I have spent a lot of hours playing the Assassin’s Creed franchise, from Altair right through to Connor, and I have come to expect a certain level of quality from it. I am happy to report that this high standard has been reached once again, if not surpassed, with Assassins Creed III. Most people have probably played this title already on another console but regardless the Wii U addition is, in most facets, just as good. We previously reviewed the Xbox 360 version of the game. If you want to read all of the Xbox 360 review given the game is the same, story wise, you can see JohnnyXeo’s full review right HERE. For more Wii U specific impressions, read on.
In case you have not run this through on another console, or if you are perhaps new to the franchise, let me give you a brief introduction as to what it is all about – You get to be sneaky, climb on a bunch of rooftops, and kill a lot of people in really cool ways. That’s the gist in the most basic of terms. If you are indeed brand new to the franchise here’s a summary courtesy of JohnnyXeo’s Xbox 360 review:
“Assassin’s Creed III is actually the fifth instalment in the series that follows the story of Desmond Miles along with the stories of his ancestors Altair, Ezio and the newest Assassin Connor Kenway. To newcomers here are the basics as spoiler free as possible. There is a machine called the Animus, which allows people to relive memories that have been embedded in their DNA, and it so happens that Desmond is a descendant of a long line of Assassins. He has been reliving the memories of his ancestors to find some clues that were left behind to aid those in the future. At first Desmond was being forced to work with the Templars, the enemy of the Assassin Order, until he broke free of their control and started to work with the Assassins themselves to help the world break free from the Templar’s attempt to take away all free will as they endeavour to create their own version of Utopia.”
Assassin’s Creed III introduces us to Connor Kenway. Without giving too much away, I do hate being spoiled; I can note that you do not start out with Connor as your main protagonist. Regardless, you make your way through the majority of the game as Connor helping the revolutionaries in civil war America while fighting against the aforementioned Templars. What makes this game stand out from its predecessors is the migration across the Atlantic to fight over the rooftops of fledgling cities like New York and Boston, as well as the North American wilds. I found it to be an extremely refreshing change of pace. Adding to the refreshment factor is the ability to hunt, participate in some cool naval ship battles, as well as hunt for the all-important collectibles. Sadly I am an obsessive-compulsive collectibles junkie so quite often I find myself ignoring story missions to free-run the map.
Gameplay wise you will not notice anything drastically different from Assassin’s Creed’s counterparts on the Xbox 360 or PS3. The Wii U version is pretty much identical aside from the new toy we have in the Wii U known as the GamePad. You will have use of a much larger mini-map on the GamePads touchscreen and I found it to be quite handy. Not only is it easier to see right in front of you but the coverage of area is greater allowing you to map out what you want to do with a little more ease. The ability to call your horse with a simple touch on the GamePad’s also came in quite handy as it frees up a quick-select spot.
I decided to run the Xbox 360 version and the Wii U version side by side on two TVs, and while I can say that visually they are mostly on par it looked slightly, and I say very, very slightly, better on the Xbox 360. If you were running them separately I would dare say you would not notice the difference at all. Combat was fluid and framerate slowdown was not overly noticeable. All in all it is a comparable visual experience to the other big console versions.
One of the most important things for me to really feel immersed into a game is the voice acting. Terrible acting results in a far less enjoyable experience. Continuing tradition the acting here is stellar. Cutscenes are so well done that at times you feel like you are enjoying a movie rather than a game. I found it to be one of the best parts of the game as a whole.
For the real meat and potatoes of the Assassin’s Creed III experience I highly recommend that you go and read our very own JohnnyXeo’s review for the Xbox 360 referenced above. He went into great detail and it’s worth your time.
As a Wii U experience this is certainly one of the better launch titles. If you have yet to pick Assassin’s Creed and you recently picked up Nintendo’s newest home console it is definitely worth looking at. The perk of playing on your GamePad is a plus and apart from the lack of achievement/trophy hunting (if you’re into that sort of thing) I found it to be a solid experience that matches up well with its counterparts.