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Assassin's Creed III
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519 of 618 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2012
It really pains me to say this, but this isn't a fun game. I love the Assassin's Creed series. It's easily one of my favorite.

This game does have some cool features. Hunting, the wilderness, etc etc, but for all of the cool new features, they forgot the features that made this series enjoyable.

One of the biggest problems is the main character is unbearable. This is something that didn't occur to me until playing this game. With Altair and Ezio, I had taken for granted an engrossing protagonist. Their stories were interesting, the cut scenes where they spoke were interesting and their story was interesting. You genuinely liked them. You wanted them to succeed and you became invested in their characters. Connor is a one dimensional schmuck. He says nothing insightful. He's not endearing in anyway. Actually, I found myself hating him. This may seem minor to someone reading this, but it isn't. It turns out it isn't fun to play a 30 hour game when you hate the main character. It becomes a bit of a chore.

Now let me get down to some of the details of why this is the least enjoyable of the AC series.

I had a bad feeling about the game at the outset. The first 1-3 hours are essentially a tutorial. Now, you might say to yourself, "If there are 1-3 hours of tutorial, then I'll be 100% ready to play the game." Well, you'd be wrong. I'm about 40% into the game and I still don't know how to do some of the tasks that should be simply. I had to go online to figure out how to do basic things like recruit other assassins.

The maps are awful and useless. While the "open" nature of this game is cool, it is nearly impossible to navigate the wilderness. The biggest problem is the map isn't topographical. Looking at a map you may see Point A and Point B. You think you can just travel in a straight line. This isn't so. There might be a mountain range in between the two. The mountain then has only one point where you can cross it or climb it, however you can't see it on the map. So you have to run the length of the mountain until you can find it. This can turn a something simple into a 20-30 minute task. Map aside, navigating the wilderness is time consuming. Horse don't really work in the wilderness. Something stops them up every 20 feet. A rock, a tree, a river, etc. Everything is impassable to a horse. So in order to travel around the wilderness, you need to run. It's time consuming. There are fast travel options that let you move from key place to key place, but most of the side games take place in the wilderness and aren't near key places.

One of the cool things about this game is the new software that makes the cities much more lively. They are filled with much more people, soldiers, animals, and goings-on than the other AC games. The downside to this? If you get you notoriety up in the city, it will take you 10-15 minutes of running before you can become anonymous. I will be mentioning time consuming aspects of this game. I'm not exaggerating. When I say 10-15 minutes, I mean it. This may not sound like a lot, but it is. You will be forced to run around the city like a chicken with your head cut off looking for a nook or cranny where there aren't British or Loyalist soldiers. They are on every corner. Also, hiding isn't as easy or available in this game. Bails of hay and wells are few and far between. This really takes away from the enjoyability of this game.

When the developers were spit balling ideas, they should have stopped about halfway through their session. This game feels like they through everything into it. A game can be too complex. A game can have too much content. Making money in the other AC games was fairly simply. You ran a business from your main hide out or bought stores and landmarks. In this game there is an extremely complex system used to make money. You need get homesteaders on your land, buy supplies, find recipes, have them make products using the recipes and supplies you have and then send convoys to places to sell you product. Sounds simple? It isn't. It's so freaking time consuming, complex and boring that I've decided to continue the game without bothering. I didn't buy Sim City, I bought Assassin's Creed. I want to spend the game going on quests, killing people, and buying/upgrading weapons. I don't want to spend hours putting together wooden barrels and then selling those to different vendors based on the highest rates I can get. If I wanted to do that, I would join a manufacturing company in real life and do that. This is a game. Let's not re-invent the wheel. Let's keep it fairly simple and enjoyable.

The Desmond missions are almost unplayable. There are no maps, no hints, nothing. You just go in one direction until something happens causing the game to dysynchronize. Then you do it again. And again. And again. It's nothing but trial and error. No skill involved. You just go into one area and maybe you get lucky. Then you move into another area and agents see you dysyncing the game. This happens over and over again.

