PAX East 2019: Assassin’s Creed III Remastered – Okay, But “Why?”

You may already be familiar with Assassin’s Creed III. It was originally released in 2012, and for some reason was chosen (like many other titles these days) to be remastered and rereleased on a next gen console. This particular AC title starred character Connor Kenway, a British/Native American assassin fighting for freedom and liberation during the American Revolutionary War.

According to the specs, this game is supposed to have 4K and HDR support, with visual improvements that include higher resolution textures, new character models, and better light rendering. That’s the official line, anyway. What we saw is… not quite that.

Look, we’ll give it this—the rendering is much better, with a deeper and more robust environment. That part looks great. But the characters?! Oh, dear. Oh, no. Why, Ubisoft? Why??? The decision to create all-new character models is a noble one, but somehow the end result is a bunch of mush-faced bipeds with little depth or definition. They are definitely not enjoyable to look at. In fact, they inspire mild bouts of revulsion. And this is a remaster? How could this happen?!

There are so many cutscenes in ACIII, that you’ll be looking at them a lot, too. The good news for our demo was that we didn’t play too long, so we saw very few. And most of our playtime was focused on naval combat, which has an upgrade targeting system. The ships are still notoriously unwieldly to navigate, but that’s sailing for you.

Little else has changed, according to the folks at the demo booth, aside from fixing some small annoyances like (finally) making the hidden blade your default weapon during a stealth kill (instead of accidentally using your Tomahawk, which is definitely not what you want on a stealth mission). There’s been no change to the story or the plot—and yes, we know that’s not typical in a remaster, but ACIII was the most controversial and divisive of the AC games thus far, so it wouldn’t have been out of the question to make some minor adjustments based on feedback. You will be able to craft some weapons instead of buy them, though, so that’s something.

There’s little else we know, but that’s probably because there’s not much else to tell. We suspect additional tweaks will be uncovered in the full game, and a brief Switch demo can’t give us all of that. Here’s the thing—if you loved ACIII in its original form, you’ll probably love this remaster. In that respect, it’ll be worthwhile to pick up and invest time in.

If you didn’t love it, and you don’t enjoy having nightmarish, wax-faced character models haunt your waking hours, then this is definitely going to be a miss.


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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