Assassin’s Creed 3: The Tyranny of King Washington DLC Review

It seems that it’s not quite an actual Assassin’s Creed game if it doesn’t leave players wondering what on earth just happened. To be honest, The Tyranny of King Washington (ToKW) really does live up to that standard.

The DLC consists of three episodes that were released periodically over three months, and it’s really one massive “What If?” exploration. (Spoilers ahead.)

Assassin’s Creed has always been largely focused on the war between the Assassins and the Templars, and in this DLC Ubisoft has done away with that. Despite that, the theme of “freedom vs order” is not thrown out, and it’s one of the elements that keeps the game still feeling like one from Assassin’s Creed. Further considerations have also been explored – what if Connor’s father died instead of his mother? Or even, in accordance with what most believe about Native Americans, what if Connor gained some sort of spirit animal magic?

And of course, there’s also the most obvious one – What if Washington became a tyrant King?

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Still, the DLC is a crazy lot of fun. Characters that were supposed to have played a bigger role in the main storyline but ended up with minor roles or were completely missing are now given greater parts in here. I am talking about Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, of course, and the much loved Samuel Adams also makes a return. There’s really nothing quite like watching them try to take down George Washington, and it’s really a lot less insane than it sounds.

The storyline itself was simple and straightforward, but despite that, it remains engaging to the player, beckoning them to proceed on. Aside from the addition of three powers, namely Wolf Cloak, Eagle Flight and Bear Might, gameplay remains largely the same, though there is much greater focus on the new powers. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – I personally found Eagle Flight to be positively addictive, swooping about the roofs of Boston and New York with great pleasure. Free-running and parkour on the roof? That’s for lesser Assassins.

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The Tyranny of King Washington was originally slated to be non-canonical to the AC3 storyline, although that was a sentiment that had become retracted later, with the DLC becoming canonical. (Quite possibly thanks to the fans who complained that the DLC was pointless.)

The way that was done seemed really casual (and perhaps even careless), and it’s probably the point that really got me wondering what. The entire story was later shown to be similar to a hallucination of sort, which, in comparison to Ubisoft’s standards, kind of falls flat. Still, to be fair, there are really not many other options they could have taken to turn this massive AU canonical to the main line, and it’s really not that big of an issue. You’ve really got to give props to Ubisoft though, who frequently accede to the demands of its fans, always wanting to satisfy. Or at least, that’s how they’ve always come across to me.

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At about 10 USD per episode, it might seem a bit pricey, though Season Pass players get it much cheaper. Regardless, the DLC is a demonstration of the direction in which Ubisoft could have taken Assassin’s Creed 3, and it’s honestly an interesting perspective. Overall, it was nonetheless a satisfying gaming experience.

Ratings: 3.5 Stars out of 5

by Chua Yuxuan
© POPCulture Online 2013, All Rights Reserved.

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