Going into Assassins's Creed 3 I was full of doubts and skepticism, the task before Ubisoft is a massive one and they have yet to prove that they are up to it. Whilst these doubts are all still present I am, after an hour of watching my girlfriend (who is a massive fan of the series) playing it, slightly more confident than I was before.
The first thing to strike me was just how gorgeous the game looks. Whilst the Assassins's Creed franchise has never established a reputation for shoddy graphics I did not expect it to look this good. It's clear that Ubisoft wanted to use their engine to take this generation about as far as they possibly could. From facial detailing and animation to the surrounding environment and even the way that the Animus is rendered the game just looks amazing. There have been a couple, and I mean literally a couple, of instances of pop in so far but she's only been playing for about an hour so I can't say how prevalent these will be.
Aside from the engine itself there have also been changes made to the animations. Whilst my partner did her first spot of free running she commented on the cool new animations for clambering over obstacles. For example in one case your character deftly places a hand upon a barrier and spins himself over it in one smooth motion which is, as she put it, cool. Also some of the hand to hand fighting finishers have changed, I was particularly impressed with the option to do a suplex style take down. I've always loved the hand to hand combat but it looks even better now than it ever did before.
Ill post again tomorrow when I have had my time with the game but certainly the game's looks have improved dramatically.