Wii U Review: Assassin’s Creed III
So you’ve just picked up your new Wii U console and you’re feeling stealthy, you’re in the mood for sneaking with a little bit of killing thrown in for good measure. Well, you’re in luck, because of the new HD power of the Wii U, Assassin’s Creed III has been ported over from the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions.
For a full, in-depth review you can check out our review of the Playstation 3 version here. As the majority of gameplay stuff has been covered in our earlier review I won’t go over that again, I’ll mainly be focussing on the differences between the Wii U version and other console versions.
As the processing power of the Wii U has been pumped up from the Wii it can handle the HD games that grace the other consoles, therefore the Wii U version of Assassin’s Creed III is almost identical to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions. Graphically, there’s little between them, you’d have to go over them with a fine tooth comb to notice any differences at all.
The only thing you may notice is a slight performance dip every now and again. The frame-rate can struggle at times on the Wii U version, it’s unclear as to why that is at the moment, it may be down to the fact that the console is also sending a signal to the Gamepad.
Speaking of the Gamepad, unfortunately there’s little functionality here. If you’re playing the game on your TV then your Gamepad displays a slightly bigger map and the weapons you have equipped, basically it mirrors your UI onto screen as well as keeping it on your TV. If a cut-scene kicks in then it displays the cut-scene on the TV and the Gamepad. Pausing the game brings up the menu on both but there’s no touch controls on the Gamepad so you might as well keep your eyes stuck to the TV.
It’s a shame the Gamepad wasn’t utilised a bit better, it’d have been nice to be able to change items and weapons with the Gamepad rather than having to go through the menus as that would have made playing the game a much more fluid experience. The only time the Gamepad really becomes of any use with Assassin’s Creed III is with the off-screen play.
Head into the menu and activate the Remote Play option and your TV will change to a still image and the whole game will shift to your Gamepad. This means you no longer need the TV to play so you can move to a different room, play in bed, in the bath, on the toilet, or wherever else is within your Gamepad’s range. In fact, my time with the game was mostly played on the Gamepad screen, the only time I used the TV was to see what functionality was included, which I’ve already said is not much. You can get some 3D gameplay on your Gamepad though, there’s multiple options here, Inficolor, Top/Bottom or Left/Right. I picked up some Green & Magenta 3D glasses and gave the Inficolor option a go and it works, sort of. It’s not something I’d use a huge amount as it strains the eyes quite a lot and the 3D effect isn’t great.
As far as multiplayer is concerned, it’s the same as the other console versions just with fewer players online. I tried multiple times to find a match but it failed every time, which is a shame. Of course, it’s a brand new console and die hard Assassin’s Creed fans would have already purchased it on another platform so it’s not too surprising.
All in all the Wii U version of Assassin’s Creed III is Assassin’s Creed III. It’s pretty much exactly the same as the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions except with the added convenience of playing on the Gamepad. More Gamepad functionality would have been an added bonus but it plays fine without. The game has crashed on me, which required me to unplug the console, but I’m unsure whether that’s a console issue or software issue. Of course, there’s no Trophies or Achievements as the Wii U doesn’t have such a system.
As a game, it’s fantastic and if you want to know more about the game itself rather than the Wii U comparisons then I suggest you read our Playstation 3 review, here.