Mixing history lessons with finely-tuned and incredibly entertaining open world gameplay, Assassin’s Creed III is a force to be reckoned with this holiday season. In fact, the well-received sequel could end up being named 2012’s Game of the Year by consensus. If chance turns to reality and that actually happens, it won’t be a surprise, and will be a much-deserved award for the talented folks from Ubisoft Montreal, as well as the other men and women who poured their blood, sweat and tears into the large scale production. Yes, it’s really that good, and is an absolute must-buy for fans of the action-adventure genre.
After debuting on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 one day before Halloween, Connor’s blood-soaked story has since made its way onto the Windows PC platform, as well as Nintendo’s much talked-about Wii U console. As such, millions of new players are now able to dive into Colonial America, in order to continue the battle between the Assassins and the Templars, and that’s a good thing.
Earlier this fall, I was given the great opportunity to review the Xbox 360 version of Assassin’s Creed III, which I gave a very high score to. That article went into great detail regarding the game’s ins and outs, as well as its pros and cons. However, even though it represented our official thoughts regarding this impressive sequel, we wanted to also provide you, our valued readers, with an impressions article devoted to its Wii U port. Of course, that’s exactly what you’re reading right now. I just wanted to present a disclaimer, in order to let you folks know that this particular piece will predominantly deal with the GamePad enabled version and its exclusive features, not to mention its technical facets. If you’re looking for a more in-depth take, please check out our main review.
Since its official reveal, the Wii U and its touchscreen enabled GamePad controller have been the talk of our industry. It goes without saying that the conversations that have occurred since then have focused on different topics regarding the system. However, most of the ones that have taken place in public forums have centred upon how the new machine will change the way that we game, through technical or controller-based means. Sure, we won’t exactly know what Nintendo has accomplished until upwards of four years from now, but we’ve been provided glimpses of the future within the assortment of launch titles that have made their way to retail store shelves.
Like their peers, Ubisoft Montreal’s devoted development team undoubtedly put a lot of thought into how the above-referenced controller could improve their game. Those brainstorming sessions didn’t result in much, but that’s not a bad thing. After all, why would you mess with something great?
Unsurprisingly, this particular iteration is about as faithful as a port can be. As such, those who’ve yet to pick up and/or play Assassin’s Creed III have no reason to avoid getting it for their brand new toy. The core experience that so many of us love is presented in all of its glory, and no concessions were seemingly made. The most important thing to note, however, is the fact that the game runs very well on the Wii U.
When it comes to maneuvering throughout Revolutionary Boston and New York, two notable options exist. To explain, players can choose to utilize either the classic controller and its traditional design, or the GamePad. Neither option is a bad one, but those who are able to use the former list item should stick with it, because its compact form makes for easier assassinating.
Those who do decide to go with the more familiar controller will still want to make use of its touchscreen peer from time to time. That’s because, whenever it’s not being used to play the game, the GamePad is filled with a large-scale map. It’s helpful, and happens to be the only major advantage that this port boasts. Sure, it does have a secondary touch icon that acts as a quick horse whistle, but that’s nothing to write home about.
Even though the majority of this review has featured nothing but praise, there are two downsides to this particular port of Assassin’s Creed III. To start, I must mention that it was somewhat difficult to find others to play the multiplayer modes with. Although that is to be expected, given how new this console is, part of my problem resulted from matchmaking issues and host connection failures. On top of that, only one minor con exists. It relates to the presented visuals as, even though they’re quite impressive and happen to be full of detail, they fail to offer the same visual prowess that the Xbox 360 version did. The gap isn’t a large one, though, so this shouldn’t be taken as a reason to skip on picking this port up.
Frankly, it’s tough to really complain about what’s presented here. Yes, a couple of caveats do exist, but Ubisoft has done a fantastic job of porting its beloved series onto Nintendo’s new console. If you’re looking for a lengthy adventure to play on your new device, this one should be at, or near the top of your list.
This review is based on a Wii U copy of the game that was provided to us.
The Wii U port of Assassin's Creed III is an impressive and easy-to-recommend release. Although it's not exactly up to par with its console peers, it's only a couple of steps behind them.