Assassin’s Creed 3 looks to be one of the hottest games to come out this fall, and expectations are soaring since the release of a new trailer at E3. We gathered the staff around to watch the trailer and see for ourselves what all the fuss was about.:
Brad: We begin with our protagonist standing on a rooftop overlooking the city. Assassins in games are always standing on rooftops. I imagine this job must be especially hazardous in bad weather, because roofs get pretty slippery. No wonder assassin-related crime always drops off in the winter.
B. Indifferent: The only reason that buildings have rooftops is so that assassins can stand on them. After all, who builds buildings? Masons. Think about it.
M. Rambler: Okay, so I just did as you asked, and my mind is thoroughly blown.
D.Conrad: The first thing I thought when the video started was “COME ON! Enough with the cinematics let me jump off the roof they always start you on!”
GlowPuff: I am an assassin, and I use the Metro. I’m afraid of heights.
D.Conrad: It’s nice to see that the theory of “signs being mounted to buildings with easy to climb bars” has not changed since the first Assassins Creed.
M. Rambler: Come now Donald, assassins have to get to their roofpurch somehow. And why covertly sneak your way up there conventionally from the inside of the building, when you can climb up the side of a wall in a densely populated street during loitering hour?
Brad: Wait, you mean to tell me nobody saw that? A guy just jumped off the roof of a building into a horse cart and nobody noticed? Or maybe they’re just so used to seeing people fall off roofs that this is a pretty ordinary occurrence. I could see this being a real annoyance for the guy driving the cart – “Again? Man, this happens every time I drive my hay cart through Assassin Square.”
GlowPuff: You have to remember, this is Assassin’s Creed *3*. People around the world are SO used to seeing assassin’s jump off roofs at this point.
D.Conrad: I don’t see anything wrong with this, I jump in the back of random F150’s all the time!
M. Rambler: Where do you find F150’s loaded with hay in this day and age?
Brad: Truck commercials.
D.Conrad: You think an Assassin has ever fallen asleep in a hay pile? It would be bad if a farmer came along and started scooping with a pitch fork.
M. Rambler: Strange that you would mention that Donald. Until 1779 hay was only used for hiding… that is until fabled assassin William T. Blonkington did manage to unintentionally fall asleep in a hay pile while on the job. From there on out, it was used for bedding the world over.
Brad: This marks my favorite moment in the entire video, where the player gets impatient and runs ahead of the lady who’s trying to show him where to go. I do this all the time, and seeing a guy do it right in the demo for the game makes me feel less like an impatient gamer and more like “Hey Ubisoft, maybe you should fix that.”
GlowPuff: I propose a piggyback system, wherein you can pick up your ally onto your back while they give directions. No more running ahead and waiting for them to catch up, because wherever you go, there they are.
B. Indifferent: So you’re proposing that they bring back that kid-replaced-by-a-monkey-pointing-the-way system made popular by the Sega Genesis hit, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker?
GlowPuff: That’s exactly what I’m saying. Minus the monkey part.
M. Rambler: No, the monkey is a great idea. Maybe they could code the game so that if you were an impatient gamer and wanted to walk faster than the NPC, they would kindly hand you a monkey that would ride on your shoulder and point the way.
D.Conrad: Why can’t they just say “Oh, hey look at this marker on your map, why don’t you go there and I will magically appear to give you further instructions.” Although, that piggyback idea sounds great, but you should be the one on THEIR back! Your wrist blades would inspire them to walk faster!
GlowPuff: This would make a great mini-game within the main gameplay!
Brad: Oh sure, I’ll just leave my guard post to walk down a long dark alley to taunt some random lady. It’s not like I’m, you know, in the middle of guarding something. I’ve seen Tenchu guards who aren’t dumb enough to fall for that. And that’s a series where I’ve witnessed guards running directly into a wall for several minutes.
B. Indifferent: I think what happened was that he got confused for a moment and thought that he was actually guarding the far end of that alley. I’ve seen it happen before; it’s a common mistake.
Brad: Also, I’m really digging the British accents and slang. There are lickspittles and people get slapped in the gob and every conversation sounds like listening to the members of the Sex Pistols having an argument. I’m surprised nobody in that exchange got called a wanker.
