on December 20, 2007
I am not your average gamer. I am 60 years old and have been playing video games of all vintages (starting with Pong)for over 30 years. This game is simply fantastic. The story line is interesting, the game objectives are challenging but not impossible to attain and the graphics are simply amazing. I have always found this period of history (the Crusades) to be fascinating. Assasin's Creed allows you to immerse yourself in this virtual world of the Middle East where at times you feel you are really there. I don't recommend this game at all for younger children or even immature teens. There is a significant amount of blood and violence, as there would have been during the historic period virtualized in the game. I had just purchased my PS3 to replace a broken PS2 and have not been able to bring myself to play other games I purchased. If you are a gamer who likes role playing games, I highly recommend Assasin's Creed.
on November 17, 2007
Ok I've been reading up on all the five star reviews on this game and I'm sorry, It's just not as innovative and mesmerizing as most people are saying and certainly not as good as us gamers had hoped for. (there's alot to cover so sorry for the length of the review)
Let me start out by saying this is a good game. When I started playing as Alteir the assasin, I thought it was the most amazing thing ever just because the scale of the amazingly designed cities and towns. Just walking around and looking at the scenery and people is fun but unfortunately, after eight hours of gameplay, (which is where I am at) it truly fails to stay fresh, you start noticing alot of the games problems and glitches and at this point, I'm almost forcing myself to continue on.
After the game starts, you see the scale and technological advances this game carries, you walk around and anxiously wait to run the streets freely and start killing people. When I first rode into Damascus on a white horse by means of a beautiful mountain pass that I had to go through, i thought this had to be the greatest game ever. It looks so great and going to locations such as Jerusalem and Damascus is just awesome.
But unfortunately, the scenery just isn't enough. To start, one thing that really makes this game get old fast is that everytime you go to a city, you do the same routine over and over and over again: You sneak into a city, you find some really high towers or "view points" which fill up your map and shows you the places to go. You go to the assasin's headquarters (there's one in every city) and they give you tedious little quests you must do before you can assasinate a target.
Your regular routine of tedious objectives consists of pitpocketing guys for information, interrogation, which consists of finding your target, following him until he reaches a secluded spot, then punching him until he gives you what you want. You can also meet informants who give you little chores (such as killing guys and doing the same crap you already have to do for the assasin's headquarters) and in exchange for your hard work, they give you information so as you can see, everything you do is for information on your next target. These little quests get EXTREMELY old after hours and hours of gameplay. They really arent challenging, they don't change or get harder and are only really fun the first five times you do them. You do the same crap over and over and over again in every city. (and not to knock on the the awesome looking cities or aything but truth is, apart from some bigger buildings and smaller buildings, the cities don't look THAT much different.)
When walking the cities and doing your quests, of course you are challeneged by the city guards who are constantly on the lookout for you. You have some pretty cool weapons to take care of them, such as thowing knives, a sword ( the swordfighting looks really cool), and a cool sharp spike which you can pull out or retract from just under Alteir's left hand. This weapon is used for stealth kills. Of course you also have moves and counterattacks you get as you progress.
In the upper left hand corner of the screen, you have your health bar and little meter that changes color depending on the guards: White for the guards are "unaware", Yellow for "Suspicious" and Red for "alerted".... The meter is almost always yellow which means you are supposed to hold the X button and walk EXTREMELY slow until the meeter changes to white. When you actually do that, (which takes forever) all it takes is ten seconds and the meter goes back to yellow... So naturally you're always on yellow but the enemy AI is not the best. You can silently kill a guy with your spike right in front of a guard and although it is a "silent kill", the guy will scream and fall to the ground and the guards will walk right past... but if you're just walking on the street, they might get alerted for no evident reason.
Another low point, which is kind of funny to watch is the guards amazing ability to keep up with you which is really ridiculous. To get away, you can climb up walls, get to the top of tall buildings and very unrealistically jump across rooftops... and the guards will keep up with you... You are a trained assasin but regular guys in heavy armor will climb up walls and pursue you across the largest of rooftop jumps... Just as ridiculous, you can run from one side of the city to the other, the meter will stay red and you can try to blend in but the guards on the other side of the city somehow just know you are the guy being chased 1-2miles away on the other side of the city and they will attack you... Did they have radios during the crusades so people on the other side of the city could warn others of you presence? As for hiding from the guards, this I felt was another low point. The cities are huge but you really have only three spots to hide: hay stacks, little square garden houses on rooftops and if you are being chased, you can just sit down on a bench and the guards will run right past you and you will be safe... There are trees everywhere but you cant climb or hide in them. There are barrels, crates, doors and shops you think you would be able to jump into but no... you have to sit on the bench... There are no disguises or such froms of deception that you can use. The idea of vast and creative options is just absent.
