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

The Redemption's varied missions and new powers are a lot of fun, but the predictable ending is a big disappointment for the series.

Assassin's Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington - The Redemption is more entertaining and action-packed than the sluggish second episode, The Betrayal. The story moves at a rapid pace, the missions are full of variety, and evil George Washington is given the face time his villainous character so rightly deserves. Sadly, for all the intriguing mysteries raised by the downloadable content's alternate universe setting, the ending is a total cop-out. If you were hoping for greater insight into the wider lore of the Assassin's Creed universe, you will be sorely disappointed.

After the repetitive fetch quests of The Betrayal, seeing Connor on board the Aquila for The Redemption's action-packed opening comes as a relief. The naval battles were a highlight in Assassin's Creed III and are similarly entertaining here as you blast the Aquila's cannons at a fleet of ships and enter New York City. It's there that Washington is securing his place as the king of the United States by building a pyramid, right in the heart of the city. This hasn't gone down well with Connor, who immediately breaks out his herbal tea to summon another animal spirit.

This time, you're endowed with the power of the bear, a stomping physical attack with a wide blast radius that's particularly handy when you're surrounded by a large group of enemies. It's a very satisfying attack to use, especially when you see enemies being thrown into the air like rag dolls, but it does sap a fair bit of your health away when you use it. This means that, more often than not, the power of the bear works better as a last resort than a first line of attack.

And you may end up being surrounded more often than you expect, thanks to the sheer number of enemies scattered around the streets of New York: you can't so much as set foot on the ground before being surrounded by some burly bluecoats. That means most of the time you're forced up onto the rooftops, zapping between them using Conner's eagle power, or jumping to missions using fast travel. The high soldier count makes sense within the narrative, but it leaves little opportunity for you to explore the city.

Unlike the largely unchanged Boston from The Betrayal, the altered New York City is something you want to explore. It's dominated by Washington's pyramid, which lies smack-bang in the center of the city. Surrounding it are Washington's many workers who--in a nicely detailed touch--toil away at the building while you sneak about the rooftops. These workers and the other downtrodden citizens of New York become the key to overthrowing Washington's regime.

They also help mix up the mission structure, as the game foregoes the fetch quests that dominated previous episodes. One mission sees you protecting a food cart from waves of bluecoats in order to feed starving citizens. Another has you creating civil unrest by hanging enemies in public squares, destroying statues, and dishing out damage to Washington's public speakers. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson give you help along the way, although these characters are largely relegated to a few brief cutscenes.

The focus is on the conflict between Conner and Washington, who by this point is in full-on tyrant mode, the Apple of Eden having warped his mind to the point of insanity. Conner is wrestling with his mind, too, because of the corrupting influence of his animal powers, but that parallel isn't explored anywhere near as much as it should be. When the two finally meet after an enjoyable platforming jaunt through the pyramid, it's not the grand event you might expect. Instead, you're plonked into a cheesy boss battle, followed by an underwhelming ending that's far too predictable.

For all the fresh ideas and narrative puzzles introduced in the first episode, to end the series on such a low point is massively disappointing. As an individual episode, The Redemption is a more enjoyable effort than The Betrayal, and it comes close to the excitement of The Infamy. But it also makes the series as a whole less compelling. Those keen to absorb absolutely everything the Assassin's Creed III universe has to offer will find a few enjoyable moments in The Tyranny of King Washington, but it's ultimately an empty experience.

'

The Good
Large variety of missions
Bear power is a blast to use
Washington is back and meaner than ever
The Bad
Disappointing ending
Overabundance of enemies makes exploration difficult
6.5
Fair
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About the Author

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

44 comments
Riddick123
Riddick123

Google the cartoon Bravestar.  Cartoon character from the '80s.  Indian sheriff on another planet with spiritual animal powers pretty much identical to Connor's.  Kind of funny actually.

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

they shud review 3 at once, not by each chapter

Sam_021
Sam_021

This is the first time but it doesn't deserve 6.5. Anything more than 4 doesn't make sense! 

jeffrobin
jeffrobin

I think I'm the only person on the planet that loved Revelations (apart from silly tower defense) and didn't like the over bloated narrative mess of Brotherhood. Really enjoyed AC3 too for the most part. This DLC series has been getting little praise but I like the idea of it and will get it just to go back into that world.

