Did you realize that the Battle of West Point was won almost single-handedly by one pissed-off Mohawk native? This is just one of Assassin’s Creed 3's Fractured Fairy-Tale takes on American history, but it has the distinction of being exclusive to the PS3. For those having to choose between the various versions of the game, does this bonus content tip the scales?
I wasn't able to access the content until Sequence 9, and even then only after completing a few required early missions. I found the ghostly image of Commander George Washington waiting near the entrance of New York with a specialized icon, and he set me on the task to investigate Patriot traitors at West Point.
I accessed it as soon as I could, but something seemed out of sync in the story. Although the content is accessible earlier on, if you'd like the narrative to flow more naturally, you should wait until Sequence 11 to start the mission.
Benedict Arnold himself, leading the forces at West Point, is played with just the right combination of dismissive arrogance and rudeness. He looks down on Connor, and gives him tedious busywork as he goes about his machinations. It may not be strictly historically accurate, but Arnold's sneering, condescending attitude fits perfectly with the American myth built around him. His name has become synonymous with untrustworthy cowards; how else could we see him portrayed?
The missions themselves can sometimes prove dull, but tasks like moving crates are graciously short. It almost seems as if the developers attempted to fit every kind of mission in one self-contained story. You'll be tailing suspects, secretly assassinating spies, and eavesdropping. All of this culminates in the Battle of West Point, which was genuinely exciting. Assassin's Creed 3 is at its best when its hero is presented with enough enemies to compose a ballad of death, dancing from one soon-to-be-corpse to the next. Since the large-scale battle that finishes the story involves dozens of invading British, I had ample opportunity to watch Connor turn their coats even redder.
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Ubisoft's promised hour of additional playtime is generous, to say the least. I finished all four missions in roughly a half-hour, even with a few mission failures. It would take an extremely incompetent assassin to reach the advertised playtime, at which point I have to imagine the experience of constant failure would turn frustrating.
Benedict Arnold's arc isn't a remarkable or even connective part of the Assassin's Creed 3 experience. If you've already invested in the Xbox 360 version, you shouldn't kick yourself for missing out. But as a brief, well-produced extra episode, it's just barely enough reason to tip the scales toward the PS3 version if you're still on the fence about your platform of choice.
For more on the complete Assassin's Creed 3 experience, read our review.