The cities of Assassin's Creed have alwaysbeen a defining feature. Packed with side missions, shops to renovate and buy from, and full of crowds of people to interact with, the cities are living, breathing entities. The processing power of Wii U means that the increased crowd size and detail within New York and Boston will be a perfect fit for the HD console.
So we're sorted in terms of processing power, but what are we going to use that shiny new controller for? "New hardware brings us to be more creative. We've been experimenting and prototyping a number of different things," teased Parenteau. "The Assassin's Creed Animus has many elements that are a natural fit on the controller screen, and they can be used in a variety of different contexts depending on what the player is doing."
The first tease was the controller being used as a persistent on-screen map. "If you are navigating, it's natural to look at an onscreen map on your controller," Parenteau suggested. "If there are database entries that can pop up, you could also display them on the screen and it won't disturb your gameflow." As a navigation tool, the controller would be an excellent fit for ACIII as maps are bigger than ever and aguide would both be a handy tool and an immersive gameplay mechanic.
In terms of database entries, as well as being a miraculous memory-exploring device, the Animus is also an encyclopaedia of historical information. Full of interesting facts about buildings and time periods, it also contains character biographies. On other consoles, these info bites are often cast aside as the option gets in the way of gameplay. But if it appears directly on your controller then it'll certainly be a great way to find out a little more about George Washington before you head into battle with him.
So, map and information - this we like. But surely there's more to come? "In a combat setting we could have weapon selection, and since we have two screens it's a good way to display an alternate view," teased Parenteau. "We could have a normal view on the TV screen and use the controller for the Assassin's Eagle Vision." Now this is juicier.
The dual-wield combat system is something that would clearly lend itself to being quickly edited by a touch of the controller screen as bloody carnage plays out on screen. A host of weaponry at the touch of a finger is certainly not an unattractive prospect. Also, Eagle Vision - a sixth sense used by Assassins to give them a different view of the world around them - could be a very successful mechanic on the controller. Rather than simply viewing on the screen with analogue sticks, using the in-built accelerometer would be an intuitive way of exploring the Assassins' world more deeply.
As the first taste of the grand opportunities offered by Wii U, Assassin'sCreed III is mind blowing. An epic sandbox with a whole world of history to explore and experience, Connor's world is just begging to be entered and thoroughly rummaged through. "We're investing more in mission variety and custom mission events than ever before in a story that takes place over 30 years," enthuses Hutchinson. "We can't wait to get it into people's hands." And we can't wait to get our hands on the finished game.