Now for my biggest criticism of the game. The main story isn't fun. At all. It's extremely boring. Even worse, it's 10-20 seconds of game play, then saving screen, then cut scene. Those of you that have played it will know I'm not exaggerating. For example, you get locked up in prison. Game play starts. You walk down stairs, talk to a guy, then saving screen and clip scene. The next day in prison, you go downstairs and talk to a guy, then saving screen and clip scene. Then you need to walk to the gallows which is slow and takes 10 second. Then saving screen and clip scene. It's like this throughout the entire game. It may not sound bad, but when you start to get immersed in the game, it really becomes aggravating when game play stops every 20-30 seconds or when they go to game play for something that could easily have been taken care of in the clip scene. It becomes tedious.

Also, the clip scenes are terrible. There are times where you can't hear what people are saying. The sound effects of the battle in the background drowns out the main characters voices. Although, even when you can hear what they are saying, it isn't very interesting. About half way though the game I just began skipping them. Compare this to the other AC games where the clip scenes furthered the story in an interesting way.

What are the good aspects of the game? The hunting is fun. The fighting is improved, but simplified. You can essentially win every fight using two buttons. However, the best part of the game are the naval missions. One of the side games puts you as captain of a ship. You can go on missions that usually involve you sinking one or dozens of British ships. It is cool, innovative and fun. It is the only bright spot in an otherwise disappointing game.

I didn't want to write this review. I wanted this game to be good. I really did, especially after Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil Racoon City turned out to be such horrible games. I was really looking forward to this, but I was let down.

Don't let this review stop you from buying it. I'd suggest waiting for the price to come down. I assume you can get a used one fairly soon as it has little to no replay value like it's predecessors. Instead, let this serve as a warning. When you play the game, after having read this, you can't pretend you were surprised at what an underwhelming game this was.

I'll be trading this game back, whereas I didn't trade back the other AC games. That should tell you all you need to know.
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180 of 212 people found the following review helpful
Assassins Creed 3 manages to live up to the hype of its runup, provided you are willing to overlook a bit too much cutscening, way too labyrinthian tutorials, and a large portion of graphical glitches. While I applaud the attempt of Ubi to push the envelope, their flagship title probably isn't where they want to do the first breakout of the "new and improved" Anvil engine.

Graphics (5-10/10): Graphics of the environments are simply stunning. Water flows like water on the sea, clouds and landscapes are pristine and crsip, and fog flows naturally and blocks just the right amount of vision. Trees and buildings feel natural and organic, and nothing is left feeling out of place.

People graphics are... very unsettling. The eyes especially always look like polished stones because of a persistent reflective effect. Clothes and weapons go through objects and people rag doll way too much when killed. Stutters from officers are the worst, with partolling officials getting trapped on railings, shimmying like they are doing the ants in the pants dance, or sinking into the floor but somehow spinning like tops to stare directly at you.

The cutscenes are fantastic, but its almost that they're too detailed. The new engine is great, but leaving it at 60% of capability would've removed a large portion of the problems but still allowed for improvements.

Characters (2-10/10): The characters can make or break a story. Alitair was distant but just involved enough that you felt something for the character. Ezio was entertaining, funny, well developed, and flowed organically from one game to the next, plot hole leaps forward in time be damned.

Desmond is like a pair of dress pants you dont like. You wear them when you have to, and they're annoying, but they do serve a purpose and you can have a quite enjoyable experience in them provided its brief. In other words, perfect. Desmond's story draws to a well deserved and entertaining close, but thankfully he's not the central character.

Haytham Kenway therefore is like slipping into a pair of your favorite jeans: broken in, comfortable, and wearable anywhere. He's erudite, cultured, polite, and willing to rip your heart out through your back after finishing his High Tea.

Connor Kenway... Connor Kenway... ... one must pause long and hard before putting words to this creation. Connor is not something that can be easily shoved into a pants based metaphor. He's frustrating, incredibly naive, stupid and brilliantly intelligent, and willing to put his money with his mouth is. All of his positive and negative aspects sum up to almost zero. He's never truly likable, but never annoyed you enough to make him a legitimate detraction. The fact that they've already leapt to a new ancestor is proof that Ubi at least picked up on that.

Audio (7/10): Audio continues to be top notch. However, while it was great that they got a dozen Mohawk to voice characters, after ten minutes, it was unnecessary in the extreme.

