Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny Of King Washington is set in an alternate timeline where George Washington, corrupted by the Apple of Eden, has begun a reign of tyranny as America’s first monarch. None that he declares his enemies are safe from his almighty wrath. None except Ratonhaketon, the hero of Assassin’s Creed III, who wakes in this alternate universe to find that he seems to be the only one who remembers the normal timeline. Washington is going to have trouble because Ratonhaketon has powers of the animal spirits, powers that he does not have in Assassin’s Creed III. These powers let him disappear right in front of his opponents’ eyes, fly to any high perch he might see without even the need to climb, and destroy entire groups of enemies. With these powers, Ratonhaketon is nigh unstoppable. Having the character you play as be this powerful actually makes for a very boring game.
The Unstoppable Ratonhaketon
The Redemption starts with a naval battle in the waters near New York. By the way, your ship is fully upgraded, so it should be no problem. The naval battle is actually kind of spectacular, solely for the reason that it’s you versus 10 ships. After you turn the enemy fleet into a twisted mass of wood and scrap metal, you set off for the shores of New York. From the sea, you find that George Washington is constructing a good old-fashioned pyramid, and you set out to stop him once and for all.
Once on land, you’ll quickly dip into your pot of magic tea that you gathered in the first part of the trilogy. You’ll go on a vision quest and find your third animal power, bear strength. To recap, the power of the wolf lets you turn invisible at any time, even during a fight, making you undetectable. There’s also the power of the eagle, which lets you fly to any point within a certain distance from your character, regardless of height. While flying, you are invulnerable. Both of these powers let you escape from any fight, and get anywhere you need to go extremely quickly. The bear power is the closest thing Assassin’s Creed III has to an “I Win” button. Literally. Press it, and everyone around you dies. All of these animal powers cost health to use, but who cares? Your conflict is over because you either got away or everyone is dead, so your health will quickly regenerate. That attitude pervades the entirety of the gameplay in Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington: The Redemption: You can not lose.
Like the first two parts of Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington, there isn’t much in the way of sidequests. You can try to find memory fragments, which reflect events in the “real world”, or you can find starving civilians to give food to or defend, or, slave caravans to rescue. Other than that, this DLC content is several story missions, and then it is over. You don’t talk to many interesting historical figures in the buildup to the final confrontation, either. I was able to complete this content even faster than the first or second parts.
The Site of the Showdown
This wretched version of New York looks drab and plain, as if it were a city plopped down in the middle of a dusty desert. The pyramid is a neat-looking structure, and nothing like its architecture exists in Assassin’s Creed III, but I have neither the need nor the desire to gawk around at the scenery. As I stated before, there’s simply not a lot to do in Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington: The Redemption. Besides that, I can fly from mission to mission.
Once you get to the end of the game in the pyramid, things pick up. There’s a great acrobatic sequence that requires some well timed Eagle Flights, and I actually enjoyed the showdown with Washington. It’s what comes after that bugs me. Without spoilers, I’ll say that The Redemption gives an explanation for why this alternate universe even exists. Is this a satisfying conclusion? Not really. I guess I liked the final sequence of the ending, but the whole revelation falls flat with a thud.
Wrapping Up a Trilogy
Now that we’re at the end of this trilogy, I can answer the question, “Is it worth playing?” The answer is no. The DLC started out strong, with some dramatic set pieces, and a Ratonhaketon that felt like he was struggling valiantly against the mighty Washington’s forces. I loved the first part, but then the animal powers were piled upon me. As a result,the game became entirely too easy. I kept playing because I wanted to see this saga to it’s conclusion, but now that I know what the payoff is, I’d have to dissuade anyone from picking up this DLC. If you’re a completionist, and really want to get 100% in everything, maybe there’s some value for you here. However, if you’re not the hardest of the hardcore Assassin’s Creed fan, my recommendation is to skip. Ubisoft has already started the marketing for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and even Ratonhaketon references Edward Kenway, that game’s protagonist. Heck, if the star of this game is ready to abandon Assassin’s Creed III, I guess we can all jump ship.
Ted played through Assassin’s Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington: The Redemption on PlayStation 3, and actually did 100% of the sidequests this time. Even so, it only took him 80 minutes to finish the story.
Available on: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Version Reviewed: PlayStation 3