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Naval warfare in Assassin's Creed 3 is kind of a big deal

When Ubisoft first revealed Assassin's Creed 3's naval combat mode, many wrote it off as a glorified version of the previously seen tower defense feature seen in the prior Assassin's Creed game. But if we've learned anything from the countless gameplay videos and numerous interviews, it's that naval combat in AC3 is much more than an added feature. In fact, creative director Chad Hutchinson describes it as a "big deal."

“We thought, ‘What is it about this period that makes it special?’,” Hutchinson told OPM UK, “and it just came up again and again in the history that the navy was such a big part of it."

"It’s how you got to America. It’s how imported goods got to America. It was a key factor in dictating the outcome of the Revolution itself," he explained. "All of these things kept telling us that this was a big deal, and you couldn’t do the Revolution justice without the sea.”

Although I, personally, haven't yet played it. It looks like a pretty fun addition to the game. From what we've seen and heard, you control Connor — the new protagonist in Assassin's Creed 3 — and captain the ship. You'll command the wheel and maneuver toward enemy ships while ordering the crew to fire the cannons. All the while, Assassin's Creed 3's dynamic weather system (powered by the AnvilNext engine) is creating howling winds and deadly waves.

“No one had really done a third-person action-adventure sailing game before,” Hutchinson added. “You’re controlling navigation and combat at the same time. You can walk around your boat, but once you take the wheel you’re steering the boat almost the same as you would in any vehicle in the game. At the same time, you’re ordering your crew to fire different weapons – whether it’s round shot to sink the boats or chain shot to take out masts. The fun of it is juggling those things.”

The important thing for me is that the naval combat in Assassin's Creed 3 seems like there is more of a point to it. The naval battles are said to make up a significant chunk of the game and, with their own narratives, it seems they'll have a purpose greater than just changing up the gameplay. 

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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