Like most gamers around the planet, you’ve no doubt seen the Assassin’s Creed 3 announcement trailer by now and a done a fair bit of understandably oohing and ahhing over it like we have. Still, we wanted to go ahead and take a closer look at some of the elements on display in the trailer and discuss what they might represent in terms of Ubisoft’s overall intention and vision for Assassin's Creed 3. So without further ado, let’s do some trailer breakdowning.
1. Eagle imagery returns - Given the thematic and symbolic significance eagles play in the AC universe, it's hardly a surprise to see the trailer open with an American Bald Eagle soaring majestically over the snow covered expanse of the Mohawk Valley. It really is just the perfect way to kick off the trailer, as it instantly resonates with long-time fans of the series while also setting the stage for the action about to unfold in the forests below.
2. Nature, beautiful deadly nature - One of the biggest new features being introduced in AC3 is an animal ecosystem. Similar to Red Dead Redemption, AC3's frontiers will be filled with various categories of animals that will go about their business irrespective of your presence. Should you cross paths with said animals, you'll be able to hunt and skin them as you see fit. But as is clearly evidenced in the above shot, the frontier can be a brutal and unforgiving place, so you better make sure to have your wits about you, or your body could end up being a collection of colonies just waiting to be devoured.
3. Be vaaawy quiet, I'm hunting redcoats - The thought of stalking caravans of British soldiers through moonlight forests, using their lanterns to track their movements with added efficiency is just too cool for its own good. It would seem likely that you'll be able to set up ambushes and traps along roads to bottleneck the squads and make them easy pickings for our trusty hatchet and bow.
4. Duel wielding weapons - In the brief yet brutal exchange seen above, Connor dispatches this poor Brit with a hatchet to the head with one hand while firmly gripping a very sharp knife in the other. In other words, say hello to dual wielding! Dealing punishing one-handed death blows has always been a blast, so to now have control over two weapons simultaneously is...well, it's like twice as awesome (Thanks math!).
5. Musket finishing moves confirmed - Finishing moves have always been one of the most joyous and gut wrenching elements of the AC series, so it should come as no surprise that they are back and better than ever in AC3. The swiftness with which Connor spins this soldier's own musket out of his hands and onto the ground is only surpassed by how quickly he slams the dude's face into the bayonet and blasts him through the face. The best detail here is that Connor pulls the trigger with his hatchet. Doesn't get much more badass than that.
- DETAILS: Assassin's Creed 3 Box Art Released
6. Natural traversal - The parkour mechanics of AC are second to none, but from what we've heard about the new animation systems at work in AC3, it sounds like you'll be pulling off maneuvers with a sense of speed and swiftness unlike anything we've seen before. Whether it's dodging carts and people in the streets of Boston to flying through trees in the frozen frontier, expect the free running in AC3 to be about as thrilling a gameplay experience as anything we've seen this generation.
7. AC games have always done the “lots of people on screen” thing really well. Wandering around the crowded city streets of Venice, Rome, and Constantinople and just observing the sea of humanity as it flows through the cities is one of the great jobs of the series. But where past games populated their environments with hundreds of NPCs, AC3 is said to feature “thousands” on screen at one time. I would guess this is more of an estimation for the epic Revolutionary battle sequences you’ll encounter, but it will obviously extend into Boston, New York, and the game’s other urban settings as well so as to give them an even greater sense of life and vibrancy than the metropolises in previous games.
- Gallery: Assassin's Creed 3 Screenshots
8. American history with a twist - While such famous figures from American history as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln have popped up in the AC lore over the course of its various game installments, they have always been confined to images or puzzles. In AC3, some of America’s most influential individuals will come to life and play a major role in Connor’s (and Desmond’s) story. Whether it’s taking marching orders from George Washington or taking a ride with Paul Revere, AC3 looks to be the greatest (alternate) American history class of all time.