Okay, I’ll ask. What the hell kind of game is Assassin’s Creed 3? Am I an assassin or am I the American revolution’s answer to Niko Bellic? Since the original Assasssin’s Creed released, the sequels that followed have only made the apparent identity crisis even more obvious. I don’t mind the Hitman like assassination core gameplay from the first Assassin’s Creed and I don’t mind the free-roam “GTA” style of the others, but for the love of all things good, Ubisoft PICK ONE!
For all the gripes I am about to unleash, let me first say that Assassin’s Creed 3 is a great game. It has a solid story line that starts slow but builds to an epic and unpredictable turn of events, let me just say that Connor and Desmond wont be the only characters you’ll be playing. With that said, it is a damn shame that Connor is an unoriginal and boring character. It appears the only way to become an Assassin hundreds of years ago was to have something devastating happen to your family and be trained by an older gentlemen. I’ll refrain from mentioning the story and plot threads as the story is still very enjoyable and will keep you guessing right up until the end.
As I’m sure you know the bulk of Assassin’s Creed 3 takes place in the American Revolution. If you’re like me and not an American, you’ll know nothing of this period. Not to fear! The game is loaded with information on events and important people during the time. Like every Assassin’s Creed game before it, AC3 looks amazing! Character models looks great, the world is bright and vivid and Ubisoft have once again captured the time-frame perfectly.
The gameplay in Assassin’s Creed 3 feels very refined and smooth. It can stutter every now and then, since the climb and sprint buttons are the same, so many times you’ll scale a wall when midway through an on foot chase. The enemies are varied and some require a bit more strategy to defeat, but for the most part you’ll feel like an immortal bad ass. Assassin’s Creed 3 features a lot more distractions to the main plot than previous games. Added is the ability to hunt animals to sell their skins and meat, you are also the “owner” of a small town that you help build and find yourself coming back to every now and then to check up on the residents and help them out. In return they can craft materials that you can sell for some sweet coin. The biggest addition is naval combat. In his few short years, Connor becomes the captain of his own ship and you’ll travel the seas with him fending off British frigates and other ships in order to open up trade routes or find some pirate booty. They serve as a good break from the main story, but they can become boring if done in excess.
Assassin’s Creed has always had a stealth focus and that is true in number three, but in this one it feels irritating and poorly designed. For a start, the game will normally give you bonus points (bonus objectives) if you keep quite and not alarm anyone and other stealth like objectives. This process is hindered by the game not having any real stealth mechanics. Sure, you can hide in hay bales and silently assassinate some guards, but you notice soon the lack of crouch and other stealth related mechanics. It becomes quickly annoying for a game that is somewhat based on stealth.
Assassin’s Creed 3 also features a more fleshed out look at Desmond. You will be pulled out of the animus in order to take control of Desmond as he looks for artifacts through the modern world. They’re short but still compelling. They don’t drag you out of the core of the game for long and they’re a blast to play, it’s a good change of pace and a good way to break up the game. You can still exit the animus anytime to talk to your assassin friends or check your emails in game, something I recommend you do as some are quite hilarious.
Once again as I mentioned above, the presentation of Assassin’s Creed 3 is amazing! The voice acting is easily the best of the year with a stellar cast of actors providing a great immersive experience. The graphics and style of the game is also amazing. Characters look great, buildings look awesome and the forests look good as well. Ubisoft never fail to immerse you into the world of Assassin’s Creed, but here they’ve outdone themselves.
For all the great in Assassin’s Creed 3, there are some major flaws. Besides the few glitches I’ve come across, some of the game just doesn’t feel right. The combat when it works looks and feels great, but it can easily stutter. The lack of stealth mechanics as I mentioned above are annoying as well. I don’t know how to put my finger on it, maybe I’m just tired of Assassin’s Creed games. I feel that the core gameplay should be finding out and eliminating targets much like the original, with the open world mission types taking a back seat. Sure, keep the mission system they have, but make the actual assassinations mean more.
I had a fun time playing Assassin’s Creed 3, but I feel its identity crisis is affecting the game. Most things are solid, but they can be very hit or miss. The lack of any real stealth mechanic with such an emphasis on a stealth approach is infuriating. However, Assassin’s Creed 3 is still a great experience from a story and gameplay approach, but I think Ubisoft should put more emphasis on “Assassin” in Assassin’s Creed.