Assassins Creed III The Tyranny of King Washington: The Redemption review
The third and final download in Assassin’s Creed’s alternative history story finally provides some disclosure, but are those answers satisfying?
Assassins Creed has always fiddled away with history to match its made-up-story but the games have generally blurred the line to inspect time periods roughly as they were. Now Ubisoft is twisting the script entirely in the Tyranny of King Washington: a three-part (what if) DLC for Assassins Creed 3, that sees the founding father of the United States succumb to the temptation of infinite power as he crowns himself king of the land. The mini-series in the first episode opened up in a more obscure and imbrued version of the games Frontier; transporting gamer’s into an altogether new approach of ACIII’s well-trodden borderland. After a concrete, if not unoriginal, halfway episode, the menacingly- titled third part – dubbed ‘The Redemption’ – propels you back into the helm of the Aquila as Ratonhnhaketon takes down a Bluecoat armada.
The Christopher Nolan-sized opening to the episode along with its naval antics added real diversity to the gameplay, often serving as a welcoming reminder to how entertaining it was to be able to sink enemy battleships and reproduce theatre of war moments. Only just swabbing the salt from your eyes – after nullifying waves of front line missiles – you find yourself back at the overwhelming monuments and gleaming untenable mists of New York’s city streets. The minute you tread on New York’s transitory terrain, you find yourself yet again fleeing from adversary pursuits, annihilating entire armies, stealthily slashing up targets, hovering up windowsills, and climbing up unstable garments.
From then on it is classic ACIII gameplay – voyaging from mission to mission, fighting to rescuing – after longing to see more of what nascent America might have been like under a tyrannical dictator. In this version of history, New York streets are at a state of unrest, food deficiency has left political independence dispirited and dangerous, and Washington with his golden staff gives chillingly fascist speeches to large assemblies of people atop a giant pyramid he had built as a testament to himself as he barracks his dog-hungry population from the top of his terraces.
And of course, wasting no time, as Washington’s fascist regime plagues society with poverty and oppression; Ratonhnhaketon lands and downs another flask of his Native American mystical beverage to steal impossible powers from the animal spirits. The third and final inhuman acquisition is Bear Might, which, along with its ravishing shades of baby blue, grants you the ability to soar up and perform a shockwave-emitting ground pound clearing any enemies in a nearby radius. The transcendental spirit-communion dreams and the virtues they bestow upon you are the most gratifying parts of Tyranny of King Washington as they redraw the boundaries of ACIII’s gameplay. Admittedly, it is a very powerful attack when compared to the hawk and wolf powers, which you still get to use, however it’s disappointingly mundane and hardly a game changer.
However as before, using it does come with a price – while it is being used your health will reduce so you’re forced to switch between your inhuman abilities and good old-fashioned tomahawking to succeed in your quest of leading the rebellion and vanquishing king George. New York is crawling with soldiers and the sheer relentlessness of your foes makes traversing the city a chore as it drastically enhances the gameplay and difficulty. So there is no winging it through to the grand ending.
Is the epilogue a fulfilling conclusion to an over-priced DLC season? Let’s just say that the conclusion wraps up Tyranny of King Washington in a rather brief fashion with an epic boss battle but without any huge surprises. For a plot founded on wickedness – and as part of a series that deals with proto-human gods and prophetic solar prominences – the Tyranny of King Washington story feels underwhelming as it offers more explanation to how Ratonhnhaketon ended up in this alternate universe. Nevertheless the story seems to have no special importance in terms of the wider franchise narrative making the experience somewhat forgettable, just as much as most other downloadable content.
Below is a Tyranny Of King Washington: The Redemption Walkthrough and Trailer