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Review: Assassin's Creed III makes a killing on the Wii U

Assassin's Creed III Screenshot - 1119106

Well, we've already seen what Connor can do on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with the well-received Assassin's Creed III.  But now it's time to see how his venture onto the Wii U fares, especially with all the hoopla going into the GamePad features.  Does this dedicated killer still have what it takes to get the job done, or has he lost some spring in his step?

To be honest, the game makes a fully capable transfer over to Nintendo's console with very few problems, though, honestly, it's not without its hitches.

First things first, let's tell the story of Connor, the latest assassin to be featured in the game.  Desmond Miles and his team, still desperate to stop Abstergo (aka the Templars) from unleashing a dastardly plan, venture into the shoes of this unlikely American Revolution ally as he carves his way through a series of brown coats, learning a little bit about himself while also carrying out tasks for the likes of George Washington and other historical types.  Of course, missions vary, but it all comes down to finishing off a key target in order to move Desmond's modern-day progress forward.

AC

Assassin's Creed III remains brimming with activities on the Wii U.  Along with a set of missions that will take you hours to get through (plenty of longevity here), it also comes packed with side quests and other mini-activities that will keep you intrigued, whether you're on the high seas engaged in brutal naval battles (one of the best additions to the game) or doing some hunting while, at the same time, avoiding becoming a meal for a bear or a wolf.

Connor's accessibility is excellent on the Wii U.  Utilizing the GamePad, you're able to switch to weapons and other objects within a matter of milliseconds, so you can always be prepared for a fight with a longsword, or just feel like taking someone out with a simple hand blade stab.  The regular controls are just as functional, as Connor moves wonderfully throughout, whether you're casually walking through a market or leaping across trees and rooftops at high speed.  Ubisoft's free-running system has never been better, though occasionally there are times where you'll mis-step and fall.

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Along with the single player campaign, the game also features multiplayer through both Wolfpack co-op and competitive zone-taking amidst teams.  Though it's hardly as refined as what you'd find on the Xbox 360 or PS3 (due to low user count), it's a good time if you're looking to get Nintendo Network friends involved in action.  Just be prepared to wait a little bit to start a match.

If AC III collapses anywhere in the transition to Wii U (ever so slightly, anyway), it's the presentation.  For the most part, the game does look very good when it comes to recreating colonial times in Boston and New York, with staggeringly good atmospheric touches (most noted during a stop in a local tavern) and terrific music.  The animations aren't bad either, especially when Connor catches a target with the "ideal kill", if you will.  However, the frame rate can jump from time to time, as have most Wii U third party releases, and there are glitches throughout, some of which could mean all the difference between succeeding in a getaway and falling off a roof into an awaiting battle with the reds.  Ubisoft should patch this, and soon, I hope.

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But I digress.  If it's a "killer" time you're looking for on the Wii U, Assassin's Creed III is a noteworthy effort, one that'll keep you intrigued with hours of single and multiplayer content, and plenty of exquisite gameplay touches.  It's not the ultimate version, but, like any good assassin, it gets the job done.

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Robert Workman
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