Now for the actual assasinations. (sorry. i know this review is long) The assasinations, while still fail to remain something mouth-dropping and new do have a bit of newness to them. You have to assasinate nine specific guys in the game and each pose a different challenge. Now don't misunderstand, you are still doing the same crap to kill the nine guys as you would be doing to kill anyone else but without spoiling anything, you will find each main assasination a bit different from the last, followed by a cinemeatic while the target dies. After each assasination, you return to the boss and he gives you the next target.
Believe it or not, although this is a very mission based game, (you just get one mission after the next) it does have a bit of story in the mix. The main character can think for himself (but unfortunately has some of the worst voice acting i have ever heard) and there are other characters but there aren't really any other "real" characters. Sure there are guys that you speak to for a mission but there aren't any real new characters that pop up and the game just doesn't really have alot of character such as a game like Metal Gear beacuse the game just remains the same. But, without spoiling anything, there is a major story twist... which you actually discover at the beginning of the game... which is kinda weird but you can determine for yourself whether it's a good twist or a bad twist.
Finally, i have to include some of the horrible glitches i have come across. Are these glitches a cause of the ps3 or the game? I can't really say for sure but I'm pretty sure its the game for my ps3 has worked great with every other game. Whenever you pass a crowd of people on the streets, every once in a while, if you turn the camera around quickly to look back, the people will have ALL dissapeared randomely, then if you look back again, they will be back in place... This has happened to me the other way around as well. Ontop of that, while i'm ruinning around, my character has just frozen in midair. Now the game itself didn't freeze, just my character. It looked like something in the matrix. My character was in midair while everything else was moving and i had to restart my ps3. Weird.
In conclusion (finally, i know this is a long one) Assasin's creed is a good game and I am still enjoying it but this was supposed to be one of the greatest games of this generation and it could have been but the only thing that really makes this a cool game now, i beleive will be a common thing in all next gen gaming titles and in a year, this game won't be remembered as anything. Now the question is: should i trade in Assasin's Creed for Uncharted which comes out next week??
on November 10, 2012
Assassin's Creed 2 restored my faith in open world games. I've played every one of the AC games and each title has it's own strengths and weaknesses. Out of the entire lineup, Assassin's Creed III has some of the best characters and delivers one of the best stories in the series but not enough thought was put into so many important areas of gameplay that Assassin's Creed III turns into a flawed disappointment.
-The characters are memorable. Here's the thing: Connor isn't Ezio, nor should he be. If you're looking for a wild, charismatic guy who flirts with ladies and does whatever he wants, then Connor is the exact opposite of that. In fact, I'd say Connor's personality is very true to his culture. If he acted like Ezio as a young boy, I'd imagine his people would have thought something was seriously wrong with Connor. His quiet and humble nature suits him well. The side characters have their moments as well. The interactions between Charles Lee and Thomas Hickey, as well and Haytham and Connor are very fun and keep the player in guessing what happens next. The characters on your Homestead are also very funny and a delight to help out from time to time.
-The story is also engaging. Seeing what you read as a kid during history class in elementary school brought to life and getting to play in that environment is amazing! Being a part of the Boston Massacre and The Battle of Bunker Hill seriously gave me a special feeling inside. I'm not a history buff or anything, but the amount of research involved with both story and characters is done exceptionally well. For non-Americans, I've noticed a large disconnect with the events that happen in the game. A few of my European friends that played the game have stated this and found the story pretty dull. So a person not familiar with early American history may find the story a bit boring.
-The naval battles are so much fun that it should have been the entire game. Just sayin'.
-Wolfpack mode is perfect for those that don't like the competitive modes in multiplayer. It's pure co-op and it can even be completed on a solo run if you have no one to play with. The player can earn all the multiplayer trophies/achievements strictly playing that mode if they really wanted to. I think it's a wonderful addition to the online portion.
-The Desmond stuff isn't bad this time around and he finally feels like an assassin for once.
-Gameplay is a mess. It's not bad, but it could have been much better. The free-running is the same as it always has been, but Ubisoft has never fixed the issue of running up things you never wanted to climb in the first place. This becomes a hair-pulling experience when it accidentally happens during chase portions of the game. Another problem is sometimes when you walk casually past some Red Coats, they become aware of your presence and will come after you for no reason! It doesn't matter if incognito is your status, sometimes they will go to full alert and chase you for no reason. Sometimes I'll be chased by Red Coats and will run by Blue Coats. Guess what? They start chasing me too! Why?! They're two opposing forces and they should be fighting each other, not acting like buddies and chasing me! Lastly, the guns feel like it takes a lifetime to reload during fights. I know it's more realistic that way, but when you really need to use something other than your fists in a fight, you'll most likely choose other options before picking gun due to the reload speed.
