09.19.12

Inside Assassin’s Creed: Episode Four

The final segment of the series explores bustling colonial cities, the far reaches of the American frontier and naval warfare on the high seas.

The fourth and final episode of “Inside Assassin’s Creed III” is all about exploring the new world – the many environments of colonial America; cities, the open frontier, and the ports and high seas.

Shipping was crucial to colonial America. The reliance on imports made port cities Boston and New York critically important to the new land. This is where the Revolution began. And the importance of these cities is reflected in the game, where the action is set against instantly recognizable historic events like the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre.

COLONIAL CITIES

Both Boston and New York were built inside the game as living, breathing replicas of the historic cities – based on maps from the period – complete with livestock roaming the streets.

AC3 Boston

In addition to their accuracy, the urban landscape also presents several new ingredients for gameplay; new stalking zones where Connor can sneak up on his enemies; a dynamic weather system; and a tightly condensed, populated environment that creates endless opportunities for both evasion and pursuit.

THE FRONTIER

The vast, unsettled frontier of colonial America was fraught with dangers – not least of which were the extreme conditions in both Winter and Summer; a perpetual death threat to the citizens of the period.

This huge, untamed wilderness is thoroughly recreated for the game – along with its attendant weather trials. You can explore the frontier at your own pace, but deep snow will impact your gameplay, slowing down both your progress and that of your enemies.

AC3 Connor

And it’s populated with over two-dozen species of animals, which players can track on hunting loops, and which present a very real threat in their own right. With all its enormity and variety, the Frontier is really the new open playground of the game.

NAVAL WARFARE

On the high seas, the American Revolution was a global war of the period. Naval battles of the day were based upon ‘closing the distance’, with boarding your enemy’s ship as the endgame.

The object was to take the ship intact, securing both it – and its cargo (food, cash, weapons) – as the prize. Naval warfare was absolutely decisive to the revolution. Control the ports and you control the war.

AC3 Naval Warfare

With so much emphasis on seas, the team felt that – despite the huge challenges involved in creating brand new naval simulations – this aspect of the war could not be ignored. An entire team was dedicated to working on wind, water and naval simulations in an effort to bring an entirely new environment and type of game play to the Assassin’s Creed universe. But since Connor is master and commander of his own ship at sea, the task also involved creating a complete battle environment on top of a moving vessel – floating on a dynamic surface. But the team rose to the challenge and the results are outstanding.

All in all, this installment of Assassin’s Creed is a great point to get on board the franchise. With a new story, new character, new environment, and new game engine Assassin’s Creed III is by far the biggest and best Assassin’s Creed game yet.

Phantom Blade
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