Assassin’s Creed 3 is a third person action/ adventure game developed and published by Ubisoft. The game immediately takes place after the events of the fourth game Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Desmond and his merry band of fellow Assassins have found the chamber that will save the world from destruction by a solar flare. If you are new to the series I encourage you play the games before reading this review of the third game. The game’s story does sound like a B-movie you find on the discount isle in Poundland but after spending five games you will have a strange affection for the ridiculous story.
As mentioned before Desmond and his crew (Rebecca, Shaun and his father William) have found this chamber in America that will save the world from a solar flare which will wipe out the human civilisation. This wouldn’t be an Assassin’s Creed without going back into the past to find something. In the case the something is a small necklace which is a key that will unlock the device. The location and time period is the American Revolution where you take control of a half native called Ratonhnhaké:ton ( but for ease everyone calls him Connor). You met historical figures, like Washington, as the story progresses. Obviously this can't be an Assassin’s Creed game without a templar threat. The difference between these Templars and pervious Templars is these Templars share common ideologies with the Assassin’s Creed order creating a feeling of moral ambiguity. I praise Ubisoft for doing this. A big problem with previous games is the Templars seem too evil and clearly want the worse option to happen. In some circumstances I often found myself sympathising with the Templar’s goals.
If any of you have been following the marketing push by Ubisoft then you would think that this game is pro-American freedom bull and anti-British. Thankfully this is a mis-reputation of the game. There were a few times I felt like slamming my head against the desk with the whole America represents freedom theme but the majority of the game isn’t like that at all. I often found myself applauding Ubisoft representing the hypercritical nature of the American Revolution. I also liked how they stuck to the main story of the Assassin’s Creed series of the Templars versus Assassins and kept the American Revolution as a background theme.
Despite this, the story did feel off. The best twist happened early in the story and the main twist at the end could be seen coming from a mile away. I was a bit disappointed with the ending. I was expecting more of a bang instead of the fizzle that actually happened. Another major problem with the game is he characters. Desmond is still the lifeless soul who has as much personality as a potato. Connor is the worst playable character in the AC series. I often found myself pissed off by Connocr and he (like Desmond) had very little personality and is emotionless which wasn't helped by the horrible voice acting. Other characters are far better with Haytham Kenway is the most interesting character in the game/ the entire series. The voice acting of different American and British accents is a massive plus. I was worried that the only British accents would either be LANDAN or extremely posh but luckily there was a vast range of accents. It may be a small thing but far too many games over look this and I hope this sets a precedent for future games
The gameplay has changed since the last game. Free running has had an overhaul with the movements being more fluid (a big example being the ability to side step. Who knew something so simple could be so useful and amazing). The climbing of rocks in the open ground is done in a very realistic way. There is also the ability to skin animals you find in the wild which is a nice touch (you can then trade it in for food). The big new thing in this game is the navel battles and to be honest it was better than I was expecting. To win battles you are required to use the wind and also judge what the enemy ship will do. If you ignore these factors you can easily find yourself being totally dominated.
Sadly this is as far as the positive goes. Combat has always been a discussion in the AC series and they have taken a new direction this time around which feels like a step back than a step forward. Previously all you needed to do was block and wait for someone to attack then counter. This time the counter isn't really an attack function. A lot of the time you push them away. It makes the combat very clunky. The previous AC may have made it too easy however at least it was enjoyable to watch. There really isn't any cool super human attacks that make you look ally. I often found myself avoiding combat because it was just so difficult to get right. Another problem I found was the setting really didn't suit the AC main gameplay mechanics which is free running. Due to the more open and less populated areas free, running around was actually more of a disadvantage to use. I hardly spent any time climbing buildings and jumping from rooftop to rooftop. It is a shame because that was a major draw for me. Another problem is the random stuff this series keeps adding to lengthen gameplay. The homestead is slightly unnecessary and I didn't touch it. There was no need really. I was hoping they went away from this micro manage RPG element because it always feels a half assed attempt but they didn’t.
Graphically this game looks great. The environments and characters looks and feel rich in detail and the impact snow has on movement adds to the overall experience. There are some slight issues with the graphical fidelity of objects from a distant but that is the only negative point I can think off
Multiplayer is back. I am not a huge fan of the whole cat and mouse multiplayer style and they haven't really changed the system either. There is a lot of customisable options which is buried in a confusing new menu system. They have added a new multiplayer mode which is essentially a horde co-op mode but this, for me, didn't make me want to play anymore than I did. Essentially the same system is present in a new skin where people wonder round the map waiting for their target to walk by and then kill (i.e. very slow paced).
Overall I feel this game did well in some areas but seriously did poorly in others. The story starts slow but it pay off in the long run and I liked how they portrayed the Templars in this game compared to previous games (something I didn't mention is Desmond's mission, well three of them, are actually fun to play. I know shock) The graphics are also stunning and some of the new gameplay mechanics works very well. However the combat is awful, there is less free running due to the era and the density of the towns and the multiplayer is the same slow paced game it was back when it was first introduced. Don’t get me wrong this is a good game but just needed tidying up/rethinking in certain areas