-Tutorials aren't really helpful. The fighting could have used more of an explanation and the gameplay involving the Assassins you recruit by liberating areas of NY and Boston could have been more thorough. The mechanics will be familiar to people that played Brotherhood and Revelations, but individuals that haven't picked up the game since AC2 may feel a bit lost.
-Fight mechanics should have stayed the same. The Batman games by Rocksteady are amazing when it comes to fight mechanics and it's understandable why Ubisoft have stated that the Arkham games were a big inspiration for the overhaul. Honestly, it's not good in AC3. I'm not even sure why the slowdown animation during the failed parry attack exists, because even if Connor doesn't press anything during the animation, he pushes the enemy back automatically so you're able to try your attack again. If your looking for cool Arkham style fight mechanics, go with the game Sleeping Dogs. Otherwise, this just feels dumbed down and makes me miss the fantastic fluid fights I had in the past AC games.
-Not enough climbing points in the frontier. Sometimes I'd want to perform a hanging attack using my rope dart, but unfortunately, I would rarely find a climbable tree near an enemy for me to do this with. Like, there are soooo many trees. Some of them are like a puzzle to find the exact beginning climbing point. Then there are other trees that are just there to take up space for design reasons and aren't climbable. It becomes annoying, especially when you're looking for a way to get the upper hand on taking down an animal or enemy from the above position. Finding crevasses to climb in the mountains can become equally frustrating for the same reasons.
-The bugs cripple the experience. Even with all the flaws I've listed, I still would have been able to recommend this game to fans of the franchise. However, there are too many random bugs that make me wonder if Ubisoft were too concerned about making the Fall quarter release date that the Assassin's Creed series is known for, that they also managed to forfeit the quality of their product. I've seen so many random bugs and glitches. I can't tell you how many times I had to restart my checkpoint just to fix some of the issues. Sometimes even markers on the map don't show up like they should, so it makes finding objectives harder. I'm sure over time Ubisoft will patch a lot of the issues that exist in the game, but until that day comes, I'd gladly recommend Brotherhood and Revelations over AC3.
Assassin's Creed III isn't a bad game by design. It's the glitches and bugs that make it a bad game. It also feels like a poor effort was put into some of the gameplay elements. Even though the influences from Batman: Arkham Asylum/City to Red Dead Redemption turnout to be lackluster, the originality found in the naval battles is something completely new and maybe should be looked at in future releases of the franchise. They really have something special going on there. I thought this would be my Game of the Year for 2012. Even after playing a great game as Borderlands 2, I still believed AC3 would take my top spot. Yeah...Assassin's Creed III doesn't even come close to my Top 5 this year. AC3 is an okay game, but it feels like a disappointment over what the past titles did as far as gameplay and it should have been much better.
on November 16, 2012
First, I have not completed the game yet. I'm about halfway through. I am both incredibly pleased and impressed with parts of the game and mildly annoyed at others.
Here's the nerdy history guy's take: If you like history -- particularly the American Revolution -- you have never had a chance to experience such an accurate and detailed deception of life in colonial America. As someone who has been obsessed with everything related to the American Revolution, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Granted, you don't seem to actually participate that much in the actual events of the revolution, but you still get to experience the environment, architecture, etc. And you get to meet some influential Americans from the time. And take part in a couple battles (at least). The historical accuracy is both surprisingly great and stupidly wrong. Tiny details, like the humid horrid battle of Monongahela during the French and Indian War are surprisingly spot on -- even down to steaming earth and soldiers grumbling about the weather. The flags in all the battles are represented accurately, as best I can tell. This is historically spot on -- unlike the ridiculously inaccurate (but entertaining) movie The Patriot. However, the depiction of British and Colonial soldiers is not right at all. British dragoons lead foot soldiers on foot patrols with bright red uniforms? (Dragoons are mounted cavalry troops and wore bright green and white uniforms) British Highland troops did fight and wear kilts, but they fought in independent groups, not generally interspersed among random other troops. Also, every "musket" I have seen so far appears to be a Pennsylvania or Kentucky Long-Rifle. This is totally inaccurate. The Brown Bess was the primary musket used on both sides. Rifles played a very small (though important) part of the war.