Gameplay (8/10): Improvements abound here, but for one place: the 6 hour "tutorial." Did you know you can choke out a guard instead of kill them if you are empty handed? I didn't, and the game never told you, or that you had a horse summoning whistle, and left you plodding throuh 4-foot deep snow.

AC1's tutorial was seven minutes, all in the Animus. Having one mission explain one new command at a time was a ghastly experience, and it still didn't cover everything that was critical.

The naval portion has to be seen to be believed. I could play a whole game like that and be content. Between bording actions and cannon warfare, its like watching a naval war movie.

New side missions are well placed and a nice addition rather than being a crucial waste of time, ala Codex pages. They help and they're useful, but the game won't screech to a halt so you can go collect them all.

Story (10/10): If you see some of the twists coming, you are probably psychic. Not much more can be said without spoilers.

Overall (8/10): Packaging and unbelievable glitches are the only spots where this game stutters. Suspension of disbelief is great, but when you ride on a horse with a musket sticking through it, it's kind of like being on a plane during takeoff that sucks in a flock of ducks. They're all small things, but you can't ignore how much bumpier the ride suddenly becomes. A few patches and this'll quickly crawl up to 9-10 range. By the time they make the War of 1812 installment for Connor, they'll have the system nailed down.

Update: The Tyranny of King Washington DLC (5/10): The alternate history DLC was very poorly thought out. The first episode is on an entirely new map, an almost nuclear winter New York, and follows a surprisingly bland and boring plot, where Washington is corrupted by the Apple of Eden. New abilities are shoe horned in pretty hard and are absolutely necessary to proceed through the plot, which is a pretty bad thing, as you're supposed to be able to get through on your wit and guile rather than your "spirit power."

The future episodes appear to hold more promise, but so far, I'm unimpressed. I've already purchased the season pass, so hopefully this will improve.

In addition, MP content continues to be added. Not just player purchased items, if you have money that you absolutely have to flush-I mean spend, but cutscenes and "glitched" cutscenes, which can be pretty entertaining. A seroius Gold star for actually adding content rather than just another ten billion prestige levels.
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70 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
To display here how much I have enjoyed the Creed series to date would be impossible. The franchise took a chance and ran with it, I remember how new it felt, then Ezio came into the picture, and blew everything out the water, visually, and narratively. Altair was a engaging character, and Ezio was a fun loving personality and a half, which is probably why they centered 3 games around him. Now we are at Creed 3, and just what happened? Like everyone else, I got frustrated at chases in previous itinerations, especially getting a little too close to a wall, and our hero would try to run up it, ok, what did I expect? Here in 3, I could be feet away from a wall and I teleport just to attempt to run up, or attempting to get to an objective in a time limit, mistakenly jumping on a rail/ledge, and he wont get down, no matter how many times I slam the B button, or even try to jump off in one direction, and just jumps to another rail that I cant get down from. really? This has happened more times than I can count.

Some of the mechanics have failed more times than I can describe as well. Examples include defense, blocking and countering, typically while in the Animus (not as Desmond) you have indicators that let you know an enemy is about to strike, sometimes they just don't feel like showing up. I don't have a problem using my counter button without them, but they are helpful, especially when you have a very large crowd of enemies surrounding or crowding you, and you can't tell who is going to strike from where with all the movement. Some of the mission challenges are perplexingly painful as well, without giving any story away, a challenge that stood out was to "Not take damage from firing lines", no problem, so for the first volley, I managed to grab a human shield, almost immediately a second line prepped to fire, I attempted to grab another shield, and I couldnt do it, the option showed on the screen, but Connor just would not do it, at all. Even after retying several times, it just wouldn't execute the contextual movement. After getting frustrated, I decided to bypass that area, and found another way to the target, which worked out very well until I actually killed my target, right when I got my mark, a random enemy managed to shoot me with his musket before the cutscene, failing the optional objective, not a firing line, but a random enemy I couldn't see, wow.

