Most helpful positive review
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Much better than people are giving it credit for
on November 17, 2012
I will focus on the encyclopedia edition first and then comment on the game.
My encyclopedia edition came in the mail safely and undamaged with the normal retail version of the game, the hefty encyclopedia, and the graphic novel. If your edition was damaged from shipping I believe that is worth noting in a review but NOT worth taking off stars for.
Now, regarding the encyclopedia, it is gorgeous. It is a high quality hardcover edition with an exquisite dust cover. The binding seems to be solid so I do not anticipate the book wearing out from excessive use. Speaking of excessive use, the encyclopedia covers a lot, including summaries of events and characters. Spoilers are present so finish up AC 3 before gazing. There is also much high quality art. I would say approximately 40% of the book is art and 60% is wording. It is easy to look up a video of someone flipping through the pages online so consider doing that before investing. For me, as someone who ordered this edition to better understand my favorite storyline of any video game I have played, this was a real treat.
Next, the graphic novel: _Assassin's Creed Subject 4_. It is a combination of the AC comics series _The Fall_ and _The Chain_ which tell the story of Daniel Cross, an important character in the AC world. I was surprised at the quality of the book. It is soft cover, but the binding and the covering is very durable. Ubisoft did not spare any expense in producing these. I will say I am disappointed that Ubisoft did not include the original covers for each comic, but that is a small issue. Regarding the story, at first I thought that it was merely a way to make money by promoting a side story, but it is interesting in itself and it also covers some important information not available in the game series. In particular, knowledge of it will give you insider-knowledge in regards to a particular part in AC 3. ;)
Regarding the game itself, I do not see what all the hate about AC over the past few weeks has come from. I just finished it as I write this review and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Having played the entire series I can say that AC 3 is one of the best. The story, both past and present, was satisfying, and, of course, the ending is a cliffhanger (go figure). But does that mean another AC game?? Hopefully not for at least 2 years. Many have complained about bugs in the game: I experienced very few and none were game breaking or overly distracting. The graphics are delightful, a serious step up from Revelations. The music is fantastic and the voice work is exceptional. The gameplay has changed from previous AC games. For example, it took some time to get used to the "not holding A to run" and to press "B" to block. I was still not entirely comfortable by the end. There is plenty to do throughout the many locations, although I avoided the hunting, the minigames, and the investing, because they simply did not appeal to me. Surprisingly, I entered a shop only once in the entire game, purchased NO additional weapons than the ones I started with, and I had absolutely no trouble as a result of not "upgrading" my character.
The missions of AC 3 are mostly thrilling. Not perfect: there are too many chase missions, the full-sync bonus objectives often clog the screen and pressure you during a mission, and there are many surprisingly frustrating bits. You can participate in several historical events (ex: the midnight ride of Paul Revere) which is exciting for any history buff.
Here are my complaints about the game. First, I did not feel any obligation or desire to do any side missions. There are a lot of side missions. The controls were somewhat difficult to get used to. The game starts a bit slow (but it is worth it). Connor is a total jerk at times. The ending is one of the worst cliffhangers in the series. There are occasional bugs. Finally, and most significantly for me, who am very interested in the story, the events that happen in AC 3 feel a bit disjointed. I occasionally had trouble figuring out why I was doing this or why I was killing this person or why this was significant. Also, there are some jumps in the story that lead to a, how shall I say it. . . less than seamless story.
In the end, AC 3 may have been slightly rushed, but it is an exciting addition to the series and, as you will find out, is by no means The End. Be wary of people who give this game low reviews: look for their reasoning (hint, they are often whining about bugs or cliffhanger endings). The encyclopedia edition is for hardcore fans only. AC 3 is not exactly the game I was hoping for but I am still very pleased with it. Of course, you should also check out the most popular AC 3 review for the normal edition of the game. The person who gave it 3 stars has many good points to make. I agree with some points and disagree on others. Consider renting or purchasing cheap on Black Friday if you are wary about this game.
And remember, the unexamined life is not worth living.
I have had time to reflect on my experience in AC 3 and find myself agreeing more and more with people who were disappointed with it. The story AND gameplay was slightly lacking and the game could really have done with several extra months of development. I have settled on a score of approximately 8/10. That is not to say that this 5 star review is inaccurate. The encyclopedia has turned out to be very informative and pleasing to read. The graphic novel was also excellent, though I do not have a desire to read through it a second time. However, the price of AC 3 is decreasing, and you can purchase the encyclopedia for $40 on ubiworkshop (usually with added shipping of up to or approximately $10). Let me emphasize you renting this game before purchasing it. Even the most ardent AC fans (such as myself) have been -at least slightly- displeased with the overall product.