Nov 25, 2012 Written by:ASUS

Assassin's Creed III: We're Only Getting Started!

Articles: GamingHands On
Article Tags: Community

And the reason I say getting started is because this is literally a gigantic game. The reviews were not wrong. By my estimates you're looking at 40 hours or so if you do everything. I mean, just the tutorial section that I've done was nearly 90 minutes long, and while it does transition into the story (or at least sets it up), those 90 minutes appear to be merely the start of the beginning! And I didn't even get to the part where Connor is introduced. In short (irony mode), this is one long adventure. That's obviously a great thing, especially for Assassin's Creed followers who've been with the series since it started in the wonderful fall 2007 gaming season. A word of caution, though. While AC3 comes with a nice intro sequence that's supposed to bring you up to speed and basically covers the entire plot until now, if you didn't play all of the entries in the franchise you will feel somewhat left out and perplexed at times. Personally, I didn't complete Revelations, and I do feel the lack, as some events and characters are not familiar to me. At least they brought back the original Desmond Miles actor, so his likeness is more in line with the first three games, rather than the slightly different person he was in Revelations.

The old Assassin's Creed logo welcomes you into proceedings, with the animus theme fully intact. The initial parts of the game are all set in the memory-time travel machine, but there have been some modifications made to the firmware, apparently.

So obviously I crank everything as far as it can go. The in-game settings are once more not very comprehensive by PC standards, you might need to check out the .ini and .config files for that. For AA I chose the max, which my desktop can easily handle.

After that comes the intro sequence I mentioned earlier, which recounts the backstory and events leading up to AC3. Here we see Desmond in his bartender days, rather oblivious of the role he's about to play in determining the fate of the world.

We're reminded that the whole conflict between the Assassins and the Templars revolves around controlling history by use of Pieces of Eden, which wield uncanny power.

The recap goes into considerable detail about Altair and Ezio, the two main protagonists of the series thus far.

To my chagrin, the story now is firmly tied to the whole Dec 21 doomsday tale. I won't say exactly how, that would be too much of a spoiler, but those who played AC Brotherhood and AC Revelations already know by now. I sort of wished they'd revise this part of the story.

And let's not forget the first ones, or the advanced civilization that preceded current humanity and whose technology is at the core of everything Assassin's Creed. Juno comes back, which is good but a little disturbing considering the mind games she played with poor Ezio.

And now you know it's a PC game! As soon as the pre-rendered into finished and the game proper commenced, I encountered completely corrupted graphics. At first I thought this was some new animus "glitch", alas no, this is a real issue with the graphics. Here we see Desmond heading towards the new hideout, but with these broken graphics, it was just not playable.

A quick search on the Steam community showed that on many setups, setting AA to max causes this massive artifacting. Dropping it down to high resolved this issue immediately as you can see. These are in-game graphics, not a cutscene. Still, this shouldn't happen, even if such issues are part and parcel of the PC gaming experience...hope Ubisoft fixes it in a patch soon.

The tutorial then begins in earnest, bringing you up to speed on all the parkour movements the AC franchise is founded upon. I'm using the Xbox controller on my PC, which I find works much better than mouse and keyboard.

 The training segment has some very nice design work, with the animus going crazy rendering the world at first. This is very well implemented, and shows off the revamped engine behind AC3.

AC3 is loaded with information about locations, people, and historical events, much like its predecessors.

The tutorial then progresses into a more detailed introduction, which stars a completely new character based in London. Can you tell this is a long game already?

The first assassination is admittedly quite underwhelming, but still well done, and besides, I don't think we're supposed to know what exactly is going on at this juncture.

The upgraded engine does an even better job of putting big crowds into play, and looks very good overall, with nice lighting and very richly detailed environments.

Finally heading to America, where most of AC3 apparently takes place...

Our interim character, the intrepid Mr. Kenway, can while away the time playing a few games with his fellow passengers. And this is STILL part of the intro-to-the-tutorial-to-the-prelude etc.

While en route to Boston, Kenway meets a variety of characters, many of whom I'm sure play a bigger role later on.

He also uses his journey to show us the slightly different fight mechanics in AC3. Yes, the fight tutorial cometh at last!

Even the first fight is extremely fun and gratifying, though it skips the carnage, which as we've all seen comes in BOATLOADS later on, with the Connor character especially fond of particularly sadistic kills. In the parts I played, no one got seriously hurt in fights.

Well, at the rate I game these days I hope I can actually meet Connor in the next month or so, considering how gargantuan AC3 is. Here's wishing that 21/12/12 thing isn't true...

The bottom line for me is that AC3 is an amazing game that requires your immediate attention - just the sheer size of it is guaranteed to have any gamer foaming at the mouth.

And don't forget, you can get AC3 completely free with a whole bunch of ASUS graphics cards! So get one now!

Articles: Gaming Hands On
Article Tags: Community
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