So maybe that is nit-picking, but I promise that I'm actually omitting many of my other thoughts on this topic. All in all, for a popular mainstream game, this is a super valuable change to go beyond Johnny Tremain and The Patriot and get a more immersive feel for the tension and style of the time. (Just ignore all the Templar/Assassin mumbo-jumbo)
Also, for those of you on here complaining about the flintlock pistol being slow, its actually about twice as fast in the game as the best re-loaders of the time could achieve. Not too mention it never jams, misfires, blinds you, burns your hand, explodes, and always works, even if you fire it right after swimming around in the ocean. I know games take liberties, and I think this one is reasonable for the sake of game play. Still, all you whiners need to understand that tactics change. A pistol was typical only fired once in a battle with wicked inaccuracy. Even musket volleys in a full battle would generally only last a dozen rounds of so (if that). These battles were still won largely in hand-to-hand combat. The same goes for people complaining about the game becoming more Warrior's Creed than Assassin's Creed. I get it -- it's called what it is for a reason -- but you have to understand that this was kind of like the wild west only less developed. Somebody could commit a crime in Virginia, move to Connecticut, and no one would be any wiser. Assassinations out in the open was much more common than the clandestine periods depicted in the earlier games.
However, I am not just a historian, I also enjoy playing historical games. I've been a fan of the series and I think this game both delivered tremendously in certain respects, but also made for some really horrendously boring and tedious game play choices. The game also suffers from a small amount of gliches. I hope that they do continue to expand this series a little longer. While I'd love to see the war of 1812, I suspect they will move to France for their revolution. While I enjoy the American Revolution the most, I think the French Revolution might be slightly more conducive to the assassination nature and climb-on-roof tops style of the games that many fans have come to expect.
4 out of 5 stars for historical accuracy
4 out of 5 stars for game play
on December 28, 2008
I just purchased this game a few days ago (finally got that PS3 for Christmas) and thought I would do a review of my own. Many people here have been concentrating on all the cons this game has, or just saying that it's awesome. Here's what I have seen so far. Also, this is going to be a long review. Bear with me, but I hope that it is informative and not boring or useless.
*May contain spoilers, depending on how much you know about the game*
1) The cities are huge and beautifully detailed. Walking around looking and listening is very fun (at least for a while, I admit it does get a little old). There are some interesting characters to interact with (I've started punching the beggar women and the drunks who have shoved me into the water at Acre's port too many times for me not to retaliate). You can climb virtually any building, too, and near the end of the game, all areas are open to you.
2) The music is great. Each city has its own signature song, but it isn't long and overly played. The instruments and melodies used are also what you would expect for a game set in the Middle East, but there are also times when you will experience a full Latin chorus. The song for Damascus reminded me of The Mummy, and Masyaf's signature song is just great.
3) Maybe it's just because I like horses, but riding through the Kingdom on my way to the quests was a lot of fun. Altair is as good on a horse as he is on his feet.
4) Sidequests: There are hundreds of flags to find (100 in each of the following three cities) in Damascus, Jerusalem, and the Kingdom, as well as a significant amount in Acre and Masyaf (63 [?] for Acre and 20 for Masyaf). And don't forget about those Templar Knights. There are 60 to find; I've only managed to take care of 22 so far, and I'm at a high enough level where I feel confident to actually go searching for them. They can be difficult enemies, too, especially in the beginning stages of the game.
5) The fighting. Oh, the fight sequences are so much fun. I've started provoking guards just to practice my moves. It's so realistic, and I think the game gives the player so much control over Altair and what he does. You have to be quick, too, in order to react, and you have to know which move to perform, as well as getting the right timing. Mashing buttons isn't going to work with this game; in fact, it can get you killed.
Altair is an extremely good fighter. He is skilled and proficient, as the mini cutscenes show when he performs a counter attack or combo kill. These are fun and awe-inspiring to watch if you're a nerd like me...make sure to try out counters and combos with all weapons to see Altair's different moves. (Also pay attention to the guards' faces and what they say when/after he performs them, too.)
His weapons are what you would expect for a 12th century fighter, too. He has a sword; a short, curved blade he keeps on his back; five or ten throwing knives, depending on your level (EDIT: I was just upgraded to 15 knives); his fists; and, of course, that really awesome blade in place of his ring finger that is retractable and is used for stealth kills. (FYI, the throwing knives are also good for stealth kills, and almost preferable, in my opinion.) He doesn't have med packs that save his health, and he doesn't have unlimited ammo for the knives. Adds a little difficulty to the game.
Along those same lines, the way the game handles "death" is innovative and interesting. Desmond is a character who is Altair's descendant; he is experiencing Altair's story as a "genetic memory". The sheer fact that Altair is his ancestor means that Altair could not have died during the time the game takes place (unless he had some kids beforehand). So each hit Altair takes is seen as a deviation from the actual memory of what happened, and when the memory is too far deviated, the memory is lost and must begin again. Pretty cool.
