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| December 23, 2014

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Game Highlight: Assassin's Creed 3

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Do you like conspiracy theories, the American Revolution, good storytelling and fluid combat? Well then, it sounds like the next big title from Ubisoft, “Assassin’s Creed 3,” is right up your alley. This third person action adventure game will be available on Oct. 30 and is sure to grab your attention from the get go.

“Assassin’s Creed 3” takes us into the birth of our nation through the eyes of half Native American Connor. The American colonies are a new venue for the series, with previous sets including Israel, Renaissance Italy and Constantinople.  Designers promise a varied amount of gameplay between the forests on the frontier and the bustling city life in towns like Boston and Philadelphia.

Crowd physics has always given life to the world and been a prime feature in the “Assassin’s Creed” universe and this game is no exception. Game designers are working hard to emulate the time period of the revolution. Connor, simply by being half Native American, stands out in a crowd, and therefore, the environment has to reflect that. Every now and then, shouts will be thrown out and a drunken man may attack you. But, Connor isn’t the only part of the racial divide in early America; “Negroes”, refrencing an earlier name for African Americans, walk the streets for the first time in a slave context for the series. The developers decided to treat the issue, “…as it was back then. Give it justice.” So blacks will be seen both as a commodity and a community. They may not play a central role in the game, but will be presented in historical context.

But what is a highly atmospheric game without gameplay? In all previous games, it has been very fluid, with emphasis on free running and parkour for traveling and smooth transitions into combat. In keeping with the time of the revolution, large open battles make up a number of set pieces in the game, and this new assassin has to be able to fight in that environment as well as in the traditional way. The challenge was met head on, and the fix that the Ubisoft team came up with was to give Connor more health and the ability to dual-wield weapons. These changes let him take on groups of redcoats with relative ease as an assassin should and the resilience to absorb more hits than usual.

I am incredibly excited for this next installment for a series I love. I feel that the American Revolution isn’t visited enough in video games, with the only notable other being “Age of Empires.” I feel that the fact that slaves existed during that time simply makes it tricky to navigate. With a movie you can rely on a single or small group of actors to portray the part well. But because video games are so much more immersive, the world has to be that actor. There is a way to go about it wrong and a way to not gloss over it and represent it well.

“Assassin’s Creed 3” is available for pre-order now in the Monarch Tech Store or at GameStop and Amazon.com. If you haven’t heard of it before, I highly recommend the series, especially if you don’t have a date for the homecoming game.

By: Sean Burke

Contributing Writer

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