaged in running a ship, and then turn into a burning mess of sinking ships and explosions.

From the looks of things, you’ll enjoy the ship levels from two different standpoints: First, by actually doing some captaining, piloting, naval battling, or something to that effect; second, as an assassin that has to cross a naval battle to catch up to and kill some dudes. The whole thing seems like it’ll act as a setting for different types of gameplay, and it looks awesome.

Expanded Multiplayer

We’ve gotten used to Assassin’s Creed’s multiplayer suite. It goes basically like this: Players take on the roles of various generic-looking NPCs, then wander around in a level filled with lots of copies of the characters they and their opponents are using. The idea is that you want to look like an AI-controlled character while sniffing out who among the droves are actually players, and then assassinate those guys to score points.

In addition to the competitive modes we’re used to seeing, Ubisoft is bringing in a new kind of multiplayer for Assassin’s Creed 3: a cooperative mode known as Wolfpack, which is essentially Assassin’s Creed’s brand of Horde mode.

In Wolfpack, players team up and have to find and assassinate certain targets. These are AI-controlled characters that are out in the crowds, and you’ll need to work together to identify and eliminate them within a certain time limit. If you manage to kill the guys you need to get rid of within the time, you’ll move on to a harder wave, which might include guards, lookouts and decoys. That’ll require you to be better and pay closer attention as you sneak around.

Snazzy DLC

Ubisoft has said that we can expect a “whimsical” approach to Assassin’s Creed 3 DLC post-launch. We’ve already heard about the first set: “The Tyranny of King George,” referring not to George V, the king of England, but to George Washington, the new king of America.

It sounds like these alternate takes on events will be the thrust of Ubisoft’s DLC plans. You can expect new content to come down the pipe for the game and for it to either be centered on multiplayer, or to take place in a sort of alternate reality continuity, separate from the main game. Ubisoft is attempting to avoid “fracturing” the community by having some people get access to story bits that others don’t. So the DLC stories will all be their own standalone content in terms of plot, it sounds like. And that sounds like a very good approach.

Benedict Arnold, Playstation 3 Exclusive

We also recently found out that Ubisoft is offering exclusive content for Playstation 3 players in a mission concerning the infamous traitor Benedict Arnold. The content, apparently, will have players first working undercover in Arnold’s service, and eventually working to circumvent a huge assault on West Point. Sounds cool.


Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

Lead the revolution and defeat the Templars with Game Front’s Assassin’s Creed 3 walkthrough. For a compendium of extras, collectioble locations, and guides you might want to check out the Assassin’s Creed 3 cheats.

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