With the development cost of your average big-budget AAA game running into some $100-odd million, it takes great courage to pump that kind of money into a new intellectual property (IP), as opposed to a popular franchise with a well-established fan base. Even when you do get new IPs, it's generally the same clichéd cover shooter fare; any modicum of innovation existing therein is sterilised after several passes through the focus group nonsense.
Fortunately, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed wasn't like any other AAA title. It broke the mould when it launched in 2007. The game employed Thief's brand of stealth pivoting around parkour-based gameplay—all packaged in a compelling mix of history and science fiction. The rest is history, and it's little wonder why the franchise went on to become Ubisoft's most profitable property. Needless to say, Assassin's Creed III (AC3) sure has large shoes to fill. However, with obscenely large budgets and a large pool of development talent, it's a no brainer that the game is poised for greatness.
Someone's about to get a splitting headache
The large-team, big-budget pedigree of this game is evident in all the right places. This level of texture and mesh detail in a vast open world setting belies the hardware limitations of the console, and seems more at home in the PC version. Granted there is a bit of texture pop-in visible, but the overall texture size and model detail is unprecedented for a PS3 game. The game world is incredibly vast and spans the cities of Boston and New York and three smaller settlements, in addition to frontier landscape replete with forest, cliff, grassland and snowy areas. Each area comes with an intrusive loading screen, but the sheer magnificence of eye candy and attention to detail evident in each more than makes up for it.
The volumetric lighting looks downright gorgeous
Updated 21 May, 2013, 4:26 pm IST
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