The ground-breaking story from Ubisoft Montreal has again hit another success with Assassin’s Creed III. The historical database lets us take a look into the 18th century and the Revolutionary War when George Washington reigned as Commander in Chief and experience the lives of two very different civilizations. Biting their finger nails down to the bone, fans had remained anxious down to the very last minutes of its release knowing they were in for a treat, me being one of them. By blowing away the critics and LITERALLY revolutionizing the name, this has to be by far the most absolute best title of the franchise. As its’ predecessors have done in the past, stunning it’s audience with a gripping story and historical events and adversaries, accompanied with Ubisoft’s tweaks and twists. Scores decline from the previous Assassin’s Creed. It is as if there is no more conflict between the Templars and Assassins. So many new features, read more for a closer look and see what is hot and what is not.
Playing the protagonist, Connor, a Native American and trained assassin with what could have been a soft-side gone bad with a great edge to nature, was now after so many people with so many reasons, it was somewhat difficult at first to keep up with whom did what. Connor had a decent childhood with many friends and a loving mother, and grew up like a typical little boy…until one day tragedy struck his home, his mother, and his tribe. Now grown, Connor plans on returning the pain right back to the person who had brought it onto him. Other legit historical figures almost took me by surprise until I learned they perceived the actual personalities, historically and in reality. Even though I obviously did not know them personally, they didn’t seem as real as they did back in school. Their troops were very unorganized and dressed up with ratty clothing rather than a tightly fitted suit and in order and the Redcoats were what really comes to mind when you think “army” and remained picture perfect throughout the campaign, it was actually a little shameful on Rebel’s part and even worse for the 18th century militia. And of course the original gang, Desmond Miles, Shaun Hastings, and Rebecca Crane accompany the game along with a somewhat new character that was briefly mentioned and introduced in Assassin’s Creed Revelations, William Miles which is the father of sub-main character Desmond. Desmond’s father shows almost none of the similar characteristics of Desmond, I would not have known he was his father if it was never said bluntly at some point in the game. The civilians are (as always) pretty repetitive in looks and clothing, including their movements and phrases. Some vendors here, people carrying boxes there, same as the previous Assassin’s Creed games. But what stands out most of all are all of their eyes. Something looks off about them as if someone dropped a light weight marble in a glass of water, making them seem almost life-less. The Natives are somehow completely opposite. They had more facial expressions and colors to their outfits. For your main enemies, they seem pretty well taken care of and malevolent as ever or always.
As a huge fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise myself, I was one of the people on their toes from the beginning to the very end. The conflict with that is I actually have to view the game as a critic rather than a fan. The feel of the environment, rather it be in the town of Boston or the wilderness of the Frontier, was not completely comfortable, for the majority of the time I felt exposed with poor AI or exposed with great AI and “hiccups” in the game. The towns themselves did not feel but more what people would imagine or see in the movies more or less. What I did like is how they wanted to interpret it and take it in the direction they had in mind. However the lifestyle of that era turned out extremely artificial. The people’s rights, well there were none in that time. Women and all races roamed free which I did enjoy as well but however as sad as that actual time period was, it was not historically accurate. Accuracy in a game like this, even though it is thoroughly virtual fun, would have and could have played an extremely crucial factor and had a high level of potential benefits. Information flooded the internet and magazines regarding the woodland areas and the new environment traversals through tall trees, up vertical rocks and mountains. Turns out they are equipped very short of paths. I would climb a tree and make my way through the treetops to stealthily take out a target(s) and I would run out of trees! I honestly have never been so disappointed in a hype of a game, as a fan or a critic. It is almost like wanting to take a long walk off of a short pier! So as any simpleton may have guessed, it is an extremely crowed forest full of plants, the same ones everywhere, but plants none the less. They have decided to add bushes for your character to crouch in to escape an enemy, but they forgot one big detail. When you walk in a bush, is it completely quiet? Well um no, quite the opposite in fact. That is one thing I find both amusing and very irritating.
The first five and half hours are a giant tutorial hidden behind a paper-thin plot to set up the games’ storyline. The player will be led by hand through various fetch-quests that do little but explain game play. Starting off the game, a certain main character (not naming), was way too sluggish, it really almost put me to sleep. Around every corner, when it seemed like we were finished with the tutorials, appeared another cut scene followed by more tutorials, border lining ridiculous.
Weapons are an essential to any game, making a wide variety of them makes it even better as they did provide a mid-ranged assortment to help fight off or take out foes. Assassins Creed III now has a bigger focus on guns. While Assassins Creed: Revelations had a fictional wrist-mounted pistol, this game uses pistols and rifles that would fit the time period. I found that there are few and far between moments to get a chance to actually use a good number of certain weapons. It almost seems like they put in what they thought would be “cool” without thinking about when to use them or making them fit into the game and above all; creating the right moment and not getting spotted by those Nutcracker dressed guards. Over three-fourths of the time they do not even fit into the setting, and not just Boston, New York, etc. but mainly the wilderness and the fact that there is an Indian tribe with trees, bushes, and did I mention trees? You cannot get a clear shot to euthanize the enemy with a poison dart. Do not get me wrong, I love the weapons and the environment settings but together they clash. The malevolent and ruthless combat turns Connor into a vengeful freedom fighting juggernaut thanks to his teacher Achilles who was a former Assassin before age took its’ toll. Simplified excessively in this iteration compared to the others came off as partially fluent and reflex. The system now is much more like Batman: Arkham City, in that the player will need to time their counters, blocks and attacks perfectly if they want to survive against a large group of guards. Stealth is what's needed to survive now.
As we all know, the game takes place between the Revolutionary War and Modern Day. The transitions between the two eras were very clumsy and major modern plots came completely out of nowhere. As for the modern day Desmond missions, I really have no complaints over. I for one was actually looking forward to them upon sporadic periods of the game. The most assigned accomplishments outside the animus is to collect the First Civilizations battery cells to unlock centuries of secrets and prevent the new civilizations (12-21-12) devastation. At a point in one of the missions struck me with nostalgia taking us back to the very first room where Desmond awoke meeting Lucy in Abstergo. You are actually playing Desmond’s point-of-view for the most part, which makes his missions the most interesting. The side missions such as Delivery Requests, Courier Missions, Liberation Missions and more are not as unique as I expected, they are actually quite repetitive and the Delivery Requests are so scattered, bugged, and cracked, it was such a disappointment!
Needless to say, Assassin’s Creed III had the potential to achieve greatness but fell short due to lack of attention to technical details. For example, they issued a patch for it on day one of its release which is completely unprofessional, and that could be an understatement regarding its’ creator is Ubisoft Montreal. The story line is breath-taking and will keep you on the edge of your seat, the side missions will keep you busy until you are on your 20th one and you realize it’s not going to change in creativity. Without a doubt this is one of my top games, but not one of my favorite from the franchise. Save the world or yourself? What will play out? What would you choose? The ending of the story in its self contains a gut-wrenching ambiance providing the rues behind what is actually being shown on screen. What happens is something that neither you nor any fan would have EVER expected!
Final Score: 8.5/10