So ” proper” third party games have finally made their way to a Nintendo home console for the first time in ages. With Assassin’s Creed being one of the defining series of the current Xbox and PlayStation generation, the latest installment making its way to the Wii U is a big thing. But apart using the Wii U’s defining GamePad, how does it stack up against its Microsoft and Sony cousins in terms of looking and playing like we expect it to?
I’m not going to provide a full big run down of the game’s plot, modes and the like here. The bulk of the game is identical, so you can take a look at our 8/10 Xbox 360 review for that. What I’ll do here is talk about the differences in the Wii U versions, such as GamePad integration and if the graphics are on par with what we’d expect them to be.
The good news is that it’s identical to the other versions in that it plays perfectly like you would expect it to. Sadly thought the only real use of the GamePad is displaying inventory and the HUD elements, removing them from the TV. It’s helpful but it’s not going to alter anyone’s purchasing decision. Being a port I didn’t expect much more than that, but even a single tiny feature would have been something. What will potentially affect your purchasing decision however, is the remote play feature. This allows the freedom to play the entire game on the GamePad, freeing up the TV for others in the household. I managed to even play the game from the bath and bed, so I was pretty chuffed with the feature. It really should be included in every game, as it would seriously make me consider purchasing the Wii U version over other formats. But bear in mind your home layout will differ and may not be the same for you. For reference, I live in what I would consider a normal sized flat.
There is also a 3D feature too built into the pad, but using the ghastly old fashioned red/blue glasses technique makes it redundant in my opinion. There is simply no desire to turn the worst moving picture invention ever produced on.
Looks and sound
I like my graphics but I’m no technical expert on all things pixel shaders and dynamic lighting, but Assassin’s Creed III looked no different from other console versions to me. Some may complain that they expect better than Microsoft and Sony’s current consoles, but I say that if a standard port looks this good on a console’s first day on the market, then things are bound to get better in future once developers nail the coding process for the Wii U.
Shifting the action to the GamePad via remote play, the game in my opinion looks just as good. Although lower resolution, the smaller screen makes up for the difference and it means whether it’s displaying the HUD, cutscenes or playing via remote play you’re getting a good experience.
To sum up
There’s nothing special about this release at all, it plays as well as it does on the other consoles and that’s a very good thing for Nintendo. Whether people will choose the Wii U version over consoles for multiplatform games is unlikely in my opinion if it’s a straight port. Developers do need to make use of the brilliant piece of technology that is the GamePad, especially the remote play feature. But rest assured, if you’ve only had a Wii under your TV until now and have upgraded, or considering to upgrade, to a Wii U, you can be glad that Nintendo are finally delivering the games that you’ve been wanting for ages.
Version reviewed: Wii U