I know, I know, this review is pretty freaking late, I’m sorry. Life, holidays, going out of town, etc. But now I have a chance to tell you about Assassin’s Creed 3 and why it’s really good, but not great.
Assassin’s Creed 3 puts you into an enormous and beautiful world filled with life. There’s people of all kinds going about their business, whether it was tilling their land, washing and hanging their clothes, working on the docks etc. I didn’t feel as if I was in an enormous world filled with people walking around in groups of four. Not just in the cities but the Frontier as well. Life was everywhere.
Assassin’s Creed 3 starts off with a grand, hour long introduction, which I loved. I was eased into the story while being introduced to new characters, both real and fictional. After the fourth memory sequence, I was still being “eased” into the story, waiting for anything to give me that urge to push on and not shut off my PS3. It finally came and I was pleasantly surprised. It was worth the wait as the story from both Connor and Desmond’s side kept me wanting to see what would happen next. I may even go a little over board in saying that AC3’s story may be the best of the franchise. AC3 raised the bar in many aspects in story, setting, visuals, combat. Oooh, the combat.
The combat visuals, as well as the actual gameplay, have been improved. It’s not a deep new system by any means, it’s pretty freaking shallow actually, but it is the best in the franchise. Kill streaks can begin the same way, though there are tougher enemies in AC3 that have a much more varied attack and numerous ways of ending your kill streak. This forces you to either parry or off-balance the enemy before cutting their throat. The duel counters, combat slowdowns, zoom-ins and more all add that little extra something to the combat to make you feel like a real bad ass. Every time I saw a group I just wanted to run up and start wiping them out. I never got bored of the combat, I just wanted to run around and be a one man army the entire time.
The melee combat was not the only combat in the game, the naval battles in your own Privateer ship are visual spectacle. You do everything from controlling the mass of the sails, coordinating cannon fire, giving orders to take cover and obviously steering your vessel. There’s two different types of cannons to use and a couple of different options of ammo. The best moments though are when you’re able to fire upon another ships ammo stores or given the option to board the enemy ship and assassinate the captain. If you’ve ever wanted to play through a high seas pirate battle in a game, this is as good as it gets for now and it’s damn good. This is easily one of the best features of AC3. The game play is rock solid, engaging and those moments when you see another ship completely explode, so good.
The amount of interesting and enjoyable side quests in this game put in the same category as a game like Red Dead Redemption. Be a pirate? Check. Be a Native American/Indian? Check. Hunter? Yep. Hunt down Sasquatch? Uh huh. I had to force myself to stay on track or else I would have fallen down the side quest rabbit hole and would have been lost in there for days. There’s just so much to explore and discover with the side quests in AC3.
So at a certain part of the game a new set of side quests open, you’re able to have people on your homestead create certain items then ship those items to town for money. Why am I even bothering with this? Just for money? There’s nothing to buy. You no longer purchase new weapons or armor. You start off with everything you need basically. Past that, once you send a caravan off it can be attacked. You’re notified that it’s being attacked, but where the hell is it? How do I defend it? What the hell is the point of this? I tried to figure this out for about an hour and came to the conclusion of, “This is dumb,” and moved on.
Caravan stuff aside, the game has bigger problems than that. I’m going to move right past the “one button to do everything” problem that has you climbing a pole, for no reason, in the middle of a chase. There were bigger technical problems, like input lag. In one mission in particular, I was tasked with sneaking up a hill unnoticed (if I wanted full-sync), which put me in the position of having to take out a couple of guards, no problem. The problem came when I I would try to fire an arrow while in hiding in a bush. The inconsistency drove me insane. Sometimes it worked, but many times Connor would stand up in full view for 10 seconds before releasing the arrow, leaving me without control of him. Obviously this led to numerous times of me being spotted and having to start the 35 min (be sneaky took time) mission over. At least giving me the option to save during a mission may have alleviated the problem a bit, but no, the game only auto-saves. Auto-saving was also a fun time.
During missions I would experience this rad moment of being loaded into an area or spot I had not even been to yet. I would see the auto-save happen as I approach target “x” from a tree to the north. Then after death be reloaded almost in the middle of a patrol to the southwest of the target, what the hell? Luckily the game as a whole was pretty damn good or these problems would have drove me away.
Also, to let you know I never tried multiplayer, so I can’t tell you whether it’s great or not. Although I can say that my time with Assassin’s Creed was pretty good as a whole. There were some technical issues but they weren’t a constant occurrence. Assassin’s Creed 3 offers vast world full of hours of gameplay, characters to actually like, and a damn good soundtrack. If you’ve been waiting for an Assassin’s Creed game that is at least in the same vein of quality as Assassin’s Creed 2, here it is.
Reviewed on the Playstation 3