When causing a stir in the towns, some of these can be frustratingly bad as well, especially if trying to escape. Somehow, despite the amazingly slow reload rates of a musket, when climbing a building to run off, they turn into semi-automatic weapons, and fire repeatedly, most times they miss, but there have been times when I would be hit numerous times in a row only to fall and see...2 people standing there with muskets. To capitalize on this, I have had areas that were clear when I had no noteriety whatsoever, then Reds would start chasing me unprovoked, which, more times than I care to admit, when I took care of the few coming for me, another group shows up, then another, another, another. I stood my ground with no where to run for upwards of 30 minutes, but they kept bringing in more for the fight. I finally gave up and just allowed myself to die.

Visually, there are typical pop-ins, clipping, etc, as with any other open world style game, but for the most part, the game is beautiful. The setting is gorgeous, lush forests, populated towns, with lots of color. Aside from the occasional issue, I can never mark the Creed series for having ugly, or drab settings.

Story wise, it's a bit thin, Connor has the personality of a brick, and is very hard to connect with his struggle. But don't let that sway you at all, he is a good character, but you will be missing Ezio fast.

To sum up, everything is here for Die-hard Assassin's Creed veterans, but you may feel quite underwhelmed. If you are new to the series, you wont be lost, this is a whole new time period with all new characters, but you may be thrown off by Desmond's side by not knowing the events leading up to 3, but the opening cinematic, or looking online will catch you up real quick, but as a new player, check out Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, and Revelations first, which you can get for beans now, or pick up the Ezio Trilogy Box Set.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2012
If you enjoyed Assassins' Creed II you may find yourself very let down by III.
The main character is dull and so is his tale. The movement was sloppy as well. A game that relies on a parkour system for movement should be very tight and control fluidly. The break defense option in combat is a nice addition but allowing you to purchase good weapons right away makes combat feel cheapened.
In all, ACIII isn't worth $60, simply on story alone. I can't speak to multiplayer though, as there was no interest on my part. $20 or $25, might be a good bargain.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2013
This is by far the WORST Assassin's Creed game ever made. I am a huge gamer girl and have played every single AC and more or less enjoyed each of them. This one? Horrible. As another review said, the first half of the game is a big tutorial. They added hunting, which was completely useless, ships and naval missions, which made the game feel more like Pirates of the Carribean than an assassin game, yet on actions that actually mattered they hardly dove into. As I was reading the achievements in the game, I can tell you that almost every single one that wasn't part of the main campaign sounded like complete gibberish to me because I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about, and I finished the game already.

That's just the beginning though. Agreeing with the other reviewer, Connor is a horrible character. Not only was his story disgustingly predictable, he's also naive, annoying, and a total know-it-all. The entire time I was playing I felt like his reason for becoming an assassin didn't make sense whatsoever. I missed one cutscene during the game, but after finishing the game I never saw how Connor or Haytham were connected to Desmond, Ezio, or Altair. I also felt like the time-period was an ill chosen idea for an assassin. I mean, really? Connor can get shot by 7 British guards and still be alive? Oh, and the hiding spots? Hilarious. Connor can hide in some tiny little bush and still be hidden, but you can't hide in a tree. You can't even go through a tree, actually. Run into a tree and Connor treats it like it's a wall.

That brings me to one of the very few things that I actually did like about the game. 1. Now Connor can actually be against a wall, peering over a corner, waiting for a guard. 2. Desmond. While I don't think they focused enough on Desmond's side (could've taken out some of those damn tutorials), his side actually started picking up. Honestly, I thought playing Desmond was more fun than playing Connor, which is pretty sad.

But back to the bad qualities, because there are much, much more. For such a well-known, highly-rated game, I shouldn't be experiencing as many glitches as I did. Textures were messed up throughout the entire game, there were quite a few times where my character would actually just be frozen (I could move my camera, just not Connor) and I'd have to restart from my last checkpoint, and the graphics weren't as good as they should have been. Juno and Minerva were BADLY designed. It looks like they spent 5 minutes developing them. There were quite a few times where the grass looked like cardboard. I was really disappointed, especially because after playing Brotherhood and Revelations, I thought the graphics were amazing. I mean holy crap, the water in those games? It was beautiful.

