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Review

Assassin's Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington - The Infamy Review

  • Game release: October 30, 2012
  • Reviewed: February 20, 2013
  • X360

As if the lure of an evil founding father weren't enough, The Tyranny of King Washington ups the action with enjoyable new abilities and a stimulating plot.

by

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It's one thing to turn a great founder of the United States into a maniacal super-villain, but quite another to have him pulling pistols and busting caps with the kind of aggressive swagger typically reserved for Tarantino characters. And yet, that's the sight that greets you in the first of three episodes of Assassin's Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington. While it's a transformation that so very nearly crosses the line into the comical, Washington's newfound dictatorship is an audacious and alluring concept.

It's a concept made possible by the move to an alternate, altogether darker history than was laid out in ACIII. Washington's influence is felt throughout the game as villagers line up to face firing squads, and fresh corpses litter the snow-covered roads of the frontier. Both you and Connor are none the wiser as to the reasons these events have occurred, or why the events of ACIII have been forgotten, but this is a clever move on Ubisoft's part. While historical accuracy has always been a series forte, by freeing itself from those constraints, The Tyranny of King Washington can meddle with the game's underlying mechanics and experiment with the narrative.

And so, despite the familiar setting, The Infamy initially feels fresh. The villainous Washington is the main attraction, and much of the drive to make your way through the downloadable content comes from wanting to discover the secrets behind his evil empire. You quickly learn that Washington--having not given up his presidency after a second term--has gone mad with power and begins wreaking havoc on the country by burning, shooting, or beheading anyone who stands in his way.

Naturally, not everyone is happy about the king's violent regime. One such person is Kaniehti:io (Connor's mother), who attempts to steal the Apple of Eden that gives Washington his power. What follows is an intriguing adventure that is far more taut than that of the main game. While there's still an element of open-world action to enjoy--there are side quests in the form of convoys to attack and villagers to defend--the focus is on taking down Washington, whatever the cost. This streamlined approach keeps you locked into the action and the narrative, which is helped by your actions being limited to the frontier (the second episode, The Betrayal, is set in Boston, while The Redemption is set in New York).

The action itself has undergone a few changes. Here, there's a renewed focus on Connor's Native American heritage. Aside from adventuring with the tribe, you're asked to drink a hallucinogenic tea, which in turn lets you communicate with spirit animals. While the resulting drug-trip-cum-tutorial's awkward instruction doesn't work as well as it should, the special abilities you receive significantly change how you play the game, and mostly for the better.

The Infamy features two new abilities derived from wolves. The first lets you summon a pack of wolves in battle, taking down multiple enemies at once. Though they perform a similar function to (and replaces) Brotherhood recruits, the wolves are much quicker and more violent opponents for your enemies to face. Indeed, the sound of munched flesh as the wolves tear into bodies is quite an eye-opener. The second and more disruptive power gives you the ability to cloak at any time, thus rendering yourself invisible to surrounding enemies.

This ability significantly changes the way you use stealth, but it doesn't make Connor into the invulnerable super-assassin you might expect. For one, your health drains while using the power, so if you leave it on too long, you're easily killed. And more often than not, killing someone while using this power disables the cloak, thus exposing you to any would-be attackers. What cloaking is useful for is sneaking around enemy encampments and avoiding scuffles. By using nearby bushes as rest points, you can sneak through large areas completely undetected. Indeed, some missions require you to do exactly that, often adding in someone to chase or to eavesdrop on along the way.

The DLC experiments only with Connor's abilities, rather than the missions, so most of the time you're engaged in standard assassinations or helping out people in need. That doesn't make missions any less fun, particularly with the new abilities in hand, but it would have been nice to see something different to the standard AC fare. Similarly disappointing is how little Washington himself features in the DLC outside of the first section. Clearly--being spread out over three episodes--Washington's tale can't be unloaded all at once. But such is the force of his villainy that it's hard not to develop a deep hatred for the man within seconds of meeting him. That's quite an achievement for a character based on a national hero, and makes you hanker for more Washington face time.

