The Assassin’s Creed III Official Guide is published by Piggyback, who have done an outstanding job in putting together this incredible book. The collector’s edition clocks in at 336 pages, and in addition to the nice glossy hardcover, includes an exclusive 16-page “History vs Story” section that talks about the real-life historical events of the American Revolution and their fictional counterparts as told within the Assassin’s Creed universe.
The guide begins with a great refresher of the previous four games in the series, with a nice recap of the story from the beginning of Assassin’s Creed up until the end of Assassin’s Creed Revelations. It goes through character biographies and even has quick summaries of important story concepts such as the Pieces of Eden and the First Civilization. It’s a well-written section that is helpful for those who haven’t played all the games and therefore don’t know the full story, and is great for those in need of a quick recap of previous installments.
The main walkthrough itself is fantastic. It keeps spoilers to a minimum by presenting solutions mainly through screenshots showing certain actions. It allows the player to be able to figure most of the game out on their own, rather than holding their hand the entire time. Diagrams and arrows also help point the player in the optimal direction to maximize their playthrough and ensure full 100% synchronization in each sequence.
The best part of this guide is the section on side quests. Assassin’s Creed features a wealth of side quests, such as Homestead missions, Naval Contracts, recruiting new Assassin’s, exploring the Underground, and so much more. The side quests alone would add an extra 20-30+ hours, especially if you are shooting for full 100% synchronization in all side quests and main missions. Luckily, the guide covers everything in depth, with tons of useful information and stats. There is even a section devoted to the Homestead and the mechanics on how it’s economic system works, something that I had trouble wrapping my head around before this guide helped me. The tips and graphics, along with maps for finding feathers, chests, and trinkets, are invaluable for the completionist.
The extras section may be my favorite part of this book. It includes a full story recap for Assassin’s Creed III, so those who have yet to finish the main story should skip this section of the book as it contains MASSIVE SPOILERS, particularly about the ending. There is even a section that answers questions about the ending, which will surely leave many players with mysteries and uncertainties about the future of this series. And as mentioned before, the collector’s edition features an extra section devoted to the real-life historical events with commentary from scriptwriter Corey May. For those invested in the story and the actual history it’s based on, this is a real treat.
The illustrations throughout the book are exceptional. There is not a single bland page in this book. Each page features stunning artwork from the game’s concept artists, in addition to the character renders and promotional screenshots. The art work is big and bright, and isn’t obscured by text or downsized to unrecognizable proportions. There’s enough art in this book that it could be partly be considered an art book. Even the included map is made of special textured paper in order to give it a “old-timey” feel. It’s this little extra step in detail that really adds to the quality of this book.
Piggyback has done a fantastic job with this game guide, both in presentation and writing. The walkthroughs and tips are there to guide the player and maximize the gaming experience without spoiling too much of the gaming experience itself, something many guides have been guilty of. The graphics and art is prominently presented, and the book looks handsome enough to display on any shelf. Whether you’re a casual gamer looking for tips, or a hardcore completionist trying to get 100% in everything, or a collector who likes a fine book, the Assassin’s Creed III Collector’s Edition Guide is a great addition to any collection.