E3 2012: Assassin's Creed 3 single-player hands-on

Assassin's Creed III Screenshot - AC3

With day two in the books here at E3, it's quite obvious to say that Assassin's Creed 3 has stolen hearts of nearly everyone at the expo, including the incredible amount of publications who've already dubbed it "Best of Show." Since the event kicked off, thousands of folks have graced the Ubisoft booth to check out the return of Assassin's Creed and the introduction of Connor, the series' new protagonist. Luckily, we were able to gain some behind-the-scenes gameplay of the upcoming blockbuster, which included some spectacular fighting sequences, free-running chases, and gut-wrenching assassinations. 

After a short briefing from one of the team's technical advisors, we were sent off to good ol' Boston, Massachusetts to battle some nasty red coats. First, though, we were showcased one the series' new features, stranger missions. As you stroll around locations in the game, NPCs will casually (or frantically) ask for help doing certain tasks. These are completely optional, and will only add time to your overall experience, but in our case we elected to accept the help cry, which had us rescuing a woman's husband from the British soldiers. Strategically, we elected to climb a tree to gain a better view of the victim at hand while planning our attack. Using the new, and already beloved, Rope Dart, we hung a British soldier to distract the other guards...successfully of course. We then freed the man of his seemingly inevitable death, and received a warm thank you from his wife. 

AC3 cover system

Once that situation was conquered, we took to the marketplace to check out the game's new cover system. Similar to sitting on benches to blend in during past titles, Assassin's Creed 3 features countless blend options, making for some excellent assassination options. During our hands-on time, we elected to talk to some NPCs by a pitchfork rack. We spotted an enemy redcoat furiously searching for the murderer of our earlier battle, so in an epic sequence, we stepped from our position and assassinated the opponent by throwing his skull into two pitchforks. Our murder was in broad daylight, so several enemies instinctively caught our act, allowing us to check out the game's revamped fighting system. We began by simply countering our enemies using Connor's dual-wielding tomahawks, which proved to be a considerable amount of fun. After some impressive maneuvers, though, we tried out another new feature mechanic in the game, which was the ability to switch between swords/tomahawks and guns on the fly. This entire action sequence took our breaths away (seriously, though, you should have seen our faces). 

Finally, our play through ended with some free-running atop several of Boston's elegant houses. Just when we thought our freedom was already justified, we were told that players will be able to climb any type of surfaces. For instance, we thought we’d check out the town from above an enemy ship, so we quickly took out two guards by our favorite method yet: grabbing an enemy musket, ramming the knife into an enemy, and then shooting through at the other foe. We then swiftly climbed the ships ropes to the top, revealing one of the more beautiful vistas we’ve seen in a videogame in quite some time.

To say that Assassin’s Creed 3 is shaping up to be one of this year’s best titles is an understatement. We explained yesterday how exhilarating the game’s multiplayer is shaping up to be, and we just walked you through a marvelous piece of the title’s main campaign. If Assassin’s Creed 3 isn’t on the top of your most anticipated game’s list, please, shutdown your laptop and mark October 30 when you’ll finally get a chance to see this amazing experience yourself. 

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Tate Steinlage I write words about video games and sports. Hope you like them.
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