PAX East: "Sleeping Dogs" and "Assassin's Creed III"

Really, the Square Enix and Ubisoft booths can be summed up in these two games. And how were they?

Sleeping Dogs

This is a game that’s very much a victim of timing. True, it wasn’t like Squeenix was looking to make a “Max Payne” knock-off; they just picked up “True Crime: Hong Kong” and made it not stink. But it’s still, at root, a third-person action game that has bullet time as a major mechanic…right when the game that defined the genre finally gets its third entry.

Complete with a massive booth sitting off to the right, with banners hanging from the ceiling, while the booth staff are running live demos.

That said, there are, of course, some key differences. There’s a lot of “Grand Theft Auto” running through this, obviously, but it plays smoothly, and there are nice touches, like destructible cover and the ability to use the environment to perform insta-kills. Honestly, it doesn’t look earth-shaking…but it does look like fun.

Assassin’s Creed 3

This, unfortunately, was not playable, which is a shame. But the video looks good, and they commit pretty hard to the American Revolution thing, considering the video opens during the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The tree-running actually looks really good, and the cover system seems pretty intuitive; there are fewer “chest high walls” than you might expect. A combat scene features Ezio, er, Connor impaling some British soldier with a rope dart and using his corpse as ballast to drop on a squad, grab one guy as a human shield against a firing line, and killing the rest with dual wielding blades while they try to reload. Then there was the actual assassination, which features Connor stabbing one guard from cover before launching in the air and dropping his target off a horse.

It looks fluid, and the new animations look good, but honestly, it’s hard to tell how good the game is without a playable demo. That said, it’s got some real promise.

image courtesy Square Enix