Video Game Attack Reviews: Assassin’s Creed 3

This review brought to you by Play N Trade Dublin located on 7593 Sawmill Road, Columbus, Ohio. Go to their Facebook Page and like it! Call (614) 889-6991 for game sales, tournament dates and more details.

The Assassin’s Creed series has been a hit since the first one came out several years ago. It took the idea of a sandbox game and added both history and the ability to not just be a part of it, but literally control it. From Altaïr to Ezio, we have enjoyed not just this game, but the characters as well. The series has taken us from the Middle East to Italy and more. Now it takes us from England to the Americas just before and during the Revolutionary War. How does Assassin’s Creed 3 hold up? Read on.

Story

The opening gives us an opera in London where you are Haytham Kenway. You proceed to Assassinate a man for an amulet then make you way out of the opera house and onto a ship bound for the Colonies in America. I’ll spare you the boring stuff and skip a somewhat interesting early plot twist, so let us chug on to your main character.

You take control of Connor and again I will skip the boring stuff as a kid and when you train… honestly you will not care for the most part.

As Connor you are recruited into the Assassin’s by way of your people. They hold a piece of Eden and are sworn to protect it and to not leave their lands by Juno, whom you previous met in an earlier game. Fast forward to his training under the former Assassin Master Achilles, you are finally given both a ship, the Aquila, and the Assassin’s robes. You are then tasked with eliminating the threat of the Templars who have backed the English to further their own goals.

Hey! That guy is on a dollar bill.

The story has an immense time period to cover, roughly 20 years of Haythem’s life and 30 years of Connor’s life. It has an immense story to work with, but it seems like at times you are forced to do things that are extremely menial. Playing hide and seek as a kid was a waste of 20 minutes, having to literally run all over the place to and fro just to continue the story was painstaking. In the first 15 hours of gameplay (yes… first 15 hours…) I felt that about 4 or 5 hours was unnecessary or tacked on. Having to run a gauntlet of a map just to keep your story going and having the map to look at things be very clunky and cluttered with too much.

Everything seems to be on the opposite end of wherever you are when you need to go there. You get annoyed and it feels less like a game and more like work. I enjoy the plot, but it feels as if they wanted to use too much and wanted you to be in the epicenter of too much. Yes the Battle of Bunker Hill was important, but why do you HAVE to be directly involved? They wanted your character to be so involved that it sometimes makes you cringe. Why can you not recruit in the same fashion that Ezio did? Grow the order over time and then wage a full war against the Templars. The game gives you so much to do, that you get annoyed. I had the same problem with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas when it first dropped, but even that pales in comparison to the absolute s–tstorm of stuff you can do in this game.

I appreciate Ubisoft for this game series and for the crazy awesome plot, but stop trying to be so much like Elder Scrolls or Fallout and be more how Assassin’s Creed 2 was. I enjoyed the story and all that it offered, but you did too much and really drained my appreciation for this final installment of the series.

Grade: B-

Gameplay

Sigh… Assassin’s Creed 3 is truly a bi-polar system when it comes to controls. I have always loved the free running style despite it having a bit of a control issue or being clunky at times, still was always fun. The fighting style had always been enjoyable giving you kick ass kills and multiple weapons to do it with. Why ohhhhh why did assassin’s Creed 3 change almost everything?

Aiming a pistol or musket is painful and you cannot even free aim, instead it auto targets, but you have to aim at them directly for it to work or you will lower your gun. The fighting system with swords and hand-to-hand was overcharged as well. You counter with one button, then have 3 options on what to do during that counter… I mean thanks for the options, but damn I just want to kill this guy.

So awesome… gah I wanted more of this.

The best thing they did, was include naval combat… which I wished at times, 50% of this game was naval combat based. The movement was fluid, controls were simple and effective and most of all, it was pretty damn awesome to sink a ship. Being able to sail and go to different cities that way was amazing and wow is the water beautiful… but that is graphics and we will get to that later.

My biggest issue was not being able to have throwing tomahawks for silent distance kills. Yes bow and arrow, blah blah blah, but I wanted a tomahawk… I wanted to split some redcoats face in parts.

On the side note, hunting and playing the board games they offered are absolutely a waste of time. You realize this quickly and ignore doing it any time possible. Also, why can’t I carry a musket? I mean seriously, Ezio carried 8,000 different things at all times and with Connor I can carry 30 wolf pelts and that seemingly isn’t nearly as cumbersome as a single musket.

Grade: C

Graphics

Again… not enough of this.

Ubisoft still makes one helluva good looking game. America looks vast and beautiful… unlike today where it looks like a McStarbucks-Mart. The thing that strikes my eye every time is that water. I referenced it earlier and seriously it is gorgeous. It looks real and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. The character models are still up to par and the forests look lush. Solid work put in for the environment.

The towns are pretty decent, have a good colonial look and there is commerce happening all over the place. With that it, it doesn’t look any different from even Assassin’s Creed. I understand the same model is necessary, but change something or add something. Give it more life, make me feel like this game is unique.

The game has great overall visuals, it’s really mostly small and feeble things that I caught, but it didn’t take away from the overall strength of the games graphics or look.

Grade: A

Sound

The music and atmosphere are reminiscent of previous installments and it adds in the British and colonial voicing and style. It is still light years behind Fallout or Elder Scrolls but it does itself well. Again I reference anytime you get to be at sea. The sounds of the ocean hitting your ship, cannon fire, your men yelling and rah-rahing when they take out a rival ship. The sound effects are good, but not great. They still are status quo for the series and thus get the equivalent of a pat on the back.

Grade: C+

Multiplayer

First off, you probably won’t touch this. The online is simple and just like every previous title online. I will give them credit for the mode, “Wolf Pack” which allows you and 3 other players to work together to assassinate a target deemed a mole. Beyond that, between Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Halo 4 you are probably busy.

Grade: D+

Overall

It is a very large game. There is much to do, but sometimes there is TOO much to do. It is pretty easy to get burnt out on and quickly. You get tired of running all over the damn place just to keep the storyline going. The game is fun, but it gets tiring and feels more and more like you are forcing yourself to finish it because dammit, you spent money for this.

Not enough of this either.

Connor as a character is not as strong as Ezio nor Altaïr. Honestly he gets slightly annoying. Between the length of the story and how long it takes to get into the depths of it you get tired. The mechanics of the game leave a lot to be desired. Guns are basically useless and you prefer instead your melee weapons and hidden blade. It felt like a workout each time I was forced into using a firearm and most of the time I just ran in and used my tomahawk instead, was way easier.

Nixing the prostitutes and thieves also hurt a lot as this game really forces you to use hiding and stealth more than previous titles. They seemed to intentionally make the game harder which is fine, but you took away the tools that made it a much more enjoyable experience. It also doesn’t hurt that a landslide of patches are in the works for Thanksgiving day weekend and here they are on Kotaku if your interested. There are tons.

Assassin’s Creed 3 gives you 3 servings, but you only want 1. I seemed to enjoy everyone except Connor, he became ungodly annoying as each sequence was accomplished. The main character should have my support and I should want to do what they are attempting to do. Assassin’s Creed 3 fell down when it need to continue standing. It was hyped and it looked amazing, in the end though, it’s just another game that tried too hard.

Overall Grade: C+

My Gamertag: shawneffect

This review brought to you by Play N Trade Dublin located on 7593 Sawmill Road, Columbus, Ohio. Go to their Facebook Page and like it! Call (614) 889-6991 for game sales, tournament dates and more details.

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