Assassin’s Creed 3 boasts a much more varied combat system, according to the game’s Lead Designer, Alex Hutchinson, as the player is no longer forced to adopt the old “parry and counter” strategy seen in the previous titles.
Assassin’s Creed games have delivered some rather intense experiences over the years but, for better or worse, their combat systems always revolved around the player waiting for enemies to attack and then countering their blows into an automatic kill.
In Assassin’s Creed 3
, however, the whole system has been overhauled so that players are more challenged when engaging enemies.
"We rebuilt the combat system. I think one of the most striking comments we've heard in the last two days is how different it feels to fans of the franchise to previous game,” Hutchinson told Joystiq
. "The whole flow of it is different, the archetypes are different, the old strategies just won't work."
"For example, before, a counter was an automatic kill. You didn't have to make a decision after that, you could just spam the attack button. Before, you had to target everyone individually by using the left trigger, which you no longer have to do. You would block on the right trigger, which is now a face button. You couldn't run out of a fight in the old version, but now you can, because the right trigger is still free run. Nobody attacked simultaneously, which they do now. It's virtually a complete rewrite."
Getting in and out of combat has also been refined, according to Hutchinson, as players can easily jump into fights and flee when the odds aren’t looking so good.
"I'm much happier than we were before. It's much more fluid, and if you're a good player, you can run into conflicts, pick everyone off, be interrupted by a guy attacking you, counter him out, take his weapon and move out of the fight in one fluid motion. Before we felt the combat was very stop-start and that it had degenerative strategies, which you could discover and start spamming particular buttons," he added.
Considering that the combat system has remained largely the same since the first game in the series, it’s interesting to see just how it’s going to feel in the new one.