The 10 Games That Will Save Nintendo

... and why we need Wii U NOW

Page 8 of 10


From a power perspective, everything we've heard so far suggests Wii U isn't properly 'next gen', more 'current gen plus'. That needn't matter if Assassin's Creed III is anything to go by. The Other Formats sneak-and-stab is finally coming to a Nintendo console.

Set during the American Revolution, it offers a huge open world to make eyes widen and gobs gape. The new Anvil Next engine can handle 2,000 characters on screen at once to give battle scenes more heft, while cities are dense, bustling hives of NPCs. Coming from the flat, boxy, environments of Wii's most convincing sandboxes, it's quite the culture shock.

And it's even prettier elsewhere. Venture outside city boundaries and you've got a vast wilderness to explore. Here, Anvil Next really shows what it can do, chucking weather effects - rain, fog, snow - around like it ain't no thing. The white stuff is particularly beguiling, with protagonist Connor displacing powder with every step, and thick drifts slowing his pace. If you're after a more brutal show of visual force, the authentic weight of movement in close-quarters combat makes you wince with every kill. That snow won't stay white for long...

The most exciting thing about Assassin's Creed III is that it's coming on formats at the end of their life, at a time when devs have the know-how to wring every last drop of processing juice from hardware that has little more to give. Yet this is a starting point for Wii U. At launch, we have a startling graphical benchmark. The thought that it might get even better is something to be very, very excited about.

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