Warsilver
Warsilver

The series isn't being killed... a lot of people are overreacting here. I enjoyed brotherhood and revelations just as much if not more than the first game. I wouldn't take this 6.5 to mean that the series is going downhill; that conclusion would be a really big stretch for one DLC.

zwr63
zwr63

It all started going downhill with brotherhood with man-hours being used for online development instead of good single player arpg . i just bought a new copy of revalation for 15 and ill wait for ac3 for that same price.

greenshadow222
greenshadow222

The first AC games were not made to appeal to every person on the planet with money in his pocket.  Now they are trying to appeal to everyone and that will kill this series.

axelx666
axelx666

and now that we have AC4 coming out in october...this leaves me worried..seeing the POOR quality and LINEAR DLC for this game..if they can't do well on something as small as this DLC what would have me believe they'd do well on a full fledged sequel?

ajsw1
ajsw1

I hate you f**king people.

Husko
Husko

<---  native and I returned this game the day after I purchased it.  

KAB21
KAB21

Only thing that I didn't enjoy about the game is that when you took over a territory from the Red Coats you had the Colonial Army take it which they treated you like the Red Coats it's one enemy for another stupid game...


AverageGameJoe
AverageGameJoe

There is no point to put "Disappointing ending" at the bad thing, it is a rule for AC to have great inside animus story but disappointing Desmond story, I am a huge fan of AC franchize but sometimes I pretend that Desmond doesnt exist and that I dont control Altair, Ezio and Connor via the animus and just made up my own story;-)

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

Redemption?

Seriosuly, there is no redeeming AC3. It doesn't matter what you throw at it. You would essentially have to remake the entire second and third act, at the very least, to even START to redeem this game!!

Just let AC3 die, and give the franchise a break for a few years. This will give the audience a chance to recover, and maybe even start to forget how bad AC3 was. And it would give the developers a chance to really innovate and give the franchise a much needed overhaul.

Black_Hand_313
Black_Hand_313

I was also disappointed by this DLC, though for opposite reasons. I actually liked the third episode and thought the ending was decent, but the episodes before seemed lacking. It was only in the third episode when you went to New York that you saw how different things were under King Washington.

Season Pass definitely isn't worth it. I'd say if it were $5 an episode, it'd be worth it if you're curious. $10 each is too much, especially for the first and second episodes.

EMM44
EMM44

ok I guess I going to save my money for ACIV no point playing those DLCS which is kind of sad I had great hope for this story line with an evil George Washington

00LiteYear
00LiteYear

So a DLC is redeeming its DLC...? DLCeption. 

BlueTurtz
BlueTurtz

And this is why i don't buy season passes until every piece of DLC is out, because you have no idea if it will be shit or not and this season pass was not worth it

unreal101
unreal101

Remember when AC products regularly received universal acclaim and everyone looked forward to the next one? Pepperidge Farm remembers!

berserker66666
berserker66666

and they're thinking about releasing Assassin's Creed every year? Well, ASStastic.

grin89
grin89

i thought assassins creed 3 was over when i beat the story without all the dlc

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

The predictability of the story is what made me not want to take part in this.

It did attract my interest but after reading about all three, I decided against it. It maybe is worth the money of a season pass, I don't know? I'd just rather pass on it all the same!

Good review again Mark.

RobDev
RobDev

@Arsyad00 they come out in chapters! what should they do, wait untuil the end of the last on and review it then?

greenshadow222
greenshadow222

@jeffrobin I enjoyed Revelations too.  My concern is that story, game play and level challenge are all being gauged for sales rather than allowed to fit a great story.  The climbing that made AC so much fun was pretty much ruined by going to trees.  And while the naval play is fun as side action, I don't play AC for sea warfare.  I still get a rush from climbing, assassinating and solving the sort of puzzles AC did so well in the past.  Just hate to see that all gone.  And you have to admit that before AC3 the stories were good ones - AC2 especially.

greenshadow222
greenshadow222

@Warsilver I gave AC3 a 6.0 for naval warfare, a 4.0 for the lack of fun climbing and assassinating, and a 2.0 for the really lousy story.

