Connor is back as the adventures of the villainous King Washington continue in this alternative version of history.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III
was an epic, demanding undertaking - a sprawling 18th Century world complete with a detailed depiction of history and some very fine ultraviolence (read our review for more
). But it was somewhat lacking in a sense of fun, particularly in its po-faced hero. Seemingly aware of this, the developers have delivered a major slice of DLC which tries to undo some of these wrongs.The Tyranny of King Washington
is a three part story which resets the events of AC III
, taking Connor back to his tribe with his mother still in the land of the living and giving us a different version of George Washington as one drunk on the power of the Apple of Eden. When Washington attacks his village, all but killing Connor, it’s time to head out for some good old-fashioned vengeance, and to do some history-fixing along the way.
Part 1, The Infamy
, was released in February and was notable for introducing an all new power, allowing Connor to cloak at will and call in some lupine reinforcements. Part 2, titled The Betrayal
, gives our hero the gift of eagle flight, again after drinking some funky tea. The result mean you can quickly fling yourself from one anchor point to the next across the map, and also swoop down to take out enemies with a single blow.
Next to the relatively grounded free-running and stealth-based gameplay of the original game, The Tyranny of King Washington
is mostly a lot of fun. With both powers engaged (accessed via the d-pad or selection wheel) it’s easy to careen from a tall building into a group of enemies, scattering them in fear before setting a trio of wolves on their throats then melting back into the comfort of invisibility.
The Infamy mostly took place in the open wooded areas of the Frontier, so the transition to Boston makes for a change of pace, and flying across the roofs and flowing up tall structures in moments makes for a surprisingly different experience. And the effect of Washington’s rule sets it apart still further, the world struggling on beneath a pall of smoke with corpses lining the byways of this once great city.
Unfortunately these new mechanics do detract a little from the well-worn systems of Assassin’s Creed
. With the ability to fly and disappear at will, there’s little consequence for attacking enemies and even more powerful foes are easily undone by a quick sidestep and invisibility cloak action. And these issues aren’t helped by a story which doesn’t do enough to create an obvious antagonist, and too fleeting an appearance from Washington himself.
There’s certainly value in the additional material provided by The Betrayal
- the world is smaller than that of the main game but there are plenty of new sub-missions, while the main campaign should take you around 2 hours to complete. The main interest lies in the new gameplay elements and how much they differ from the original campaign and that should be enough to keep fans entertained. Part 3, The Redemption, is coming in April and rumour has it you’ll try on the power of the Bear…