Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington – The Infamy

Upon its initial launch late last year Assassin’s Creed III received some unfair criticism. As Electronic Theatre cited at the time, the barrier for entry is significantly higher than might be expected of a modern blockbuster title, but nonetheless Assassin’s Creed III is a hugely […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageUpon its initial launch late last year Assassin’s Creed III received some unfair criticism. As Electronic Theatre cited at the time, the barrier for entry is significantly higher than might be expected of a modern blockbuster title, but nonetheless Assassin’s Creed III is a hugely enjoyable, progressive action experience. The sales of the videogame surely reflected this, and subsequently Ubisoft’s plans for downloadable content (DLC) demonstrate a confidence in the title, if not innovation in its delivery.

Following two DLC packs that concentrated solely on the multiplayer component, Ubisoft moved on to expanding the single-player adventure with a brand new campaign. Acting as a separate entity from the main adventure (and allowing playersElectronic Theatre Image to jump in at any point regardless of their progress through the on-disc content) the first part of the Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington, The Infamy, is available to download now. Continuing the story of Ratonhnhaké:ton, aka Connor Kenway, in an entirely unexpected fashion, this new DLC is a step aside from Assassin’s Creed III’s grim tale of ruthless justice and a turn towards the more eccentric.

Available as a new option on the main menu, standing aside from the original campaign in almost all respects, The Infamy begins with the return of Connor’s mother. Any who have played the original Assassin’s Creed III will immediately realise that something is not quite right with this picture, and thus begins the series of clues leading Electronic Theatre Imagethe player to the realisation that this isn’t our reality. The Infamy takes place on an alternate timeline – whether it’s a dream or a fiction created by the Nexus remains to be seen, as does how it ties in with the overarching Assassin’s Creed storyline – with Connor now set about even grander things than ever before.

The gameplay is a more familiar design, as would be expected, but sadly it seems to take its cues from the weakest part of the original Assassin’s Creed III campaign. A very linear, story-led adventure, The Infamy may be the scene setter for grander things, but alone it seems to have forgotten what it is that makes Assassin’s Creed such an enviable prospect, instead turning it into a fairly standard third-person action videogame within an experience clearly capableElectronic Theatre Image of so much more. This is a product that has been designed for the core Assassin’s Creed audience, not for those who dip in-and-out of the series. This is also evident in the difficulty of the combat, which has clearly been designed with experienced players in mind.

Along with the linear structure comes some very interesting objectives, throwing assault, stealth, artillery bombardments and defence missions all at the player within the first fifteen minutes. If there’s one thing you couldn’t criticise the structure for it’s the variety, though the freedom that the series became famous for is almost entirely absent. The excitement in The Infamy comes from unravelling the plot as opposed to experiencing Electronic Theatre Imageadrenaline pumping action sequences, which is problematic for a videogame franchise that is built upon the foundations of fist being stringer than fiction.

The Infamy is far from being bad DLC, with it’s two-to-three hour duration and character expanding storyline being reminiscent of Alan Wake’s DLC presentations. The secondary objectives are perhaps a little too challenging to be comfortable and the lack of exploration feels overly restrictive, but on the whole things remain positive. Now it’s time to hope that Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington can come good on the groundwork they’ve painstakingly laid with The Infamy.

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