The lights are on
Today marks the release of Assassin’s Creed III, and we suspect a lot of gamers are itching to get home from work or school to get started. The game’s enormous size can be overwhelming; we’ve compiled a list of recommendations, free of spoilers, to help you find your way in the massive game. Check out our advice, and enjoy your trip into the American Revolution and beyond.
Play the Opening Act First
This may seem obvious, but most of us have played Assassin’s Creed games before, and we know the temptation to wander off to explore the world and discover its secrets. Assassin’s Creed III has more of those activities and exploration than any previous game in the series, but you should hold off before seeking them out.
Follow the main story thread all the way up to the end of sequence five before you try and branch out and explore. At this point, many of the optional objectives will appear on the map for the first time, so it’s a better time to poke around in the world. Don’t worry – plenty of opportunities are available after sequence five to complete all the optional objectives and missions in the world.
What is this mysterious opening act? It’s better if you just find out for yourself.
Forget What You Know
Longtime players of Assassin’s Creed will be familiar with a number of fundamentals about how combat and navigation work. While many of those elements remain unchanged, a few features have seen major revision. Pay attention to the tutorials.
In particular, note that traversal now involves holding just one button to sprint, so relax and stop trying to hold down A (360)/X (PS3). Only hold down the button when you want to jump off of a ledge rather than continue at the current elevation.
In addition, take special note of some new controls involved in climbing trees, like the context-sensitive button tap to ascend when you’re standing in the V-shape of a tree.
In combat, try to time your button presses rather than mashing on the buttons. While counters remain a primary way to begin combat interaction, don’t be afraid to open with an offensive defense breaker instead. You can then follow up with a killing blow and mix in some ranged shots. If you don’t have any ammo or you don’t have time to reload, try this strategy: Change to unarmed combat, and counter an enemy to take their rifle. That new rifle usually has a shot loaded in the chamber, ready for you to fire. Finally, watch for firing lines, and always grab a nearby enemy to use as a human shield.
Open Up Fast Travel
Assassin’s Creed III has a big world. Sometimes you’ll want to explore and find new things, but other times you’ll just want to get to the next mission start. To that end, don’t be afraid to utilize fast travel.
The game gives you several fast travel options early, and you should take advantage of them. Your homestead usually has a fast travel marker in front of the main house. Harbormaster icons can also be used to fast travel. In the wilderness, entry points into the Frontier can be fast traveled to at any time. Try to choose a fast travel point that is near your destination, and then use your horse whistle to summon a mount to get you the rest of the way ASAP.
In addition, if you’re interested in exploring the underground labyrinths beneath Boston, and later New York, consider doing so early. By exploring those underground tunnels, you’ll open up numerous fast travel locations in the cities, which will be enormously helpful as you play through the rest of the game.
[Next up: Crafting and trade, and navigating the high seas]
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.
Thanks for this! I had to wait till just five minutes ago to get the game due to the storm. You're guide is great, good things to keep in mind, and impressively spoiler free!
My lack of money has never made me so sad.
Love this fu***** game. Definitely a GOTY contender.
Thursday is now the most important thing to me right now. I will be able to buy this and pre-order Halo 4.
Yes the new features of this were interesting
I always appreciate these tips, and print them out for use during playthroughs. Thanks, GI!
AHHHHHH!! I have to wait for my copy to come in the mail, but I appreciate the tips
waiting on the wii u version. this is killing me.
I'm almost at the end of Sequence 5, so I'll be putting these tips into action very soon. Thanks, GI!
AC III is quickly becoming one of my favorite games of all time.
I'll have to come back to this when I start up. Since I haven't played since 2 this all seems a little overwhelming but I'm sure you get in the natural swing of things. Thanks for takin the time to explain!