Assassin's Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington - The Infamy is a fresh and interesting take on Assassin's Creed, one that manages to introduce some new ideas without destroying what makes the game so fun in the first place. It's even more appealing if you're into the lore behind the series, with collectible memory artefacts serving as links to ACIII's real world, and unlocking parts of a secret video that explains just what on earth is going on. Due to a few foibles, The Infamy doesn't quite reach the heady heights of ACIII, but it's an exciting start to an intriguing new chapter in the series nonetheless.

'
The Good
New wolf powers add a neat twist to the action
Evil George Washington is a great villain
Intriguing story
Lots of hidden collectibles and secrets
The Bad
Mission types remain largely the same as previous games
Not enough screen time for George Washington
Feels as if it's been stretched out for further episodes
7.5
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Assassin's Creed III

About the Author

/ Staff

Writer, riff maker, purveyor of fine foods. Mark currently spends his days trying to overcome his small (large) obsession with high-top trainers and mobile games. He's known to respond well to Long Island Iced Tea, falafels, and karaoke, but not necessarily in that order.

Discussion

68 comments
d_kell411
d_kell411

Washington: Probably one of the only presidents in history who expressly stated that he wanted nothing to do with the presidency. Oh, the irony of this DLC. :)

pickelpiezombie
pickelpiezombie

DlC stuff sure taking up my money, season passes 49,99 almost as much as a game!!

yemal
yemal

"Feels as if it's been stretched out for further episodes." Of course it feels like its been stretched out! there's what, 3 for episodes?

Navardo95
Navardo95

And why are fanboys complaining!? The PS4 is set to be released in November 2013.....although I wish they would port GTAV to the next gen consoles as well.. 

rockgod44
rockgod44

 i just like playing the A.C series cause they are alot of fun.

jimbothef
jimbothef

"And more often than not, killing someone while using this power disables the cloak, thus exposing you to any would-be attackers"

You must not be using Wolf Cloak right.  You can easily kill 5 or 6 people as long as you don't touch Right Trigger (which turns it off automatically for some reason).  It's probably a bit too strong if used well (stab a bunch of people then hide in a bush or behind something till you're at full health) but it's still a lot of fun to use.  Just wish the DLC wasn't so short.

deathwatch28
deathwatch28

im glad i didnt get the season pass for ac3.The main reason I loved the ac series was the historical accuracy or what there was of it. Now their making shit up about real people  (even more stuff than aliens with their apples) im suprised the american preservation of presidentail heroes team ( or wankers for short) arent on the phone to their lawyers as we speak. Call wolves to help but I could do that in the normal game but they were called assassins. Stealth cloak is quite cool but this isn't a Predator game so go away with your harry potter invisiblity cloak.

GhostHawk196
GhostHawk196

First Command and Conquer, then Dragon Age, then Mass Effect, then Dead Space and now Crysis... I wonder whats the next game EA is going to destroy?

jakerscythe
jakerscythe

Soo... this is only a third of this specific DLC story? I'll definitely wait till I can get a bundle.

pip3dream
pip3dream

Really enjoying this DLC so far. :)  It's holding my attention actually sharper than the normal game!

corteztheg
corteztheg

i would like to beat up that sushie chef in the snapdragon ad

corteztheg
corteztheg

i always wonder why haven't they made a desmond animus dream scernario alternate story like maybe altair in new york or persia even since the first assassins creed game.

xHellBoundx
xHellBoundx

"Feels like it is stretched out for further episodes"

Uh...they have already said that multiple times? How is that even a review point. No crap.

Smilemax
Smilemax

I play it! Its short, but its really worth it! Its a huge massive DLC, really nice, confusing some times, still got some glitch, but its really nice! Loll the last minute i play, i lost my Thomohawk... the problem is, there is no seller... -_-'

Outatomomega
Outatomomega

Although I love alternate forms of history I'll wait. I love the Assassin's Creed franchise I assume these content packs will be discounted or put on sale in the upcoming year. Good review though. 

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

Looks pretty cool, I like the concept of George Washington as a villain.

sonii1234
sonii1234

yes that's sounds good too....i hope i will get more exciting series of stories...

snake3rules
snake3rules

I think this little add on sounds cool, and the mystery of the alternate timeline a good diversion from the typical historical accuracy ... Could lead to lots of great exciting new stories for the series.

