A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Assassin's Creed III Remastered is an action/adventure game available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. It's a digitally enhanced re-release of two older games -- Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed Liberation -- originally made and released for previous-generation consoles. Both are historical action adventures with era-appropriate combat and weapons, including muskets, cannons, swords, and daggers. Enemies bleed profusely and gurgle in pain when killed, often without having a chance to fight back, since the player's characters are stealth assassins. The playable protagonists include a British aristocrat, a British Native American tribesman, a modern American man, and a French African woman in Louisiana who has multiple personas -- including that of a slave -- which she uses to liberate the oppressed in New Orleans. Their stories explore both personal and family relationships as well as the larger issues of their times and settings, including racism, slavery, sexism, and colonialism. The authentic historical depiction of the 18th-century world could provide players a better understanding of the era's politics, issues, and day-to-day life. Mature themes run through both games, including alcohol consumption, talk of sex, and strong language, with frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t."
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What's it about?
ASSASSIN'S CREED III REMASTERED is a digitally cleaned up re-release of not just 2012's Assassin's Creed III, which launched on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, but also Assassin's Creed Liberation, a completely separate game in the series also released in 2012 but made exclusively for Sony's handheld PlayStation Vita. Both are set primarily in the United States. The former takes place mostly in the American Northeast and stars Ratonhnhaké:ton, a young man born of a British aristocrat and a Native American woman who finds himself embroiled in the American Revolution while attempting to protect his people. The latter focuses on Aveline de Grandpré, a French African woman working to help the slaves of New Orleans. Both are part of the order of Assassins, a group involved in a centuries old struggle against an organization called the Templars in a fight between freedom and order. Also involved in the conflict is an ancient precursor race of humanoids who left clues of their existence -- and powerful technological artifacts -- for humanity to find. The heroes' lives are viewed through the lens of a modern-day technology called the Animus that allows people to view the memories of ancestors passed down through genetic material. As assassins involved in world-changing conflicts, they participate in violent missions that involve stealth, swordfighting, gunplay, and even naval combat. They are also extraordinarily agile and clever, capable of exploring the world by climbing buildings, leaping between rooftops, and seamlessly blending in with crowds in order to track and eavesdrop on their targets. A mix of stealth, parkour-like running skills, and combat proficiency is required to complete both games.
Is it any good?
Any way you slice it, this compilation of two action/adventure games is a pretty good bargain for gamers. Not only does Assassin's Creed III Remastered provide a pair of games (one of which, Liberation, may not have been played by many fans, given its handheld origins), but it delivers updated graphics and slightly enhanced play mechanics that make both fit surprisingly well on modern systems. Thanks to a little help from Ubisoft's developers, both games appear to have aged very well. Assassin's Creed III remains the main draw, thanks to its sprawling, politically charged campaign, fantastic naval battles, and focus on a compelling and capable Native American protagonist. The story of how Ratonhnhaké:ton was born, how he was reluctantly thrust into the role of a hero, and how he became a major player in the Assassins/Templars legacy remains as engaging today as it was when the game first released. The enhanced visuals are still a treat, whether running through Boston or New York, exploring the frontier, or engaging in high seas naval combat. The highly choreographed swordplay feels a bit stiff compared to modern games, but grows satisfying once you've learned its intricacies. Plus, as the concluding chapter in modern-day Desmond Miles' story, it delivers a kind of closure lacking in most of the series' games.
Assassin's Creed Liberation, meanwhile, is neither as fully formed nor as epic as Assassin's Creed III, but it nonetheless serves as a nice companion piece. Noteworthy not only for tackling the thorny issue of 18th-century American slavery, it was also the first game in the series to provide players with a female protagonist. Aveline de Grandpré is instantly likable and just as lethal as her male counterparts, serving up justice for subjugated New Orleanians in confident and skillful fashion. The story's a bit too sparse and piecemeal to satisfy in a manner similar to the series' primary games, but it's also easier to digest in smaller play sessions and requires less of a time commitment. With both remastered games -- plus downloadable content (DLC) -- bundled together at a bargain price, there's good reason for the franchise's newer fans and longstanding ones to give Assassin's Creed III Remastered serious consideration.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in media. Is the impact of the violence in Assassin's Creed III Remastered affected by the fact that you're killing and assassinating people? Does it matter if the guards and soldiers are mostly nameless characters whose lives and motivations are unknown? Do you think they deserve death because of the side on which they're fighting?
The Assassin's Creed games strive more than most for era realism and authenticity, but are there any setting details that surprise you? Did you notice whether any of these details were wrong?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: March 28, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: History, Horses and Farm Animals, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
- Last updated: April 26, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.