Well, since I've already complained a lot I'll just sum up whatever else I believe was good/bad. Viewpoints: boring. The ending: lacking. Fast travel: huh? What fast travel? You "fast travel" to Frontier and have to run around some huge open land just to get to where you need to go. Nonexistent. The characters: I hated Connor. I hated Connor's mom. I hated the relationship they had to force between Connor's mom and his dad. Didn't make sense, didn't feel romantic, it was horribly developed. LOVED Haytham. Controls were still horrible. They were worse in this game than in any other AC game. Connor would just randomly jump off random ledges or go to the left or right when I was running. They tried to simplify it so much that it tries to do everything for me and does everything I DON'T want it to do. Oh, and they added lockpicking in this game. That was probably the dumbest thing they added. You have to hold the left joystick and right joystick at the right angle WHILE also spamming the RT button. Seriously?! My hands are small and it was SO HARD to hold the controller and do all of that at once.

In summary, I give the game a 2/5. They added too much stupid crap and I didn't feel like an assassin. I hated the time period. Characters weren't fun, relatable, or unique, and they rushed the ending because they filled the first half of the game with the most unimportant things imaginible.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2013
Assassin's Creed 3 is the first game of the AC series I have played and I have to say that I absolutely LOVE it. It made me become a fan of the series. I have bought the game despite many average reviews from the hardcore AC fans. I have found that many reviews, while bringing up valid points, are written from the standpoint of long standing AC fan, comparing it to the earlier games. Since beating AC3 I have went back to the older games and I guess I can do that now, but I couldn't have initially. Still, then and now, I can say that AC3 is AMAZING!

The most common complaint of the reviewers is that the main character is, well, blend... Yes, he is on occasions quite annoying, you want to slap the stupid out of him or scorn him as a petulant child. But that is that; it's a game, and the character in it is not my best friend, which is to say that that aspect is not very important to me. If it is, well, those reviews are correct.

Often argued point as well is that the storyline is boring. Here is adamantly disagree - the story is precisely what I like about the game. While not historically accurate (well, that's obvious) it does follow the progressions of one of the major parts of US history and that is cool. If nothing else, it introduces a player to main players in US history and major events, so it has some educational value. More importantly, as a history nerd, I find this aspect to be riveting, even without the storyline twists.

Perhaps I played the game in 2013, well after it came out, so perhaps all the technical kinks that people refer to have been ironed out (DLC add-on still have them) but I experienced no technical issues or glitches.

In comparison to Revelations, AC3 gameplay is somewhat simplified. The character now jumps and climbs on his own and heals without medicine, but I'm not sure if that in any way took away from my enjoyment. However, I see how hardcore fan may find this to be blasphemy, but I also like not having that annoying wobbling over the edge if you push jump late in the older games. I maintain that fighting is greatly improved and now is fun, compared to the older games. Yes, you can go Chuck Norris on a battalion of your opponents and put some major hurting on them without taking too much damage, which is unrealistic to say the least, but then again - this is a video game. I personally find that to be much more fun than the alternative. The Eagle Vision/Sense is less important in AC3.

Lastly and perhaps more importantly, the graphics are beautiful. To me that is very important in the game, particularly the one that tells a story almost like a movie. It makes it more enjoyable that the older cruder graphics of the previous games (I can't blame the older game for that).

All this is to say, that I understand the longstanding fans, but I believe that this game is very fun, engaging and at times a little educational. In my opinion it is well worth the original $60 it retailed for and most definitely $20 you can get it for these days.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2013
Assassin's Creed 3 is yet another wonderful title in the Assassin's Creed franchise. This game is packed with so much content, it's crazy! Beyond the campaign (which takes a few hours longer to complete than most other AC titles) there is so much extra content to explore in New York, Boston, and the wilderness. This includes side quests, assassination contracts, hunting, and so much more. If you haven't played any AC games yet, I would highly recommend starting from the beginning and playing through the earlier games first- this story line might be confusing.

