If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Are you ready to run through the trees? Are you ready to assassinate target after target working your way to victory through a river of your enemies’ blood? Are you ready to ignite a world changing revolution? Then get ready to play Assassin’s Creed 3.
Assassin’s Creed 3 takes place in the mid to late 1700’s. You play as a few characters but spend most of your time with the assassin Connor. A Native American who finds himself caught up in fantastic events due to his unknown birthright. That’s all I will say for now. The game requires me to break things down a bit so bear with me while I review the game in chunks, starting with game play and ending with the overall story.
The game play has been revamped from the previous games, it’s similar but also new. The free running is simplified but still has the same problems that have plagued the franchise from the beginning. You still sometimes don’t jump where you want to, or the game interprets your movements incorrectly and you end up falling off whatever you where running on. The series has had this problem ever since Altair ran across the rooftops of Jerusalem though so it’s not that big a deal. You go into the game expecting it almost. I feel like they could have done better, but I don’t design games so I don’t know how difficult a thing it is to program. No game to date has gotten free running just right so I guess it’s a nitpick, but it’s still a problem that needs addressing.
The combat got a major overhaul and is much more intense, fluid and fun this time around. I have always admired the combat in all the games, but this one has me just completely blown away. Like the free running it’s similar to previous games but overhauled. Now to dodge and counter attack and throw are all lumped together in combat. They are all contextualized. While in some ways this takes your brain out of the combat a bit, it also makes it faster paced--necessary now that your enemies have guns. You block an attack not by holding a button anymore but by hitting the right button at a given moment. Then time slows down for a split second giving you time to press another button, determining whether you counter, disarm, or throw the enemy. It makes for fast placed melee fights and gives you an edge against incoming enemy fire. That being said, it makes taking out smaller groups of enemies laughably easy. Not just due to the streamlined combat, but also because of some of the new weapons. You have your standard wrist blades obviously, but Connor now also wields a small dagger along with whatever weapon you currently have. Along with some new devastating weapons (my personal favorite being the rope dart) the combat just becomes so fluid and empowering you start to think nothing in the land can hurt you.
(Fun Fact: I shoot the Bow recreationally, True)
The economy of the world has changed quite a bit too. No longer will you purchase and renovate shops to increase the hourly income of a given area. Now you invest in your homestead. Your homestead is a large area of the game where you and your master build up a thriving town based on completing special homestead missions. By completing these more and more folk move to your homestead. You get to know almost all of them on a personal level and in my opinion truly care for them. They become your friends, your allies, and a reason for you to seek peace in the land. I actually wish there was more of these missions, these NPC’s keep me going, they are like family you just want to help and protect. Anyway, these people will sell you things cheap, and craft items like wagons, barrels and such which you can then use to trade goods with shop owners throughout the game who pay you for your shipments. It’s a fun and improved way to make money that adds some much need complexity to the game.
(Is it time to yell wolverines yet? What do you mean those are the wrong reds?)
One of the newest features to the game is naval missions. They are incredibly fun; my only complaint is there aren’t more of them. The ship to ship combat is visceral and when a storm is blowing sometimes downright scary. With a few tweaks to the game play, Ubisoft could make a naval based game all its own using this as a template, and boy do I hope that’s what they do. I loved it so much I would save all my naval missions till the last minute and play them all at once. Some of the most fun I have had in a game in years.
(Seriously Ubisoft make this into a free roaming pirate game.)
The characters in the game are interesting and varied. I have to admit though, not quite as interesting or memorable as the characters from Assassin’s Creed 2 or Brotherhood. Even Connor sounds wooden half the time, though I think this was an artistic choice, being English is his second language, it is still off putting sometimes. Like his ancestors Connor has a character all his own. Altair was brash and angry, Ezio was funny and methodical, and Connor is impulsive and alienated. When he needs to, Connor shows real and genuine emotion, but mostly is a very quiet and introspective character. He doesn’t speak his mind as often as he probably should, easy to see being he is surrounded by people who think their way is the only way of thinking. It’s fun to see the world through his eyes: he is an outsider almost everywhere he goes, not quite ever understanding what the people around him are thinking. On a personal level he is my favorite Assassin we have played as. The rest of the gang in the present are here as well. Desmond shows some real growth in this game, good being that this is his final installation. I always wanted Desmond to be a bigger character then he was. This game almost accomplishes it, but not quite.
The multiplayer is almost identical to the last game. I was pleased by this because I really like the multiplayer. Its slow paced and full of trickery and to me, really gets the competitive juices flowing. You have everything from team death match, to free for all to capture the flag type game modes. It’s entertaining and varied. I enjoy it quite a bit. The new Wolfpack mode lets you build a team comprised of your friends, who can then take of teams of other friends. So you know you can trust the guy at your back not to give you away.
(This is pretty much what happens to me, EVERY SINGLE TIME I SPAWN!)
The story is epic--it’s the founding of a new country, how could it not be? I know a lot of people say this is Assassins Creed MURRICA addition but seriously shut up. Yes the British are pseudo-run by the Templars, but come on the Colonists won the revolutionary war. They couldn’t exactly have the Assassins lose. They don’t make all the Sons of Liberty look like saints either, Paul Revere is a lazy glory hound, Sam Adams is a manipulative liar, and Benjamin Franklin is a womanizer. All of these things are true about the real men, so this game’s story is not some overly flag waving AMERICA FUCK YEAH statement. They make quite a few Brits look good, and some Templars work for the Colonists. Connor doesn’t even want to take part in the war, and you can see why. The story is full of nifty twists and turns that I was legitimately surprised by.
The Present time story line is what it always has been, convoluted and almost unnecessary. I always saw it as less of a narrative and more of a means to an end to get Desmond his own game, but now that’s out of the question. So it just becomes a series of plot holes and WTF moments. This game is no exception. Nothing is fully explained and it leaves you with more questions than answers. Maybe once I go back and play all the games back to back without much time in-between I will get it more but for now I am just kind of “meh” on the whole present timeline story.
The game feels much better than any installment prior. Still needs improvements over all but only nitpicky ones. I really love the game, it’s my second favorite out of the whole franchise.
I give it 5 out of 5.
Written: by Kevin Mason (AKA LempiElinika)
Edited by: Sarah Lawhorne