Super Assassin’s Creed III Turbo.
Assassin’s Creed III
has been one of the greatest games of 2012, and the newly born Wii U has decided to take a shot at showing that it can run it as well, if not better, than the competition. Has it succeeded in demonstrating that it’s to be taken seriously in the multiplatform world, or has it tarnished a masterpiece?
This review is based solely on the adjustments and additions found in the Wii U version of Assassin’s Creed III. For a full write-up focused on the gameplay, content, and plot aspects of the title, be sure to check out Daniel Bischoff’s detailed review. The review score has been carried over from Daniel's review, and does not reflect what Jonathan Leack thinks of the game.
Assassin’s Creed III
’s delivery on the Wii U begins on a lukewarm note when you notice the visuals are strikingly similar to what we’ve seen before. Although the color palette appears brighter than its counterparts—which may be because of the console’s lack of RGB full range—visual fidelity is nearly identical. As such, aliasing and rough shadows still blemish an otherwise spectacular exhibit of the early history of America.
Furthermore, the framerate is still compromised when faced with high levels of processing. During cutscenes and sequences which put the full beauty of northeastern America on display, the framerate can drop into the 30s. In intense weather situations and during significant battles, the framerate dips into the ugly 20s. This is an issue that similarly affects the other console versions, and it’s disappointing to see that the PC is the only hope of an immaculate visual experience.
Where the Wii U version substantiates itself is with its GamePad functionality. The most common convenience you’ll find is with the map being presented across the GamePad’s 6.2-inch screen. It not only makes pathfinding easier, but grants you more precision during stealth situations since you’re not stuck relying on a dinky mini-map. Another benefit to the GamePad is that there’s a touchscreen button dedicated to calling your horse. No longer do you have to alter your equipment configuration or forfeit one of the already limited macro slots to your means of quick transportation.
You can also opt to play the title entirely from the GamePad, and as long as you stay within around 10 meters from the console you’ll be able to play it away from your gaming center. The visual quality is completely retained on the controller, and you can even argue that it looks better than on a large television where the image is stretched.
An additional bonus of the GamePad is its headphone jack. Instead of being forced to dry out your wireless headset’s battery or rely on a long cable stretching across the room, you can plug headphones into the 3.5mm jack of the controller and enjoy the rich audio of Assassin’s Creed III
. This option proves additionally useful when you decide to play away from your television.
While the integration of the GamePad is only positive, it feels rushed. Other than calling your horse, it features no touchscreen capability, something that would have been nice for faster menu navigation. On the bright side, it hasn’t taken precedence over the original experience, so there are no “gimmicky” gameplay mechanics.
The Wii U version of Assassin’s Creed III
doesn’t endanger what has made the game a masterpiece, and adds a few neat tricks of its own. The GamePad’s map and horse calling features are useful tools that you’ll enjoy, and being able to play it away from the television can’t be understated. If you’re going to purchase Assassin’s Creed III
for a console, the Wii U version is the king of the hill.
Copy not provided by the publisher.