Assassin’s Creed III: Shifting Emotional Gears

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Note: The following contains spoilers regarding Assassin’s Creed III. Turn back now if you have yet to play this game. You will thank me. I promise.

Three hours into my Assassin’s Creed III play-through, I finally came across the emotional meat needed to sustain my gaming appetite. Up until this point, I had been playing through what I now know was a three sequence long prologue. Using Haytham Kenway as the player’s gateway into the world of ACIII was genius if not jarring. After months of seeing the protagonist Connor’s face splashed across multiple web sites and magazines, my initial reaction to Haytham was a resounding, “huh”. Why am I not playing as the awesome looking assassin on the front cover of the game? Who is “Haytham Kenway”? Time certainly did reveal that all along I was playing as both Connor’s father and as a much hated Templar–plot twist!–.

I was excited to finally play as Connor last night. His story seems to be fueled by revenge, much like Ezio’s story in ACII. How this The Patriot meets Pocahontas/The Last of the Mohicans mash-up plays out remains to be seen. I will be back.

Assassin’s Creed III

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A few weeks ago, I did something out of character, I went and pre-ordered Assassin’s Creed III (ACIII).

Last night I went and picked up my pre-order at Gamestop. After being carded by the clerk, who said I looked under 30, I quickly exited the store. An hour or two later I found myself waiting for the game to install. 10-15 minutes later, I was treated to an opening video that highlighted that something bigger than the war between the Assassins and Templars was about to unfold, the end of the world is nigh. Only Desmond, the “link” between all of the Assassin’s Creed games and the player, holds the key to the planet’s salvation.

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. – Morpheus, The Matrix

The Mark of an Assassin

Note: Spoilers are incoming! If you wish to remain an ACIII virgin, steer clear. You have been warned.

Contrary to any promotional material you may have seen, ACIII opens in Britain with a tutorial assassination–how clinical sounding–at the London Opera House. In the boots of Haytham Kenway, you wade through eager operagoers and make your way to your seat and contact.

Notice how dimly lit the opera house is in the above picture. The poor sap, whose soul you’ve come to rid from this world, will never see you coming. And so the saga of Assassin’s Creed III begins.

I managed to play for just under an hour last night. In that time I assassinated a man, journeyed to the American Colonies, and met Benjamin Franklin. My only criticism so far is that the game seems perfectly happy holding my hand and guiding me through the various assassin processes. Like a child, I want to break free from that hand and truly discover the world that exists around me. Patience, I tell myself.