Assassin’s Creed 3 Review

So by now, you’ve seen all the commercials and trailers for Assassin’s Creed 3.  You’ve seen the characters, the epic action, and the smooth combat shown in these advertisements.  Now that the game is out and you can get your hands on it, let’s see if it lives up to all that hype.  For the sake of avoiding spoilers, I will leave my thoughts on the story at the end of the review.  So, let’s see what all the fuss is about.

Gameplay

The gameplay is great fun.  You will find yourself having fun most of the way through the game.  As with the other Assassin’s Creed games, there is plenty of slicing, dicing, running, jumping, and murdering to be done.  The combat system has been improved, allowing you to counter with a single button and choose to kill, disarm, or throw from the counter performed.  You can also perform kill streaks by killing an enemy then pressing the control stick in the direction of an enemy and pressing attack.  This will kill the enemy in one shot and let you move on to the rest.  The free running is great fun, making you feel like a skilled and trained assassin as you move through the trees and across rooftops with ease.  Oh yeah! TREEEEEESSS!!!!  Moving through the forest has to be the most enjoyable part of the

Assassin’s Creed now has forests, changing seasons, guns, and TREES!

game for me.  Climbing up and through trees, moving through the forest hardly ever having to touch the ground, it’s great fun.  There are also naval battles.  These are a nice way to break up the standard combat and running and mixing in some interesting mechanics.  It really feels like you’re on a great ship making true victories.  Taking out enemy ships looks and feels great.  The controls on the ship can feel a bit stiff and unresponsive, but that does add to the realism of navigating your massive vessel (although I do prefer the slightly less realistic, but significantly more fun naval battles from Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves).  There are also plenty of side missions to add time to your play through.  These missions include recruiting people to live near your manor and provide resources, accomplishing certain hunting tasks, and optional naval battles.  Each mission also offers certain optional restrictions which make them harder, but give you a good reason to go back and play the game a second time.  The gameplay all in all feels satisfying and puts you right into the character’s mindset.

Characters, Setting & Aesthetics

The gameplay is broken up into two main timeframes, colonial and modern.  Most of the colonial parts are played as Ratonhnhaké:ton, or Connor as we know him.  Connor is a unique character in that he has his Native American origins.  He has very good tracking skills as well as the natural ability to climb and move through the trees.  He is a skilled hunter as well as an assassin and it shows in his tracking abilities.  The colonial setting is a really nice environment, the untamed forests are enjoyable to move through and the cities feel like you’re looking through a window to the late 1700’s.  And English finally makes sense in this game.  Ezio speaking English with

The new Assassin’s Creed introduces naval combat both through ship boarding and ship warfare.

an Italian accent didn’t bother me in the earlier titles until he would throw in Italian words.  Now English makes complete sense when spoken by the characters.  Those with French accents mixing English and French together makes sense because of where the game takes place.  The cities feel alive with unrest and the desire for freedom while the forests are calming and serene.  The modern parts are played as Desmond Miles.  There isn’t much Desmond gameplay, but the change in setting and seeing Desmond in action lets you see that the time in the Animus has made him into a true assassin.  The environments look really nice and the movement of the characters has had a lot of thought put into it.  The movement, for the most part, is very smooth, free running and fighting looks like it is second nature to the characters, showing you the skill that they possess.  The game looks as good as it plays.

Pat’s Complaint Corner

This is the part of the review where I list all of the negatives.  No game is without flaws, but what makes a game good is if the flaws are minimal enough to be outweighed by the experience and fun the game provides.  That being said, let’s get to the complaints.  The first one that sticks out in my mind is the Iroquois voice acting.  When Connor is with his people, he will speak in his native tongue.  Only problem with this is that when this language is spoken, all emotion is stripped from the voice.  It might be accurate to the way the language is spoken, but when Connor speaks English, he shows anger, concern, and various other emotions in his voice.  When the native language is spoken, you cannot, other than by reading what is being said, tell how the character feels.  It is nice to see the language used, but it can take you out of the experience a bit.  Another issue is the lack of a need for money.  In my play through, I never once had the need to go into a store and buy anything.  Armor is removed from the game, so a certain feeling of progression left with it.  I never had to buy any new equipment, because I was fine with my tomahawk, hidden blades, bow, and pistol.  There are fun new items like the rope dart, but there’s no real motivation for me to build up money or a weapons arsenal in this particular game.  I also didn’t feel any need to improve the manor, but the option was still there.  Also, CREDITS! HOLY CRAP, ARE THESE CREDITS EXTREMELY POORLY DONE AND TAKE FOREVER.  I’m not sure why Ubisoft feels the need to have the credits include everyone who had anything to do with or was within ten miles of the development of this game, but that’s not what my real issue is with it.  First of all, the credits are just names in white text listed against a black background, which makes them boring and a chore to sit through.  Give me something interesting to look at, a reward for finishing the game.  Ah, but here comes the true issue.  YOU. CANNOT. SKIP. THE. CREDITS.  I have no problem wanting to give credit to the people who helped make the game a possibility, but don’t force me to sit through them by making them unskippable.  Plus, there’s content afterwards, which means you don’t have much of a choice.  It’s a huge problem that all of the games in the series have had.  If I wanted to know who the Director of Public Affairs in Quebec was, I’d look it up.

Welcome to Assassin’s Creed III during the American Revolution in the 1700s, quite a jump from 1400s Italy.

Story

Now, I’m still not going to talk that much about the story because it is what makes the game truly great, but I will say a thing or two.  There is an interesting parallel between Connor’s relationship with his father, and Desmond’s.  It’s nice to see them both work out their issues, even if the situations are resolved differently.  Working to save your people and free the colonists is a great motivator and really gets you invested into the game.  I won’t say much else about the story, but it does a good job of getting you hooked in.

Multiplayer

The multiplayer mode places you in the role of an Abstergo agent in training.  You are placed in an area such as a city or a harbor and must kill your target while avoiding being killed.  This is a great addition to the game and is still one of the most unique aspects out there.  It can add as much as several hours to your play time and is really a lot of fun.  I recommend at least playing a few matches if you bought the game, if only just to experience all the game has to offer.

Conclusion

All in all, the game is a fun and satisfying experience.  The issues that the game has are far outweighed by the fun gameplay, compelling story, amazing setting, and wonderful aesthetics.  The multiplayer mode is a fun feature and the game really shines in most aspects.  In my opinion, which is all I can truly give to you, it is worth the money.  I don’t like to give number ratings, since the system is really dumb and most people won’t buy something unless it gets an 8 or higher, so I instead have my own scale.  From worst possible to best possible, it goes like this:

Burn it with the fires of a thousand evils

Just plain bad

Get it cheap

Pretty Bueno

Very Bueno

SWEET JESUS YOU NEED TO GO GET THIS GAME NOW!!!!!!

With that said, this game gets a recommendation of Very Bueno, give it a shot and you’ll have some fun.

 

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