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Assassin’s Creed 3: Tyranny of King Washington – The Betrayal Review

by Diogo Miguel April 6, 2013

The story of The Tyranny of King George Washington continues with The Betrayal episode. It’s a tough act to follow, considering the high expectations set by the first episode, The Infamy.

It’s safe to say that not much has changed in terms of combat. It’s as expected considering the fact that this is a continuation of the previous episode. So there are plenty of fights and jumping around for the main character.

The emphasis on stealth based missions continues throughout Episode 2. Those pesky dogs( from the previous episode) that can sniff out Ratonhnhaké:to make a return. On the bright side, it does mean that the wolf power is put to good use. After all, it would seem like a waste to only really make the player use a specific power in the episode that it is awarded.

This is perhaps one of The Betrayal’s positive points, since it has many flaws that will make for a not so favourable experience. One of the biggest issues is how some design ideas are implemented. They may have seemed brilliant during development, but they don’t hold up in practice.

A particular mission which involves finding clues amongst the crowd is a good example. It is meant to make good use of the wolf power earned in the previous episode. However, it ends up being frustrating since it just refuses to work as expected. Instead the player will most likely end up having to fight a bunch of enemies.

At some point, player may find themselves using the wolf cloak and pick off one enemy at a time. Unfortunately this doesn’t feel like the challenge that it should have been. Most of the missions in Episode 2 are also plagued with this issue.

Oddly enough, Ubisoft felt the need to force the player to engage in a board stones during some of the missions. It’s not that the mini-game is awful, as it is actually quite entertaining. It’s the fact that it feels as natural, as the Tower Defence style battle that players were forced to play in Assassin’s Creed Revelations. The truth is that it’s not even possible to play it properly, since it is part of the missions. A strange move since it makes it seem as just a tool to start the fights. Perhaps it would have been a better idea to give the player a choice to finish the stones game.

The Eagle Flight is the new spirit power that Ratonhnhaké earns in this episode. Unfortuntely, it never feels as well implemented as the Wolf Cloack power. The power consists of allowing players to instantly transform into an eagle and fly to nearby points, such as the edge of a building or a tree branch.

It also makes it possible for Ratonhnhaké to instantly kill enemies by highlighting one of them. It’s a bit tricky to kill enemies, since it has a really short attack distance. It also doesn’t feel as exciting to fly around, when compared to the more useful Wolf Cloak power. Even quickly flying between points isn’t enough to match the rush that comes from hopping on rooftops.

The Sky Journey undertaken, in order to obtain this new power also feels lacklustre. It doesn’t last as long when compared to the the spiritual journey in the previous episode. The method used to obtain the power is not as imaginative. It basically comes down to protecting some eagle eggs and finding out how the power works.

Even the more exciting section of this journey isn’t as enjoyable, as it should have been. The player controls an eagle and must avoid colliding with the environment. The problem is that the camera doesn’t do a great job of making it easy to see what is coming up next. This is important as this whole sequence is happening whilst the eagle is flying at high speed.

It’s surprising that one of the best moments in this episode comes in the form of a particular character. Franklin becomes an invaluable ally for Ratonhnhaké. But most importantly is the fact that he delivers the best lines of dialogue in this episode. The use of such terms as “Rage Quit” also raise a smile on a few occasions. But even this can’t hide the fact that this is a mundane experience that mainly consists of completing rather repetitive tasks.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that the player is restricted to exploring the city. It makes it much more apparent that each episode is set in one area, when the current setting is a town. As it stands, The Betrayal is only really worth playing for those who truly want to experience everything that the downloadable content has to offer. The fact it’s so short doesn’t help either.

The Betrayal feels more like filler content that the developers needed to turn this story into a trilogy. It’s a shame since The Infamy was full of promise and kicked off the trilogy with a mighty bang. Hopefully it will mean that The Tyranny of King George Washington will end with an explosive conclusion.

However, The Betrayal is very uninspiring and only worth recommending to those that are set on experiencing every episode.

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