For a game that has so much, and yet offers so little, it's a shame that Assassin's Creed 3 did what it did. Not only is this one of the most disappointing game in the series, it's a slap to the face of what made Assassin's Creed 2 so great.
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS
In Assassin's Creed III, you play as Conner, a half British half Native American in the 1700s America. This was also known as the Revolutionary War. This takes place before, during, and after the war, but you wouldn't know that because the Revolutionary War is so downplayed, it feels like it was there just to justify the new engine the team at Ubisoft created. Despite a good 75 percent of the time you play as Conner, you really play as Desmond Miles as he continues reliving his ancestors past. It takes place right after Revelations, but if you didn't play it the game does give you a decent background to the series events. What was once interesting about the story about the war between the Assassins and Templars it is now one of prophecy and the end of the world catastrophe. By the end of the game, I cared so little about Desmond and Conner that the ending was nothing short of a confusing mess. Ubisoft just had to put that Mayan date into the story that it forced themselves into the wall and what ever happens next won't matter. There was nothing in the end that makes you want to know what happens next. If it had only stick to the war between the Assassins and Templars, none of this would have happened.
In Conner's side of things, it's a little more interesting. It takes a good four to five hours for the story to really open up, but not before one of the best twist in gaming this year. I seriously did not see that coming. Conner's tale, like Ezio, is one of revenge. Unlike Ezio, however, Conner is so focus and so narrow minded that you really don't care what happens. Ezio used his quest for vengeance into action to help those who needed helping. Conner takes the mission, but complains about being pushed around. He's determined, but for all for selfish reasons. They tried to make it more personal for Conner, but at the end it really didn't matter. It was there just for drama. Not going to ruin it because it will give away that twist.
Since the announcement, the team had hyped up that you will be taking part of the Revolutionary War. While you do take part, most of the missions are so against of what Assassin's Creed is about they can take that part of history away and you would never knew what was going on. You do meet historical people like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, but they are there for so little, they might as well no be there at all. You fight in four major battles, but only one of them is worth playing. They said the new engine help made the battles feel epic, but in all honestly, they could have used the past engine and still get the same results. Thankfully, the engine wasn't only there to give that false sense of epic battles.
WHAT IS OLD IS NEW
The new engine is pretty amazing as it allows for weather to change. You can tell when it's summer, and you can tell when it's winter. The snow will slow you down and causes you to run different to summer, but it seems that this is the only seasons that is in the game. Winter and Summer. There is storms in the game, but each crackle of lightning dips the frame rate. The frame rate only drops when there is too much activity on screen. It doesn't happen often, but when it does happen, you'll know. There is even a few minor bugs in the game. Keep in mind that this was after the patch was installed. Before you play the game, you have to install a patch to make the game playable. If you don't have internet access that often, you will play a completely broken game. You do have to install the game as well, this keeps the numerous loading screens relatively short. If you delete the game install, you have to also install the patch again. Another problem with the game is the camera. For the most part the camera is fine. It does what it should do when you are running. It's when you get into battles that you'll have the most problem. No matter where you are at, there will always be something wanting to block your view. This will make you miss a time block, or blocks off screen threats. The guards now carry guns. While it does take a while to load each shot, there will be times where you will be shot at off screen by a row of guards. This will take half your health away. They do, sometimes, point out the threat, but that window is so small that you might as well take it. You can adjust the camera, but in the midst of battle, you need to be quick about turning the camera around to let you see properly.
One of the most disappointing aspects of Assassin's Creed III is its weapons. The Assassin hatchet is a fantastic weapon to fight with, but that was the only weapon worth having. You do get a gun and a bow, but you have to be within range to use them, that it makes them completely unless you are in a fight. While the fighting is as strong as ever, when preform a successful block, time slows down for a few seconds to counter-attack. This would be good in theory, but the slow down window is so long that you can think of what you should do next. This makes combat easier than in Assassin's Creed II. If you do happen to die, it was because you didn't see a guard attacking you. The kills are not as brutal as before, and you will start seeing them a lot. You can buy weapons, but the hatchet is good enough that you can play the entire game with it.
A LOT OF LITTLE
This game has a lot to offer in terms of what to do, but all of this is for naught. You can do side missions to help "free the people" but it's just there for padding. There is no Assassin's Tombs, no Subject 16 puzzles, and any good side quests. Unlike Assassin's Creed II, there is no upgrades of any kind. In Assassin's Creed II, you did side missions for money, and money bought upgrades. In Assassin's Creed III, you do side missions and get nothing. There is this crafting system, but it's underutilized and can be completely ignored. There is also hunting. Hunting is one of the most disappointing aspects when it comes to side missions. You track your prey, and you kill them. Doing so, like the side missions, gives you nothing. When you kill an animal, you can skin them. They are there just to help you sell items. So, hunting is useless. You don't get no special reward for killing your prey. Hunting is just running faster than the animal you want to kill.
The absolute worst aspect of Assassin's Creed III is its main missions. A basic Structure of a mission is follow this person, get something, give that to another person, and mission end. There are a few great missions like the Boston Tea Party, and the raid of a fort, but they are few and far between. There is a lot of hand holding when it comes to the missions. You also have eavesdrop, tailing, chasing, and sometimes all three at once. You are more likely to fail the mission because your target was lost than actually getting killed. It becomes frustrating when you have to play the same tedious mission for 20 minutes because the game fails to tell you that it's in a strict time limit. There was this one mission that breaks the rules of the game. They try to put in stealth in a "Stealth" game, but it is used in such a way that it becomes more troublesome than anything else. That freedom you had in Assassin's Creed II is gone.
NOT EVEN CLOSE
Not everything is terrible though. The combat, despite that large slow window, is exciting. Getting a cinematic kill is satisfying. The world of the Assassin's Creed III isn't detailed, but it's large scope of the areas is phenomenal. The world is busting with life that you will forgive having five of the same NPCs gathering together talking. You can beat the game, and still not see everything in Boston. The freerunning is simplified, and is now faster than ever. The most amazing aspects of Assassin's Creed is its Naval battles. You control a ship as you are out in the open waters battling the British Navy. It's exciting, fun, and unlike anything I've seen before. If there was one bad thing about the naval battles, is its that you have to see the ship your are firing at taking your focus away from what is ahead. It is very possible to hit rocks or another ship. The ship is easy to control, and easy to battle with. If Ubisoft wanted to, they can do a new IP about Naval battles and use this control and engine, and it will be a blast to play.
Assassin's Creed III is a massive disappointment. You have the makings of a great game, but having using the worst missions in gaming as it's main focus is not what studios should do. Maybe if there was upgrades, better hunting, better side missions, and a better story I might have forgiving it's use of hand holding, but as it stands, I can't. Assassin's Creed III is basically a remake of the original Assassin's Creed, but with a different setting. As of now, I am no longer interested in Assassin's Creed.
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