The lights are on
Note: This review does not cover multiplayer aspects of the game.
Is being an assassin for the fifth time as fun as it's been before? Well, to answer this question we'll need to look at some specifics. Lets begin by breaking this game down into manageable components; presentation, gameplay, and story.
This is a huge game. The main cities you will play in Boston, and New York, alone are gigantic sandboxes to get lost in, but when you throw in the Frontier, a massive forest world to explore, and the ocean sequences, there seems to be no end to this world's scope.
Running right around 30 hours Assassin's Creed 3 is a long, but never lacking experience. There's a lot to do in this world from the main mission, to side missions, to games, to chasing after almanac pages, you'll never find yourself bored.
The game looks great too, characters are detailed, and environments are fleshed out nicely. The building and trees that you will be scaling in the game are especially detailed compared to previous titles. I really can't express how good these two cities look. I found myself just running to different parts of the city finding more and more interesting design. All of these things make for a much better experience when trekking around the world.
Cut-scenes look good, not great, and lip syncing could have used some work. Aside from a few inconsistencies during in-game visuals, specifically in the Frontier sections, with some texture pop-in and a few flat looking objects the game is gorgeous.
Where this game shines is in character animation, Connor, and the numerous other character you play as move fluidly around the world, especially in combat sequences. Animations are extremely detailed, I'm talking down to Connor's facial expressions when he pulls off a sweet assassination. His anger and emotion is truly expressed in this way, which helps demonstrate the rage you see building in this character.
One minor thing to note is how bad horses look, don't be expecting Red Dead Redemption, style horses, if you do you'll definitely find yourself disappointed. Other than these few problems, which can only be expected in a game of this size Assassin's Creed 3 is stunning.
This is pretty much the Assassin's Creed formula we've come to accept. You hit one button to attack, another to block, and a last to preform a counter attack. Don't expect too much innovation in the gameplay area, running, climbing, and killing all feel familiar. This isn't always a bad thing as each area has been overhauled to provide more precision, but at times it gets repetitive and I feel myself wishing there was some more diversity.
You will go on fetch quests, loot bodies, and assassinate high profile targets, pretty much the standard life of an assassin. As I've experienced in previous instalments of the series this gameplay style can get repetitive, but Ubisoft, does a nice job with pacing by adding in hunting, crafting, and ship combat.
Let me just say that the new tree climbing/running sections are amazing! It's fun to stock deer from tree to tree and silently jump down for the kill. It's easy to perform, and feels as natural as climbing a building. This is a mechanic that should be implemented in all open world games as it gives players another layer of gameplay.
Since I'm on the topic of gameplay I would be remise if I didn't mention my favourite new addition to Assassin's Creed 3, ship combat. Sailing the mysterious seas of the Pacific Ocean, has never been more fun! Seeing your crew jump to your every command, aiming that perfect shot to take down your opponent, and watching the breathtaking waves crash and break as the weather changes dynamically is simply stunning.
A lot of work has went into re-constructing the combat system. Fluid is the best word I can think of to describe combat. There's nothing like rolling to avoid an opponents attack, stabbing him in the back, then using him as a human shield while his buddies riddle him with bullets.
Horses again are something I have issues with. They are difficult to control, especially in cities, and often I would find myself leaving my not so faithful steed behind, since free running just works better.
Overall combat feels fresh despite doing some of the same things over and over. Combat animation is spectacular, ship combat is fun, and free running works as good as you would expect of an Assassin's Creed game.
They say leave the best for last, and that's just what I've done with this review. While visuals and gameplay are good, the story in Assassin's Creed 3 is great.
Set in revolutionary America, Assassin's Creed brings to life a period of history rarely touch on by games. This is wonderful, it makes for an interesting, untold story that does a nice job of blending real-world history, and captivating fictional characters.
You play as Connor, well, actually hold on a second, I should start at the beginning. You play as Haytham Kenway, for the first four to five hours of the game. Kenway, is a British commander who is sent to the Colonies to assassinate some key figures that I won't spoil for you. It isn't until much later in the game that you play as Connor.
Though this makes for a somewhat long drawn out start it's worth the wait. The story of Connor, is compelling, diverse, and intense. Connor, isn't a happy character, he's angry. The British have come to his land and are trying to take it from him, and what they didn't expect was a fight.
You will move between past Connor, and present day Desmond, which helps advance the overall story of the Assassin's Creed series, however I've always found the former to be more enjoying.
Assassin's Creed 3 boasts nearly two and a half hours of cinematics, this is an insane amount of content, and makes for a very in-depth, absorbing story.
I really don't want to say too much about the story of Assassin's Creed 3 other than it's great. After a slow start I found myself totally enthralled by the struggle of Connor. With great supporting characters and some huge names in the revolutionary scene, Assassin's Creed 3 will keep you guessing throughout the game, and does a great job of wrapping everything up with a bow.
Get this game. Great visuals with only minor issues, a huge world to explore, new interseting gameplay, and a gripping story all add up to a game that worth your sixty bucks. If you liked Assassin's Creed, before you'll love the new innovation, and if you hated it, refer to my last point.
+ Visuals are stunning
+ Gameplay feels fresh
+ Amazing story
- Some technical errors
9.5 out of 10
Thanks for reading,