DesertEaglex24
DesertEaglex24

This game is kinda dull not as good a ac2 or brotherhood.

sonii1234
sonii1234

hello friends soni here from MAURYA SOFTWARE.............like the gamespot...i don't think its a bad deal....



sonii1234
sonii1234

hello friends nice game...like it

andreperezpalha
andreperezpalha

Why all game reviews at gamespot been made at the 360? 

Bumblebee1138
Bumblebee1138

No it means that they try to stretch this DLC "too" much to make 3 episodes.

TruSake
TruSake

@deathwatch28 You must've not played AC1 if you believe things are historically accurate.

ClintCommander
ClintCommander

@deathwatch28 Oh Please!  If you think that the AC series is considered historically accurate then you really need to go back to a middle school history class.  I would say that the AC series is very loosely based on actual historical events at best.  I like the games but saying that NOW they aren't being historically accurate is just ridiculous.  Anyway, this is supposed to be a cool what if scenario to shake things up a bit.

Xero1246
Xero1246

huh, dude there's no EA  relation in Mark's review

bubbabubbs
bubbabubbs

@Suikogaiden im actually diggin it quite a bit.. funnest mission of all of em so far for me..if you have ac3.. i recommend it.  

you want some funny washington stuff.. go check out the short movie (55 minutes) in the showtime series Masters of Horror...called The Washingtonians....REALLY great entertaining flick.

Scarab83
Scarab83

@Suikogaiden Have you played it? No? Then try not to form opinions about it before you do.

Scarab83
Scarab83

@xHellBoundx They're saying that they stretched the content out to fill three episodes, so there's less in each.

drummer131
drummer131

@Smilemax wouldn't it just respawn on you the next time you play? I hope so... otherwise, that's kind of dumb and maddening.

rockgod44
rockgod44

 @sonii1234 (are you serious:(

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@andreperezpalha The majority of the time for multiplatform games, that's the only review code we receive. While we try to review every version, time constraints don't always allow it, and typically, publishers send PS3 and PC versions later, or don't send them at all. We will purchase and review other versions as time permits, but time is pesky and doesn't always allow it.

robotquest
robotquest

@ClintCommander @deathwatch28 The only historical accuracy is that your targets really died at the points in history you killed them; they're all real people. Obviously this DLC is exempt.

GhostHawk196
GhostHawk196

How the hell did my comment end up here? I haven't even been here before

Smilemax
Smilemax

@drummer131 @Smilemax No. I lost it for ever. I replay some mission, just to see, but nothing. i manage to take another axe, but not the original...

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

@Kevin-V @andreperezpalha Wow it is pretty sweet that Kevin replied to your question. Wow I have never seen staff comment before on this website and I am roaming it since 2008 as a member and since 2005 as observer. Respect !

ShadowRun02
ShadowRun02

@robotquest @ClintCommander @deathwatch28 actually this DLC makes more sense then the alien thingies! (there's a youtube video discussing the probability for JW to become a dictator, and if he was a worse person, he could've done it, twice!)

Chronologo
Chronologo

@GhostHawk196 Video review, that explains it. Gamespot has this awful autoplay feature. As soon as a video end, you wait a little and it goes to the next game with a video review. They should disable that hellish thing!

GhostHawk196
GhostHawk196

@ShadowRun02 @GhostHawk196 I think it was a Crysis 3 Video Review, I swore It was posted in that board but somehow it ended up here which I have absolutely no idea how, I'm gonna delete that comment

drummer131
drummer131

@Smilemax @drummer131 I've got some good news for you today, if you're the patient type. I overheard on Twitter this morning that a fix for this "weapon loss" glitch is coming with Part 2 of this episodic DLC. You should get your tomahawk back then.

Duke_51
Duke_51

@Karmazyn Really? I see them respond to people in the comments all the time

Assassin's Creed III More Info

First Release on Oct 30, 2012
  • PC
  • PlayStation 3
  • + 2 more
  • Wii U
  • Xbox 360
Assassin's Creed III is an upcoming free-roaming action-adventure game for the PS3, PC, Xbox 360, and WiiU that takes place both in a near-future setting and 1775 colonial America.
8
Average User RatingOut of 4296 User Ratings
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Developed by:
Ubisoft, Ubisoft Quebec
Published by:
Ubisoft
Genres:
3D, Action, Open-World, Adventure
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
All Platforms
Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language