With the impending launch upon us, it can be tempting to go back and play through all the other games before stepping up to Assassin’s Creed III. But if you managed to make it this far without playing any of the others, it might not be worth your time. Assassin’s Creed III has expanded upon the successful formula and is undoubtedly the biggest game in the series to date, making it the perfect entry point for players new to the series.
The Story So Far
Assassin’s Creed has always placed a heavy emphasis on narrative, but despite that, it hasn’t really pulled the threads together in a coherent way… yet. So far, our story follows the path of Desmond Miles as he uses the Animus to relive the memories of his Assassin ancestors while protecting them from the Knight Templars — both in the Animus and the real world.
This all might sound a bit confusing, but thankfully there’s a “previously on Assassin’s Creed” wrap-up at the beginning that summarizes the story so far. It doesn’t cover everything, but it summarizes enough to get the main point across for new players. It also helps that each game in the series works as an independent experience. Sure, they might be better as a whole, but they can stand alone, both in terms of story and mechanics.
Assassin’s Creed III has the advantage of historical accuracy (with the exception of the assassin running around killing everyone), with each of the major events in the game corresponding to actual real-life events that took place during the Revolutionary War. The setting of the Revolutionary War allows for more context throughout the game, giving players a frame of reference for their actions in relation to major historical events.
Change of Scenery and Tools
One of the biggest gripes with the last few games is that there weren’t any drastic changes and it felt like you were still roaming around the same environment two games later. In previous games, it was all about the big cities, but Assassin’s Creed III focuses on shorter, more underdeveloped areas. It takes place in a time when the colonists were still settling and forming new areas of development.
This isn’t a bad thing though, as it actually allows for more free-form exploration and discovery. You can spend less time climbing to get to a roof and more time running from building to building. Assassin’s Creed III mixes things up by presenting not only a new environment, but a completely new style of terrain for Connor to explore with the inclusion of the Frontier — an open-world forest area that relies on movement through trees rather than city buildings. This is the first time that something like this has been done in Assassin’s Creed before. Between the open Frontier and small cities like Boston, Assassin’s Creed III has the largest variety of locales for players to explore.
With this new environment comes some new tools at Connor’s disposal, most notably his tomahawk and rope dart. His tomahawk is much better than any of the daggers or swords from previous games at close range encounters. This is partly due to the more fluid combat system that is much faster due to the abundance of black powder guns during the Revolutionary War. The rope dart also speeds up the flow of combat and leads to some exceptionally brutal kills.