Assassin’s Creed III (Wii U) review

The Wii U version of the game offers all the familiar gameplay, with a new new tricks
The Wii U version of the game offers all the familiar gameplay, with a new new tricks
The Wii U version of the game offers all the familiar gameplay, with a new new tricks


  • The same great game as on the other consoles
  • The GamePad's functionality comes in handy
  • Looks great


  • The mechanics are made for the GamePad
  • Nothing special with the GamePad

Nintendo’s launch window for the Wii U has offered a little something for everyone. Beyond the Wii U exclusives, and beyond the re-releases of older big name titles like Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham City, the timing has worked out in Nintendo’s favor, and many big November releases have added the Wii U to their platform releases – albeit a bit later than the releases on the other systems.

One of those big releases (and one of the biggest games of the year regardless of system), Assassin’s Creed III, joins the Wii U during its launch. In most regards, the game is identical to the October 30 release that we reviewed and liked quite a bit, but with a few differences.

The story remains the same, with the focus being on the half-English, half-Native American assassin, Connor, as seen through the eyes of the modern day assassin Desmond Miles. All of the missions, side quests, and multiplayer modes are present. The Wii U version is a direct port, and while it does offer a few new features thanks to the Wii U’s unique capabilities, the content remains the same.

The most notable inclusion is the addition of Remote Play, which allows you to play the game in its entirety on the GamePad. This feature can’t be understated, especially with games like this, games that are giant and immersive, and require huge commitments of time. And while it is just cool in and of itself to have the ability to do this, your friends/roommates/significant others are the real beneficiaries. There are a few downsides to this though.

assassins creed iii for the wii u same taste less filling 3

The controls of the Assassin’s Creed series have been fine-tuned over the course of six years and five games. They require you to move quickly and fluidly as you free run through historical locations, reveling in the video game version of parkour. Those controls have been both the source of praise and frustration depending on who you ask, but regardless, they are crafted with a very particular and demanding gameplay fluidity in mind. The GamePad is not made for this.

It is something you can get used to with practice and effort, but the movements are designed for a different type of controller, and it shows. The Pro Controller is a better fit for this game, but that sacrifices the other benefits of the GamePad.

The Wii U version incorporates the GamePad in ways beyond the Remote Play. While playing it traditionally, the GamePad’s display shows you the map of the area you are in, as well as adding a few touch controls that make switching weapons simple. There is also a dedicated touch screen button that allows you to call your horse. These are all relatively minor changes, but having the map makes things a bit easier – or at least smoother.

assassins creed iii for the wii u same taste less filling 3One notable change, however, is to the graphics. The design of the game on the original version teeters between good and great, with some things like the environments looking better than the facial animations. It’s consistently good throughout though. That graphical prowess should be increased on the Wii U, but it’s not. For the most part, the graphics are the same, but there are some technical problems with things like the anti-aliasing that consistently mars the display. It isn’t always an issue, but more often than not, if you are looking at a ship or anything with lines highlighted by a separate background, there will be a jagged look to them that wasn’t present in the other versions of the game. It’s a shame too, because the Wii U has more power to wield, and yet it under delivers. These graphical hiccups are even more noticeable when you use Remote Play and switch to the GamePad. What are minor issues on the TV are far more obvious on the smaller screen, but the benefit of being able to play on a device you can walk around with makes this something of a wash.  


While still a great game and a must own for Wii U fans that are interested in the Assassin’s Creed series, there are tradeoffs between the Wii U version and its console cousins. The version on Nintendo’s system offers the ability to play on the GamePad, which is great, but it also reflects the graphical issues that are present on any display. The GamePad also isn’t made for this type of game, and while you can get used to it in time, the better option is the Pro Controller, which negates the benefits of the Wii U.

Make no mistake, Assassin’s Creed III for the Wii U is still a great game and well worth your time, and the benefits the new console offers are nice. There are issues though, and those issues make the other versions a bit superior, but not by much.

 Score: 9 out of 10

(This game was reviewed on the Wii U, using a copy provided by the publisher)

Product Review

‘Just Cause 4’ is mindless fun that leaves little room for much else

Just Cause 4 revels in explosions and over-the-top action, but its world feels empty and hollow. With few new ideas and a stale open world, it's a fun but shallow piece of escapism.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.

Check out the best Xbox One deals and bundles for December 2018

Microsoft's consoles are just as capable of streaming movies as they are of playing the latest games. Check out our top Xbox One deals and bundles, which include new and upcoming triple-A games like Battlefield V and Fallout 76.

Play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ the best way with a Switch GameCube controller

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the recent launch of the new 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' Nintendo has brought back the iconic GameCube controller.

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.

Nintendo pulls the plug on making more SNES Classic, NES Classic systems

Nintendo extended production of the NES Classic and SNES Classic into 2018, but once the current supply of consoles is gone, the company won't be making more. Instead, you'll have to use Nintendo Switch Online.

Fancy ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ PlayStation 4 Pro launches alongside game in January

A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle for Kingdom Hearts III will launch alongside the game in January. The system included has a special design on the side, as does the controller.

Want to share your Xbox One games? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

‘Fortnite’ removes the Infinity Blade weapon after player backlash

Following player backlash over the Infinity Blade weapon's inclusion in Fortnite's battle royale mode, Epic Games decided to remove the weapon from the game completely. It was not limited to a special mode.

Want every suit in 'Marvel's Spider-Man' for PS4? Here's how to get them all

Marvel's Spider-Man features a whopping 33 different suits for Peter Parker to wear as he swings across New York City knocking out baddies. Here are all the suits and how to unlock them.

Everything about 'Red Dead Online', including its new microtransaction store

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.