Slade968
Slade968

@Warsilver I agree. I thought AC2, Brotherhood and Revelations were great. Yea there were some parts of Revelations that were a little dumb (tower warfare, but I only had to every do that twice so nbd) and AC3, imo, wasn't as good as the previous 3 installments but I still enjoyed the game. I hope they will get back to more sprawling cities and non stop speed, climbing and assassinations in Black Flag. but I don't see the series being killed. That's a bit dramatic.

Riddick123
Riddick123

@zwr63 MP ruined it for me too.  I enjoyed Brotherhood and Revelations, but the MP aspect should be ignored imo and the man hours put into the quality of the single player.

jimbothef
jimbothef

@zwr63 No, Brotherhood (and its online multiplayer) were great: the single player story was well-done, was long, and had a good plot and characters, and multiplayer was cool since it was unique.  But starting with Revelations, things have gone downhill.  As for Tyranny of King Washington, it was OK, but overpriced: it'd be a lot better of a value at $7 per episode.  It was too short to justify the $30 cost (whether through the season pass or individual purchases).

talamalopilis
talamalopilis

@greenshadow222 its true AC3 was so easy and held my hand through it so much that i couldnt even play it anymore. the automated jumping from building to building by just holding a trigger really pissed me off. remember how games used to be... like seriously if you think about it super mario was hard as shit, and it was fun cause of it. 

jimbothef
jimbothef

@KAB21 Yeah, which is in line with every other Assassin's Creed game.  And in line with history as well since Connor isn't some die-hard revolutionary, but a native who is skeptical of both sides but chooses the lesser of two evils.

pozium
pozium

@HipHopBeats It doesn't seem like a bad game, just not a very good one. (probably not fully worth the season pass)

axelx666
axelx666

@unreal101 

Ac1:fan reaction: it's a good concept..but eh. (has a cult following)

Ac2: fan reaction: OMG AMAZING!! (gains a large fanbase)

brotherhood:  fan reaction: amazing (gains an even larger fanbase)

revelations: fan reaction: eh it's okay (fanbase is constant)

Ac3: new fans: OMG!! old fans: wtf is this?  (gains new fans, but loses favor) 

yep i think this is the best way to sum it up.  

Ledah
Ledah

@unreal101 I just wished this franchise would die already, so Ubi can focus on something new.

Master_cheat001
Master_cheat001

@grin89 It is. Ubi is making it worse by each DLC. Most disappoiting AC ever. I don't feel playing it at all. AC 2 is the best though, I can play it over and over but  my love can't be faded.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@RobDev @Arsyad00 

For some weird reason, I just received this reply you made?

It's not even addressed to me. Nor am I following this? lol.

jeffrobin
jeffrobin

@greenshadow222 I didn't like the tree climbing either and the houses in Boston and New York were just a pain, I would like to see the climbing from the earlier games come back. However AC3 was just so ambitious and it didn't have the bloated feeling I got from AC Brotherhood though it stuffed up a few things like the Homestead economy and climbing. It always seems that they have to put in some useless idea into each new game.

Agreed I thought (like everyone else) that ACII was the best of the bunch. Here's hoping they bring back the great puzzles from ACII and Revelations.

BlueTurtz
BlueTurtz

@pongley I know it wasn't worth $50 or 40 pounds that why I got the premium edition a year later

axelx666
axelx666

@punksterdaddy @axelx666 @unreal101 

im honestly worried about it, because the production on Ac1 took longer then a year, same with Ac2 +brotherhood (all good games) and revelations too..but they are shipping Ac4 out MONTHS after Ac3 and announced it early..it worries me. and without desmond (their bread and butter) i honestly wonder how this is gonna work out..there is NO plot without desmond.

Assassin's Creed III More Info

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  • First Released
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    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.
    7.9
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    Developed by:
    Ubisoft Quebec, Ubisoft
    Published by:
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    Genres:
    Open-World, Adventure, Action, 3D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
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    Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language