This game is pretty similar to other AC titles in terms of controlling the character and taking on missions. The biggest differences you will notice is probably the menu GUI and the more open-world play. The menu takes some getting used to, but it turns out to be pretty intuitive. The open-world element is a huge improvement- you no longer feel restricted to just one or two cities to play around in- you now have truly massive maps filled with things to discover at your own pace. Overall, this game provides a massive amount of open-world gameplay, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has already played these games. If you haven't yet, I would recommend starting with Assassin's Creed 1 and playing through the rest of the games first.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2013
I really like this game. I'm not quite through with it yet but it is very fun. There are a lot of guards in this game so stealth is a must if you don't want a swarm of guards on you, however, it can be quite fun if you're just messing around. The starting scenes are a bit rough to get through but they're worth it and won't last too long. I read a lot about how the cut-scenes were endless so I was expecting to be sitting there for forever but they weren't too bad and didn't last that long. Also, who doesn't want to kill some redcoats with a tomahawk. Having a pistol is pretty awesome and picking up enemies' rifles is convenient but hunting the wildlife is not a lot of fun. After you do it a couple of times it gets old and repetitive. Overall great game and I would recommend it to anyone who liked the previous ones. Also, the combination kills are pretty cool but I do wish there were more sequences of which to release mayhem upon two individuals.
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43 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2012
Assassin's Creed III is the single worst AAA game I've ever purchased. The graphics are phenomenal aside from some minor shadow and texture quirks. The controls are good and generally responsive; occasionally Connor/Desmond will try to do something unintended due to the parkour trigger handling obstacles automatically. The story is flat out boring inside the Animus and only slightly more interesting outside of it. Luckily story and graphics are two of the least important parts of a fun game. Unfortunately, fun is something ACIII lacks.

What really killed the game for me was the absolute piss-poor game design choices made by the development team. Missions are pass or fail based on very black and white rules. A good example would be an early mission where you have to sneak into a stronghold and spy without being caught. If you are caught, the mission restarts at the beginning ignoring any progress you have made. Once you understand how the developers meant for you to complete the mission, it becomes very easy. A better and more logical approach would be to either loosen the rules on the mission and let users complete it in their own way or add some freaking checkpoints.

Another problem with the game is the sheer stupidity of being a one man murder machine. Last I checked, assassins were ninja-like killers who only fought face to face when they absolutely had to. When I completed my play-through I had nearly 800 kills, most obtained from fights. I don't think anyone could finish this game with less than 100 kills even if they wanted to; if they could, it would probably be a very frustrating play-through. This leads to the real problem with a game that has the word "assassin" in the title.

Ubisoft seems to have given up on stealth completely, replacing it with a mediocre "you attack, then I attack" combat focus. Enemies still attack one at a time with a random 2 man scripted attack thrown in to make you feel cool. Combat retains the same tried and true counter system as other games, though I think it requires less buttons (been a while since I played ACII). In some areas enemies re-spawn infinitely. so you can easily go on for an hour fighting, if you so desire.

Another problem with the minimal stealth system that is present is that once you get your wanted level up to 3, it's damn near impossible to go anywhere without the entire city being alerted. You can't talk to the town criers until the alarm goes away; if you are just hiding in a hay bale the second you step out, the morons are on you again. Sure, you can run around pulling down wanted posters, but those seem to be few and far between; either that or they are not marked well.

The one true redeeming quality as far as the ACIII gameplay is concerned are the awesome naval battles. Ubisoft could make an entire game based on the naval battles. Nothing is more satisfying than making ships explode with a well placed volley of cannon-ball fire. I have never seen naval warfare executed this well and I hope Ubisoft takes this ball and runs with it.

Overall, fans of the series will cream themselves playing this game. I really wanted to like ACIII because the time period is freaking awesome, but the design problems kept my frustration high. I give this game a ** instead of * for the awesome naval moments. Everything else is mostly forgettable. Anyone that thought the other games were just OK (like me) should avoid this poorly designed, pretty, mess of a game and check out Dishonored instead.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2013
This game was a huge disappointment to the AC series. I didn't like many parts of the game but the absolute worst part that must be laid out for anyone looking to buy this game is the horrible protagonist, Conner.

Unlike Ezio and Altair, Conner has NO Personality and I actually found myself annoyed from his bleak attitude and far from charming personality. He questions no mission he is given and it more of a lap-dog than a leader, with his signature quote being "what will you have me do?" (He says this nearly every time someone asks him to do something). The main story is poorly done after the first hour where you play as Haythem Kenway (the only enjoyable part of the story).

For those looking to learn more about the overarching AC Series my advice would be just read the story of AC3 online, don't worry if it looks brief because that means its as simple as the game's story is.
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