Caution: Review contains Spoilers
Truth be told, Assassin’s Creed 3 is my first experience with the franchise. Not that I didn’t find the series intriguing, but I never had much time to delve into the previous games, which of course are very popular and have received great reviews. But what really caught my eye about the latest entry into the mythos is the time period in which AC3 takes place, early British-controlled ,colonial America during around the time of the Revolutionary War. Period games like Red Dead Redemption, and now AC3, interest me because they are set in a “realistic” yet fictional time that influenced our growth as a nation, and being able to live out and “experience” these times as they were is something I can devote hours of gameplay to. AC3 continues the story of Desmond Miles who is destined to save the world from the 2012 apocalypse. Through a machine called the Animus, Desmond is able to access the memories of his ancestors in order to find the Pieces of Eden which will can prevent the end of the world. In AC3, Desmond accesses the memories of his half-English, half-Mohawk ancestor named Ratonhnhaké:ton, also known as Connor. Through Connor’s eyes you explore early America and fight against your father Hatham, who you actually play as for a good amount of time at the beginning of the game. Hatham is a Templar, the organization that is also after the Pieces of Eden and act as the antagonists of the series. AC3 features glorious battles on land as you overthrow British forts, and sea, giving you the ability to captain ships and do battle all along the Eastern seaboard! The environments are something to behold in this game, the research and detail to create the frontier, cities, villages and the people themselves is a true work of genius!
You can imagine how excited I was when Titan Books gave me the opportunity to review The Art of Assassin’s Creed III by Andy McVittie, within the pages of this informative book I could see where the journey to create this game all began! From early sketches, concept art, and behind the scenes commentary from the artists involved, The Art of Assassin’s Creed III is one of my favorite books I have read this year. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand how much work goes into a massive project like a video game until you sit down and look at how each detail is rendered from start to finish, and how in order to make a story like this believable how much research has to go into the culture of the time period. What I found most interesting about the concept of this game was the ability to run and jump from tree to tree, something that has not been translated into a game before, and an element that seemed really difficult to create and get right. Described in the book, plants are normally just filler but in this game the usage of the right trees in the environment was so crucial to game play itself. From the artists to the game designers this game element is pulled of flawlessly. There are times when I will sit down and spend my time running through the forest hunting from the trees just for fun! Another environment that is very important to the games is the reconstruction of the great cities of the time period, Boston and New York. Both cities are designed with a creative eye on how the time period effected both, from the bustling harbor cityscape of Boston to the “Great Fire” war-torn NYC, the artists captured the look, feel and individuality of each city. AC3 is not just a video game but a historical and artistic experience in its own, and The Art of Assassin’s Creed III really helps you as a fan to understand that.
The Art of Assassin’s Creed III gets a 5 outta 5 stars. I have always been a big fan of art books that help give you a better understanding of your favorite movie or game and this book delivers on all fronts. Whether you’re a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series or not, I highly recommend picking up the game and the book this season and sitting down for a “history lesson”, you won’t regret you did! Head on over to Titan Books today to pick your copy today!
“Titan doesn’t scrimp on quality and these books are gorgeous! All serious fans of these games are going to want them.” – Library Journal
“This art book will be the highlight of my coffee table.” – Unfinished Man
“Another layer to an already engaging game.” – Pixelitis
“This truly is an art lover’s book. If you had ever shown interest in the art of video games, or even questioned whether video games were art to begin with, I strongly recommend to read this book. It will change your mind. It is a book of beautiful imagery and shows the longs steps it took to bring this art to reality.” – Gaming Truth
“Both of which turned out to be absolutely spectacular – and both of which included literally dozens of artwork that I would enlarge and proudly frame and hang in my home in an instant (that is, is my wife let me). The artwork featured in these books will blow you away. In a word: mesmerizing.” – Barnes & Nobles
“One of the best art books for a video game that I have ever seen.” “5 out of 5 stars.” – Cybertron Reviews
About the Author
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Photos by: Figures in Action Photography