6) The freedom the player has. You pretty much get to choose what order you want to complete assassinations in. You decide if you want to use stealth and the roofs to sneak up on your target, or if you want to go in for a full-frontal assault. If you want to go straight back to Masyaf after completing an assassination, the game gives you that option, but you can also say "No" and take a horse ride through the Kingdom instead. If you want to go find some flags or Templars before completing a side-quest, knock yourself out. The game doesn't force you to do anything.
1) Repetitive. This is something that I'm sure everyone who has played this game has noticed. In each city, there are tall buildings called "view points" that Altair must climb, and from there he is able to pinpoint some necessary sidequests. Saving civilians from guards is a lot of fun. Not only does it give you a reason to fight some guards, but your reward is either a group of men who will literally restrain guards who chase you, or a group of scholars you can blend with. You can also interrogate (follow someone into a secluded area, beat him for information, and then kill him), eavesdrop, and pickpocket letters and maps from people. Assassination missions never change, either. You have your target, you find him and kill him, and return to the bureau. It is never changed with time of day, weather, or anything. As much fun as it is to carry out these missions, they do get old after a while.
2) The guards. Altair is supposed to be this crazy awesome skilled assassin. He can climb up buildings, run easily over rooftops, dodge through big crowds...so it was really disappointing (and shocking) when I was chased for the first time and realized that the guards were keeping up with me and could catch up if I made even the smallest mistake. Also, the AI of the guards can be obnoxious at times. Even when they're in yellow mode (I believe this is called "Suspicious"), they won't react if you climb a building right in front of them, even though they are supposed to be on the lookout for an assassin (especially true during the later missions where the assassination targets are well aware they are being hunted). If they did react, it would limit the player's ability to do whatever he/she wants, but it takes away from the game a little bit. Also, in the Kingdom the rival guards (basically any that aren't a part of the Brotherhood) are always on "Alert" which means they will attack if you show the smallest indiscretion. This includes jogging on foot or trotting the horse. So it gets really frustrating to have to walk very slowly by all those guards when I'm pretty sure they would already have noticed the guy in the white robe carrying weapons who is the only one they will ever encounter in that region riding a horse. (Everyone else is on foot).
3) Altair's voice acting. It lacks emotion at all times. Plus, he speaks with an American accent. Everyone else around him has an accent from a Middle Eastern region, or one from England and France (Acre) and some sort of Germanic language I've also noticed. Someone told me this is because the machine Desmond uses to experience Altair's memories translates all languages into English...but I'm not sure if that even explains it. If anyone has any theories or knows the actual answer, please comment on this review and tell me!
4) Some of the sidequests you have to do for informers can be ridiculously hard, especially when you have a time limit. Stealth killing five soldiers in a crowded street in five minutes is almost unfeasible (and I thought I was getting good at the game).
Well, that's what I can come up with. Sorry it was long, but I hope it was helpful. Maybe I'm hyping the game because it's my first one for PS3, but I really enjoy it. The repetition of the gameplay will undoubtedly turn many people off, but when you think about it, there's not a whole lot more for Altair to do. He's an assassin. He has jobs to do. He's not going to take a vacation to an oasis somewhere and be sucked into missions there. If you're a history lover, a gamer who likes combat better than storyline, or someone who has always wanted (secretly or not) to be a kicka$$ sword-wielding, death-dealing assassin, you will probably enjoy this game. Luckily it's a greatest hit now and is a little cheaper than new PS3 releases, too.
And hopefully the sequel that will supposedly be released in 2010 will fix this game's "cons".
I was a little skeptical this game would live up to the hype. Then some diminished reviews came around and I was already feeling a let down. Where could they go wrong? Was my thoughts. Well that didn't stop me from purchasing this game. After 30 minutes I was blown away. All skepticism was gone and I was in Gamer Heaven.
Let me start off from the beginning. Yes there is a plot twist and it's pretty bizarre. Just think that your watching a Michael Crichton movie and it will make sense. Playing in the Middle East several hundred years ago is a different idea. It's hard to say what you could expect with this concept.
So what makes this game amazing. Lets start off with the landscape. It's brilliant and beautiful...Really majestic. You don't understand the scope of this game until you start playing. The world is surrounded by several small villages and three large cities. The only way to travese this open terrain with a horse. Fortunately they are about as easy to find as a car in todays society.
