Jun 20 2013

Late Assassins Creed 3 Review

I picked up a copy of AC3 free with the purchase of my gaming PC in December as part of a NVIDIA GeForce deal at the time. Within minutes of the PC having arrived, I installed this straight on to it, throwing myself straight into the amazing graphics the GTX 680 was pumping out. For the next 5 minutes, I ran around as Desmond in circles and was so impressed with the ultra detailed 60 fps graphics that I turned the game off and decided to never play it again.

Reason being, I still had Assassins Creed Revelations on the Xbox to complete to ensure I would be up-to-date on the story. Well this decision cost me 7 months of dithering between just getting on with AC3, having come to despise the Xbox 360 for some reason, it took me awhile to jump on and finally complete Revelations.

You can click here to read my late review on Revelations.

Not clearly knowing why I had been putting off completing Revelations for so long, as it was enjoyable, AC3 was booted up on the pc within the hour. I was ready again to immerse myself in to the Animus and experience a new adventure in a new era of history. The modern day story picks up exactly where Revelations ended, with the gang driving into the mountains in a van, which Desmond had just woken up out of his coma in. Having just been reunited with his father that he hasn’t seen for many a year, there doesn’t seem to be much dialogue between the two, suggesting that there’s an unresolved conflict that even the years apart hasn’t been able to fix.

Within a couple of minutes, we’re straight into the animus, and told that there’s been an update to the system. The first memory block is training. “WHY!?”. Why do they have to, in every new installment of Assassins Creed do two things – constantly change the characters facial features, and change the layouts of the controls. Playing with an Xbox controller, the first noticeable change is that sprint, instead of being RT + A, is now just assigned to RT. If you thought it was annoying enough when Ezio would run up a wall by mistake, which meant you only had to let go of A and jog some distance away from the wall before resuming his sprint, now your basically a magnet to every vertical surface that isn’t a hedge. I think the training took me about 10 tries before I got a basic handle on the controls. Plenty of times throughout the game though, there were time’s I would keep resorting to the old school controller layout and more often than not fail the mission for this.

The opening chapter introduces us to our newest member of the family, Haytham Kenway, (He repeats his name enough times throughout yet I still had to check Google), who is a British Templar. At this point, we can see that a new engine has been used for this game, with what should be improved graphics, but for me, everyone and everything look like they’ve been pulled straight out of Dishonored with it looking cel shaded with dull prominent brown hues. Everyone has a white solid aura around them including Kenway having a white outline that is so annoying. The graphics don’t do this game any justification, and are nowhere as realistic as those of even the original Assassins Creed, never mind Revelations.

I guess some bugs escaped from the lower decks of a ship and crawled into the engine, as you are constantly bombarded with graphical and mechanical bugs. First 10 minutes into the game, I walk up onto the upper deck of a ship, and all the npcs start flying off the ship. Whilst I’m bemoaning graphics, the one thing I can’t stand the most, is opening the menu screen. The game’s landscapes are quite dingy and dark in colour, so whilst I open the start menu, a bright blinding white transition flashes on the screen before going to a dark menu screen. Thank you Ubisoft for the temporary blindness and epileptic fits.

Combat in the game has so far been terrible also. I don’t know when the British Navy during those times were all taught sword fighting, but they are brilliant at defending themselves in a swordfight with a rifle. Even for a veteran player, combat is difficult, again thanks to the new button layout and having to wait ages for a npc to attack to allow you to counter on them (I wish we could go back to the old days of the original Assassins Creed when you could just constantly attack someone to weaken and then kill them). Guns have become joke. For some reason the knowledge of the assassins secret wrist guns have gone, leaving us with one shot pistols/rifles that take forever to reload.

I haven’t yet done enough of the missions and story to be able to comment on those yet, but I will ensure to update this review once I’ve either gotten quite far into the game or completed it to try and give a fair criticism to the these elements. But considering so far how the game’s been, I wouldn’t wait with abated breath expecting brilliance. It’s been 1 step forward, 3 leaps backwards compared to Revelations. It’s a shame to have to be in such a bad mood over a game, but I can’t see it getting any better. Bugs are so constant, it’s now a surprise when I find something that actually works properly.


Well I have since completed the game, and what a drag. As much as I feel for the Native Americans that lost their land and tradition, this story did them no justification apart from showing how brutal Europeans are. Hunting in the game was a let down, nothing to it at all, much preferring Red Dead Redemption’s take on it, which (sorry PETA) is a lot more brutal. The change in seasons were nice, and when snow coated the entire map making running difficult, I thought this was pretty cool, even though all your ever doing is running away from soldiers as there are hardly any vantage points or places to hide from them, so sneak attacks are out the window as you’re having to run in and chop away. Even trapezing through the town is difficult, with rooftops so far spread apart, it is no longer viable to run along them as, taking away an essential element of Assassins Creed. The controls were lack luster throughout and made for many accidental deaths.

The ending to be honest felt rushed, feeling like it had been brutally raped and beaten to fit alongside with the big countdown that had been going on in our own real world. It could have worked, but it didn’t, and was such a let down considering how much we’d done for Desmond in the previous five installments, and how we had wanted to play as only him in his own game at one point, but I guess that will never be *Spoiler*. I did try and play through the fantasy nonsensical DLC with George Washington, but as much as that probably has a better story than the original, even though it’s not following the true path of history, becomes pretty much the same old thing in all three episodes which is to complete a few missions and then collect a few hundred collectibles, yawn. Having played on the newer games in the series aswell now, I can see that this was pretty much the start of Assassins Creed decline, and I can’t see itself being able to recover from it if it keeps trying to release games yearly without putting any energy into new amazing content.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/assassins-creed-3/

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