Michael Leparc On February 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Assassins Creed III Battled Hardened DLC ScreenshotA couple of months after release, Ubisoft has already put out two pieces of DLC for Assassin’s Creed III. Those who went ahead and purchased a season pass get them without any added cost, but others who are sitting it out are probably wondering whether it’s enough to whet your appetite. The “Hidden Secrets” DLC pack promises some new side quests for single player while the “Battle Hardened” pack features only multiplayer additions, so feasibly there is some DLC to scratch whatever itch you have, right?

Actually, the Hidden Secrets pack also includes a few more multiplayer skins and characters (the Redcoat and the Sharpshooter), but the main thing it’s offering is a new side mission to some Mayan ruins as well as a couple new naval missions, each of which offers you a new weapon for use in single player. The Mayan ruins segment in particular was interesting in that it kind of off handedly references a similar setting in the Vita game, Liberation. However it is ultimately disappointing for while it was a nice change of pace as an environmental puzzle rather than a combat focused quest, it was simply too easy and short. It took me about 10 minutes or less to get through and grab the sword, which wasn’t that an amazing an upgrade anyway. The naval missions were really more of the same as well, also giving you upgraded weapons at the end of them. It’s nice having a little more to do in the game but it didn’t really add anything to the story and was simply not enough to merit the $5 they’re asking to buy it without the Season Pass. Definitely give it a pass or wait until it’s on sale for very cheap.

Battle Hardened meanwhile is all about multiplayer, with three new characters, the Governor, the Highlander, and the Coyote Man. It also tosses in three new multiplayer maps featuring the locales of Charlestown, Ft. St-Mathieu, and Saint Pierre. Charlestown mirrors Boston in most ways though is a bit more wide open, making escape a bit more difficult. Fort. St-Mathieu meanwhile is very crowded, claustrophobic, and hectic to play in, with multiple escape routes wherever you go making for some challenging play. Finally Saint Pierre is interesting in that it has a more Caribbean aesthetic with bright colors, palm trees, blue ocean, etc. You can also get lost in the maze of tall stalks of sugar cane in parts of the map. All of this is a nice bit of variety for veteran multiplayers and if you’re an aficionado it might be tempting to pick up this DLC pack, but at the current price of $10 it’s a bit steep, especially considering the new characters don’t really do anything for the gameplay and you’re not getting anything on the single player end.

Let’s be honest, the DLC everyone is waiting for is the single player campaign expansion coming out in about a month, “The Tyranny of King Washington.” It should offer a few more hours of gameplay. By comparison, the first two packs on offer simply don’t measure up, and are hardly enough to tide over Season Pass owners for long, though if you play a lot of multiplayer it may be worth getting the pass just to have these smaller extras tossed in. Standalone however there is simply not enough value. Save your money for King Washington is my advice to my fellow Assassin’s Creed fans.

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