Assassin’s Creed III is a great game. I only preface this review with that statement because I know a lot of my feelings expressed towards it have felt otherwise. I have been searching for the best version (which I hear from others happens to be found on PC) of the game since it released. With the Wii U, I expected the new hardware to really showcase what could be done with current games on new hardware. Sadly, AC3 for Nintendo’s new machine suffers from a lot of the same problems as its 360 and PS3 brethren, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dive in if you haven’t already.
Like most of our Wii U coverage, if you want to get all the details about the game at hand, you can read our massive review of AC3 for PS3 and 360. Know that as far as content is concerned, the Wii U version is identical to those mentioned aside from the differences we are about to go through. First up are the visuals.
The frame rate and other technical difficulties have transferred over to this version. Action starts to chug often, especially when the landscapes are massive onscreen, or when large fights break out. I place the Wii U version somewhere between PS3 and 360. While 360 handles it the best, PS3 was the worst offender leaving Wii U somewhere in the middle. None of them are great, but all are playable most of the time.
The biggest change to any game when coming to the Wii U is the Gamepad. Ubisoft has done some neat things here, but also some pretty standard ones. The map is available of course, giving you quick access to seeing where all the synchronization points and hidden items are scattered about. There is also a dedicated spot on the screen to call your horse, which in turn frees up a quick-select slot for your items. It is a small touch, but an appreciated one.
Like most launch games, you can also play the game entirely on the game screen, which is really cool. Amazingly, the game actually seemed to look and run better on the Gamepad, than on my big screen. The compressed visuals likely help with that, as the game isn’t rendering quite as much on the smaller screen. I won’t lie, it is really cool playing console quality games while lying in bed, or working in the kitchen.
The only downside to all of this is, I wish it was more. I really was hoping the technical issues could be ironed out, and again I am not sure if it has to do with the hardware, or short development time. AC3 is a fantastic game that is hampered by its problems, and the Wii U does little to solve them. Even the Gamepad stuff, while really cool, only makes minute strides to create a better experience. I know it sounds like a broken record, but if you somehow haven’t played the game yet, and Wii U is one of your options, this version of the game is definitely on-par with the other two with some nice bonus tweaks. The Gamepad stuff is cool, if not a bit limited. Regardless, everyone who loves the series should definitely check this game out on whatever system they can.
To read our full review of the 360 and PS3 version of the game, click here.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.