Version tested: PC
Assassin’s Creed 3 is the fifth game in Ubisoft’s open-world free running stabby stabby series and continues the theme of playing an assassin way back in time that stabs people called Templars to prevent them from taking over the world while micromanaging a small community just because.
I’ve played every major Assassin’s Creed release but wasn’t particularly excited for this one. It most probably have something to do with fatigue; even the new features that was announced to be in this instalment like tree climbing and naval warfare couldn’t pique my interest (because climbing trees in real life is a faraway dream for me) or get me excited for AC3.
I decided to get it anyways since I’ve played every other major release already and boy was I disappointed. There is so much bloat and fluff here and the game’s introductory/tutorial part was so freaking long. It kept forcing your hand and let you roam free only hours after you did everything it wanted you too. This will undoubtedly frustrate any AC veteran because it’s the same core game anyways with a few new features here and there.
Strip down all the extra fats, and there is a solid third-person action game underneath. The AC series’ main draw have always been its free running and stabby stab stab action but a couple of bugs and glitches manages to ensure your experience will be less than a fluid one. Moments like when you want to lean against a wall rather than climbing it or Connor jumping to his death and missing that wall that you were clearly aiming for.
Connor, oh Connor; it is understandable that they wanted to make a game with a deep narrative and not just some mindless stabbing game but when your lead character is as dull and monotonous as Connor is, it defeats the entire purpose. Here is a man who is half British and half Native with a tragic backstory and joins a brotherhood of assassins involved in a war with Templars dating back who knows how long but all he does is run errands from one person to another in his monotonous and cold way. You thought Desmond was the worst character in the series? It looks like Connor is giving him a run for his money.
That’s not to say this game doesn’t have any redeeming qualities, far from it. The new features introduced in this instalment is actually pretty fun, especially naval warfare and animal hunting. It was fun playing around with all the tools available to hunt game in the open wilderness, you can’t but marvel at the sheer size of both the outdoors and the city. This game is also an optical splendour, you eyes won’t be disappointed that’s for sure.
The new tree climbing mechanic can be satisfying and fun if you get it right, but often times Connor will be swinging off a branch like the unevolved primate that he is and jump to his death when you’re clearly aiming for the next branch. It’s not perfect and it can frustrate you, a lot. Your horse will tend to piss you off at times too, deciding to get stuck to rocks or a log instead of jumping over them.
My favourite part of the AC series have always been its fluid free running, jumping from one building to another gave me the most satisfaction. But in AC3, I preferred to just run on the ground to get to my destination as the fluidity just isn’t there anymore. The buildings are far apart and you will fall to the ground often so better to just don’t climb at all.
Another gripe I had was its community management section. All the side stuff, like the hunting and naval sections although fun, is just mostly to gain more resources in order to craft more items and make you feel like there is an in-game economy. You can recruit more members to your community for more crafting options but ultimately it’s just another layer of fat Ubisoft has placed this game under.
Basically, I’m disappointed. They could have done so much more with AC3, such a grand and vast world but there is no sense of discovery but only mindless collecting and a game that is afraid to let you, the player roam free. The combat is all about countering goes the way of some cinematic kills, can be fun at times. I don’t recommend it for newbies to the series and even veterans, get it only if you’re dying to know what happens next as for everyone else, stay away until the price drops. Ain’t worth your time and money right now.