Last week on Assassin’s Creed III...
well, check out our review
of the last episode, The Infamy. That is if you haven’t played it yet.
The first installment of this three part DLC did leave me with two main questions; why weren’t the supernatural powers introduced, or at least touched on, in the mainline story and why separate the overall DLC into three, two hour episodes? The way this episode plays out offers a few answers to these.
This section of the DLC starts with a recap of what’s happened, making it the playable TV episode Ubisoft seem to be aiming for. After this brief recap it picks up where we left off. Connor is in an unfortunate predicament and needs to get out of it to resume his mission to take down King Washington and his accomplice, Putnam, and work out which side Franklin is really on. There is also mention of Sam Adams being a traitor.
Without his wolf hood, Connor’s face paint is in full view. Almost instantly, the previously introduced Wolf Cloak is back in effect, utilised to help Connor get back to his belongings and back for another swig of the Red Willow tea, which takes him on another dream journey.
This time the sky world journey connects Connor with the Eagle spirit after a series of tutorial steps and challenges in the supernatural world are completed. While some of the challenges don’t stray too far from the standard ones seen in the real world section, others bring a bit more difficulty but in an unresponsive and sometimes frustrating way. I’ll let you play for yourself to find out how.
The Eagle spirit gifts Connor with the Eagle Flight and Eagle Assassination powers. The first of these lets Connor fly directly to a point within a set range -- rooftops, trees, posts -- as long as it’s not too far away it’s accessible. If you’re wanting Connor to cover more distance quickly then it’s simply a matter of stringing together Eagle Flights until he’s there. Say a point is just out of reach, Connor can even jump out from where he is and activate the Eagle Flight mid jump.
This power takes a bit of practice in the “real” world to get Connor flying in the right direction, with many more options to land on than in the journey world, the landing target can jump around. It only ever lands Connor a few metres to one side though. Once mastered this power makes it very easy for Connor to get away from Blue Coats and become incognito as well as to scale high places swiftly, such as lookout synch points. It makes sense then that the power wasn’t included in the mainline game, it would have made many parts far too easy and quick to accomplish.
The Eagle Assassination lets Connor highlight a target from up above and fly in for the kill, taking out two targets if they’re close enough together. This is a good way to start an assault on a group of enemies and is also added to main and additional objectives in missions.
From that point Connor heads off to work out why Franklin is working with Washington and what they and Putnam are up to. Infiltrating and eavesdropping missions, pickpocketing and planting notes as well as an interesting reacquisition task leads to investigations, contextual bar fights, more use of Eagle Vision and talk of traps and betrayal. In the streets, any Blue Coat brawls can be ended a lot quicker by activating the Wolf Pack power granted in the previous episode.
These all build to a final end scene packed with action and mayhem, which adds emphasises and weight to the the episode format of the DLC. The first episode touched on it but this one really hammers the idea home and despite the bad taste buying three separate episodes for the same DLC may leave in some people’s mouths, this episode works well.