M. Rambler: Yeah, if I had a nickel for everytime I’ve caught a gobslapping lickspittle, I’d die a wealthy man.
D.Conrad: You have it all wrong! He had just got off his shift and was on his way home. His home is in the alley, since he did live under colonial oppression!
D.Conrad: I may be no expert arborist, but that branch he just jumped onto would have snapped right where he landed or right off the tree. Either way, both he and the brit would have been really surprised by the chain of events.
M. Rambler: No expert arborist indeed! You thought that was a tree? Any historian worth his salt could tell at a mere glance that our assassin was perched atop the roof of one of the Mason’s famous Tree Buildings. Sheesh.
Brad: Yep, just hang that guard from a really high tree branch and then hang around and have a conversation with the guy you just rescued right underneath him. That’s some good stealthin’ right there! Not conspicuous at all.
B. Indifferent: I think it’s the programmers trying to show off their historical knowledge. The “Sub Corpsa” convention, loosely translated as “everything said under this hanging corpse is considered a secret we take to the grave,” was later replaced by the more convenient Sub Rosa designation.
Brad: Was he even dead? I think he was yelling and calling me a tosser as he went up, instead of making strangle-y noises.
D.Conrad: Lets keep the guy with information that aids the colonist resistance out on the street, not locked up in a jail cell. No wonder they lost this war! Wankers.
D.Conrad: What is that thing on the left side of the screen walking down the street?
GlowPuff: That was Gollum, from Lord of the Rings.
M. Rambler: That lardbutt was Gollum? Must have been after he ate those tricksy hobbitses.
D.Conrad: If that doesn’t make you feel awesome as the player, nothing will.
M. Rambler: Punching an unsuspecting dude in the bollocks makes you feel awesome? How have I made it this far in life without figuring that out???
Brad: Good to see the British army trains its soldiers in the ever-popular “stand around and wait for him to kill you one by one” tactic that’s been so effective for the last few centuries. I guess the Redcoats were all taught combat by Final Fantasy monsters.
D.Conrad: “We have these loaded guns, but you just go ahead and kill us with your tomahawk.” This is one of my complaints with all Assassin’s Creed games. They “Bruce Lee” the mob fights. Everyone stands around while you engage one guy. I guess no one at Ubi played Arkham Asylum?
M. Rambler: No, they are staying historically accurate to the time period. All those Lickspittles just standing around waiting are actually paging through their Marquess of Queensberry Rulebooks for the chapter on tomahawks.
GlowPuff: I really enjoy the combat in AC games, but I agree, an upgraded system more like the Batman games would have been ACE, this time around. As the third major title in this series, I kinda expected it. Oh well.
Brad: “Quick! Call every guard in the city! We should all gather here so he can kill us more efficiently!” The one soldier looks really confused, too, like even he’s not sure why everyone else got a musket and he only has an axe.
GlowPuff: He’s like the token red-shirted Star Trek stand-in actor (Security Officer 1) that always gets ganked every episode.
D.Conrad: I have always wondered this in Assassin’s Creed. Why doesn’t the last guy in the fight just fall down before the assassin can get to him and say “Oh no, I have been killed! BLARG!” Maybe he would fall for it?
M. Rambler: I dunno… I’ve heard the “play dead” method works about as well on assassins as it does on bears. And knowing assassins, I’d avoid the “climb a tree” method as well.
D.Conrad: Nothing makes escaping easier than a cart located in just the right position to spring you up onto the aforementioned signs on easy to walk on beams.
M. Rambler: No, this part of the game is set in 1773, so at this point, nothing makes escaping easier than finding a cart filled with hay to hide in.
Brad: A red dot has appeared on the corner of the screen! Look out, King George III is calling in a drone strike!
GlowPuff: I thought it was the laser sight from an assault rifle.
M. Rambler: As the resident paranormal expert around here, I’m pretty sure the thing you guys are mistaking for a red dot is really just the ghostly orb of a fallen Redcoat that is haunting the building our hero just ran through.