What also sets this game apart is the ability to do what you want when you want. There is no clock on you and your not stuck going into a mission. Everything is open based. The character is amazingly fun to control you can scale tall buildings and make amazing leaps of faith. Climbing up a building that is several stories and then leaping to certain doom is breathtaking excitement. This is what games should be about.
Beyond that is a mission based game. Similiar to Grand Theft Auto in style. You can accept simple missions like pickpocketing and protecting citizens to the more main based assasin missions. You can battle soldiers if you want as you have many enemies but it's not really advised. Following the assasin missions can be complex and involve several steps that make the story very intresting. Obviously a lot of time was put into making this top notch.
For anyone who likes open based games with large environments then Assassins Creed is for you. From the majestic peaks to the clustered cities. This is trully a next gen experience. The storyline and incentive program will keep you playing for many hours. Definately a worthwhile gameplay experience. If you want something to keep you busy that doesn't involve guns go out and get Assasins Creed.
on November 20, 2012
This game is a buggy mess. And on top of that there are tons of fundamental gameplay problems. The only explanation I can muster is that they rushed this game to market and knew how buggy it was when they did it. Given the serious issues, I really don't understand how it's getting such high reviews from critics. I mean, I LOVED AC2, Brotherhood, and Revelations. I REALLY wanted to love this game... but in the end I was really disappointed.
- The frontier looked amazing (minus graphics glitches)
- Tree running is fun!
- The naval missions were brilliant. Simply brilliant.
- Connor's story, while uneven, became better as the game went on
- A TON of bugs and glitches and gameplay problems that destroyed the immersiveness of the game (and make it aggravating to play)
- There was no coherent tutorial on the controls, on how to fight, how to make money, how to manage assassins, etc. I had to read the manual or Google to figure out most of that stuff.
- The maps and menus were a cluttered, confusing mess
- The main story didn't flow very well... there were parts that worked really well, but for the most part it felt like a bunch of unrelated events thrown together. There just weren't that many memorable moments either.
- The side missions were mostly tedious and unoriginal (find this, or kill that). Brotherhood and Revelations were much more varied and creative in this sense.
- The music was no where near as memorable as AC2
- I really, really, dislike how they ended the "modern day" story
on August 10, 2013
Assassin's creed 3 Single player Review
First of all I must mention that I dare not say I have experienced all there is within assassin's creed 3. This is not to say that I haven't spent enough time within the game. I have actually lived and breathed and ordered pizza, within the Animus for the last 3 days (the Pizza part needed me to log out of the animus ...) and that in itself says enough about how much content there is in it... I have rarely felt captured enough to spend this much consecutive time playing a game in recent memory and yet Assassin's creed 3 world has drawn me in again and again.
Let's get this out of the way and say the game as plenty of bugs and quirks and it could have been a better game without them and yet the game offers so much that even with these issues I can say that what it offers has been well done.
I have played all previous iterations of assassin's creed and I have almost lost interest by the time I started revelations that I didn't play through it consciously until I got AC3 and decided to finish it before moving on.
I can safely say AC3 trumps all previous iterations in scale, gameplay, story, graphics, sound and engagement. The first couple of hours of the game end up on surprising twist that got me feeling that for once I am playing an assassin's creed game that is telling a good story, one that I want to uncover.
Moving on from that point the world felt alive and as I continued playing the world kept expanding and adding new gameplay elements, mission types, mini-games etc... that kept the game feeling fresh and alive. Not only was the world evolving but so was the game itself, the characters growing both in ages and maturity, the character development is top-notch, the voice acting is amazing and game itself kept proving itself worthy of my time ... time after time.
The game has all you've come to expect from previous AC games and adds more to it makes you feel more like an assassin than ever before, you blend in the environment, sneak on enemies have loads of new acrobatic moves while fighting etc... and speaking of fighting the fighting system has moved more towards the Batman Arkham games style of by giving you quick button counters and flashy easy to execute button fighting. My only gripe is that the game seems to make the same classical mistake of dressing enemies that have a certain fighting style the exact same way. Meaning that you're fighting enemies based on how they are dressed and your strategizing based on what the enemy is wearing not on his actions and reactions which in my opinion detracts from engaging the player in the fights and discovery of the current enemies.
The game itself is huge and not only in the scale of the locations it presents but also in what it allows you to do in each location. Between hunting in forests and exploring Boston and New York in the midst of the American Revolution, playing board games or playing Captain in the seas or roaming around helping NPCs in the game you'll always find news to invest and enjoy your time and then again the game will surprise and throw you into modern times playing Desmond himself and making use of all he has learned in the Animus in real contemporary times.
