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User Review : Assassin's Creed III

  • Graphics
  • Templar Portrayal
  • Praise for the Moral Ambiguity
  • Multiplayer
  • Conner is Horrible
  • Combat

Here we are. Finally at the end of the five game trilogy.

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

Very good. Minor problem with seeing objects from a distant but everything else has a rich amount of detail to it
Connor voice acting is awful which is ashame as everyone else does an excellent job. Nice range of accents and the combat sounds sound great.
Combat is horrible and the setting really didn't justify the free running roots of the AC series. But the fluidity of movement and general gameplay options are done well and are nice to experiment with
Fun Factor
Overall it is fun. The combat is frustrating and Connor is just a horrible protagonist but everything else feels smooth and is enjoyable.
Same cat and mouse style gameplay which doesn't feel fresh anymore
The story is too old to be commented.
Simon_Brezhnev2171d ago

I pretty much agree with you. Connor is horrible i feel like a damn troll saying it so much. Haytham was a truly unique character. I was disappointed as hell in his last fight.

I give the game a 7.5

Good review by the way. I'm glad you didnt hype it up like most people.

Nimblest-Assassin2171d ago (Edited 2171d ago )

So... Im the only one who likes Connor?

I like him because of his naivity, and his inability to interact with this new world presented before him. Out of all the assassins before, Connor is the only one who has an innocence to him. He is soft spoken, and does't have the swaggar as Ezio or Haytham... but the moral ambiguity and the anguish of the character make him unique

And thats why I love him

MP, I feel while was great in brotherhood, needs to change, since it lacks that same punch

I leveled all the way through in ACB, but in ACR and AC3, I just hit level 20 and stop... hopefully in AC4, they bring open world mp like in Red dead or GTA

Also the combat to me reminds me more of batman than any other previous AC games. In fact it might be my favorite combat in all the AC's simply due to the fact the enemies, and the overall combat is more aggresive, and thus encorage more strategy than turtling and hoping to get a counter kill

Also, the free running in trees feels fluid and fun

This is a vast game, you barely talked about naval combat

Your review is more a critique of the story and character, and you don't go into much detail of the the gameplay

I think this game should be comended for taking so many risks, when other sequels just play it safe

I don't like number scores, but this is a definite buy

Simon_Brezhnev2171d ago

Well i did comment on combating before. It felt just like Batman Arkham City. I dont like AC multiplayer i want a free roaming multiplayer like Red Dead Redemption. I dont see why its so hard to make it not free roaming. Tree climbing is fun but it might look fluid but all you do now is hold foward and R1. It requires hardly any turns or movements. Chase scenes was probably the worst out of all the AC games.

Naval Combat and Haytham was the best part of this game.

I guess i dont like Connor because he tries to act innocent but he's ignorant. Then again i usually like villains more. Heroes are overrated. LOL

Nimblest-Assassin2171d ago

Oh, that stuff was directed towards the reviewer

tsivik2171d ago

As a RDR fan, I've greatly enjoyed this game so far. The amount and attention to details is unlike anything else I've seen before. Whether you are in the city or the frontier, the world just feels so alive that you can almost feel like you're there. I've yet to complete sequence 6 and already played 20+ hours.

"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."

Connor's kill animations are so spectacular and brutal that I have no idea how anyone couldn't like them. Not to mention that they vary depending on the weapon you're using. Perhaps you're not doing it right?

When you perform a counter, you can use any of the 4 face buttons to perform different actions... pushing enemies away is just one of them. You can do the brutal combo attack by pressing square, disarming an enemy and getting him to the ground by pressing X (and then finishing him off with square once he's on the ground), and perform a quick kill by pressing triangle with whatever weapon you have equipped for that button - a gun is the best weapon to have as it gives you some pretty cool animations.

The animations you get when given the chance to counter two or three guys at the same time are pretty amazing, you feel like you're watching a movie in those moments.

iamnsuperman2170d ago

I know about the special counter and it may be just a thing I am experiencing but it doesn't work 9 times out of 10 and for me that got irritating (no matter what button I pressed)

MattyG2169d ago

Make sure you aren't holding the right trigger. That's what I did at first because that's how past AC games controlled, but now if you hold it while countering nothing happens.

Valenka2166d ago

I liked Connor, but he isn't my favourite. As I said in another comment, I was quite unimpressed with AC3. It didn't feel like an Assassin's Creed game, and overall I felt the story was lacking and the gameplay took a small step backward.

To the author, would you happen to have a source for the information that AC3 is the last of them? With the way it ended, it seemed quite lacklustre. Not even open-ended, just incomplete.

iamnsuperman2166d ago (Edited 2166d ago )

Ubisoft have come out and said AC3 is the last of the Desmond trilogy: well 5 games but shhhh :) (not the best source but the only source I can find at the moment)

there will be more AC games and the ending definitely leads onto that which is why is probably why it feels incomplete.

Valenka2166d ago

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the link, sir. :)

Well, I'm excited to see what direction the games go in now, in lieu of AC3's ending. I still don't know how to feel about the ending though.

phantomexe2166d ago

I've got a question? Why didn't desmond go to the tomb of altir (i know thats spelled wrong). Remember the ending to the last one. There is info for desmond there and an apple. Feels like stuff has been left out.

Nes_Daze2164d ago

Damn, expected more from AC3, judging by your review, and one of the main reasons I wanted to get the came was for the combat system. Oh well, I'll get it on black friday, nice review.