It’s not the first time that Ubisoft releases post launch downloadable content for an Assassin’s Creed title. However, what makes the Assassin’s Creed 3 Tyranny of King George Washington downloadable content so unique is that it is more like a standalone story. It’s also an experiment for Ubisoft, since it is being released as three episodes. But is the first episode, the Infamy, a worthy introduction to this fairly new concept in the industry?
The Tyranny of King George Washington may look similar to Assassin’s Creed 3. However, there are a few new ideas that will keep players on their toes. One of the biggest changes is the addition of supernatural spirit powers that Ratonhnhaké:ton earns in each episode.
Each power is earned after completing an abstract Animus like spirit journey. It’s a welcome distraction from all the fighting. The first spirit journey involves chasing wolves and eventually hunt a deer. The reward for getting through the spirit journey challenges is the wolf cloak power. As the name suggests, this new power makes it possible to become invisible. There are some limitations put into place, so players can’t abuse this power. It drains life force when active, so it is best to limit the use of the power to moments when it’s necessary to use it.
There are also guard dogs introduced further on. They can sense Connor, so it is necessary to try and silence them before this happens, since they can still detect him with wolf cloak active. Obviously it’s also necessary to avoid bumping into enemies, as it will alert them. It might seem like there are a lot of limitations to how this power is used. However, this power is very handy during some of the stealth missions. It makes it far more natural to get through these types of missions.
This is because it is possible to use the various covers (bushes, wells, etc) to replenish health during missions that involve following a target. It’s also possible to command a pack of wolves to attack enemies. It’s not only satisfying to witness the carnage, but it is also effective when dealing with large groups of enemies.
It’s a risky move to add supernatural powers, but it works out rather well. Specially since it will make life easier when it comes to some of the missions. There are a lot of different mission objectives to get through in this episode. Most of them are rather enjoyable to complete. Specially timed missions where Connor must rescue citizens from houses, before they are blown up. Sadly it’s not always the case with some of the mission objectives.
Mission objectives that result in instant failure, if the character is found, quickly become frustrating. Specially since even the smallest of mistakes will often result in enemies raising an alarm. These are the sort of mission objectives that also made Assassin’s Creed 3 less enjoyable. It does feel somewhat satisfying to eventually get through them though. But it also means feeling frustrated since the game mechanics aren’t that great at dealing with stealth sections. It does get slightly better once the wolf cloak power is earned.
Perhaps the moments that players will enjoy the most are the fights. It’s easy to get to grips with the controls for fights. It’s pretty much the same as those found in Assassin’s Creed 3. Connor can engage enemies in combat with short range or long range weapons. The addition of the wolf cloak and wolf pack powers also makes fighting more exciting.
The areas that the player can explore are quite impressive. This is because it takes place in the same locations from the main Assassin’s Creed 3 story. The only difference is that missions are designed in a manner that makes it easier to get through the story. This is because the missions are designed so that the player can easily jump on the next one, once the current mission is completed.
Visually, it looks pretty much like Assassin’s Creed 3. Not that it’s bad since it means that everything that made the main video-game so exciting is still there. There are even sections that take place in the harsh snow environments that made the Frontier such a challenging place to travel through.
The story is also fascinating because of the different roles assigned to familiar Assassin’s Creed 3 characters. Connor is now more confident and a better representation of a native representation. These role changes provide some interesting outcomes. Specially since Connor seems like the only one questioning what is happening. Being able to find out more about is going on at the same pace as Connor also makes the story more interesting. The small glimpses at what is in store for episode two at the end are an effective way of making the player eager to play the next chapter.
All of this is complimented by a superb soundtrack that also helps make this new take on Connor more authentic. Specially as it contains music tracks that are more easier to remember than those found in Assassin’s Creed 3.
It takes about three hours to complete episode one. It’s not exactly a long period of time, but at least it’s mostly enjoyable. There is also plenty of optional content to get through, such as prisoners to free and people to feed. Those patient enough to fully complete everything the episode has to offer, are rewarded with a special treat that should make it easier to understand what is going on.
The Infamy is a promising start to The Tyranny of King George Washington trilogy and worth playing for the story.