In conclusion there's a lot to do and much to say but the best way to experience the game without spoilers is by playing it and investing in it while giving the blind eye to some inconsistencies here and there as they are certainly negligible especially considering the scale of the game and time and care invested in the details of the world, so do yourself a favor and hope into Desmond's shoes (or DNA) once more as the AC series has gone back on Track.
on November 17, 2012
WARNING: This review is being handled differently from my previous reviews in that there will not be an overall score and I won't be going into many of the overall game play and story. This will mostly just be a list of issues I've found with this game. This will probably piss some people off but this is based on my experience with the game. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from playing this game but if you know any of the things that I talk about in this note tend to piss you off, you might want to reconsider this game.
So yeah, Assassin's Creed 3 is the game I have been looking forward to all year long. The trailers have been amazing; the setting of the American Revolution is rather original for a game like this, an interesting new character to the Assassin's Creed series, and a time in history most Americans should be familiar with. This game had so much potential. Also it's been getting near perfect scores from several game review magazines and sites. I have to ask, what game have they been playing? Because the AC3 I've been playing is not a perfect scoring or high scoring game. I was so sure this was going to be game of the year material for me and it makes me so sad that I cannot even recommend it for a top 5 slot for games of the year. For me, this game is just not very fun most of the time. It's been mostly frustrating and stress inducing. That's not why people play video games and if that's why you play games then maybe you're a masochist. Very rarely have I had fun with this game. There is a lot to it, I'll give it that. It is a very big game and it is impressive in that aspect and it is a very beautiful game. Something like it hasn't been quite done before. Sadly, that comes with a price.
The graphics in this game, while beautiful, run into a lot of frame rate and slow down issues. There are times I've noticed in the cities where things just don't move so smoothly. You see slow down here and there in these massive areas. Not always but sometimes. Glitches are another issue. Granted, I've run into glitches in all the AC games (AC had some of the worst) but AC3 had some game stoppers. One involved me just running along and then I suddenly just fell through the ground and died. Another I hid in a pile of hay and got stuck in it, forcing me to restart the area I was in. More minor glitches include odd clipping, animals getting stuck in trees, and other silly things that you run into in open world games. Only a few of these glitches really hurt the game play but they were on the rare side. I can't help but feel that this game is just pushing the PS3 to its limits but the minor visual errors are minor compared to other problems in the game. UPDATE: A friend of mine experienced a glitch that prevented him from beating the game because a cutscene would not start.
Probably the biggest issue in the game is the new combat system. Wow! It sucks! It is a huge step back from the combat system from Assassin's Creed 2. The first thing I noticed when I got into a big fight was the camera: It doesn't follow your character. It just doesn't. You have to adjust it manually. When you got so much shit going on around you, you don't have time to adjust the damn camera. Something always seems to get in the of the camera too, be it a tree, wall, part of a building, ect. The combat itself feels less skill based. Every now and then, Conner will pull off some of the awesome finishing moves we saw in the trailers but I have no idea how I did them. I still have no idea how to use someone as a human shield and it is an almost mandatory move to know if you want to survive firing lines. The majority of the time you are hacking at the enemy's defenses and countering them whenever prompted. It becomes a button masher. A lot of times I would press triangle to try and counter because I am so used to the combat from Arkham City but that's my fault. There is also no real lock on method in this game. It seems to want to try lock on automatically in combat but it does a poor job. You end up missing your target or accidentally running up a wall or something. It's very frustrating and takes awhile to get used to especially if you are familiar with the combat system from the previous games. It took me about 10 hours of playing the game to get a hang of combat. There is no place you can go to practice like in AC2. You pretty much just have to go pick your own fights with British patrols and learn the hard way. Shooting and firearms have been added to the game which makes sense but the shooting mechanic is trick to get a hang of but once you do, it's pretty handy even though you have to deal with the slow reloads of the time.
The story is another issue and the one I have the most mixed feels about. I won't go into details or spoilers or anything but I will talk about the pacing. The first 5 hours of the game is very slow paced but does have a good pay off with quite the bombshell of a plot twist. Then it bounces around from being fast paced, to slow paced, and just jerks around a bit too much for my liking. Other people don't seem as bothered by it as much as me. It does have some good moments like some epic battlefield scenes and the naval battle missions that, thankfully, actually live up to the hype! You could make an entire game based around the naval missions and naval combat system. It's fun. But there are only three mandatory missions where you control a ship on the seas. There are side missions for this in addition the many, many, many diverse side missions you can find though out the game. There is over 70 hours of content in this game, so it's not short. You do get your money's worth in terms of content with this game. I usually had more fun just running around doing all these side missions than the actual main missions.
