Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington is set in an alternate universe, where George Washington has been driven mad with power, thanks to the Apple of Eden. What transpired to create the bloodlust remains a mystery, but as we enter the second part of the trilogy, entitled Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny Of King Washington: The Betrayal, some pieces are starting to come together.
Fly Like An Eagle
Without spoiling anything, you will spend the entirety of this chapter in Boston. Connor has few friends in this town, and he is essentially at Notoriety Level 3 for the duration of the episode. Enemies will attack on sight, and they will come in larger numbers then they did in the original Assassin’s Creed III campaign. However, this won’t be a problem thanks to your new animal power.
You start Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny Of King Washington: The Betrayal with the wolf power you gained from The Infamy (whether you actually played that chapter or not), but within the first few minutes, you start another vision quest. This quest for the power of the eagle spirit, is much shorter than the vision quest for the wolf, and results in a far more powerful ability, one that I argue trivializes the game: Eagle Flight.
Eagle Flight is simple: if you are close enough to a roof, or platform, or ledge, an icon will appear over it. Press Triangle or Y to fly over to that platform. While flying, you are invincible and invisible to the enemy. You can also chain Eagle Flights together by pressing the button during a flight, to go to a platform that is close to your destination. There is a very minimal health cost associated with Eagle Flight, which can be remedied simply by resting for a moment.
Since Eagle Flight can disengage you from any bad situation, it’s a move you will likely use any chance you get. Not only that, but you can cover distance magnificently fast with this power. I find it makes the Assassin’s Creed III experience trivial. Unless you’re desperately trying for 100% synchronization, you can use both the wolf power and the eagle power to cheese through any and all missions. There is no challenge at all at any time during this chapter.
In fact, there’s one part in particular that bugged me that I want to mention. During an escort mission, I was approached by three guards. Before I could even think, the game prompted me with “Press L2 to summon a Wolf Pack.” Well thanks, Assassin’s Creed III. You took the guesswork and logic out of an encounter by telling me what button to press to win. This actually happened in the last quarter of the chapter, so it wasn’t like I didn’t already know how to summon the Wolf Pack.
A Sleepy Little Town
Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington: The Infamy gave us spectacular set pieces, dramatic moments, and battles on a grand scale. Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington: The Betrayal gives none of these, instead putting us in the middle of a very sterile Boston. It might be that way because of the grip of fear King Washington wields over the nascent America, but it feels pretty boring. One nice thing is that the town criers have all new lines, reflecting the fact that America is a monarchy and disobeying King Washington would be very very bad.
Like The Infamy, The Betrayal has side missions that consist of pressing the Interact button next to civilians, or attacking convoys. They take very little time and are of little consequence. I preferred to complete any that I came across, but I didn’t go out of my way to get 100% completion.
Without the awesome surroundings of the native village and the Frontier, this chapter felt like a series of storyline missions that was over even sooner than The Infamy. I estimate the average player will finish this chapter in 80 minutes.
They Say The Middle Part Is The Hardest To Write
With the final confrontation against King Washington looming, and the explosive start to this trilogy behind us, this middle part feels flat. There’s not too much plot to speak of, save for the actual betrayal that happens in the storyline, from which this chapter is named. There’s not a lot of exciting action, and there is zero challenge. Every button you press feels like a cheap “I Win” button that is weighted heavily in your favor, but as a result, it takes a lot of the fun out of this one.
Ted played Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington: The Betrayal to completion on PlayStation 3, and did about 30% of the sidequests. He was not provided a copy of the game for review purposes.
+ Animal powers add a degree of freedom
-Not a lot of story development
-Zero challenge to speak of
Available on: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Version Reviewed: PlayStation 3