In past entries, the combat in Assassin's Creed has always centered around the counter.
Some thought this made things too easy, as did the capability of restoring health in the midst of battle. Others said it made the combat too one-dimensional. Both are justified criticisms (even if I don't necessarily agree with either), and the developers have taken pains to address these complaints and overhaul the combat in this year's Assassin's Creed III .
Creative director Alex Hutchinson has revealed a few primary points about the revamped battling:
"We rebuilt the combat from the ground up. Connor is a dual wielding specialist so all of his base combat is using two weapons at the same time. We worked very hard on the flow of combat, so your goal as a player is to continue your kill chain by using appropriate moves. We’ve also built a bunch of new archetypes for the enemies with unique behaviours which you need to change your strategy in order to defeat cleanly and quickly."
The latter doesn't really sound different, as you needed different weapons and different methods of taking down various enemies in previous entries. But the combo focus is definitely something fresh, and Hutchinson added that you won't be able to replenish health during combat; you have to wait until it's over to restore energy. Oh, and there will be no "magical health potions" this time around, either.
So be careful out there!