After months of anticipation, I have to say I have mixed feelings about part one of the Tyranny of King Washington DLC for Assassins Creed 3. Initially I was annoyed by the fact we had to wait 4 and a half months after launch for the DLC, which I felt like was a bit long. There is a sweet spot you want to hit with extra content, something that I think Gearbox has nailed with Borderlands 2, and Ubi severely overshot the mark with the wait for this one. Granted, that built up anticipation may have overset my expectations, which might be part of my feeling of let down. Still, I dove in excitedly today and I have to say I am coming away from it kind of looking at my TV in confusion. This, if anything, does not feel like 800 MS points/ $9.99 worth of content.
The core story components I was able to complete in about an hour, although some parts of it were excruciatingly frustrating. To be honest, I feel like the "stop the torch bearers" section was poorly designed and made to be far harder than it needed to be and was downright infuriating, and not in the fun challenge kind of way. They only way to successfully pass that level seems to be to brute force it, and to consecutively fail at it enough that you learn all the patterns so you can anticipate each enemy before they come into play. As a game dev myself, something that can only be passed via brute force (or at least is so hard it feels like it to someone) is poor and lazy design. Aside from that slowing me down, the rest I was able to breeze though and quite enjoyed.
Now I know like any AC game the core story is not all there is, it's a sum of all the parts of the extras, but in the case of this DLC it really does need to be weighed more on the core and less on the "fluff". We have our fair share of "fetch quests" in the core game, we are not super eager for more. While that was fun, we want story and narrative to go with all this hype on this twist of history. At least with the main game the various collection quests and detailed challenges all have a (arguably thin) tie into the over all story. In the case of Infamy however, they are blatantly errands for the sake of being content padding. There are chests scattered all over the Frontier for no sake other than to collect items. There is also two other challenges, with 5 and 3 objectives each. Both, once completed, tell nothing more of the story and do nothing at all for you other than clear them off your tracker with no further ado. You don't even know why you are doing it, and are not rewarded for your efforts. They literally just vanish off your tracker never to be seen again.
When it's all said and done, I've played what feels like about $4.99 worth of content with a lot of useless, and blatantly unimaginative padding to give it a false sense of depth. If this is a sign of what we are in for for parts 2 and 3, then everyone who has paid for a season pass is going to feel extremely ripped off. In short? Unless you are a die hard Assassins Creed fan, you might want to save your money and wait until all 3 parts are out to get a better idea of what they are offering us before you fork over the $30 total for it. I have to say, if the entire sum is this experience times 3 for $30, I will be pretty angry.