Assassin's Creed 3 Gameplay Revealed, Plus New Details

WhatCulture are given a glimpse at the gameplay for the upcoming Assassin's Creed 3.

Assassin€™s Creed III is doubtless one of the most anticipated games of this year, and what with such a quick announcement, box art and a trailer all being released in such a short space of time, many are sure to have questions. Lucky then that Ubisoft recently held a press event in London to talk more about the game, show off some gameplay and set the scene for those looking for an explanation. What Culture! was there for this hour long presentation on the new American Revolution stab-em-up, and a lot of information was offered for you greedy little fans to get your hands on. So, with your impatient lust in mind, here€™s the no nonsense run down on what you need to know: 3D environments - No longer are you simply stuck to geometric roves. Now there are hills, uneven surfaces, slippery patches that hinder free running in the rain, rolling plains, trees and even rock faces that can be climbed. Prettier - The new Anvil Next engine ups the pixel count and gives things an incredibly smooth look. You€™ll also be seeing up to 2,000 characters on screen at once (think large scale battles). 1753-1783 - You can expect a thirty year story in which Connor joins the order in the year 1770. The Civil War started roughly in 1763 and ended in 1783, Connor will no doubt be a big player throughout. Cinematic - Ubisoft have pioneered simultaneous motion-capture, facial-capture and voice recording techniques. That€™s right -they did all three at once so now there are better performances all round and more close ups in cut-scenes. Snow - As well as a four season weather cycle that includes rain, fog and ice, there is also variable depth snow. Deep snow takes longer to traverse but is also a silent path to move through. In a chase you might want to take to the trees to avoid it, but in stealth it can help you get closer to your targets. The frontier - 1.5 times the size of Rome in ACII and containing 30% of the games missions, this massive wilderness is ripe for tree and rock climbing. Climbing is also faster than ever. Kids and Animals - Animals can be killed and skinned for furs, the €˜cleaner€™ the kill the better the fur (this replaces property purchasing). Children are also present as NPCs. NPC interaction - NPCs now interact with each other and the player more frequently. They chat to each other more dynamically and are less robotic than in previous outings. Interiors - One sequence showed Connor darting through the front window of a house and then out the back one again utterly seamlessly. We can't speak to how prevalent this feature is, but it€™s certainly present. More animations - You can now slide under and over objects whilst free running and without slowing down or changing direction. All Connor€™s animations have been built from scratch (that€™s not to say they don€™t look very familiar though). Rope Dart - Connor has a new mid range Scorpion style weapon which he can use to kill, string up and pull in enemies. The Chinese Roper Dart is essentially a metal dart attached to a rope of 3-5 meters in length. It doesn€™t sound like much, but it€™s a real game changer. Human Shields - enemies only fire muskets once before entering into close combat, this is due to the massive reload times of revolution era fire arms. So in the meantime you can take human shields to protect yourself from this opening volley. You can also use the Rope Dart to pull enemies in close from range and then use them as shields. Blood - Wounded targets bleed in the snow and so can be tracked, they€™re also likely to be attacked by wild animals. Moving parts - you can climb on moving objects i.e. by using passing by horses as stepping stones. You can also perform a leap of faith into a moving cart full of hay (this may even trigger fast travel to cities - though this is not 100% confirmed). Dual wielding - Two pistols and two melee weapons. You can also counter kill two enemies at once (thanks Arkham City). Bow and Arrow - for Silent ranged kills. Also using muskets will enable slow-mo kills (think bullet time for skilful shots you manage to pull off). New York and Boston - American frontier cities are more interesting than ever. You€™ll also see New York under siege. Less emphasis on crowds and more on animals - as yet unannounced interactions with animals to come. In the demo we saw Connor viciously stab a grizzly bear in the neck, we were told he has "a great respect for nature", though that doesn't mean you won't be getting 'hands on'. No more slow down in hidden blade or assassination kills - now there€™s no stop-start to assassinations, instead it€™s a case of killing and then moving seamlessly on for the next kill. Sequences are now more fluid and exciting as a result. The Tomahawk - Connor may be said to embody justice, where Altaïr was duty and Ezio revenge, but he actually has the most brutal fighting style of the three. The Tomahawk and dagger combos often land with an knee to a bleeding face or a musket going off between the eyes (literally). Mojave Indians - Connor will play both sides of the fence when it comes to the war effort and although he€™ll help both the British and the Patriots, his main concern (apart from the Templars) is for the Native American people. Foliage - As well as swinging from the trees Connor also automatically crouches in foliage, this helps him remain undetected as he moves through it. No longer is elevation the only real option for staying stealthy. Cover - You can now take cover and kill from it. New Animus 3.0 - Now the loading room is 3D, the UI is cleaner with more of a subtle "lit-up" style. Quest markers are also now fully modeled in 3D within the environment and so are easier to identify. The Brotherhood is back - you may only have one wrist blade but you can still call the brotherhood (more details yet to be announced). Ubisofts biggest ever production - No figures were given, only that this is twice the size of production than ACII. Historical characters - Apart from George Washington you€™ll also encounter Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis De Lafayette, Charles Lee and Israel Putnam, amongst others. Ubisoft are aiming for 80% of their characters to be historically accurate. On a silly note - Connor looks a bit like Taylor Lautner and has a rather boyish voice. Interestingly though he doesn€™t scalp his opponents as this is historically inaccurate for Mojave Indians. So there you have it, as much as we€™re allowed to tell you without being assassinated ourselves. Needless to say that in the coming months more and more comparisons will be drawn between Assassin€™s Creed III and games like Read Dead Redemption and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Rest assured however that Ubisoft haven€™t shown their full hand just yet, so check back in with What Culture in the coming months for more details as they emerge.
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Jim is a writer from south London. @Jim12C