Does Assassin's Creed 3 -really- push the PS3 to its limits?
Before I begin in earnest, allow me to quickly explain the title. I know AC3 is also on the PC and Xbox 360. I only own the PS3 copy at the moment (though I intend to buy the PC version during Steam's Xmas Sale).
With that out of the way: what am I here to talk about?
Well, Assassin's Creed 3, duh. Don't ask stupid questions. Some of you may have noticed, some of you may not have--Assassin's Creed 3 is one of the "last" games of this console generation. Why last? Well, because, despite Sony's insistence to the contrary, everyone seems to be expecting the era of the both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 to come to a close some time very, very soon. Some say the end of the year, some say 2013. Some probably say tomorrow.
And there has been quite a lot of commentary about how all of the "potential" of current consoles has been fully realized. In the building hype for Assassin's Creed 3 prior to release, for example, many people were exclaiming that "this was it." This was the game that would push the PS3 to its limits. The best possible game we could expect for the console.
Because, hey, once we pass that point--once we get that PS3 game that fully realizes all of the potential ability of the hardware--there's nowhere else to go but THE NEXT GENERATION. I mean, hell, even John deLancie shows up in AC3. Clearly, now that Assassin's Creed 3 is out, the generation is over. Games cannot get any better on current hardware, so its time to start hyping up the next big thing.
But does Assassin's Creed 3 -really- push the PS3 to its limit? Is it really a game that represents the fully realized potential of this hardware generation? Is it really time to start revving up the hype machine for the Playstation 4 and Xbox 3?
No, no, and no. I say this not just because I don't want the current generation to end, not just because I'm afraid of what the next generation might bring--I say it because, well, look at Assassin's Creed 3. Do you really think the game represents all that jazz?
Of course not. It's a buggy, glitchy game... but beyond that, it's an enormous world. A beautiful world. With incredible gameplay. With an insane amount of content, in terms of games, mechanics and aesthetics.
And this Anvil Next engine it runs on... is the single most impressive game engine I have seen since the old Infinity Engine some of the more fortunate among you may remember from the "golden era" of PC gaming.
What's so impressive about it?
Assassin's Creed 3, on my PS3, loads in 1.68 seconds. (I timed it). The whole game. The whole world of AC3 loads in less time that most games load up small rooms. And that's damned impressive.
It also runs quite well on inferior hardware--the Playstation Vita. Can you imagine how well it will run on PCs? Hot damn. Hot damn. Hot damn. I say the game runs too well to have fully maximized the potential of this generation. And even if it has fully realized that potentially, I say the game engine is too perfectly optimized to end its time on current hardware after only a single game.
Rather than declaring Assassin's Creed to be a sign of the End Times, so to speak, it seems to me that Assassin's Creed rather demonstrates just how much life is left in the current generation--long may it live!
(Image credited to Chenjunnn & DeviantArt. See the full-sized version here: http://chenjunnn.deviantart... )