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Assassin's Creed III Wii U "exactly the same" as other versions

Game's creative director weighs in on new Nintendo hardware, excited Wii U edition is "not like some radically diminished version"

When the Wii U version of Assassin's Creed III arrives in stores next month, there won't be much to distinguish it from its Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC counterparts. As the game's creative director Alex Hutchinson told GamesIndustry International at a launch party last week, that's a good thing.

"I'm super excited whenever we demo the Wii U," Hutchinson said. "It is exactly the same game that's on the other platforms. And I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's been a long time since I've shipped a game on more than three platforms where you could say it's all the same. It's not like some radically diminished version, so that's exciting."

The Wii U version of the game will use the system's Game Pad to display the in-game map, or allow players to quickly equip different weapons. While Hutchinson didn't mention the Game Pad specifically, he did speak positively about working with the new Nintendo hardware itself.

"It's always a challenge with new hardware, but it's also exciting," Hutchinson said. "I love the smell of new plastic, that day you get home with your new piece of kit. And it's been a long time since we've had a new piece of kit."

Assassin's Creed III debuts on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC October 30. The Wii U version is expected on shelves at the console's launch November 18.

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Latest comments (14)

John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London4 years ago
Putting a map on the Game Pad screen seems to be its default functionality, even in some first party games, which is disappointing - is there some kind of restriction on how you can use the pad (like having to make the game playable entirely on the pad with no TV), or are designers just struggling to come up with more inventive uses for it?

I have to say, I'm a bit sceptical - I can't imagine switching your focus between a map on the Game Pad screen in your lap and the action on your TV at eye level in front of you is going to be something I'd want to do a lot, particularly in the midst of an action game like Assassin's Creed. I hope the mini-map is still in the corner of the TV screen like normal for quick glances in the heat of action, with a full map on the Game Pad for when you're planning your route or looking for the next objective and aren't under pressure.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
John, use is completely up to developers. There are no requirements.
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I trust you can play the game on the GamePad? Unless there is some mega-online functionality missing, this should make the WiiU version of the game the best out of all the consoles. Be looking forward to reviews and comparisons ... will be picking this up at launch, in just over a month now :)
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Show all comments (14)
Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
@ John Never played a DS? Same principle. Having two screens is much better than on-screen clutter.
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John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London4 years ago
@Nicholas, there's a difference between two screens the same size sitting right next to each other, and one screen in your lap and the other at eye level several feet away. With the Wii U you'll have to refocus your eyes every time you look from one screen to the other, which I imagine will strain them more than just looking between the two screens on a DS.

I have to say, some of the mini-games in Nintendo Land sound fairly interesting, but aside from that I've seen a shocking lack of innovation in the way developers are using the Game Pad so far. Shuffling maps and inventory systems onto the pad's screen really doesn't add anything to a game.

EDIT: With the possible exception of Aliens: Colonial Marines, where having the motion tracker in your hand fits the source material perfectly, of course.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Bye on 24th October 2012 12:20am

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
John, check out the following video for some innovative uses for the GamePad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkcjPEu5TiU

I suspect as developers are not being rushed for the launch window, we'll see many more innovative uses this that one.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 4 years ago
Actually, I'm pretty sure that your eyes refocusing more often will result in better trained/stronger eye muscles. Leaving your eyes to focus on only one plane will result in weaker eye muscles and thus an inability to focus properly.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University4 years ago
I'd also stress not to expect too much from third parties at the launch window. And definitely don't expect much from multi-platform titles at launch. The fact this is identical to other formats, and not missing features or a ridiculously late port, is worthy of my respect!
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Jamie Read 3D Artist, Neon Play Ltd4 years ago
I don't get what the big deal about looking from your TV to the controller is all about. How lazy will people get in generations to come? If anything it will engage your brain more by not staring at one thing like a zombie for hours on end.
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Nick Scurr Senior QA Technician, FreeStyleGames4 years ago
I think the issue is that you're taking your attention away from the 'main game' to look at a map etc whilst the game is still running - you could be killed, lose score etc whilst doing this. Doesn't seem like a great idea to me.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
I guess we shouldn't look at our dashboards or radios while driving.

And if you are afraid you might get killed while looking at the GamePad, hold it up a little more towards your TV when you go to look at it.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 4 years ago
Careful, Jim! Don't want to strain those arm muscles! Wouldn't want to accidentally get a workout whilst playing a game, would we? ;)
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
Good point, James. That whole workout and video game thing is why the Wii failed so badly.
Oh, wait....
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Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd4 years ago
I think the Wii-U is one of those things you have to experience to know how it would work. I had no faith in the Wii until I touched it with my own hands, it was the same thing with the iPhone.

You don't need to do anything terribly creative to add depth to the playing experience with the second screen.

Just imagine controlling a remote controlled car that explodes on Battlefield, the looking back and forth between the TV and the GamePad Pro would emulate the experience you'd have in real life. That's something you can't quite do with a window overlay.

Same thing for mirrors / rear view in a racing game. Sure you can switch between views, but you lose your peripheral view of what's happening ahead of you, so you can improve the driving experience just a little without doing anything clever.

It would be great if the GamePad Pro could completely detect it's position and orientation relative to the screen but that's another matter entirely. In fact that would be a major improvement, imagine what you could do with absolute positioning!

And most importantly it does allow some types of input that is not possible / easy with a joypad, and we know from the iPhone that there are some times where touch screen input just works well. The fighting scheme on Hybrid Heaven would have worked well with a touch screen. And don't get me started on how it could work as a super gadget in a stealth game, UI wise the option of a touch input interface opens up new possibilities of control, simple as that, and you don't even need to do anything spectacular with it.
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