The next major issue I felt that goes along with the problem of the story's pace is that the first 7 hours feels like a very long and slow tutorial that spans out over this time. If you're a veteran of the series, some of this stuff isn't new to you but things like learn out to use the shooting mechanic could have been handled in a better way. You learn how to actually shoot your weapon in combat simple enough but right after that you have to shoot these powder kegs to blow open a door. Okay, simple enough. At this point you think pressing the triangle button will let you shoot at anything and L1 is what you use to manually aim. There is a wagon with these BIG barrels on it and the game just told you to shoot at the barrels so naturally you aim at try to shoot them but nothing happens. I sat there for like 5 minutes pressing every button on the controller trying to figure out why the shooting button just no longer works. Then I notice that if I drag the little aiming cursor over these small barrels below the big barrels, the small ones light up and I can actually shoot them. It doesn't tell you to shoot the little barrels that light up. WHY NOT?! I know for a fact I am not the only one who has had this problem! It's turn into a little meme on the internet, I think. The game has several moments of poor conveyance. It introduces new mechanics poorly such at the Battle of Lexington and Concord where you have to run back and forth between ranks and order Colonists to fire on the British. This is a really cool mission but when it starts they don't tell you how to give orders and it took me a few minutes to figure this out and ended up failing the mission a couple times. You have to stand in little circles that appear in order to give the commands. They could have made that much clearer. A lot of things could have been made clearer on how they work and this goes back to the combat system. You can't just equip whatever weapons you want when you want. You have to go to a general store (the place you most likely bought your weapons and equipment) and you can only equip things there. These general stores are not common you will only find two or three in the two main cities of the game, New York and Boston. If you know how to equip weapons in a different way, please let me know!
Every mission has sub-objectives to complete each synchronization and I HATE THESE THINGS! They are completely optional but if you're looking to complete this game 100%, you're going to have a bad time. Some of these are nearly impossible and half the time I end up failing them before I even know what they are because they only flash on the screen for a brief moment on the corner of the screen. They make missions unnecessarily difficult. If you want that kind of challenge, go for it. There is one where the game expects you to chase someone through a crowd without pushing anyone. Ha! Good luck with that. Speaking of chasing missions, they make for some of the MOST frustrating missions, especially this one near the end of the game. All of this stuff together ultimately leads to this game being very frustrating and just not as fun as it should be. There is nothing wrong with a challenging game but that challenge should be fair and not based on issues with the overall game play.
Now like I said this is all based on my game play experiences. Maybe you have or will have better experiences but for me, ultimately this game is a big letdown. Assassin's Creed 2 was just so much better in just about every way and was way more fun to play. If you are not familiar with Assassin's Creed, AC3 is not game to start with. Now I can't stress this enough, this is all my opinion. Maybe I just suck at the game and there is something I just completely missed and I am playing it wrong. Don't let this review completely steer you away from the game as it is something that should be experienced to a degree. This game is an impressive technical achievement in many ways and it is a HUGE game. It's just too frustrating and ultimately unenjoyable to me overall which is very disappointing as I was really looking forward to this game.
on December 7, 2012
If you're a veteran of the series, this game feels off.
Many of the gameplay mechanics were changed from the earlier games. Some good (free run is automatic), some unusual (block using Circle button), and some beyond frustrating (rotate the camera to control your direction). If you rotate the camera to get a better view of the upcoming obstacles, Connor will cheerfully free run into a wall or off a cliff.
Since AC3 was in development prior/during the AC2 games, it's missing all those great little improvements that were added in AC2 Revelations (automatically walk with NPCs, bomb crafting, etc).
While it's cool that the AC3 voice actors are native speakers of the various languages, it doesn't mean they can actually act. Except Haythem, he could read the phone book and I'd be happy.
The main story line is forgettable at best. Connor may have helped win a few key battles, but it's hard to tell how much impact riding a horse back and forth between 3 circles had on the actual outcome. If you turn the camera to watch the actual battle, your horse runs into rocks/trees and the guys depending on you to reach their little circle just stand there patiently getting shot while you try to maneuver around the impenetrable bushes of the Boston wilderness.
The side quests are designed to turn you into a tourist, literally walking to designated spots just to get an animus journal entry. The architecture of the time didn't have towering cathedrals or crumbling ruins, so this game doesn't have the same visual impact as the earlier ones. It also means many of the free run paths are ground based, unless you're in the forest.
Thank god for the naval missions. These side quests have the best characters and story arcs of the entire game. I often find myself grinding through the main story just to unlock the next set of Privateer Contracts or pirate treasure hunts.
If you can, wait for the price drop. There's some cool moments but this is hardly a must have game.