Assassin's Creed III Boston demo shows off new features
- Assassin's Creed III
Words by Mick Fraser
Not long after its announcement, we brought you eight reasons why Assassin’s Creed III would make a killing, and as more and more info gushes out of Ubisoft’s generous vaults, we’re becoming more and more certain that we’ll be proved right.
The latest video, below, is a gameplay demo set in Boston, narrated by Creative Director Alex Hutchinson. In it, we see new assassin Connor navigating the 18th Century streets with the grace and poise we’ve come to expect from the franchise, but now buffed up to a beautiful sheen thanks to the new AnvilNext engine.
The demo shows off a host of new features and improvements. For example, as a carriage loaded with hay passes by our hooded hero, he leaps into it, concealing himself as we’ve seen in all the other AC titles – but now you can assassinate from your mobile hiding place, as we see when Connor springs up, grabs hold of a Redcoat and drags him to his hidden doom. We also see Connor sticking his back against a wall to snatch an unsuspecting Englishman from cover.
New hiding spots, called “stalking zones”, allow a greater level of freedom and concealment – waist-high bushes are a great example, letting you hunker down and wait for your prey to stroll past, oblivious, before you send them to meet their maker.
Slick, fluid movement is a staple of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but the new engine takes things a step further. Connor’s movements are almost animal, the deadly grace with which he moves lending a captivating beauty even to something as mundane as scaling a tree. The world looks alive in a way that has never really been achieved in the series before, with a more reactive crowd (that now features animals such as pigs and chickens – though we expect there will be less need to stealthily murder them) and new blending abilities to make better use of it.
The demo also shows off the brand new combat, rebuilt from the ground up to allow for smoother, more fluid action that relies on kill-chains to make Connor’s dual-wielding lethality as cinematic as possible while still relying on player skill. To look at, it reminds us of Rocksteady’s Batman titles with Connor making full use of the available space to leap, roll and slide between assailants and dispatching them with only one or two precision hits.
And when it all goes horribly wrong – or twenty more English soldiers come sprinting around the corner – you can use all new evasion moves like the rather awesome “pass-through” to get away. This is a manoeuvre that sees Connor cut through buildings, window to window, to lose his pursuers, circumventing furniture and residents with the same free-running ease.
All in all, this demo is further proof that the Assassin’s Creed series keeps getting better with every instalment, as new features are added and old features are tightened. We’ll deliver a more in-depth preview in the next few weeks, but in the meantime let this demo whet your appetite for a trip to Ubisoft’s brave new frontier.
Assassin's Creed III is being developed and published by Ubisoft, and is scheduled for release on October 31st.
Words by Mick Fraser (Twitter: @Jedi_Beats_Tank)
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