Hey all of you OnlySP readers out there!!! I know I’ve been gone for a long time, and I’m sorry again (At least I passed all of my classes this past semester, especially since this semester was my heaviest load yet). Anyway, on to why you clicked on this post: my review of the Assassin’s Creed 3 DLC “The Tyranny of King Washington” (from here on shortened to The Tyranny).
After the sometimes-disappointing DLC of the past 3 AC’s (except for The Lost Archives, which I really enjoyed), The Tyranny was, to use the old cliche, a breath of fresh air. The Tyranny is separated into three episodes: The Infamy, The Betrayal, and The Redemption.
Following the main story events of Assassin’s Creed 3 and after a Ubisoft-style cryptic quote talking about power and flashing images of George Washington speaking to Connor, Ratonhnhaké:ton (yes, I had to copy and paste that from a post by Ubisoft on the Playstation Blog, but don’t pretend it’s not a whole lot easier to type Connor) wakes up to find himself in what can only be called an “alternate reality” in which he never lost his mother and, thus, never became an assassin, or got named Connor. Gone are his iconic robes, replaced instead by a wolf-skin-hood and a more-rugged looking “Connor.” The wolf-hood he now dons itself foreshadows one of the three “Animal Powers” that Ratonhnhaké:ton gains throughout the three episodes (more on that later).
The history of post-Revolutionary War America is twisted so much it’s almost unrecognizable in The Tyranny, but the major figures of the Revolution, save for Paul Revere, are all present in some capacity or another. Of course, you should’ve already known all of this from the name of the DLC already: in this new reality, George Washington, corrupted by the power he now wields combined with the influence a certain artifact all AC fans should know about, is a tyrannical king whom Ratonhnhaké:ton must bring down.
Without going too much into spoiler-territory, The Tyranny’s main grab for me was the use of what I earlier called “Animal Powers.” Ratonhnhaké:ton gains these Animal Powers (The Wolf, The Eagle, and The Bear, in that order) by taking a “Sky World Journey,” a shamanistic-like trance induced by drinking tea made from the boughs of a special tree. By taking three of these Sky Journeys across the span of The Tyranny, Ratonhnhaké:ton gains the power of invisibility, flight, and might (also in order). With the great power that these Sky Journeys give that could easily have made The Tyranny a cakewalk (and it still was, at least for me), Ubisoft made it so that the use of Animal Powers severely decreases the player’s health, forcing the player to use the AP’s wisely and strategically.
As is the customary in almost all modern video games, the addition of each Animal Power is accompanied by a corresponding story mission that serves as a tutorial period to help the player acclimatize (adapt) to the use of the AP. This ranged from making invisible assassinations using Wolf Cloak to assassinating using Eagle Flight, to finally the destructive but equally self-draining Bear Might.
The Tyranny’s storytelling is, in my opinion, at its finest, almost cinematic in fact. As I already mentioned, the quote about the corruptive influence of power at the start of The Tyranny really sets the stage for all of the events of the story, all the way up to the satisfying ending cinematic.
I honestly was a little disappointed in the almost-complete English-translation of the native language of Ratonhnhaké:ton’s tribe throughout The Tyranny, sucking out a little of the mystique in the original game. Also, (*****SPOILERS*****) I was pleasantly surprised by the Piece of Eden (POEs) that popped up randomly throughout the loading screen for the player to chase after while waiting. As with all of the main game itself, the music is unsurprisingly also top-notch. I won’t spoil it for you, but the ending was what I can only describe as kind of a mashup of the movies The Matrix and Inception (by the way, if you haven’t watched those two movies, you really should). On a final note, pay close attention to parts on the Aquila in Episode Two (The Betrayal) for a hint as to the relation of the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag to Connor KENWAY.
In conclusion, The Tyranny is a DLC that shouldn’t be passed up, although I can sympathize with those of you that may condemn support of purchasing DLC/Add-On Content, especially with the nearly-$30 price tag when you buy the three episodes separately from the also-$30 “Season Pass,” as so many other developers are tempting us video gamers with. Well, what are you waiting for? King George is waiting….
ONLY SINGLE PLAYER SCORE
Story – 9/10
Visuals – 9/10
Sound – 10/10
Lasting Appeal – 9/10
Overall – 9/10
(Not an average)