Coming off of the Vita Assassins Creed III: Liberation, I felt like I should finally jump into the real deal. Liberation wasn’t amazing, and I felt the story telling was sub par. I’m hoping by returning to the main entry in the franchise I can have a well crafted, well told story.

The previews for Assassins Creed III are what got me playing the franchise. I thought the setting of the Revolutionary War sounded really cool. My wife joked that I’d be hanging out with Ben Franklin in the game, and you do run into him early on! Plus you know, I’m from America so the idea of playing in a colonial New England area seemed really enticing.

So last night I put the disc in, downloaded the necessary updates (thanks modern gaming), and jumped back in the Animus with Desmond Miles.

Hour One Part 2 - Assassins Creed III 2

I’m playing Assassins Creed III on the Wii U even though I’ve played all the other console entries on the Xbox 360. I wanted to see a multi-platform game handle the GamePad, try something a bit more on the mature side on the Wii U, and I wondered in general how I’d like using the GamePad as the main controller for an action game like this.

It took a little time, but by the end of my hour I was feeling good with the GamePad. It’s weird moving the right thumb down to hit buttons when other controllers have you move upward, but it wasn’t too hard to wrap my head around. It also helps that the GamePad is pretty comfortable to hold. I felt like the analog sticks weren’t as on point as I wanted them to be, but this may have been a sensitive thing I could change in the options menu. It wasn’t bothering me too much, so I didn’t mess with it but I’ll look into it the next time I play.

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Speaking of the GamePad, Assassins Creed III uses it mainly to display a map. It allows the map to be bigger than a normal on screen mini map, which can be handy for seeing where items or enemies are. There is still a mini-map onscreen, though you have an option to turn it off if you wanted.

You can also play Assassins Creed III off-screen on the gamepad itself. It’s an option in the options menu, as well as an option to make the UI more gamepad friendly. It works well enough though the volume could be louder. It may not look as nice as on a big HDTV, but I do like that I can play it in bed without illuminating the entire room.

And seeing it on my 1080p TV is worth it. Assassins Creed III looks fantastic so far. Maybe it’s coming off Liberation, which looked impressive for a handheld game, but Assassins Creed III is sharp looking, well animated, and just a wonderful thing to look at. From the opening at an opera house, to the waves on the Atlantic Ocean (which looked really impressive), to the streets of colonial Boston I’m very impressed with the graphics.

Hour One Part 2 - Assassins Creed III

The story so far has me interested, and I appreciated the recap in the beginning since it’s been a little bit of time since I played the prior titles. Sarah appreciated it as well as she hasn’t watched me play any of them very much, but she thought it could have been a little longer, or slower, to give her more information or more time to ingest the 4 games worth of info she was presented with.

After my first hour was up I was feeling good about the game. I’m already interested in the story, the world looks interesting, and I wanted to play more. Here’s hoping the rest of it lives up to my expectations.

 

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