Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/assassin-s-creed-iii-king-washington-episode-1-review-97f3c469c23
I've been looking forward to this alternate story line ever since I first heard about it. Every time I think about it the Washington Rap starts playing in my head. Wonderful stuff. As I'm sure you have guessed, in this DLC George Washington has gotten his hands on a couple of Pieces of Eden and has declared himself King.
|12 stories high made of radiation|
|It's good to be king.|
Coming back to a game after a couple of months away is always a little funny, because you've almost always forgotten a few little details. In this case I had reinstalled Windows since last time I played, so the controls were all back to their default settings. I changed them back to what I thought they had been, but I couldn't figure out how to block people in combat, which is REALLY important. Turns out it is the same as the "use" button. Crisis averted.
Like the player, Connor is thrown into this alternate timeline with his memories from the real world, and he is really confused. In fact, by the end of the episode he still hasn't fully gotten over his confusion. This guy needs to learn to roll with it.
Because this is an extremely story-focused DLC, it is extremely linear. It took me a couple of hours to get to a point where I had an open map to explore. Even then there weren't any real side quests to do; sure, every once in a while I came across a convoy of prisoners to free or a starving citizen to feed, but they didn't seem to have any tangible affect on the world.
The world was pretty different from the real-life colonial America. Dead horses, frozen corpses, people hung on the side of the road, wolves all over the place attacking people. Pretty gruesome.
Things got interesting when Connor gains some new powers. They're pretty awesome, but at the same time they are pretty darn cheap and they kind of break the game. Later on they introduce a new enemy that helps to counter your new super powers, but it still felt a little cheap. They also make up for it by throwing even more special enemies at you at a time, which made the combat a lot more challenging.
I was really surprised when I got to the end of the episode. It only lasted 3.5 hours, and a fair portion of that was me having to do a few missions multiple times due to the game not letting me get on that stupid horse.
Overall I definitely would not say that it was worth $10. It was short, and despite being story-driven, I didn't really feel connected to the characters. It was also way too short. If you want to see how far Washington can fall, I would recommend waiting until the DLC goes on sale ($5 is the maximum I would recommend paying for it) or just watch the cutscenes on Youtube. I'm sure that somebody will put them up soon.
|Move along. Nothing to see here.|
|Kill the mannequin-man!|
|That guy over there was stuck in midair and his legs are extra long.|
EDIT: you can now read my review of The Betrayal DLC.