Assassins Creed 3 Review: The Pieces Come Together - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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Assassins Creed 3 Review: The Pieces Come Together

December 21st will come and go, but the legacy of Assassins Creed III will last forever. But what will that legacy be? Although this is the third numbered installment, AC3 is the fifth game in the series and with that comes the knowledge of past mistakes and ideas. There is no RTS element that was widely despised in Revelations and there is no bomb crafting that was received with the same tone of monotony as planet mining in Mass Effect 2. So while those concepts may have had ground in the setting they were given, our new protagonist hardly lives in a similar situation, but does this mean that AC3 turned out to be a more coherent enjoyable experience?

The Creed series has been good at a multitude of things, but they have often been accredited with being able to create a quasi-realistic open world feeling with a wide assortment of alternative activities to be done when not on the main path. Also like in Brotherhood and Revelations, a league of assassins can be recruited and trained through various side missions that you send them on, providing assistance in dire straits and minor rewards to provide incentive for doing these activities. Not wishing to be outdone, AC3 includes all of these options and adds a few of its own such as naval combat, hunting, liberation missions, trading, board games, etc..

While these proved to be flushed out experiences I didn't find any of them (except for naval combat) to be worth any investment of my time because of the lack of enjoyment I received from them, but also to the lack of necessity they seemed to have. I only ever had two recruits and didn't train them, and I never was able to trade or craft. Part of this however was because it was so confusing to even figure out why certain things couldn't be done. I tried to trade some barrels during the minor tutorial the game provides and my caravan was attacked, when I tried to trade some more the game notified reasonably that I had no caravans left, but did not give me one clue where to get more. The things the game puts emphasis on in terms of directing the player astounded me the entire game, such as how to climb or how to lose notoriety (concepts that have been around for quite a while, the former being the first games selling point). Naval combat on the other hand, controlled well and was simple to understand even if the reward for doing such missions was still considerably minor compared to finishing the story. This is not to say that open worlds and outside activities are always boring, but given how the gameplay works as well as the context of the game, these minor petty activities were dull and epitomized collect-a-thon behavior while providing no real enjoyment in return.

The story of the game is the small highlight of the experience for fans of the series. We have known that December 21st of 2012 will be the destruction of earth in the series for a few installments, and seeing Connor's story unfold was interesting even if the purpose of its existence was to show one minor thing that Desmond and crew desperately needed. While the first few hours have been said to be the most boring and tedious aspects of the game, I heartedly disagree because, while yes the environment may open up for exploration, the progression of the story and the layout of missions does not change much at all. With most being an exercise in thumb stick control as one goes from cut scene to cut scene doing the most minor of activities before being subjected to one. Combat has always been for the most part satisfying, relying on three pillars of attack, counter, and break defense. However as the series has grown it too has shrunk away from the notion of striking from the shadows. Instead of thinking about how to kill a target it is much easier, with much less penalty to do the third person equivalent of running and gunning even if it doesn't fit within the original fiction of the game. While certain mechanics have been added to try and entice this sort of approach, too little has been done to make it a viable option. Glitches are rampant with major pop-ins or floating individuals, although none of what I experienced was game breaking, watching a cut scene with no individuals is not fun.

Assassins Creed is at a crossroad with itself. On one side it attempts to display this opera of everlasting toil between two identities, and on the other it tries so hard to appeal to such a wide audience it dilutes much of the experience. All under the guise of being a polished high production piece of work. If you love the series, you will probably love this game, but if you have noticed a decline in your enjoyment, then like me, this is one brotherhood I'm ok with quitting.

Edit:

The multiplayer ironically exuded the highest quality stealth within the entire game, with matches playing out as cat and mouse (no matter the mode you played on). While it was fun to play a few rounds, and the unlockable side content relating to Abstergo was cool, there is not a lot to keep one from being too distracted from the main game experience or to keep coming back.

               Also while I tried to not add this fact into the original review there were some disparaging differences between what Ubisoft had promised through various interviews that I felt did not match the final product. Hill combat was promised to be more engaging or realistic since the game would sense the uneven grounding, however as I found, being on the upside of the hill gave me no more advantage than being in a hole. Ubisoft had also proclaimed the story was about Connor and how he was not siding with either the Blue or Red coats, and while I found this to be half true, for the most part this is a complete lie until the last hour or so. I was also very disappointed in the ending of the story as well as the very minor portions where you controlled Desmond, as they were short and overall very uninteresting (despite one in particular).

Warning: Obscene Language Below


 

Comments
  • Excellent review! Covers most everything I thought of in reviewing the game too. Hope for improvements come sequel time.