D.Conrad: NOOOOOOOOOO!! That red dot is a quick time event! It appears on the right side of the screen and matches the color of the “B” button of an Xbox control! All games benefit from QT events?
Brad: Also, what exactly are we running from? We just dispatched eight guards with ease. Was there anything in that battle that gives us any reason to fear from the redcoats, or are we just late for dinner?
D.Conrad: You don’t really have to do all the stealth stuff in Assassin’s Creed. You are so superior in all forms of combat that there is no point. Just walk to where you want to go, if you get mobbed kill them all, then keep walking.
D.Conrad: Oh! Hello broken kneecaps!
Brad: I had to watch this a few times to figure out what was going on, but I think the redcoats with little dots over their heads are actually your allies disguised as British soldiers. They’re doing to the ol’ “pretend we captured this guy and then turn him loose on them” routine, which if Star Wars has taught us anything, it’s that guys with English accents always fall for that.
GlowPuff: I was wondering the same thing, and I believe you’re right! Except they didn’t have Storm Trooper suits on.
D.Conrad: So..They couldn’t round up one more Red Coat disguise? “Okay guys we got four.”
“Hey, what about one for the assassin?”
“WOAH! Hold on Frank, that is just crazy talk!”
Brad: Wait, did one of them get hit with a freeze ray? Also, I can’t help but notice, he’s frozen in the same pose as the little green army guy with the binoculars.
GlowPuff: This reminds me of what was happening in that NBA basketball game a couple years ago, where the toons would freeze and go into the T pose (AKA The Jesus Pose) right in the middle of the game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VPwcYWDNIQ
D.Conrad: Great! I didn’t know I was getting into a conversation with a bunch of guys who can’t appreciate Street Performance Art! Look how dedicated he is to his piece! Doesn’t move an inch even though aerial spray is just bathing him in blood!
M. Rambler: Good to know. We can cross off “play dead” and “climb a tree”, but this “human statue” technique sure seems to be the way to come out of an assassin battle unscathed.
Brad: This city would probably be a lot safer if every building didn’t have some kind of launch an assassin onto the roof device. Don’t people know assassins love rooftops? If I was the local army commander, I’d get rid of those right away.
GlowPuff: Blimey, what if they removed the rooftops completely?
M. Rambler: Well, I’ll bet there’d be a whole lot of gobslapping going on without any rooftops.. that’s what.
D.Conrad: This is not an Assassin launcher, it’s how they got roof tiles all the way to the top of the building. This one seems overpowered and the tiles would have probably ended up out by those ships.
GlowPuff: Mr. Historian, IN DA HOUSE!
Brad: See? This is what happens when you let assassins onto your roof, they start shooting people. And rather than look up, I’m guessing people are just going to blame it on witches.
D.Conrad: “It’s another arrow cloudburst! RUN!”
GlowPuff: Same reason not a lot of people notice UFOs in the sky – people just don’t look up!
D.Conrad: Final Fantasy VIII’s promise of a gun blade is finally realized. Why shoot someone with a gun when you could stab them with a gun?
M. Rambler: And as Gears of War 1 and 2 have proven, why stab someone with a gun when you can chainsaw someone with a gun. Then Gears 3 came along and taught us all that gunstabbin’ was far superior again.
Brad: That third guy on the ship probably should have tried defending himself, but I’m pretty sure he was too busy pointing at the first two kills and going “That was awesome!”
D.Conrad: Then he just gets shoved overboard. He watched his friends die in a horrible way then he just gets wet? I guess living with the horror of what just happened is something that will haunt him for the rest of his life.
GlowPuff: At least until you turn the power off to the console. Then he won’t be remembering anything, ever again.
GlowPuff: I noticed even the SHIP has an assassin perch up top. I guess that’s just the way it is. The world was MADE for making it easy for assassin’s to perch, leap, and assassinate.
D.Conrad: That does seem to be a design flaw..
Brad: It explains why there were three guards on the ship, though. They were trying to make sure your character didn’t get to enjoy the scenic view, at all costs.
D.Conrad: God Save the Queen.
Brad: The facist regime.Tweet